And How to Heal It
by Chloe Williams,
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
If you've heard the term "leaky gut" thrown around like confetti lately, and you have any kind of digestive symptoms, listen up. As someone who specializes in gut health, the most common complaints I hear are things like brain fog, constipation, diarrhea, or alternating between the two, joint pain from inflammation, headaches, anxiety, depression, trouble concentrating, and then skin issues like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
There are a ton of other symptoms associated with leaky gut, but what happens is we try and treat the symptoms and we never get to the root cause of what's causing symptoms in the first place. So, I'm about to give some information that might get you on the right track.
The picture on the left is of a really healthy gut and the pink bricks represent your tight junctions. These tight junctions need to be really tight together, because they're in charge of making sure that no toxins seep through into the bloodstream. This is why things like food sensitivities start to exist, because food particles seep through and cause inflammation.
In a really healthy person's gut, there is the “mucosal lining” (the bumpy bits on top of the bricks). The mucosal lining's job is to trap the toxins and carry them out of the body so that they never even get anywhere near your tight junctions. But things like stress, medication, alcohol, processed foods, etc. – all of these things are like a sledgehammer to the mucosal lining, and then to the tight junctions and they chip away at it. What happens then is foods that we eat daily seep through the mucosal lining, through the intestinal lining and into the bloodstream. Your body reacts because the bloodstream knows that that's not supposed to be there, and so, it creates an immune response.
The immune response looks different in everybody's body, which is exactly why there are so many different symptoms associated with leaky gut. This is also why people start developing food sensitivities to their own favourite foods, because the more often you eat it, the louder the response becomes. The leakier the gut gets, the more food sensitivities we develop and the more inflammation we have in the body.
So, instead of addressing each individual symptom, what we want to do is build this gut lining back up again so that it's strong and the tight junctions are back together again.
How to heal a leaky gut?
Bone broth is the number one product that I recommend to every single one of my clients because it has everything you need to heal and seal the gut lining back up again. It's rich in collagen and amino acids, which are what the intestinal lining needs to heal itself.
3 things you must do to help heal your gut:
- Inflammatory foods must go! Remove what’s causing irritation and inflammation to your gut lining. Remove processed foods, inflammatory oils, gluten and dairy, refined sugar, alcohol, drugs, etc.
- Drink your water! Hydration is one of the top stressors on the human body. Chronic stress contributes to gut damage.
- Eat a diet rich in amino acids. That means high-quality protein.
While Bone Brewhouse is my ultimate favorite bone broth because of its variety of flavors, clean ingredients, and ease to make, I don’t really care how you get your bone broth into your diet. Make bone broth at home when you can, but the important thing is to drink it every single day.
FYI. If you’re taking supplements, they won’t be affective if you have a leaky gut. And, what you eat to heal your gut is a little more restrictive to heal your gut vs what you eat to maintain your gut. The above tips should be incorporated daily for at least 4 weeks to have an impact.
Do you suffer from a leaky gut? Take this pop quiz!
- Do you suffer from fatigue between 1:00pm and 3:00pm daily?
- Are you bloated often?
- Do you suffer from brain fog?
- Do you have muscle or joint pain?
- Do you suffer with low-quality bowel movements?
If you answer yes to 2 or more, you may have leaky gut. Talk to a registered holistic nutritionist or health professional to learn more.