We've been hearing a lot about "leaky gut" in the holistic health world lately—and for good reason! Leaky gut, also known as gut permeability, is another really big deal when it comes to your digestive health. In short, leaky gut happens when undigested food particles make their way out of the digestive tract and into your bloodstream via small fissures in the lining of your small intestine. This causes a response from your immune system because suddenly there are foreign invaders in your blood and an attack is necessary. The immune system produces antibodies toward this invader (i.e., your lunch) and food intolerances are formed. Now, every time you eat that food, the body will launch the attack, and you won't feel good.
Until those fissures in the small intestine are sealed back up, this will keep happening and you will keep having issues like bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea at mealtime.
Why does leaky gut happen in the first place? The standard American food supply is the biggest factor. Mass-produced grains and inflammatory foods like sugar, alcohol, commercial dairy, and processed, packaged foods are all drivers in the formation of a leaky gut. Bacterial, fungal, and parasitic infections can also lead to gut permeability. And of course, stress also plays a huge role.
What to do: Eliminate inflammatory foods like grains, dairy, refined sugars, packaged foods, and toxins from your life for a minimum of 30 days. Even better, do a food sensitivity test with a practitioner, or try an elimination diet, to find out the specific foods that cause an immune reaction for you. Repair the gut lining with nutrients specific to repairing and developing tissue, like l-glutamine, collagen, and gelatin. Drinking bone broth is a great way to support your gut healing.