We’ve all heard it many times — good health begins in your gut. But what does that mean exactly for you and your health? And what happens if your gut is not all right?
When your digestive system is working properly, it signifies that your body is efficiently absorbing nutrients and energy from food and eliminating toxins and waste. It also means that your microbiome — the trillions of microbes that populate your GI tract — is teaming with good-for-you bacteria to keep everything in balance.
Problems arise when your gut is thrown out of whack, when your digestive tract becomes overwhelmed by certain factors, including environmental toxins, pesticides, and even food sensitivities.
These can fuel inflammation, disrupt microbiome balance, hinder digestive functions, and damage the lining of your gut wall. This can lead to what’s known as “leaky gut.”
What is Leaky Gut?
Too much inflammation and damage to your gut wall can cause what’s known as “leaky gut syndrome” or “intestinal permeability”. The damage caused by excessive inflammation and an unhealthy gut environment can disrupt the “tight junction proteins” in the lining of your GI tract. These tight junctions are supposed to allow small sized micronutrients to absorb into the bloodstream, while preventing larger molecules like toxins, harmful bacteria, and undigested food particles from entering the blood stream.
When the tight junctions of your GI tract are damaged by excessive inflammation in the gut, they can form larger holes that allow invaders and food particles to enter the circulation—triggering inflammatory immune responses throughout your body that can resemble autoimmune flare ups and allergic reactions. That’s because your body perceives these foreign invaders from the gut as harmful pathogens and mounts a system-wide defense against them—creating a damaging cycle of gut and total-body inflammation that continue to fuel each other.
Signs of Leaky Gut
Leaky gut can develop into other serious conditions, so it’s important to pay attention to the signs. If you have leaky gut, you may experience the following signs and symptoms:
- Environmental allergies
- Food sensitivities
- Autoimmune conditions
- Stomach ulcers
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis)
- Chronic infections
- Mood disorders
- Weight gain or obesity
What Causes Leaky Gut?
Some research indicates that food allergies and sensitivities can contribute to leaky gut, causing inflammation that damages the intestinal lining over time.1
Other studies link pesticides, including highly toxic glyphosate, to gut lining damage, highlighting the risk of developing leaky gut syndrome even at low levels of exposure.2
Dysbiosis, an imbalance of unhealthy microbes in the gut, can also significantly damage the gut lining cells and tight junction proteins, leading to leaky gut.3
Solutions to Leaky Gut
In many cases, digestive problems come from food sensitivities that might not trigger full-blown allergic reactions but can still fuel low-grade inflammation that damages the gut wall over time.
The first step in rebalancing your gut health is identifying possible foods that might be causing inflammatory reactions—and eliminating them. Common problem foods and food allergies include:
- Corn (including high fructose corn syrup)
- Sugar and other sweeteners
There are a variety of lab tests that can help you figure out which foods are the culprits. But before you start doing blood work labs, you could try what’s called the Elimination Diet.
An elimination diet consists of cutting out suspect foods for 2-3 weeks-to see whether those changes reduce digestive symptoms. Keep in mind, your symptoms may worsen in the first few days of eliminating problem foods. Give yourself at least 2 weeks to reset your digestive system, eating healthier foods like green vegetables, high fiber foods, soups and drinks with plenty of fluids to help flush things out. After 2-3 weeks, you can begin to add each suspect food back to your diet, one at a time every few days, and monitor your reactions. If your symptoms reappear, you know the most recently introduced food is likely causing the problem.
Improving Gut Health
Knowing how your body responds to certain foods is an important step in your gut healing process. But you also need to address other issues that may be fueling inflammation, like toxic body burden and microbiome imbalances. This is why probiotics can be so helpful in rebuilding and rebalancing gut health.
Probiotics for a Healthy Gut
There are certain strains of probiotics that are shown to actively support a healthy gut lining, while repopulating the GI tract with healthy bacteria that can support optimal inflammation responses and healthy digestive function.
ecoProbiotic is a potent, fast-acting liquid probiotic formula that works to rebalance microbiome health and support a healthy gut environment. This certified organic fermented herbal pre + probiotic formula contains strains that are shown to support and defend gut wall integrity and rebalance gut health, including Bifidobacterium longum and Bifidobacterium lactis.*
ecoProbiotic replenishes and renews your GI tract, neutralizes toxins, and balances your digestive system so you can defend against toxins and support a strong and healthy gut wall.*
Promoting Healthy Inflammation Responses
While probiotics help support your gut, inflammation can still be a threat. PectaSol is a powerful super-nutrient that actively promotes healthy inflammation responses, supports your gut health and detoxifies your body. PectaSol is shown in over 70 published studies to support healthy immune and inflammation responses throughout the body.
It also has additional prebiotic activity to nourish good bacteria in the gut and is shown to support GI health and microbiome balance.
Formulated by award-winning Integrative Medicine expert and best-selling author, Isaac Eliaz, MD, PectaSol is the leading supplement for enhancing the body’s most essential self-healing mechanics.
Managing Leaky Gut
Healing gut health and supporting healthy function is essential for achieving optimal wellness and feeling your best every day. By taking the steps to promote healthy inflammation responses throughout your body and supporting an effective digestive system, you can rebuild and heal your digestive health, and feel your best with greater energy, a clearer mind, and less risk of future health conditions.
- König J, Wells J, Cani PD, García-Ródenas CL, MacDonald T, Mercenier A, Whyte J, Troost F, Brummer RJ. Human Intestinal Barrier Function in Health and Disease. Clin Transl Gastroenterol. 2016 Oct 20;7(10):e196. doi: 10.1038/ctg.2016.54. PMID: 27763627; PMCID: PMC5288588.
- Qiu S, Fu H, Zhou R, et al. Toxic effects of glyphosate on intestinal morphology, antioxidant capacity and barrier function in weaned piglets. Ecotoxicol Environ Saf. 2020 Jan 15;187:109846.
- Maguire M, Maguire G. Gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, and intestinal epithelial proliferation in neurological disorders: towards the development of a new therapeutic using amino acids, prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics. Rev Neurosci. 2019 Jan 28;30(2):179-201.