Leaky Gut Syndrome can be more common than many people realise. It can be a contributing factor to a myriad of other health issues, and often gets overlooked when dealing with them. Considering a healthy gastrointestinal system is fundamental to well-being, makes it highly understandable that a poorly functioning digestive system can have far-reaching, detrimental effects on the healthy functioning of all body systems.
So what is Leaky Gut Syndrome? Leaky gut occurs when the lining of the intestinal tract becomes inflamed due to factors such as: poor diet, poor digestion of food, stress, excessive alcohol consumption, toxic lifestyle habits e.g cigarette smoking, excessive use of coffee and sugar, over-use of pharmaceutical medications, antibiotic use, lack of beneficial microbes, and over-growth of non-beneficial microbes such as candida albicans or pathogens and parasites that have entered into the digestive system and taken up residency. The inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract causes the gut lining to become overly porous, almost like a form of corrosion that compromises the integrity and cohesion of the lining. And in this state, improperly digested food particles and toxic matter can pass into the bloodstream. This over-burdens other body systems and can instigate an immune response when the particles are perceived as pathogens by the immune system, which can lead to the immune system becoming over-active, as it does with allergies and auto-immune diseases. Or, if it continues to go on long-term, it can totally deplete the immune system.
So how can you help a leaky gut to heal? First it is necessary to understand that a leaky gut does not just occur over-night. The "corrosive" process would have been going on for quite some time, quite often unnoticed in the early stages, then possibly leading on to more noticeable digestive issues such as: indigestion, bloating, excessive gas, I.B.S., constipation / diarrhoea, and/or general pain or discomfort in the digestive system. And generally if a dis-ease state of the body has occurred slowly over a long period, it's healing time is also longer and slower, but it is important to remember that healing is possible with good guidance, self-help, patience and perseverance.
The "weed, seed, and feed" method can be highly effective for helping the digestive system to not only heal, but to continue to function more optimally in the long-term. First detrimental micro-organisms need to be "weeded" out. This can be done with the use of an anti-microbial herbal formula and anti-microbial foods (a naturopath can help you with this), and adhering to a healthy, wholefood, plant-based, sugar-free diet, along with colon cleansing and support for the liver and kidneys. Secondly, once the "weeding" has been done, "seeding" can take place, whereby beneficial, friendly micro-organisms are introduced into the digestive system via a good natural, food-state, probiotic, as well as the use of foods and drinks that naturally contain probiotics, such as kefir, yoghurt, and fermented foods. And thirdly, "feeding" of these newly introduced, beneficial micro-organisms with prebiotics is important in order to help them to thrive and colonise within the gut.
Add to this method as many beneficial lifestyle changes as possible, and you should be well on your way to growing a healthy, flourishing, new gut "garden" in your digestive system, that supports not only good digestion, but also good assimilation of nutrients and optimal functioning of all body systems.