Leaky Gut, Autoimmunity & Mental Health- What Are the Links?
Our gut or you can say, alimentary canal is not a tube that absorbs vital nutrients and removes unwanted materials. It is a complicated system that has a considerable effect on optimal human health.
Our overall mental and physical health depends hugely on our gut health. We know very well how important it is to get all of our essential nutrients from foods. It is where our digestive tract stands.
Symptoms can become visible when the gut is not performing its function adequately, like usual abdominal and gut symptoms.
Do you have any idea that things such as autoimmunity, allergies, and mental health have associated with gut problems?
Here I am going to discuss the latest details about the main gut issue means leaky gut, and then I will give some critical strategies to normalize your gut health for your overall health.
What Is Leaky Gut Link With?
Leaky gut or intestinal permeability is a dangerous condition in which small intestine lining becomes ruptured or damaged, leading toxic waste products, undigested food particles, and bacteria to leak through the intestines and flood the bloodstream.
The foreign materials entering the blood can lead to the autoimmune response in the body involving allergic and inflammatory reactions like irritable bowel, migraines, chronic fatigue, eczema, rheumatoid arthritis, food allergies, and more.
When leaky gut destroyed cells in your intestine, don’t create the enzymes required for proper digestion.
That’s why your body cannot absorb the necessary nutrients that can cause hormone imbalance and a weakened immune system.
Following Are the Signs You Have a Leaky Gut;
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Poor Immune systems
- Headaches, memory loss & brain fog
- Skin rashes & issues like eczema or rosacea & acne
- Excessive fatigue
- Arthritis & joint pain
- Depression, ADD, ADHD & anxiety
- Cravings for sugar & carbs
- Chronic diarrhea, gas or bloating & constipation
- Autoimmune diseases like lupus & celiac disease & Crohn’s
Gut Structure-Mains Layers of Our Gut Lining
The gastrointestinal system also refers to the gastrointestinal tract, digestive tract, or gut is a group of organs that involves the mouth, esophagus, pancreas, stomach, gallbladder, liver, small intestine, colon, and rectum.
The GI tract includes four distinctive layers; the internal layer is the mucosa, underneath layer is the submucosa.
Then the next layer is muscularis propria, and finally, the uppermost layer, the adventitia.
The structure of these layers varies in different regions of the digestive systems, depending entirely upon their functions.
A lining epithelium, involving glandular tissue, an underlying layer of loose connective tissues known as lamina propria, that gives vascular strength for the epithelium, and often has mucosal glands—products of digestion pass through these capillaries.
Plasma cells and lymphoid follicles are also present here. A thin double layer of smooth muscle, the muscularis mucosa, is current for the mucosa’s movement.
A loose connective tissue with lymphatic, larger blood vessels nerves and also has mucus releasing glands.
Muscularis Propria (externa)
There are typically two layers; the inner layer is circular, and the outer layer is longitudinal. These layers of smooth muscles are functioned in peristalsis to pass food down through the alimentary canal.
Serosa or Adventia Layer
The uppermost connective tissue layer covered by the visceral peritoneum is called the Adventitia layer. It contains lymphatic, blood vessels, and nerves.
Leaky Gut and Our Gut Microbes
The gut microbes contain bacteria and other germs that naturally live along the alimentary canal from the mouth to the anus. Most of the gut’s microbes are present in the intestines.
Gut bacteria create chemical compounds that;
- Influence many biological functions like nutrient absorption, immunity, and sleep. The gut microbes are damaged and become imbalanced; then, biological functions will destroy too.
- It can be efficient, for example, gut bacteria that need fiber-rich foods to create short-chain fatty acids, which contribute to the well being of the intestinal lining and get rid of diseases.
- It can be hurtful, and various types of bacteria require low-fiber diet, high protein and produce ammonia and other compounds that have potentially adverse health impacts.
Leaky Gut and Allergies
Various studies show a relation between food allergies and leaky gut. In a 2013 research published in the Pediatric Allergy-Immunology, researchers disclosed that leaky gut might be an intrinsic trait in different children with food allergies.
In a different study in 2009, Dutch experts recommended a link between gut and celiac disease.
Leaky Gut and Autoimmunity
Current researches disclose that leaky gut can increase the risk of several autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis and lupus. It links to chronic inflammation.
A leaky gut can permit environmental factors to enter the body and trigger the initiation and growth of autoimmune diseases.
The immune system works to protect our body from external invaders and produce fighting cells, but in some cases, they are unable to differentiate between healthy and pathogenic cells.
That’s why they end up eating their cells. This inflammation has a clear association with the intestinal permeability.
Leaky Gut and Mental Health
As you know, a very well leaky gut has a strong correlation with chronic inflammation. It will also enhance the level of cytokines and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and suicidal thinking (leaky emotions). Your leaky gut can also lead to a leaky brain.
A leaky brain is a condition in which the blood-brain barrier also becomes permeable, which permits damaging molecules to leak into and inflame the brain itself.
Asides being a marker of systematic inflammation, cytokines like IL-6, also promote our HPA Axis that is responsible for flight, fight, and freeze response.
An overactive HPA axis is a meaningful sign for those suffering from mental health conditions like depression.
What You Can Do About Leaky Gut?
Below are the simple things you can do to heal intestinal permeability or leaky gut;
Eat More Healthy Fats
A short-chained fatty acid, N-butyrate, provides help to feed the cells that line the gut and heal them. Your gut bacteria can create more N-butyrate if you feed them soluble fibers in vegetables and fruits.
You can also have it in the form of ghee that is clarified butter. Another vital source of N-butyrate is coconut oil that includes medium-chained fatty acids that are good for your gut health.
Avoid Toxic Foods from Your Diet
Dairy, gluten, processed foods, sugar, treated foods (GMO crops), and alcohol are some of the typical foods that set up an assault on the sensitive gut lining.
If you want to heal the leaky gut, I genuinely recommend you cut out all these foods for at least 3 to 4 months and also avoid their excess usage after that.
Minimize Your Stress
Stress hormones attack the tight junctions that hold the cells that line the digestive tract together.
When you minimize your stress hormones such as epinephrine and cortisol trough relaxation, eating wisely, and meditation, these tight junctions can resolve.
Take Digestive Enzymes
Enzymes taken daily with meals can break down abundant proteins and bacterial items that can harm the lining of your gut.
I suggest you taking a broad-spectrum enzyme before eating healthy fat-rich and protein foods to facilitate digestion. They can also prevent irritation of the lining of the intestine.
Research shows that cardiovascular exercise promotes the transport of oxygen within the body through an alimentary canal, helping to improve the presence, activity, and diversity of microbes of the gut, particularly the one that produces gut-healing fatty acid (N-butyrate).
For the betterment of digestive and cardiovascular health, you can follow my advice to increase physical activity like doing regular exercise or yoga.
Leaky gut is the leading cause of many diseases like mental health disease or autoimmune conditions.
You can heal the intestinal permeability and get rid of these health issues if you follow a healthy diet plan, avoid toxic foods, sleep properly, and exercise daily.
I briefly described the relation among leaky gut, autoimmunity, and mental health; for further information, you can contact me and can leave your comment in the section below. Thank you!