Leaky gut part 3-Healing a 'leaky' gut


Healing a 'leaky' gut is a three step process:
1. Firstly, you should remove the foods that are causing the gut to become leaky. It may be useful to keep a food diary to identify which foods cause a worsening of symptoms.  A common culprit is gluten. Please see 'Leaky gut Part 2-The problem with gluten'-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/leaky-gut-part-2-problem-with-gluten.html

Another likely cause is caesin, which is found in dairy products and goat's milk. This should also be eliminated, because many of us do not have the enzymes required to break  down this protein. This can result in undigested particles entering the blood stream, causing problems where the gut is leaky.  Please see 'Leaky gut an introduction'-http://40plusandalliswell.blogspot.co.uk/2016/02/leaky-gut-introduction.html 

Sugar should be eliminated to stop feeding the yeast which inhabits the gut.  This includes natural sugars from fruit and starchy vegetables. Avoid processed foods and alcohol, and eat organic wherever possible.  Another useful tip is to filter your drinking water.  You may also need to speak to your doctor if you are on long-term antibiotics or NSAIDS.  Include wholefoods in your diet, plenty of allowed vegetables, and fermented foods (see below). 

Coconut is anti-fungal, and so good to help kill the yeast in the gut. Digestive enzymes should be taken to ensure food is completely broken down, making it less likely to cause problems.  This elimination diet should be continued for 4-6 weeks before slowly re-introducing foods.  When re-introducing foods, try a small quantity of one of the eliminated foods for several days and notice how you feel.  If your symptoms return, you might need to eliminate the food for longer.

2. Heal the gut.  Simply removing the foods that caused the leaky gut will help the gut to heal, but certain supplements are worth considering.

Caprylic acid: this coconut based supplement will help kill candida if your 'leaky gut' is caused by a gut flora inbalance.  Be aware, however, that the yeast do not die quietly.  As they die they give off toxins which can make you feel awful.  Potential symptoms include nausea, headaches and fatigue.  If this happens, stop taking the anti-fungals, drink plenty of water and rest as much as you can.

L-glutamine helps repair the intestinal lining because it helps prevent the breakdown of the muscosal lining of the gut.  It also helps stabilise your blood sugar. Candida overgrowth can cause low blood sugar, so this can help curb cravings.  Start with a low dose.

Quercetin helps the gut heal by promoting the formation of the proteins that create tight junctions between the intestinal cells.

As well as looking to your diet, reducing stress will help with the healing process.  Yoga and meditation can help with this. Please see the yoga playlist on my YouTube Channel-'Yoga for stress'-https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLS4Wjf00I4uzH0r_7p5O4pV1mlF5Rikjo

3. Step three is to repopulate the gut in order to create a healthy gut flora.  I would advise taking a probiotic supplement. Probiotics deliver 'good' bacteria directly to the gut flora. You could also eat probiotic foods which include miso and raw saukraut which are fermented foods. Prebiotic foods on the other hand encourage the growth of 'good' bacteria in the gut and include leeks and onions.

The importance of healthy gut flora should not be underestimated - it underlies good health -  physical, mental and emotional. Did you know that 90-95% of your body's serotonin (the 'feel good' hormone) is found in the gut? If your gut is healthy, that is the gut flora are in balance, then the production of serotonin is boosted.

Hope this helps
Be happy, be healthy
Janet x

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