Tips To Heal Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) & Leaky Gut
Some of the most common health complaints today are the direct result of TWO digestive disorders that go by the names of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and Leaky Gut.
Although the medical establishment would have you believe they are totally separate disorders, the reality is that they are very linked to each other as a result of factors relating to diet and lifestyle.
Furthermore, there are certain actions you can take and foods you can eat (and avoid) that can help to heal your gut and the resulting symptoms of poor gut health.
Hippocrates, the renowned ancient Greek physician, was truly wise when he once preached that, “All disease begins in the gut.” And this is a fundamental principle that has become lost in today's medical world in favour of prescribing drugs and surgeries.
As you’ll see, re-setting your digestive system is fundamental in terms of your ongoing health, wellness and longevity.
So let’s first take a closer look at both of these ominous and weird sounding conditions…
What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
IBS is a very common disorder that affects the large intestine causing symptoms like cramping, abdominal pain, constipation, bloating, gas and diarrhoea.
It is typically an indication of sensitivity in the gut, generally caused by:
- Too much refined sugar and grain products
- Over consumption of processed dairy products
- Fried and Fatty Foods (made from hydrogenated oils)
- Large meals without enough plant fibres included.
IBS is a digestive ‘condition’ comprising a set of certain symptoms impacting a person for an extended period, usually greater than 3 months.
Although there is no medical test to ‘confirm’ that someone actually suffers from the disorder, many people who persistently experience one or more of the symptoms are often diagnosed with it.
As the name suggests, several forms of irritation, as well as inflammation, constitute many of the effects people normally experience.
Not to be confused with IBS is another more serious and sometimes life-threatening condition called Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) which exhibits many of the same signs and symptoms. IBD is used to describe other gut disorders including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.
Learn more in Healing Digestive Dis-Eases Like Crohn’s, IBS & Colitis
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky Gut refers to an intestinal permeability problem, whereby undigested food particles, bacteria and toxins are able to 'leak' through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.
Your intestines include a special layer of cells that are joined together by certain proteins called ‘tight junction’ or TJ proteins.
Leaky Gut Syndrome symptoms begin to appear as a result of these proteins malfunctioning because they serve as the gateway between your intestines and bloodstream.
This has serious implications for your health because the vast majority of your immune system functions are located in your digestive system.
The TJ proteins are responsible for allowing nutrients to pass from your intestines into your blood and then through the rest of your body while preventing other harmful substances from entering.
However, when they are not working as they should they can also let through other tiny unwanted particles called 'xenobiotics' into your bloodstream and the rest of your body which can lead to many different forms of disease!
Common Signs & Symptoms of IBS & Leaky Gut
These are some of the most commonly reported symptoms of these 2 digestive system disorders:
- Abdominal pain
- Acid Reflux
- Feeling constantly full
- Loss of appetite
- Muscle aches & pains
- Sleep irregularities
- Thyroid problems
Those who suffer from Leaky Gut may also experience:
- Chronic diarrhoea
- Poor immunity
- Excessive fatigue
- Brain fog and memory loss
- Acne & skin problems (including eczema)
- Arthritis & Joint Pain
Causes of IBS & Leaky Gut
More often than not, the most common factors contributing to the symptoms of IBS and Leaky Gut are related to the following factors…
Regularly eating over processed ‘lifeless’ food products is one of the main contributors to gut and health issues.
Some of the worst offenders include:
- Supermarket Wheat Products
- 'Man-Made' Refined White Sugar
- GMO Foods
- Heavily Refined Oils (Hydrogenated Oils)
- Commercial Dairy Products (Homogenised and Pasteurised)
Every day, living in the modern world we come in contact with literally thousands of environmental toxins via:
- Air Pollution
- Municipal Water
- Chemicals In Supermarket Foods
- Non-Organic Produce
- Synthetic Skincare & Beauty Products
Over time and distance, these accumulate in the body not just wreaking havoc on the gut, but also the entire immune system!
Too Much 'Bad' Bacteria
Your gut is made up of “microbiota” which is a balance of different varieties of bacteria.
Poor diet and toxic overwhelm can lead to a decrease in the ‘good’ bacteria which are essential for digestion and proper immune function and instead a proliferation of ‘bad’ bacteria which can lead to chaos and disease in the gut.
You probably noticed that when you’re stressed and anxious you feel it in your stomach.
Not only can stress cause high blood pressure but also system-wide inflammation and that tension that also negatively affects your digestive and immune systems.
Thankfully both of these disorders can be improved and healed in a natural way without using pharmaceuticals which only really temporarily mask the symptoms without getting to the root cause and whose side effects can cause even more health problems down the road.
1. Cut Out Inflammatory Foods
Many of the signs and symptoms of both disorders are related to chronic inflammation in your gut and body.
The first and most important step is to address the foods you eat. You'll want to start by eliminating all refined and processed foods, typical of what you find in supermarkets and 'fast food'.
The main culprits as already mentioned are all processed and packaged products from refined grains e.g. white bread, white pasta, white rice, cakes, cookies and biscuits, as well as fatty fried foods, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners and chemically infused foods, sauces, meats etc.
Learn more in What Is Inflammation & How To Reduce It In Your Body
2. Detox & Cleanse Your Body
To tackle any toxic overwhelm and to help 'reset' your gut, it's a great idea to do some form of detoxification and cleansing.
Learn more in 5 Signs You Need To Do A Detox Cleanse & Where To Start
3. Eat More 'Detox' Fruits and Vegetables
To replace the inflammatory 'artificial' processed foods, you'll want to fill your diet instead with plant-based whole foods that are known for their powers in helping to strip toxins from the digestive system.
Some good choices include:
- Leafy Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
- Whole grains (Make sure they're unbleached, unrefined and Non-GMO)
4. Eat More Fermented Foods
To restore the proper balance of 'good' bacteria in your gut, you'll also need to eat more Fermented Foods.
Fermented foods contain "Probiotics", which provide good bacteria in the gut to fight off the bad bacteria.
This is key because these beneficial bacteria constitute an important part of the intestinal barrier:
- Raw, Organic Dairy Products e.g. Yogurt, Kefir and Cheese
- Fermented Foods
- Organic Soy Products
- Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
Learn more in Probiotics: Health Benefits & 7 Powerful Food Sources
5. Reduce Stress
Finally, in order to allow your body to more effectively rest, heal, repair and reset itself you'll also want to undertake some activities and light exercises that will help to decrease any stress and anxiety you may feel.
Activities like these have a powerful impact on your internal organs the health of your entire digestive system:
- Yoga, Tai Chi & Qi Gong
- Earthing (walking barefooted on the sand or grass).
Learn more in 7 Ways To Deal With Anxiety & Find Inner PeaceTolman Self Care.