If you have IBD, you almost certainly suffer from leaky gut. By treating leaky gut, you will be helping reduce the risk of flares in your disease.
The term Leaky Gut Syndrome is used to describe the condition of “Hyperpermeable Intestines,” a fancy medical term that means the intestinal lining has become more porous, with more holes developing that are larger in size and the screening out process is no longer functioning properly. The fallout results in larger, undigested food molecules and other “bad stuff” (yeast, toxins, and all other forms of waste) that your body normally doesn’t allow through, to flow freely into your bloodstream.
The intestinal lining is the first mechanism of defense for our immune system. The outer layers of intestinal cells (epithelial) are connected by structures called tight junctions. At the tips of these cells are the microvilli, which absorb properly digested nutrients and transport them through the epithelial cell and into the bloodstream. During the normal digestion process the tight junctions stay closed forcing all molecules to effectively be screened and only pass into the blood stream through the mucosa cells. These tight junctions can become “open” or permeable allowing un-screened molecules to flow directly into the bloodstream.
How to Fix Leaky Gut Syndrome…
L-Gultamine. Taken on an empty stomach each morning, a spoon of pure l-glutamine powder in a glass of water is thought to provide relief.
L-Glutamine is 1 of 20 amino acids. But unlike many of the other amino acids, it is unique, because it is the primary fuel used by the cells in your gut lining. They love it! So much so that they’re actually able to absorb it directly. Which makes supplementation even more effective.
And since it is their preferred source of fuel these cells, lining the mucosa of the small intestine, consume it ravenously in order to repair and regrow themselves.
By feeding these cells the fuel they love, your body is able to produce more intestinal mucus and Secretary Immunoglobulin Type A (SIgA), as well as tighten up the openings in your gut lining themselves, thereby stopping things like large undigested food molecules and other toxins crossing the gut barrier and into your bloodstream (ie stopping leaky gut).
Slippery Elm bark powder.
Slippery elm is known as one of the better remedies for healing leaky gut, as it coats the stomach lining.
This high fibre remedy has a calming action and contains mucilage that stimulates mucus secretion.
Eliminating sugars, starches, grains, and any other irritating foods alleviates the inflammation and starves out the yeast overgrowth Reducing both of these allows the intestinal tract to slowly return to its normal permeability, stopping the flow of foreign objects into the blood, which will stop food intolerance symptoms and eventually help stop the vicious cycle.
The conditions that lead to leaky gut can also cause mal-absorption and improper digestion, both of which are going to leave you with nutritional deficiencies. First and foremost, supplementing with a good multi-vitamin, large amounts of vitamin D, and Zinc will help the intestinal lining return to normal. Essential fish oils have also been shown to really help improve the condition of the intestinal mucosal lining (omega-3’s greatly reduce inflammation among a host of other benefits).
Mixing in a solid foundation of probiotics, and more specifically, the friendly bacteria Lactobacillus acidophilus is thought to be beneficial. Friendly bacteria stop the inhabitance of bad bacteria and yeast, heal the gut lining, help nutrients get absorbed, and keep the vicious cycle in check. Studies suggest that keeping a ratio of 85% good to bad bacteria in the gut will stop the cycle from starting back up. A good non-dairy Lactobacillus acidophilus will be very beneficial.
Digestive enzymes are critical to properly breaking down the foods we eat. They have multi-faceted skills to help alleviate leaky gut. First, plant based enzymes will break down food into very small particles before it leaves the stomach, preventing large undigested molecules from irritating the intestinal lining and increasing nutritional uptake. They also work through your intestines acting as garbage collectors by removing toxins, bacteria, and damaged cells of the mucosal lining. The whole process gives the gut a clean slate of healthy cells to rebuild with. While the leaky gut permeability remains, they do the same garbage collecting in the bloodstream if they are passed through the intestinal lining. The bromelain and papain enzymes are shown to reduce inflammation in the gut lining and throughout other tissues in the body, allowing the immune system and the liver some reprieve.