Leaky gut is being talked about everywhere you turn—and rightfully so. Playing a role in autoimmune disease, inflammation, joint pain, food intolerances, sinus congestion, gastrointestinal symptoms, fatigue, brain fog, eczema and other rashes, and more, leaky gut is nothing to scoff at. Confused about what the term "leaky gut" even means? You're not alone. Our intestines are made up of cells with junctions between them—tight junctions—which play an important role, letting vital nutrients pass through and get into our blood stream where they can travel to cells that need them, but at the same time preventing unwanted particles, bacterias and viruses from escaping the inside of the intestinal tract. In leaky gut, these junctions become loose or leaky, and, as a result, all kinds of particles that should not make it into our bloodstream do, causing disruptive inflammation and a host of other symptoms that stem from it.
WHAT CAUSES LEAKY GUT?
While there are a variety of factors that may contribute to leaky gut, there are a few factors that have a significant effect. Certain foods, stress, environmental toxins and dysbiosis all set the stage for leaky gut to appear.
TESTING FOR LEAKY GUT
If you're concerned you may have leaky gut, there are several ways to test for it, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Urine and blood tests are more common. Consult a health care practitioner well versed in leaky gut to discover which form of testing may be right for you.
TREATING LEAKY GUT
Treating leaky gut requires a multi-pronged approach and can take time and patient to fully resolve. That being said, below are a few of our favorite treatments to restore the intestinal lining:
Drawing courtesy of SaraSevenSeas.