6 Ways To Improve Your Leaky Gut – Part 2
Testing for Leaky Gut Syndrome
Although leaky gut is usually diagnosed due to the symptoms present, there are two tests that are reliable in diagnosing the condition.
- The Lactulose Mannitol test (Intestinal Permeability Assessment Test)
Patients are given premeasured amounts of lactulose and mannitol. These two sugars cannot be metabolized by the intestines. Urine examples are taken for a period of six hours and the sugar levels measured. Low sugar levels are a definite indication of leaky gut syndrome.
- Array 2 – Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen
The test measures intestinal permeability with regards to large particles moving through the intestinal barrier and that are usually the cause of inflammation.
How to Manage a Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is a lifestyle orientated disease and is caused by chronic stress, inflammation, medication, yeast, a deficiency in certain minerals, and the modern diet. The solution to the problem would thus be found in changing certain lifestyle habits and practices. The condition itself did not present overnight but was a long time in the making. Recovery will also be a long term process.
Those with leaky gut syndrome should take a two-pronged approach to their diet, i.e. one of elimination and inclusion.
Any foods that could cause irritation or contribute towards the growth of yeast should be eliminated. These foods include grains, starches, and sugars.
Eat plenty of whole, fresh foods full of vitamins, minerals, and enzymes as these help with the healing process. Good sources are vegetables, proteins, and whole-food fats as they help to strengthen cellular membranes. High-fiber foods help get rid of any toxic waste.
Good sources of foods rich in fiber include vegetables, legumes, nuts, and berries. Omega-3 fatty acids help calm down inflammation while it helps with cellular health. Fish, avocado, and nuts are good sources.
Probiotics help cultivate a favorable intestinal microbiome in the intestine. Lactobacillus, a gut-friendly bacteria helps balance the intestine’s flora, fights yeast infections, helps the gut lining to heal, and aids with nutrient absorption. Excellent sources of natural probiotics include fermented foods such as sauerkraut, pickles, kefir, tempeh, yogurt, and kombucha.
Fermented foods help lower inflammation while playing a role in controlling your blood sugar levels and increasing antioxidants. Unfortunately, they may not be well tolerated by those with adrenal fatigue
Stress, whether from work or your personal life, is one of the main culprits when it comes to the development of a leaky gut. By addressing your stressors, you help your adrenal glands heal as well as your intestines in the case of leaky gut syndrome as your cortisol and other hormone levels as well as bodily functions stabilize.
Exercise is a great natural way to relieve stress and does not imply going to the gym. Gentle exercise is rather recommended. Other ways of reducing stress include:
- Deep breathing exercises
- Listening to soothing music
- Practicing the mindsets of mindfulness and gratitude
- Natural supplements
Enzymes help break down sugars, protein, and starches, making for easier digestion. Larger pieces of undigested molecules irritate your intestinal lining. An enzyme supplement should ideally contain lipase, lactase, protease, and amylase, as they help with the breaking down of fats, dairy, protein, and starches respectively.
Licorice root helps stabilize hormone levels by suppressing cortisol production. Licorice root should not be taken by those in the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue where cortisol levels are probably low. Licorice root is also linked to edema and hypertension, so should not be used by those with either of these conditions. In addition, the may worse those with advanced adrenal fatigue.
Collagen is one of the major components in broth and, once cooked, becomes gelatin. Whether in powder or capsule form, collagen or gelatin helps boost your gastric function. Excessive collagen can lead to constipation. Those with advanced adrenal fatigue may not tolerate well.
Oil of Oregano
To be taken only for a period of up to fourteen days, Oil of Oregano helps balance your intestinal flora. Oregano can, however, cause an upset stomach and should not be used by those allergic to any herbs in the Lamiaceae family, which includes mint, sage, basil, and lavender.
Coconut oil contains caprylic acid that supports intestinal activity. It also has antifungal and antiviral properties.
Marshmallow root helps ease inflammation of the stomach lining, helps to heal ulcers, and creates a protective lining on your digestive tract’s lining, helping with both instances of constipation and diarrhea.
There is a definite link between adrenal fatigue and leaky gut syndrome. The two are not necessarily exclusive of each other. Both have very similar symptoms, indicating that leaky gut, to a very large extent, is due to overworked adrenal glands and the resultant adrenal fatigue.
When you look at the body from a holistic point of view and seek to treat the root cause of the problem, treating your adrenal fatigue problem, you in effect address the cause and symptoms of your leaky gut as well.
The problem, however, and what needs keeping in mind, is that there is no fast, quick-fix solution when it comes to the condition. Both adrenal fatigue and leaky gut syndrome are conditions that develop over a long period. The treatment, which is mostly lifestyle orientated in nature, will thus take a long time before it proves effective. Patience and perseverance are the key ingredients in making a full recovery.
© Copyright 2018 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.