While poor gut health has existed for an eternity, people just weren’t talking about it. Now it seems to be all the rage. In fact, Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, said all diseases originate in the gut. If that is true why aren’t more providers targeting the gut as part of chronic disease management? Likely because it’s easier to treat a symptom than it is to correct the underlying problem. Technically though, we are partially at fault. How often do you go to your doctor because something is wrong and you don’t leave with a prescription? People often demand something because they have taken off work and they feel horrible, so the perception is, “Give me something now, I need you to fix this today!”
It can leave the provider feeling like “Geez… Ok, take this and call me if symptoms don’t resolve.” The symptoms resolve, but they always come back and here’s yet another prescription. The cycle is never-ending. So let’s start with the basics…
What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut is when your intestinal tract has been damaged such that it allows holes to develop in your small intestine that can then allow toxins like undigested food, gluten, and bad bacteria to enter the bloodstream. This creates a toxic environment of inflammation and encourages immune-like reactions.
What might my symptoms look like?
Leaky gut can affect multiple systems throughout your body. On your skin, for example, leaky gut might cause acne or psoriasis. Your mood can be affected by poor gut health and manifest as anxiety or depression. If you suffer from constant bloating, gas, and cramping, or have been diagnosed with irritable bowel disease, you likely have a leaky gut. You can add food allergies, fatigue, joint pain, and frequent colds to the list too.
So with that foundation, here are my top 5 supplements you need to never worry about your leaky gut again…
L-Glutamine – is an important amino acid that protects the gut lining, preserves muscle tissue, improves digestion, and burns fat. You can take this twice daily in a powder form.
Probiotics – represent good bacteria that restore the appropriate balance between good and bad bacteria in the gut. You can take these supplements daily and eat foods high in probiotics like kefir, sauerkraut, and kombucha.
Digestive Enzymes – these enzymes basically give the gut a break by assisting the body in breaking down difficult-to-digest proteins. The enzymes also allow for better nutrient absorption and decreased nutrient deficiency. They are usually taken right before a meal. The perception sometimes is that it has to be a high-fat meal. Not necessarily. I find enzymes helpful when I travel because I tend to eat differently when I travel than when I do at home.
Coconut Oil – This natural antibacterial kills candida and is the easiest oil for our bodies to digest. Cook with coconut oil and add it to your smoothies. I also add it to my coffee sometimes instead of using some type of sweetener.
Aloe Vera Juice – aloe vera juice can be taken twice daily to decrease inflammation and relieve constipation by working as a natural laxative.
There are actually several more options than the ones I have listed here, but these are a few of my favorites that produce real results. Have a question about another supplement you’re taking? Let me know in the comments below!