Defeat brain fog, bloating, and Leaky Gut for good!
ome of the most common ailments we hear about at Rebecca’s are bloating and brain fog. It’s tricky and often incredibly frustrating to identify what causes these symptoms. Bloating, brain fog, low energy levels, and several other symptoms commonly associated with these are often misidentified. You may have been tested for Lyme Disease, various autoimmune disorders, or told you simply need to sleep better. As a result, many people with these somewhat nebulous yet clearly debilitating symptoms end up frustrated, suffering from an “invisible illness” of sorts.
Bloating and brain fog and other associated symptoms could be caused by different issues, and it’s important to get evaluated by a doctor who’s willing to take a functional approach to your health. In other words, see someone who will look beyond the basic metrics and incorporate a more holistic view that includes diet and lifestyle. For those who have been through the wringer of misdiagnoses or tests that say everything is normal when they feel to the contrary, you might also take control of the situation on your own with some dietary changes. Enter Leaky Gut.
Introducing: Leaky Gut
One of the major causes of bloating and brain fog is Leaky Gut. Put off by the name? Worried your gut is actually trailing behind you? Fear not! We’ll decode it for you… Leaky gut, which is also called intestinal permeability (we will use these terms interchangeably in this post), is a condition that results from minute damage to the lining of the small intestine. As a result, toxins, undigested food particles, and bacteria make their way through the intestines and into the bloodstream, hence the “leaky” descriptor. These sneaky toxins and other infiltrators can enter the blood and cause myriad autoimmune responses in the body. Many of these are the symptoms people come into Rebecca’s complaining about, such as a rundown immune system, headaches, brain fog, memory issues, fatigue, bloating, joint pain, depression, anxiety, trouble focusing, and other gastric/digestive problems such as chronic diarrhea, constipation, and/or gas.
Leaky gut can also result in a damaged and weakened immune system as your intestines are unable to produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion. Your body absorbs fewer essential nutrients, leading to hormonal imbalances and a weaker immune system, overall.
Fun fact: while Leaky Gut is finally receiving its due recognition from health professionals, the ancient Greeks had a word for diseases that were difficult to diagnose, but that they believed originated from imbalances in the stomach. While the modern medical community is still catching up with Leaky Gut, research is fast emerging that supports how intestinal bacteria and/or inflammation cause chronic illnesses.
The cause of Leaky Gut and how to prevent it
So, what causes Leaky Gut? While the symptoms and road to diagnosis may be confusing, it’s easier to treat once you isolate it and know the cause. This is empowering news and something that you very much can affect directly with your diet and lifestyle choices.
Most cases of Leaky Gut are directly related to what you put in your body. Anything can cause your body to go into an aggressive immune response but gluten, dairy, excess sugar or nightshades are some of the common culprits. When your body goes into overdrive fighting these off, antibodies are produced that result in a pesky immune response. The effects of your body’s immune response may differ from someone else’s, but bloating and brain fog are two very common symptoms.
Leaky gut is not only caused by dietary stressors but other things we consume, as well. Popular medications such as antibiotics, over-the-counter pain relievers/NSAIDs, and steroids can also be to blame. All of these can irritate the intestinal lining and damage its protective layers. It’s fairly simple: if what you’re consuming is going to harm your intestinal lining, Leaky Gut may result. Irritation from meds can spark or worsen the inflammation cycle that leads to Leaky Gut. Glycophosphates from herbicides like Roundup also have major negative effects on the state of our guts. Glyphosate remains present in soil for up to 6 months after exposure depending on the climate and the type of soil, so it affects many food crops. One of the products we’ll discuss, Restore, directly addresses this, so read on.
You can take charge of your health by identifying whether you have food reactions by keeping a food journal. Another great option is an allergy test done by your physician. Everyone’s bodies are different, but gluten, pain meds, and dairy are some of the most common causes of leaky gut. You can also supplement your dietary changes with all natural treatments that help strengthen the body’s immune response. Acupuncture is another great option! Studies have shown that acupuncture can help reduce inflammation, and in general, it has many positive benefits that will strengthen your immune system.
Rebecca’s favorite supplements to help resolve Leaky Gut and associated issues
Beyond dietary changes, cutting out meds (with medical supervision), and other healing modalities that strengthen your immune system, there are a number of supplements that can help treat Leaky Gut.
As mentioned, we love Ion Biome’s products, developed specifically for gut health before it became trendy and hit the wellness world radar. In other words, it’s cutting edge. We’re proud to say this product was developed locally in our town of Charlottesville and that we were the very first retail location to carry it! We can’t help but evangelize a bit about this product, but we’re not the only ones! It’s now sold worldwide. This product was clinically studied at UVA and one of the founders, Dr. Zach Bush, also founded the M Clinic on 29 N, a cutting edge wellness clinic right here in C’ville! This unique product is neither a pro or prebiotic but is a soil derived liquid supplement that’s “a carbon-rich, alkaline liquid, comprised of Terrahydrite™, a proprietary formulation of Aqueous Humic Substances and trace mineral amino acid complexes,” according to their website. It’s formulated with Leaky Gut in mind, and can specifically increase and strengthen the protein strands in the gut lining, called Tight Junctions, to help heal the gut and lead to both better digestive and immune health.
Probiotics are a great way to keep your gut in check and generally help restore the balance of good flora in the gut. One supplement we love is Just Thrive’s Spore Based Probiotic. Not all probiotics are created equal! While the strains of flora in many probiotics simply pass through your system, Just Thrive’s has advanced research behind it showing that it can cure Leaky Gut in 30 days. Their patented strain of flora also produces antioxidants while in your intestines, the optimal place for said antioxidants to be effectively absorbed by the body. You’ll get your gut in check and a major immune boost, taboot.
Another great option for those with Leaky Gut, Celiac, and other digestive issues is Glutamine, an amino acid. We carry glutamine in powder form or capsules. Glutamine helps strengthen your intestinal lining, which has many benefits, including preventing intestinal permeability.
While glutamine and probiotics are the most commonly suggested supplements for healing Leaky Gut, digestive enzymes are another excellent option that will also help your overall digestive system. Much of the food we eat is not easily digestible, especially if we’re eating processed foods or overindulging at special events. Even healthy foods can get stuck in our intestines and leak through, especially if they’re very fibrous. Digestive enzymes help your body safely break down your food so that when it arrives in your intestines, it’s less likely to cause inflammation and irritation. We carry many wonderful digestive enzymes, but some of the most popular are Enzymedica Digestive Enzymes.
If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms of Leaky Gut, know it’s normal to be confused and overwhelmed, but there is a great potential to feel better. We’re happy to make recommendations for you so come on into Rebecca’s.