Leaky Gut Syndrome: Red Flags That Your Intestines Might Be Leaking Toxins

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You know that old song about the head bone being connected to the neck bone? Well, it works like that not only for your bones, but for the rest of your insides, too — and sometimes, those connections are even more direct than you think.

Because of these links, your body can sometimes show a reaction or a symptom in one place, though the cause is actually somewhere else entirely.

Other times, one issue in one place can can have huge, body-wide effects — and you might not even realize that they’re all stemming from the same thing.

One of these issues is a newly proposed medical condition known as “leaky gut syndrome.” The condition itself is still being debated and is mainly supported as a medical condition by nutritionists and holistic practitioners.

Leaky gut syndrome is defined as an increased permeability in the intestines, meaning that the lining in one’s bowels becomes more porous, allowing toxins and undigested foods to pass into the bloodstream.

Your intestines are normally a little permeable, and that’s fine. But according to the theory, if they get too permeable, all kinds of problems can spring up as material that should be confined to the gastrointestinal tract is let loose inside the body.

This can cause everything from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), which has been proven to involve increased intestinal permeability, to seemingly unrelated issues such as skin problems.

As noted, leaky gut syndrome is still being researched and evaluated, but it speaks to our increasing awareness that everything in the body is connected and affects everything else — and this research could help us come to new conclusions about maintaining and protecting our overall health.

Read on to learn more, and let us know if you think this theory is onto something!

What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?11

Leaky gut syndrome is a proposed medical condition characterized by a highly permeable intestinal wall, which allows all kinds of materials to seep into the body.

Undigested food, microbes, and toxins are just a few of the materials some experts say can be leaked.

These materials, which are supposed to be contained inside the gastrointestinal tract, can cause all kinds of disturbances throughout the body.

While leaky gut syndrome is not agreed upon by all medical professionals, increased intestinal permeability is thought to be a factor in a variety of diseases, among them Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, types 1 and 2 diabetes, IBS, obesity, and schizophrenia.

How Does A Leaky Gut Affect My Body?
Effect #1: Large Intestine

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As you might imagine, a leaky gut will affect your digestion. This most commonly manifests as inflammatory bowel diseases such as IBS and ulcerative colitis.

It can also manifest as food allergies and sensitivities, with certain foods causing pain, discomfort, or other digestive difficulties.

Effect #2: Joints

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Stiffness, aches, and difficulty moving may also be the result of a leaky gut, especially if they don’t seem related to any injury, strain, or repetitive motion.

Other aches and pains in the body may be the result of a leaky gut, too.

Effect #3: Skin

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You might not think to look to your stomach as the source of a skin disorder like eczema or psoriasis, but a leaky gut may be behind this, too.

It can also manifest as rosacea or acne.

Effect #4: Sinuses

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Repeated head colds and sinus infections can also be a sign that something isn’t right with your internal equilibrium; they can also be caused by a leaky gut.

The syndrome can also play a part in weakening your immune system, causing you to be more susceptible to colds and infections.

Effect #5: Brain

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When your body is out of whack, so is your mind.

The havoc that a leaky gut can cause on your body doesn’t stop with your brain, and many people report increased feelings of anxiety, depression, and fatigue.

How Can I Manage My Leaky Gut?
Tip #1: See Your Doctor

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The first thing to do is to talk to your doctor to see if any of the health issues you’ve experienced are stemming from something else.

There are also specific tests to check for intestinal permeability, for food allergies and intolerances, and for vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Your doctor may also require a stool test to see what’s going on inside and what kinds of microorganisms are currently living in your gut.

Tip #2: Switch To Healing Foods

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For many, digestive troubles and leaky gut are caused by eating foods that inflame and aggravate the intestinal walls.

Depending on the person, these foods can vary, but many find gluten, sugar, and lactose to be the most aggravating foods.

Popular healing foods include bone broth, raw cultured dairy, fermented vegetables, and coconut products.

Tip #3: Manage Your Stress

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Chronic stress is a part of everyone’s life, but it doesn’t have to affect your health if you know how to manage and release it in a healthy way.

Stress can weaken your immune system, too, which will cause even more problems and an even leakier gut.

So make sure to take time to let go of the day’s stress however you like. Meditation, gentle exercise, journaling, or spending quality time with loved ones are all favorites.

Tip #4: Take Supplements

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Supplements are an especially good idea if you’re lacking in some important nutrients.

Talk to your doctor about what you’ll need to boost or replace, and see if you can find a dietary supplement that can help.

Popular supplements among those looking to improve their gut health include digestive enzymes, L-glutamine, and licorice root.

Tip #5: Be Consistent With Your Diet Changes

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This one might not be as fun, but you’ll feel better in the long run!

The key to keeping any balance in your health is to be consistent, which means not reverting to your old ways when you stop feeling symptoms.

Stick to a healthy diet. While it’s all right to indulge responsibly, know your limit and don’t overdo it. Your whole body will thank you!

While the jury’s still technically out on whether leaky gut syndrome is a real condition, paying attention to how the food you eat affects your whole body is an important step in maintaining your overall health.

What do you think? Let us know, and SHARE this information with anyone you want to see stay healthy!

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