Try to Stomach These Interesting Facts About Your Gut Health.

More and more, the scientific community is finding out ties to our mental and physical health relating to our gut. Turns out what’s going on in digestive tract can have a huge impact on the rest of our bodies – including our brains – giving more meaning to “you are what you eat.”

Keeping a healthy balance of good bacteria in your gut is important to maintain overall health and keep cravings for sugary foods at bay. Let’s digest 12 facts about gut health and how it affects you…

1. What Exactly are Gut Bacteria?

Your gut health generally relates to the quality of the bacteria that resides in it, and there are actually about 300 to 500-kinds containing more around 2-million genes,  “Paired with other tiny organisms like viruses and fungi, they make what’s known as the microbiota, or the microbiome,” it adds.

No 2-people have the exact microbiota – it’s like a fingerprint, it adds. The bacteria that live in your gut may have the biggest impact on your overall health, affecting everything from how quickly you metabolize foods to your immune response, it adds.

 

2. Mind Your Guts

As we said, there’s more than just your physical health related to gut health. An unhealthy microbiome can go straight to your head and affect your mood,.In fact, there could be a link between depression and gut health, it adds.

Brain chemicals such as serotonin can be produced in lower quantities if your digestive health is compromised, according to the source. Serotonin is a brain neurotransmitter that has been linked to mood, and many antidepressants are designed to keep levels of this chemical higher. “It may not be the case for every person with these issues, but cleaning up your diet may relieve brain fog, sadness, and low energy,” it adds.

3. You Are What You Eat

It’s really no surprise that what you consume will have an overall impact on you, but your gut health may be affected as well. “When it comes to maintaining your microbiome at its healthiest level, nothing is more important than what you eat and drink,” says FoodRevolution.org.

The good news, adds the source, is that even if you’ve been eating unhealthy foods for your entire life, it’s still not too late to correct it and improve your gut health in the process. “Amazingly, your body can create a new microbiota in as little as 24 hours — just by changing what you eat,” it says. Foods that can have a positive impact include vegetables, grains, and beans, it adds.

4. The Very Fiber of Your Diet

You hear a lot about dietary fiber, and how you should include it in your diet. But why? FoodRevolution.com explains that fiber is “the most crucial ingredient for gut health,” and that having low fiber intake is actually more cause for concern than low protein intake.

The source notes that fiber feeds good bacteria in the gut, and that our microbes extract a lot of goodness from fiber such as energy, nutrients, and vitamins that can boost immunity, reduce inflammation and even aid in weight control. Meanwhile, insoluble fiber (from veggies and whole grains) helps move stool through your system quicker, helping you stay “regular.”

5. Be Pro-Prebiotics

While antibiotics are designed to kill off bacterial infections, they can leave your digestive system out of whack because they’re not particular about what type of bacteria they’re targeting. That means probiotics, which are friendly bacteria, are also decimated.

Prebiotics are a type of dietary fiber that feed probiotics, “help reinoculate your microbiome, and offset the effects of your altered gut flora,” notes Heathline. Examples of prebiotics foods are onions, garlic, asparagus, bananas, and legumes, it adds.

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6. Healthy Gut, Healthy Person

If you focus on improving your gut health, you may maintain your overall health more easily, suggests Buzzfeed.com. If you get sick often with colds and other ailments, there’s a good chance your gut flora is out of balance, it adds.

The source explains that 70-percent of your immune system resides in your gut, so it’s clear to see why it can affect other areas of your health. Also, 80-percent of plasma cells that create an important antibody called Immunoglobulin A is produced in your gut, it adds. “So be nice to your gut, and your gut will save you a couple sick days,” it concludes.

7. Chew it Through

In today’s fast-paced world, people often wolf down their lunch or dinner in the name of saving time. However, that won’t do your gut any favors, and could end up slowing you down in the long run by causing indigestion. “Taking time to chew your food actually helps jump-start the digestive process,” says Heathline.

The source notes breaking down foods into smaller pieces through chewing stimulates saliva production, which alerts and readies your body (namely your digestive system) for the coming food. Also, think about your favorite meal and how much better it is when you savor each bite rather than approaching it like a timed race.

8. The Stomach: All Glory, No Guts

Buzzfeed explains that while people often think of the stomach first when it comes to the digestive system, it’s actually the laziest component. “While the stomach is the clear breakout star of your digestive tract, it wouldn’t be anything without its supporting cast,” it notes.

The stomach’s job is primarily to neutralize any harmful bacteria with stomach acid and break down proteins, it adds. Unfortunately, this process also destroys up to 95-percent of the good bacteria you consume. “That’s why you need to make sure you take a probiotic designed to survive your tummy,” it explains. Meanwhile, it’s the small intestine that does the biggest job in digestion and nutrient absorption, says Buzzfeed.

9. Large, But Not in Charge

The large intestine – also known as the colon – is much wider than the small intestine, but also shorter (a mere 6-feet compared to 22-feet), explains LiveScience.com. The large intestine is responsible for the final stages of digestion, which involves removing waste from your body.

