So now that you are a little more acquainted with your gut and what leaky gut is let’s discuss how your gut became so leaky? If you haven't seen the What Is Leaky Gut post you can go check it out here.
The list of what causes leaky gut seems to grow each day as more and more research pours in around leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability.
Where it becomes confusing is how to determine exactly what is causing my leaky gut? This can be very difficult to say the least.
Unfortunately, the majority of the population has inadequate beneficial (good) bacteria, excessive damaging (bad) bacteria, and a lack of bacterial diversity. This is referred to as gut dysbiosis (change in balance of gut bacteria). Largely because of a poor, inflammatory diet. So having too many "bad guys" and not enough "good guys" is definitely a cause of leaky gut.
Also consuming food that our body deems as foreign causing an inflammatory cascade and immune system reaction is another major cause.
These two scenarios are major culprits when it comes to leaky gut. Let's looks at a list of items that can lead to these two scenarios.
Over-Medicating – with antibiotics, birth control, over the counter NSAID’s like Aleve and ibuprofen, anti-depressants, antacids, etc.
Chronic Stress – which can alter digestive secretion, gut permeability, blood flow, sensitivity, and even change bacterial composition
Exposure to Environmental Toxins – notably pesticides, PCBs, herbicides, arsenic, BPA (like plastic bottles)
Inadequate Bacterial Acquisition at Birth - C-section birth, parent's gut health and mother's diet during pregnancy, infants transition from breast milk to adult food, etc.
Current Health - condition of the host. Lack of exercise leads to dysbiosis in the gut.
Too much exercise can lead to a gut dysbiosis.
All of these factors lead to an unbalanced gut flora (dysbiosis), and an increased susceptibility to intestinal permeability (leaky gut). Since the same things that destroy our gut flora, can compromise our gut barrier an increase in bad bacteria and fungal infections that prosper can do similar damage to our gut health.
Here's my list of top offenders or "thorns" as I call them. The items in this list are known culprits to causing leaky gut. Just by eliminating these items you can start to heal your leaky gut and regain your health!
Gluten and other grains
Overuse of laxatives
High Sugar Diet
Until next time...keep it healthy!