Did you know that eating gluten is the number one cause of a leaky gut?
We all know that gluten is a trigger for Celiac disease, but I never knew its connection with a leaky gut. Did you? Even in a person without any gluten sensitivity, this difficult to digest protein can still cause leaky gut.
Apart from gluten, other inflammatory foods leading to leaky gut can also include dairy, sugar and processed foods as well as an over consumption of alcohol.
I discovered all this information whilst trying to figure out my own underlying triggers for Hashimoto’s, as i've personally been suffering (like many of us with hypothyroidism) its yucky, pain in the arse, symptoms.
So what is a leaky gut, I hear you ask?
In my own VERY BASIC language, leaky gut is when the lining of our intestinal walls breaks apart due to excessive inflammation, infections, toxins and stress. Toxins and undigested food particles then escape through these perforations and into our bloodstream where our immune system then cries out “foreign invaders”, and attacks.
Symptoms vary and can range from:
- Digestive issues - gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)…that’s me!
- The diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease …yep, me again!
- Chronic fatigue
- Depression and anxiety
- Skin issues – acne or eczema
- Food allergies or intolerances
Below are some simple steps I’ve introduced into my lifestyle over the past year which may also help you in your journey to healing your own leaky gut:
1.Remove all inflammatory and toxic foods from your diet. This can include grains and legumes, dairy, sugar, alcohol and of course gluten. Yes, this might sound like a “not so simple step” to implement, but when a simple lentil salad leaves you bloated for days, you too will happily say adios.
2. Restore beneficial bacteria to your intestines by eating fermented foods. This can include kefir and sauerkraut and/or take a high-quality, multi-species probiotic.
3. Include bone broth in your diet. Rich in glutamine, bone broth is essential in repairing intestinal walls.
4. Increase your consumption of healthy fats. From grass-fed meat, salmon and avocado to dark leafy greens, coconut oil and pure olive oil.
5. Manage your stress. Excessive stress can result in heightened cortisol levels which can, over time, wreak havoc on your gut.
These tips are by no means going to “heal” your leaky gut, however through experimentation on my own body, as well as working with my natural practitioner, I’ve found these (mostly) easy steps are easy to implement and are definitely leading me in the right direction.
If there is one thing I’m learning, it’s that optimising gut health is one of the most crucial steps in optimising our immune systems and in turn, our thyroid health. So my gift from me to your tummy today is this gorgeous (and super simple) recipe. It’s smooth, rich and tasty and each mouthful makes me feel like I’m giving my intestines a big loving hug.