While you may not hear many traditional medical practitioners diagnosing someone with leaky gut syndrome, there is an ever-increasing belief that this environmental illness is a legitimate condition. Often referred to as simply intestinal permeability, the intestinal tract essentially becomes more porous than normal, allowing toxins that are usually evacuated out of the system through our stool to permeate our bodies. Yet you needn't live with the effects of this issue, which includes cramping, constipation, diarrhea, gas, mood swings and a shortness of breath, as there are a number of steps you can put in place to cure the condition.
If you believe you're suffering from leaky gut syndrome, try changing your diet. This is often one of the more effective cures for intestinal permeability. Start off by increasing the amount of fiber you eat each day, such as with vegetables, fruits and whole grains. Split peas, lentils and other legumes are all great sources of fiber, but you can also get this bulk-forming material in raspberries, pears, apples, barley, oats, artichokes, broccoli and almonds.
But it isn't simply about eating a healthier, more well-balanced diet, though this is still important; you need to avoid certain substances that have long been considered "trouble foods." Caffeine and alcohol are two of the biggest culprits of worsening this condition, so limit (if not avoid) your intake of these types of foods and beverages. However, you may also need to restrict your consumption of spicy foods, especially at the onset of treatment, as these products can cause some people problems.
It's also important to steer clear of foods made with additives or preservatives, such as packaged or frozen meals, canned soups, cookies, crackers, cereals and any other highly processed products. And lean more towards organic goods, since pesticides can pose another problem for people with leaky gut syndrome.
Another facet of treating intestinal permeability is supplementing your diet with certain vitamins and minerals as well as herbs and extracts. Vitamin A and zinc are two key nutrients in the treatment of leaky gut syndrome, since both substances can lead to a healthier gastrointestinal tract. You should also increase your intake of the amino acid glutamine, as it can increase the health of the cells within your intestines and decrease the level of permeability, as well as find a supplement containing glucosamine and cysteine (NAC).
Herbs are also thought to help the permeability of your digestive tract, so incorporate certain beneficial botanical, like slippery elm, aloe, milk thistle and licorice. Each product has a positive effect on the lining of your intestines and is thought to counteract the cellular damage to your intestines.
It is also important to limit your consumption of certain over-the-counter medications, especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen and acetaminophen. However, antacids and pain relievers, like aspirin, can do a number on your digestive tract as well, so try to avoid these products whenever possible.
Another offender of leaky gut syndrome is stress, as our digestive tract commonly responds harshly to this highly emotional state. To better treat your condition, put in place stress reduction techniques, such as meditation and focused breathing as well as exercise, yoga and even massage therapy. All of these techniques can go a long way in treating this digestive condition.