By Lauren Denos: 10/4/2014 (Concerns)

Gut issues. Many people have them and don’t even know it. Two of the most common ones people face today are Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS). There are not many concrete facts about how either is caused, or what the cures are. Luckily, there are numerous people who have shared what has worked for them, along with many doctors who discovered remedies for their patients.

What are “Gut Issues”?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome is exactly what it sounds like - when the bowels are distressed. Common symptoms include: gas, bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea and cramping.

Leaky Gut Syndrome, on the other hand, is when the lining of the intestines separate, causing particles from inside the intestines to leak into the body. LGS can cause the same symptoms of IBS, but it can also cause increased allergies, increased illness, skin rashes, fatigue and head fog.

It is said that our gut is the core of our immune system. So if you have a bad gut, it can be assumed that you have a poor working immune system. This is why if you have any of the aforementioned issues, many things in your health seem to fall apart.

What causes “Gut Issues?”

Many things can cause both of these gut conditions and, quite honestly, the medical profession is not really clear yet on everything that can cause it. However, some of the known culprits are:

Diet- Many people have a very poor quality diet. Our society makes it easy to get a plethora of non-nutritious food items. For instance, fast, deep fried, refined carbohydrate, cheesy and, just in general, over processed foods. Even though all of these items fill us up, none of them provide our bodies with the necessary nutritional value. Many of the known health conditions stems from this. Without the proper nutrition, our bodies lose some of their ability to repair necessary body systems.

Inflammation- This can happen from many factors, and is a byproduct of the other reasons we are showing here. But, one of the causes for inflammation that is not shown here is illness. This is why taking care of ourselves, especially while we are sick, is so important.

Medications- Especially an over use of antibiotics, medications can destroy the good bacteria in the intestinal lining. When this happens, we can also get a yeast overgrowth. Candida is naturally found in the intestines; but, when the healthy bacteria is destroyed, we can then get an over growth that can wreak havoc in our gut.

Stress!!! This is actually one of the core elements in many of the health conditions we have. When we are stressed, our immune system weakens. Stress is something that is on the rise with our current fast paced lifestyles.

Food allergies- Now this one is a bit of a Catch 22. Allergies can cause LGS, and LGS can either cause food allergies or worsen them.

Low stomach acid- If you do not have enough stomach acid, your food will not get digested the way it should. When that happens, the undigested food enters the intestines. This is very hard on the gut.

How can you heal “Gut Issues?”

Fix the diet.

  • Cut out the sweets. Sugars, which includes honey or anything else that reacts in the body the same way, feed Candida and encourages a host of other health issues. Cutting out the sweets is good for most conditions anyway.
  • Avoid grains. I know that gluten free has become the craze, so many people understand what that is, but grains in general (even the gluten free ones) can be an issue if you have either LGS or IBS. It can be more about how hard the grains are to digest in your system than about the gluten. When everything is healed, you may choose to go back to some grains. Along the same note, if it fits you better, you may also choose to stay off grains altogether.
  • Stay away from processed foods. I am not sure that I really need to say this, because everyone is talking about the negative health effects of highly processed food. However, I am going to say it anyway, just in case you have not heard it yet.
  • Drink less with meals. This will keep you from diluting your digestive juices.
  • Get more easily assimilated nutrients into your diet. FRESH vegetable juices can be good because you are getting a host of nutrients without the fiber. This means it integrates quickly into the system instead of sitting around in the gut. This does not mean that you should not eat fiber. Rather, eat it at a different time so that the nutrients from the juice can get into your system more easily.
  • Eat plenty of fresh vegetables. If raw vegetables seem to be an issue for your gut, then try steamed vegetables. They tend to be easier on the digestive tract.
  • Make sure to get protein. It helps our body repair, particularly fish and vegetable protein powders as they are easier to digest.
  • Avoid dairy. Many people tend to have issues with dairy and do not even know it. Thus, it is a common cause of bloating and other reactions. It is not a bad idea to steer clear of dairy in general. But definitely avoid it while you are healing your gut. If you absolutely must have a dairy, like substance, then test out almond milk. Just make sure there is no sugar in it.
  • Avoid stimulants, especially caffeine and alcohol. These cause issues with not only your gut, but also adrenal fatigue, which many times coincides with gut issues. If you cannot give it up completely, then at least reduce it.Replace coffee or soda with green tea, for example. That would at least be a healthier way to get in your caffeine.
  • Do not over use pain medications. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug, or NSAID's, can inhibit the flow of blood to the stomach and duodenal lining. This, then, hinders the healing of these areas. It also reduces the mucus layer that is a protective barrier in the gut. Without this protective barrier, the acid from our stomachs can damage the gut and can produce ulcers. You could have bleeding of the stomach or intestines, leakage from the intestines and a host of other stuff.
  • Bone broth is an allover healthy drink to add to your diet. It is very nutrient-dense and helps with many health issues, including healing the digestive tract!

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