Leaky Gut, What Is It and Why Should You Care?
What is leaky gut and what causes it? Does it mean you are sick? Why do you need to pay attention to it?
With the rise of gluten-free products, probiotics, and other “digestive” products, leaky gut is a topic of much discussion online and on social media.
Before you do something for your health, or purchase any product, you should at least understand some of the rationale behind it. You don’t need to know every detail, just enough to ask smart questions (especially when famous people use jargon to sell you stuff).
And that’s part of the problem.
Leaky gut sounds like something you should be speaking to your mechanic about, not your doctor. In fact, if you mention leaky guy to your doctor, you will undoubtedly be met with skepticism and a weird look on his or her face.
So that’s what this gut health article series will be about – the basics of leaky gut: What is? What causes it? Why should you care about it?
Barriers, Good for Your Gut and Your Life
Leaky gut is a condition caused by tears in your gut lining.
Think of it this way.
Imagine you have a neighbor that has trouble with “boundaries’. She loves her ugly shrub that is planted a little too close to your yard. So close, in fact, that all of its trimmings and debris blow into your yard, ruining your pristine landscaping.
Now picture this.
You get fed up one day, run to the hardware store, and build a wooden fence in between your two yards. The stakes of the fence are brand new, they are in the ground solidly, and none are missing. Now, when your neighbor trims her shrub, none of her cuttings can blow into your yard and mess up your pristine flowers, because the fence is a solid barrier.
One day there is a powerful storm, the fence gets damaged, and some of the stakes get bent.
The fence is still there, but now there are “leaks”.
Maybe one or 2 stakes are missing. The fence is still there, but now random bits of hedge debris from her yard are going to fly into yours.
One Culprit, Many Symptoms
Leaky gut is kind of like a leaky fence. When there are tears in your intestinal lining, “outside” debris is able to enter your bloodstream, causing issues that you may not even notice.
You don’t have to feel sick or have poor digestion to have leaky gut.
It does not just affect your digestive system, it affects your whole body. Leaky gut can cause you to feel sluggish and tired, trouble losing weight, not be of optimal mood, and have difficulty sleeping (and that’s just to name a few of the symptoms). Leaky gut can also trigger most severe conditions that are latent under the surface, such as autoimmune disease.
There are lots of things are caused by leaky gut, but one central culprit unifies all of these symptoms – chronic inflammation.
In the next article, I’ll explain what causes chronic inflammation is, why it is such an issue and why you need to address it ASAP
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