Leaky gut is the phenomenon by which the lining of the intestine becomes damaged, leading to increased intestinal permeability. In some cases, leaky gut can be the root cause or contributing factor to systemic inflammation and chronic disease. In Part 1 of this series, we explored various means of healing a leaky gut, and you can also read more about the causes of leaky gut here.
Other approaches to healing a leaky gut include:
- Balance the gut flora: To promote healthy gut flora, include fermented foods in your diet on a regular basis. At times, it also may be appropriate to include a probiotic supplement, but consult with your health care practitioner first.
- Discover and eradicate gastrointestinal infections:Gastrointestinal infections sometimes result from an imbalance of gut bacteria. They may resolve by following the above recommendations, but occasionally, they need to be specifically addressed. There are natural, holistic ways of eradicating many of these concerns. However, if treatment requires conventional medicines, you may need to see a licensed health professional that has the ability to prescribe drugs.
- Consider the use of gut-irritating medications:Any prescription and over-the-counter medications should be evaluated for their potential to have a negative impact on the intestinal lining. Before stopping the use of any prescription medication though, you should first consult with the prescriber.
- Reduce exposure to environmental toxins:There are several steps you can take to reduce the toxins you are exposed to on a daily basis. A few ideas include replacing conventional cleaning products with homemade or “green” products, using glass food storage containers instead of plastic, buying BPA-free canned products, using a menstrual cup instead of conventional feminine hygiene products, and using other natural beauty and skin care products.
The bottom line is that healing a leaky gut is not a simple process and it does require a multi-faceted approach. However, if you are committed and willing to put in the time and effort, you will be rewarded with improved health!
Have you used any of these techniques in healing your own leaky gut? What worked well for you and what did not work?