The term “leaky gut” has suddenly captivated everyone’s attention and has become a trendy buzzword, but do you know exactly what this health problem means? Lavleen Kaur, Co-founder and Head Dietitian of Diet Insight, says to HT Lifestyle, “Leaky gut, scientifically known as intestinal permeability, is a disease in which the small intestine lining becomes damaged.” This causes undigested food particles, harmful waste, and pathogens to “leak” into the circulation via the colon. When these foreign particles enter the circulation, they cause an immunological response, which leads to further health problems such as irritable bowel syndrome, chronic weariness, food allergies, inflammatory responses, rheumatoid arthritis, and other ailments. “
In layman’s terms, she explained that the damaged cells in our intestines fail to produce the enzymes needed for efficient digestion, and as a result, our bodies are unable to absorb critical nutrients, leading to hormone imbalances and a weakened immune system. Dr. Anish Desai, MD, Founder and CEO of IntelliMed Healthcare Solutions, added, “The human digestive tract is responsible for food digestion and nutrient absorption.” Small holes in the gut wall enable water and nutrients to flow while preventing hazardous substances from entering. “
He said, “As the tight connections between intestinal walls relax, the gut becomes more permeable, possibly allowing germs and toxins to pass from the gut into the circulation.” This disorder is referred to as “leaky gut.” Leaky gut syndrome is a common digestive disorder that affects the lining of the intestines. The break in the intestinal wall that arises during leaky gut syndrome allows bacteria and other poisons to enter the bloodstream. The main causes of the condition are a decrease in mucus thickness, increased permeability of the intestine, and a change in gut flora. “
The causes of leaky gut:
According to nutritionist Lavleen Kaur, there are several reasons for a leaky stomach, but the actual cause of the leaky gut is unknown. She believes that in many cases, leaky gut is caused by an overabundance of sugar, salt, processed and refined meals.
She did, however, disclose an intriguing and little-known fact: there is a nerve within our brain called the vagus nerve that is directly related to our abdomen. “It uses the same protocol as WhatsApp, meaning it sends messages to the stomach to perform correctly, and the gut responds by absorbing the required nourishment and preventing superfluous particles,” she explained.
Dr. Anish Desai identified many variables that contribute to leaky gut. They are as follows:
1. Excessive sugar consumption: a high fructose diet impairs the intestinal wall’s barrier function.
2. NSAIDs: Long-term use of NSAIDs increases permeability and produces leaky gut.
3. Excessive alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol consumption increases intestinal permeability.
4. Nutrient insufficiency: Vitamin A, D, and zinc deficiency all have a role in intestinal permeability.
5. Stress: Chronic stress as a result of an unhealthy lifestyle is a factor in intestinal illness.
He also highlighted that some diseases are related to leaky gut and mentioned how numerous research has shown that increased intestinal permeability is becoming a cause of many ailments such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, diabetes, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Suggestions for improving intestinal health:
If you want to cure a leaky gut, you must first address the fundamental causes of the disease, says dietitian Lavleen Kaur. While it is hard to determine whether or not a leaky gut can be repaired, it can certainly be improved. Everyone’s intestines are “leaky” to some extent; our small intestine is meant to allow particular particles into the rest of the body. It only becomes a problem when it starts emitting the incorrect kinds. “
Dr. Anish Desai highlighted a few strategies that help enhance gut health, despite the fact that there is no prescribed treatment for leaky gut. They are as follows:
1. Reduce carbohydrate consumption: Bacteria that are detrimental to the body often feed on sugar, and carbohydrates are a source of sugar.
2. Limit your use of NSAIDs: Long-term use of NSAIDs like ibuprofen contributes to leaky gut syndrome.
3. Eat fermented foods: Fermented foods like yoghurt contain probiotics, which help with intestinal health.
4. Exercise on a regular basis: Exercise on a regular basis helps to promote intestinal health.
5. Consume nutrients: A balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals should be consumed on a regular basis to maintain the health of the hut.