The leaky gut diet, also known as the autoimmune diet or anti-inflammatory diet, changes lives. Removing inflammatory foods allows an inflamed and damaged gut to repair, which in turn allows damage in the body and brain to recover and repair. However, despite the phenomenal success rate of the leaky gut diet, it can look very daunting, if not impossible, to the beginner.
In a nutshell, the leaky gut or autoimmune diet is free of grains, dairy, eggs, all sweeteners, nightshades (potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant), and processed foods. What’s left is a diet that focuses on plenty of vegetables, cultured vegetables, such as sauerkraut, and healthy meats and fats. You should eat regularly enough to avoid drops in blood sugar and drink plenty of filtered or spring water.
When the sneezing, sniffling, and runny eyes of springtime kick in, most people grab for the allergy pills, antihistamines, and eye drops. But did you know you can greatly relieve if not banish your allergy symptoms by fixing your gut?
It may sound crazy that your gut health would affect your sinuses, but in fact the two systems are very intertwined. Both the respiratory tract and the digestive tract are immune barriers, meaning it’s their job to protect the body from outside invaders.
The gut in particular profoundly influences the entire immune system. When gut health suffers so does the rest of your body, and the result for many people are allergy symptoms that flare up each spring.
A common culprit in allergy symptoms is leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability. Leaky gut is a condition in which the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, yeasts, and other toxins into the sterile bloodstream. The immune system launches an attack on these toxins, which creates inflammation throughout the body. For many people, this happens every time they eat.
The concept of leaky gut is becoming more widely accepted—even Dr. Oz talked about it on his show recently. It’s important to know the cause of leaky gut can be different for each person. For instance, it could be the result of a junk food diet for one person and chronic stress for another. Knowing why you have leaky gut can help you address the right target to restore gut health.
What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes inflamed, damaged, and porous, allowing undigested foods, bacteria, fungus, and other foreign invaders into the sterile environment of the bloodstream. Once in the bloodstream these toxins trigger the immune system, causing inflammation and leading to a long and varied list of symptoms. Chronic conditions associated with leaky gut include depression, joint pain, Crohn’s disease, food allergies, eczema, psoriasis, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and more.
Although it’s good to exercise regularly, working out too much could work against you. A new study found that older women (ages 60 to 72) who worked out two to four times a week burned more calories each day and found exercise more pleasurable than those who worked out more.
Past studies have found exercising vigorously almost every day causes some people to be less physically active overall compared to those who exercise less. Researchers suggest constant vigorous exercise sends messages to the brain that the body is overdoing it and needs rest, which may cause fatigue or lethargy. For example, vigorous exercisers may take the stairs less, be more inclined to drive instead of walk, or park close to the entrance of a store instead of traversing the parking lot.
Working out fewer days per week showed more benefit
In the study, researchers divided the women into three groups who jogged, walked, cycled and lifted weights. One group worked out twice a week, one group four times a week, and the third group six times a week.
Do beautiful spring days have you cooped up inside, sneezing and sniffing miserably? Before reaching for the antihistamines, consider the role your gut health plays in allergy symptoms.
Allergies actually begin long before the hallmark symptoms of sniffling, sneezing, and itchy eyes manifest. How?
An estimated 80 percent of the immune system resides in the gut, and when digestive problems set in, immune problems are sure to follow. A chronically inflamed gut—which causes indigestion, heartburn, bloating, pain, diarrhea, constipation, irritable bowel disorders, and more—sends the immune system into overdrive.
As a result, the body becomes hypersensitive and overreacts to stuff it shouldn’t, including pollen, grass, and other triggers associated with spring.
Because allergy symptoms frequently start with poor digestive function, the gut is a great place to start for relief.
The term “antioxidant” has become popular in a multitude of products from acai to dark chocolate, but the most important antioxidant is the one made by your body: glutathione. Sufficient glutathione is vital for good health.
Glutathione is a molecule that protects the body in many ways. It shields cells from damage caused by oxidation and inflammation, it aids in detoxification, and it helps the immune system function at its best. Continue reading →
I learned I have intolerances and allergies to certain foods, and that I need to avoid those foods if I want to lose weight. Isn’t it just a matter of eating fewer calories?
Some people find they can’t lose weight through calorie restriction alone. When that happens several issues need to be investigated. One of the most important is food intolerances. Eating foods to which you are allergic or intolerant will prevent weight loss.
Food intolerances cause inflammation
Food intolerances and allergies create inflammation, and inflammation prevents weight loss. Every time you eat gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, or some other food that may be a problem for you, you create inflammation in your body.
Leaky gut is a primary culprit
For many people today, a variety of foods trigger inflammation. This is due largely to intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut,” which allows undigested food particles to slip into the bloodstream through damaged and inflamed intestinal walls. Leaky gut is very common today due to poor diets, excessive sweets, chronic stress, and other maladies of modern life. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are also common and cause leaky gut. Continue reading →
I went to see my natural medicine practitioner for depression and she wants to work on my digestive health. I don’t get the connection.
Many people would be surprised to learn how greatly gut health affects brain health. A poor diet, inflamed gut, and intestinal permeability definitely can promote depression.
Depression a not-so-obvious symptom of poor digestion
Sometimes digestion issues are obvious; they cause gas, bloating, heartburn, indigestion, diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain. For others the main symptom is not so obvious—depression. An unhealthy diet and compromised gut health can promote depression in several ways.
When one eats a junk food diet laden with processed foods, trans fats, sugars, and artificial chemicals, the brain suffers. The brain needs healthy fats, high-quality protein, abundant vitamins and minerals, and a diet low in starchy foods and sugars. Continue reading →
It seems ever since I took antibiotics I haven’t been the same. I’m sick more frequently, my digestion is messed up, and I have chronic yeast infections. Why?
Antibiotics are one of modern medicine’s life-saving miracles. However if preventive care isn’t taken, their use, and especially their abuse, can lead to chronic health problems.
Good bacteria serve us
The digestive tract contains an estimated 2–4 pounds of beneficial bacteria that are an integral part of our immune system. They resist bad bacteria, and they aid in the digestion of food, the absorption of nutrients, and the synthesis of B vitamins and vitamin K. Continue reading →
My practitioner diagnosed me with Hashimoto’s and celiac disease, two autoimmune diseases. It seems many of my friends have an autoimmune disease too, including psoriasis, arthritis, Type I diabetes, and even multiple sclerosis. Why is it so common now?
Incidences of autoimmune disease, in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissue, have skyrocketed and continue to climb, affecting as many as one in nine Americans.
DISCLAIMER: Please be advised that any information or nutritional program mentioned on this website is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease or condition. This information is not intended to be a substitute for conventional medical service or advice from a licensed medical practitioner. Always consult with a qualified medical professional before making changes to your diet, medication, lifestyle, or exercise activities.