Anyone with anxiety knows how easy it is to get an upset stomach but did you know that other symptoms like joint pain, food allergies, low energy and mood can be affected by your gut health too?
Your gut lining works as a barrier that keeps big particles like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested food out of your blood system. When the lining is inflamed the wall of your intestine becomes more permeable and these particles are then able to pass through. This is known as leaky gut syndrome or increased intestinal permeability. And it’s this toxic waste that can lead to an immune reaction which then causes inflammation throughout your system and can result in bloating, food sensitivity, thyroid problems, fatigue, joint pain, headaches, skin issues and weight gain.
Chronic stress is undoubtedly a factor in this condition though antibiotics, a poor diet, toxin overload and a bacterial imbalance all contribute as well.
The problem is that if left unchecked leaky gut syndrome can lead to very serious health problems including diabetes, arthritis, IBS, psoriasis, depression and could even be the cause of anxiety itself.
How to Heal Leaky Gut
1. First you need to eliminate foods that can cause or aggravate the condition. This includes gluten, cow’s milk and all GMO foods that tend to be high in the lectins that are the greatest problem. Sugar must also be eliminated as this feeds the growth of yeast, candida and the bad bacteria that are causing most of the damage.
2. Add foods like kefir and fermented vegetables such as sauerkraut to your diet, these will help to build up the good bacteria that your gut needs for healing. Coconut products are especially good too as the fats are more easily absorbed with little strain on your liver. They also contain lauric acid which is antiviral and anti fungal. Sprouted seed such as chia, flax and hemp also support the growth of beneficial bacteria though if you have severe leaky gut you may need to start with lightly steamed vegetable and fruit to get your fibre. Anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats from grass fed beef and wild caught fish are also good additions.
3. Take these supplements daily to speed the healing.
- A good quality probiotic which contains at least 50 billion units of probiotics. Probiotics crowd out the bad bacteria and allow the gut lining to heal.
- Digestive enzymes to ensure your food is fully digested which will decrease the chance of large food particles and proteins from damaging your gut wall. (Take one or two before each meal)
- L-Glutamine which is an essential amino acid that is anti-inflammatory and repairs and protects cell walls acting as a repellant to irritants. (Take 2-5 grams twice daily)
- Licorice root helps balance cortisol levels and improves acid production also maintains the mucosal lining of the stomach and intestines. This is especially recommended if your leaky gut is caused by emotional stress. (Take 500mg twice daily)
- Quercetin improves the gut barrier by sealing the gut wall and also helps to reduce histamine which is common in food allergies. It has recently been shown to be effective in healing ulcerative colitis. (Take 500mg three time a day with meals)
- CBD Oil. Ultimately it was CBD oil that quickly reduced the pain and inflammation (I started at 5 drops, twice a day, and increased to 15). The difference was almost instant AND I felt so much calmer and less anxious, Read more about it here.
4. Learn how to destress. Use EFT to reduce your general anxiety levels. Learn to meditate. Journal daily (write at least 10 things every day you are grateful for). Schedule fun activities. Spend time helping others.
With these simple steps you will be able to heal your gut and improve your mood and health in a very short time. Once you no longer feel sore spots when you touch your stomach you can try introducing back foods that you were sensitive to though do be careful and make sure your gut is completely healed before trying this to avoid a setback.