Gut Dysbiosis & Leaky Gut
This is a subject I talk about often with my clients because gut health has far-reaching ramifications throughout the body. For example, when we’re looking at mental health, skin conditions, low immunity, infections, food intolerances, autoimmune disease, to name just a few, the gut is implicated. What’s more, underlying gut issues can be hard to spot, but they can wreak havoc in your body.
I’ve seen first hand time and time again how frustrating it can be for people who are struggling to find answers to chronic health problems. The majority of people who come to see have already been down the medical pathway, without answers.
A very common example is someone suffering from migraines, who is given powerful pain medicines, which they take each time the migraine arises. What is often overlooked is the underlying cause – and bowel health is very commonly the culprit in such cases. Another example might be chronic cystitis, where there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria and leaky gut fuelled by antibiotic use. Another common example is depression. In all these cases treating the underlying bowel issues is vital for proper healing.
Inside your gut live trillions of live microorganisms or bacteria. In fact there are three times more bacteria than cells in your body. These come together to form your microbiome. Much of the bacteria in the gut is healthy or good bacteria that are essential for good health. Having a healthy microbiome impacts your body’s ability to digest and synthesise nutrients, as well as less obvious functions, such as immune regulation, metabolism, brain function and mood, among others. A healthy gut has a strong barrier, efficient in keeping the contents of the gut, such as its bacteria, food particles and toxins, from leaking back into the bloodstream.
The bacteria in the gut can become disrupted or imbalanced, known us gut dysbiosis. Many things can impact the microbiome, from antibiotics and medications to stress and an unhealthy diet. Leaky gut occurs when the gut barrier is compromised and becomes porous. This in turn allows small particles, such as partially digested food or bacteria, to leak across the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream. Because the body doesn’t expect to see these in the bloodstream it launches an immune response. Furthermore, increasing research into this area is highlighting the link between this continuous immune response and inflammation causing a predisposition to a wide range of diseases.
How to address Gut Dysbiosis and Leaky Gut
What you eat and drink, the exercise and fresh air you have on a daily basis, and your use of pharmaceuticals – especially antibiotics, are all factors in the health of your gut. There are lifestyle choices you can make at home, which are beneficial.
In addition, you can follow a specific program of remedies to restore your bowel wall health and help correct the balance of bacteria in your gut.
- Supplements: There are natural remedies which help to repair the integrity of bowel wall in the case of leaky gut, such as glutamine, mastic gum, slippery elm, and more.
- Probiotics: To rebalance the intestinal flora, or balance of bacteria, probiotics can be used. There are a range of probiotics available, from spore forming to individual strains for specific conditions. In addition, consuming fermented food, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, cultured yogurt or kefir is an excellent way to increase healthy bacteria in the gut. It is always worth getting good advice about probiotics to make sure you are taking the strains and forms that are best suited to your health needs.
- Prebiotics: These lay the foundation for the probiotics to flourish, and come in many forms, such as raw vegetables, fruit and dietary fibre. Additionally, these can be supplemented.
- Digestive enzymes: These can be supplemented to help the body break down food compounds and increase nutrient absorption.
- Bone broth: This is rich in collagen, as well as other nutrients, that help to repair leaky gut and gut inflammation.
Testing for gut health
Underlying gut issues don’t always present with obvious signs, leaky gut is a good example of this. A good way to detect leaky gut is with iridology, which is available at my practice.
In addition, in cases that are stubborn to clear up, we can arrange a stool test. This is beneficial because it will give a detailed report and specific treatment protocols.
Very often however, testing isn’t necessarily needed and from experience and clinical assessment of your symptoms, the condition and underlying cause can be alleviated.
Call me on 01379 308707 to find out more