The process of eliminating waste – a process medically known as peristalsis – can actually take 36-hours, it adds. The colon is very susceptible to diseases, such as colorectal cancer that “is one of the most common causes of cancer-associated death,” notes the source. It’s important that when you consider the bigger picture of gut health, you get screened for colon cancer and other potential gut problems.

10. Your Guts Have Some Nerve

your digestive tract has its own nervous system (and can function independently without direction from the brain). This system is called the enteric nervous system, which the source calls “the overlord of your gut, and functions all on its own.”

The scientific community seems to be split whether it’s part of the central nervous system or its own entity, says MentalFloss. It may have evolved to handle the elimination of waste without the “sign-off” from the brain, which is especially helpful when you consider an infant and their inability to decide when they should go potty, it adds.

11. Just How Acidic is Stomach Acid?

A learning website called Wonderopolis.org breaks down how powerful your stomach acid really is – and it’s a wonder it doesn’t burn a hole right through you. This acid, obviously intended to break down food, is strong enough to destroy metal, according to the source.

Acidity ranges from 0 to 14-on the pH scale, with stomach acid ranging from 1 to 3 – about as strong as battery acid, it adds. “In fact, if you were to put a drop of stomach acid on a piece of wood, it would eat right through it,” notes the site. The only thing keeping this acid from eating your stomach are epithelial cells, which produce a mixture of mucus and bicarbonate to form a coat of armor, it adds. Sometimes, stomach acid can overwhelm these natural defenses, and in those cases you’ll possibly end up with an unpleasant gastric ulcer.

12. Don’t Be Sour About Sauerkraut

Do you avoid sauerkraut, cheese, and beer? Well, unless you have a good reason, then maybe you shouldn’t. These are all fermented foods, and fermented products “can also be a key component of a diet that fuels gut health,” explains FoodRevolution.org.

Fermented foods provide “healthy, living microorganisms” that crowd out bad bacteria and help improve absorption of minerals, it adds. Not only does eating fermented foods help your body get all the good stuff from it, but the fermentation process itself adds more nutrients to foods, it explains.

 

7 Signs and Symptoms You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Leaky gut - Dr. Axe If you’ve been around the natural health world very long, you’ve probably heard of a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. It sounds pretty gross, but it’s an important enough problem to consider. There are several leaky gut symptoms to be aware of, which is particularly important since leaky gut is associated with dozens of related conditions and diseases.As more Americans are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalance, it appears that the prevalence of leaky gut has reached epidemic proportions. The medical profession is just now agreeing this condition may even exist, which is especially shocking to me because “intestinal permeability” (another name for leaky gut) has been discussed in the medical literature for over 100 years!

Why should leaky gut syndrome concern you? Recently leaky gut has been called a “danger signal for autoimmune disease.” (1) If you’re wondering if you may be experiencing leaky gut, the first thing to do is access your symptoms. Keep in mind that it’s very common for people on a Standard American Diet to struggle with poor gut function and high levels of inflammation — but just because digestive issues and autoimmune conditions are common doesn’t make them “normal”!

In this article, I’ve outlined a brief description of common leaky gut syndrome seen in people struggling with this condition. Can you heal leaky gut syndrome? As you’ll learn about below, there are four steps I recommend taking in order to repair leaky gut, which includes removing trigger foods from your diet, taking beneficial supplements and rebalancing your microflora with probiotics.


What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, said, “All disease begins in the gut.” More than two millennia after his death, scientific research has now proven he was onto something all those years ago. For over three decades, study after study has been published (several thousand articles exist to date) discussing our growing understanding of immunity, gut function and how modern diets and lifestyles negatively contribute to overall health by damaging our digestive system.

I (and many others in the medical field) refer to this particular phenomenon as leaky gut syndrome. In the medical literature, leaky gut is also referred to as “intestinal hyperpermeability.”

What Causes Leaky Gut?

The intestines are protected by a single layer of specialized epithelial cells that are linked together by tight junction (or TJ) proteins. Leaky gut symptoms are a consequence of intestinal tight-junction malfunction.

These tight junctionsare the gateway between your intestines and your bloodstream. They control what is allowed to pass into the bloodstream from your digestive system. More than 40 different TJ proteins have now been recognized to play a role in gut health. Tight junctions have a very precise job — they have to maintain the delicate balance between allowing vital nutrients to enter your bloodstream, while remaining small enough to prevent xenobiotics (disease-causing compounds from your diet or lifestyle) from passing out of your digestive system into the rest of your body. (1)

Here’s how a report published in the journal Frontiers in Immunologydescribes the pathology of leaky gut: (2)

The intestinal epithelial lining, together with factors secreted from it, forms a barrier that separates the host from the environment. In pathologic conditions, the permeability of the epithelial lining may be compromised allowing the passage of toxins, antigens, and bacteria in the lumen to enter the bloodstream creating a ‘leaky gut.’

When you have leaky gut, certain tiny particles that should never be able to enter your bloodstream start to make their way through. There’s also commonly abnormalities in the gut stemming from antimicrobial molecules, immunoglobulins and cytokine activities. This presents a major problem, as the vast majority of your immune system is found inside the gut.

