(NaturalHealth365) Millions of Americans live with chronic diseases, autoimmune conditions or other debilitating health issues that have vague or unknown causes, yet create too much suffering. Despite attempting to manage these conditions with medications, few are able to get to the source of their health problems and eliminate them altogether. Generally speaking, these health problems tend to get worse, over time, while the real reason behind chronic disease is often ignored by most conventionally-trained physicians.
An estimated 50 percent of chronic diseases and inflammatory conditions are actually linked to a single source – ‘leaky gut syndrome’, or LGS. People with LGS have irritated intestinal linings that allow toxins, bacteria and food particles to seep out of the gut and into the bloodstream.
As a result, the body’s major defense mechanisms, including the immune system, liver and lymphatics, become compromised – over time. Gradually, the body begins to turn on itself, attacking its own tissues and ultimately causing the onset or worsening of conditions like fibromyalgia, arthritis, migraines and even asthma.
What are the signs and symptoms of leaky gut?
The symptoms of leaky gut may be difficult for the average person to detect, primarily because they are often shared by so many other health conditions. Often, the conditions are seemingly unconnected to each other, making it harder to diagnose. Of course, it doesn’t help that many mainstream medical doctors are skeptical of this condition – despite years of research that prove its existence.
Initially, people with leaky gut syndrome may experience chronic fatigue or digestive issues, such as bloating, cramps and constipation. Other symptoms may include mood changes, hormonal imbalances and even heightened PMS symptoms. As the condition progresses, the body may begin presenting with auto-immune responses, such as rashes and food sensitivities.
Eventually, the symptoms may progress to include more serious diseases, such as Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease or psoriasis.
Healing leaky gut by a process of elimination
Anyone experiencing the symptoms of leaky gut should not seek to ‘manage the symptoms’, but rather to treat the cause of the condition. Not only is healing leaky gut possible – it’s absolutely essential to preventing additional health complications in the future.
The first step to healing leaky gut is by recognizing the primary cause of intestinal inflammation. Antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are by far the biggest cause of irritation to the intestinal lining.
However, other external factors may also contribute to the development of leaky gut, including emotional stress, an abnormal balance of gut flora, gluten, and pre-existing food allergies. In some cases, one potential irritant leads to another, such as antibiotics contributing to an imbalance of healthy gut bacteria.
Anyone interested in healing leaky gut must first eliminate substances and medications that cause inflammation, as well as evaluate dietary habits that may be contributing to LGS. This could mean eliminating gluten or other inflammatory foods. Some may also benefit from eating probiotic-rich foods like kefir or raw sauerkraut – which are rich in digestive enzymes and bring healthy balance to the intestinal flora.
The addition of other nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and L-glutamine, may help reduce existing inflammation, strengthen the intestinal lining, and reverse the effects of leaky gut. Most people who adopt an anti-inflammatory diet will notice results within a few weeks, although an extremely damaged gut may take several months or years to fully recover. Be patient and never give up.