Our bodies are complex systems. A lot of us experience some sort of digestive problems every now and then but if its persistent, then it might be something worth looking into. If you are experiencing long-term constipation or loose motion/diarrhoea or if you have been passing gas more often than usual (sometimes painful) then you might have an intestinal disorder. One such intestinal condition is known as leaky gut or increased intestinal permeability.

What exactly does leaky gut mean?

Our intestines are built as walls but they have semi-permeable membranes, which allows nutrients from passing undigested food to mix with our blood. Sometimes, this membrane gets thin or has holes which makes toxins and bacteria “leak” out. It can cause inflammation and stomach pain and it reduces the amount of intestinal flora or good bacteria. If not checked, it can lead to something more serious like irritable bowel syndrome and severe nutritional deficiency along with other health problems.

Who are prone to leaky gut?

Anyone can have this condition. Doctors still debate if this is a condition or a symptom of other diseases, but some causes have been narrowed down, to as why it might happen. In some cases, its genetic and many people in the family may have experienced leaky gut at some point. Other factors like bad, misbalanced diet, working in an environment which is highly polluted or full of chemicals or extreme stress can also cause leaky gut. Sudden changes in lifestyle or extreme stress and deteriorating mental health condition can also be connected to this condition. Studies are still being carried out, as we speak to understand this condition better.

Many patients suffering from arthritis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, asthma, fibromyalgia, obesity, certain mental illnesses or skin diseases also have shown symptoms of increased intestinal permeability.

Apart from taking supplements like Relief Factor, there are a few changes which you should make in your diet to heal your intestinal walls.

What foods to avoid

  1. Coffee and other caffeine products
  2. Alcohol
  3. Fatty foods
  4. Sugary foods and artificial sweeteners
  5. Milk and milk derivatives (any form of dairy)
  6. Soy products
  7. Gluten
  8. Baked goods
  9. Processed meat
  10. Salad dressings and sauces

Once you cut these out of your diet, you should also make sure to include the following foods in your daily meals. Speak to a nutritionist if you are unable to get substitutes for the things you are cutting out.

What foods to add in your diet

  1. Lean cut meats, fish and eggs
  2. Gluten-free food
  3. Herbs and fermented vegetables like kimchi, miso or tempeh
  4. Fruits which don’t have a very high sugar content
  5. Healthy fats like avocado and coconut oil
  6. Sprouted seeds and flax seeds
  7. Tea, bone broth, coconut milk for beverages
  8. Roots and tubers
  9. Raw nuts like peanuts and almonds
  10. More vegetables

Within a week of changing your diet, you will feel a bit rejuvenated. The energy levels of your body will increase and you will be able to get back to your daily chores and work in no time. Mostly people take 2-3 months to heal back completely but you will feel a difference in less than a fortnight. Just follow your doctor’s orders, take your supplements and strictly stick to your new diet, for best results.