5 Causes of Leaky Gut and How to Heal It
I’m often asked why one person gets leaky gut and another person doesn’t and what are the causes of leaky gut?
The real question should be why does one person get an autoimmune disease and the other person doesn’t since leaky gut is present in 80% of the population and leaky gut is one root cause of the epidemic of chronic illness.
In other words, the vast majority of people have leaky gut or what’s called increased intestinal permeability.
There are several reasons why leaky gut is worse in some people than it is in others and why 20% of the people don’t have it. That’s what we are going to talk about today.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut
When your digestion isn’t functioning as it should be and it’s not breaking down food for nutrients that your body can use, many adverse symptoms can arise.
There are hundreds of unwanted symptoms but here’s a short list:
- chronic illness like Hashimoto’s, MS, RA, Parkinson’s Disease and more
- brain fog
- headaches and migraines
- joint pain and arthritis
- and more
5 Causes of Leaky Gut
Back to the staggering statistic of the fact that 80% of the population is suffering from intestinal permeability. We’ve got to address this! To understand why we need to start healing these inflamed GI tracts, we have to remember what Hippocrates said:
All disease begins in the gut
Healing your digestion is always the first place to start when you feel like crud every day and can’t pinpoint why.
The First Cause of Leaky Gut
Though this is not the most important or biggest cause, it does play a role in whether or not a person will get leaky gut.
It is genetics.
Each of us is born with a unique set of DNA and genes that determine our eye color, hair color, the type of skin we’ll have and even predispose us to higher risks of certain types of disease and dysfunction in the body.
The good news is, in this light of the recent discoveries in epigenetics, those genes that cause a higher potential for disease don’t have to be “turned on.”
However, under the right circumstances, those genes will turn on and be a contributor to the onset of leaky gut. The next four causes I’m going to discuss can cause the perfect storm for intestinal permeability to happen in your body.
The Second Cause of Leaky Gut
This is one of the most potent causes of leaky gut and can drastically increase your chances of opening those tight junctions.
It’s your diet.
What you eat will either heal and repair your body and give it the nutrition it needs for all cells to function optimally, or tear your body down from the molecules to the organs.
The Standard American diet, which is filled with processed food containing chemicals, preservatives and unrecognizable substances to the body, absolutely contributes to leaky gut. Furthermore, the hybridization of gluten which has caused an increase of 80% more gluten in grains, triggers the release of zonulin. According to Alessio Fasano, MD, zonulin is responsible for opening the tight junctions in the intestines letting larger particulates through.
Now, if you search the interwebs to find out what the perfect diet is for healing leaky gut you’re going to get a lot of different information. That’s because we are all unique and bio-individual and because lots of people are misinformed.
Instead of following a “diet” per se, you should take my Gut Renew course and learn exactly how digestion is supposed to work and what foods and supplements and essential oils have great healing power on the digestive tract. You’ll learn how to tailor healing to your specific body.
One important reminder, I like to tell my clients >> don’t get tunnel vision about food! Not always are your symptoms food related Yes, food is very important but don’t ONLY focus on food when trying to heal!
The Third Cause of Leaky Gut
In our world today, rest is looked down upon and achieving is celebrated. Goals are praised and sleep is vilified. The result of that cultural perspective is ultra stressed-out people.
Chronic stress is a direct root cause of leaky gut.
Living in a continually stressed-out state physically degrades the intestinal lining via the catabolic hormone cortisol (and other mechanisms in the body.)
Catabolic literally means to cut down or cut apart. Though cortisol is a steroid hormone that is completely necessary for the body, it is not meant to be used at all hours of the day as it is in most people nowadays.
Additionally, stress and the cortisol cascade directly impairs digestion by reducing hydrochloric acid which is one of the digestive mechanisms responsible for breaking down food so the nutrients become available.
I have a 30-day plan to help you reduce your stress and manage it better. You can download it here if you feel like this is an area you need to work on in your life.
The Fourth Cause of Leaky Gut
There are over one thousand chemicals being used in our lives today and only a handful of them have been tested for human safety.
Toxins are a leading cause of leaky gut in today’s world.
I don’t say this to create fear but rather bring awareness. It’s important to know the facts and then make changes in the areas you can control.
What this would look like is changing out all your toxic home cleaners for non-toxic ones, buying organic foods that have less (or no) pesticides and herbicides, ditch the plastic containers for food storage, change over to healthier cosmetics and toiletries. If you do these in baby steps, you can remove the vast majority of toxins in your life.
For the toxic air, you can control that in your own home. Getting a premium air filter that gets rid of the VOC’s is helpful.
The Fifth Cause of Leaky Gut
This is a lesser-known cause because it’s not something that’s “in your face” or even visible to the human eye.
It’s your microbiome.
Imbalances in the good and bad bacteria in your intestines contribute to the onset of leaky gut as well as a host of other diseases and symptoms (especially skin issues!)
The role that the microbiome (also known as our second brain) plays in our overall well-being is astounding, actually.
It is responsible for creating certain B vitamins as well as vitamin K for our bodies. Certain bacteria contribute to our overall mood. Other bacteria communicate with our cells telling them whether or not to let something across the gut barrier. The microbiome also protects us from invading, dangerous bacteria that can be life-altering.
Taking care of the city of gut bugs that lives inside you is critical for keeping your intestinal barrier in high functioning order.
Here are some of the best ways to boost your microbiome:
- Eat fermented foods (or make your own – this is my favorite book)
- Take filler-free probiotics and be sure to include a soil-based one too! The ones I recommend are in my Gut Renew Course. Not all probiotics are the same. Save your money and get the high-quality ones I recommend.
Good News You Need to Hear
You don’t have to be a part of the 80% that lives with leaky gut. You can be part of the 20%!
Your destiny is NOT to live with leaky gut and its awful symptoms for the rest of your life. The good news is that you can heal your intestines and digestion and start feeling amazing again – every day!
Even if you’ve had the perfect storm of circumstances – certain genes run in your family, you’ve not eaten well, stress is managing your life, toxins are all over the place and your microbiome could use a little TLC, there’s still hope! With concentrated effort in the right places and a commitment to improving these areas of your life, you CAN heal!
I would encourage you to take my Gut Renew Course for the perfect starting point to feel better and heal.