A notorious condition involving your gut is getting a lot of attention within the health community. Intestinal permeability is a digestive condition where the gut develops tiny holes or cracks through which food, proteins, and bacteria can leave the gut and enter the bloodstream. This is also commonly referred to as “leaky gut syndrome.”
Your digestive system and the walls of your intestines typically act as a filter, protecting your organs from harmful substances. An unhealthy gut lining (aka leaky gut) could cause inflammation or changes in the good bacteria in your gut that could lead to problems in your digestive system and beyond ( Kinashi, Yusuke, et al., 2021 ). Several factors can impact the integrity of the gut lining. Let’s explore exactly what that means.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
There are a number of likely contributing factors to leaky gut syndrome, and no one person is alike. According to Dr. Brooke Scheller, stressors in the digestive tract, like alcohol, cigarette smoking, environmental toxins, or toxins from food (like pesticides), can decrease barrier function. A lack of probiotic bacteria can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, affecting the intestinal wall barrier function ( Bischoff, Stephan C, et al., 2014 ). Long-term use of medications such as antibiotics or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can also disrupt the balance between bacterial groups leading to dysbiosis, which can affect intestinal permeability.
What Are Signs of Leaky Gut?
When bacteria and toxins leak through the intestinal wall, there are many ways our body can tell us that something is wrong.
“When this occurs, we can develop new food sensitivities, allergies, skin concerns (like acne, eczema, psoriasis), mood disorders, inflammatory issues, and immune issues (including autoimmune diseases),” says Dr. Brooke. However, because leaky gut mirrors symptoms of other health conditions, symptoms alone aren’t definite predictors of the syndrome.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Strengthen My Gut Lining?
Supporting your gut lining is a systemic effort. There are changes you can make to your routine that not only support your gut health but your overall well-being.
Increasing your fiber intake by eating more fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and whole grains helps feed probiotic bacteria and helps bind to excess cholesterol and toxins in the digestive tract.
Eating more omega-3 fatty acids such as wild-caught fish and anti-inflammatory herbs like turmeric and ginger can also help to improve your gut lining.
Exercise is another way to protect against leaky gut syndrome. Not only can regular exercise improve the health of your gut lining, but research also shows it can reduce anxiety, depression, and negative mood by improving self-esteem and cognitive function (Sharma, Ashish, et al., 2006). Even thirty minutes of exercise three days a week is enough to notice these types of benefits.
Add a probiotic supplement to your daily routine. There are several options to choose from and even some that provide targeted benefits. resB Lung Support is a great holistic tool to support gut, lung, and immune function. You can learn more at www.resbiotic.com.