The result? A disruption of acute inflammation, and sometimes autoimmune reactions. A normal part of your immune response that serves to fight infections and diseases winds up over-performing, leading to chronic inflammation, which is at the root of most diseases.

Some of the underlying causes of leaky gut include:

  • Genetic predisposition — certain people may be more predisposed to developing leaky gut because they are sensitive to environmental factors that “trigger” their bodies into initiating autoimmune responses.
  • Poor diet — especially a diet that includes allergens and inflammatory foods such as un-sprouted grains, added sugar, GMOs, refined oils, synthetic food additives and conventional dairy products.
  • Chronic stress
  • Toxin overload — including high drug and alcohol consumption. We come into contact with over 80,000 chemicals and toxins every single year, but the worst offenders for causing leaky gut include antibiotics, pesticides, tap water, aspirin and NSAIDS. I recommend buying a high-quality water filter to eliminate chlorine and fluoride and look to natural plant-based herbs to reduce inflammation in your body.
  • Bacterial imbalance — also called dysbiosis, which means an imbalance between beneficial and harmful species of bacteria in your gut. A large body of evidence now shows that gut microbiota is important in supporting the epithelial barrier and preventing autoimmune reactions. At least 10 percent of all gene transcriptions found in intestinal epithelial cells that are related to immunity, cell proliferation and metabolism are regulated by gut microbiota.

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How Serious Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Well, according to a 2014 review of the facts and research about intestinal permeability (among other sources), the chronic condition of hyperpermeability is linked to numerous symptoms and health conditions.

What are the symptoms of leaky gut? Some of the most prominent signs you may have leaky gut include: (3)

  • Gastric ulcers
  • Infectious diarrhea
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis)
  • Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Celiac disease
  • Esophageal and colorectal cancer
  • Allergies
  • Respiratory infections
  • Acute inflammation conditions (sepsis, SIRS, multiple organ failure)
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions (such as arthritis)
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Obesity-related metabolic diseases (fatty liver, Type II diabetes, heart disease)
  • Autoimmune disease (lupus, multiple sclerosis, Type I diabetes, Hashimoto’s, and more) (4)
  • Parkinson’s disease (5)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome (6)
  • Propensity towards weight gain or obesity (7)

While these diseases are linked to leaky gut syndrome, it hasn’t been proven that there is a causal relationship; in other words, it’s not yet established that leaky gut causes any of these conditions, just that people who have leaky gut are more likely to have a number of other health problems. So while the scientific evidence has not yet proven that intestinal hyperpermiability (leaky gut syndrome) is actually responsible for these conditions, it strongly suggests that leaky gut and other dysfunctions tend to occur simultaneously. (8)


7 Leaky Gut Symptoms and Signs

How do you know if you have leaky gut? Below you’ll find seven leaky gut symptoms and early occurring conditions that may point to an issue with your gut health.

1. Food Sensitivities

Because of the onslaught of toxins that enter the bloodstream, the immune systems of people with intestinal hyperpermeability are on overdrive mass-producing various antibodies, which may make their bodies more susceptible to antigens in certain foods (especially gluten and dairy). In studies involving rats and human children, leaky gut and food allergies have been linked. (9, 10) Allergies are believed to be one of the most common leaky gut symptoms.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease 

Researchers from Hungary uncovered in 2012 that elevated gut permeability is oftentimes localized to the colon in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. (11) As far back as 1988, scientists suggested that Crohn’s disease may be more of a risk for people with leaky gut. (12)

A small study (observing 12 patients) discovered that zinc supplementation may help resolve the tight junction dysfunction in these cases, although more research is required on a larger scale to confirm these results. (13)

3. Autoimmune Disease

Zonulin is the only physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions described so far that is involved in trafficking of macromolecules and, therefore, in tolerance/immune response balance. When the finely tuned zonulin pathway is deregulated in genetically susceptible individuals, both intestinal and extraintestinal autoimmune, inflammatory, and neoplastic disorders can occur.

Eating gluten may trigger this dangerous cascade. University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers have uncovered that gluten “activates zonulin signaling irrespective of the genetic expression of autoimmunity, leading to increased intestinal permeability to macromolecules.” (15)

The good news is that, at least as far as leaky gut plays a role in autoimmune conditions, it is reversible and could potentially alleviate some of these problematic immune responses. (16)

4. Thyroid Problems 

One of the autoimmune diseases that leaky gut syndrome may directly affect is Hashimoto’s disease. (17) Also known as “chronic thyroiditis,” this disorder is displayed with hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), impaired metabolism, fatigue, depression, weight gain and a host of other concerns.

5. Nutrient Malabsorption

In my own patients, I’ve observed various nutritional deficiencies resulting from leaky gut, including vitamin B12, magnesium and digestive enzymes. Those common nutrient deficiencies are one reason why many functional medicine practitioners prescribe a whole-food multivitamin in addition to probiotics for people suffering leaky gut problems.

6. Inflammatory Skin Conditions 

First described over 70 years ago, the gut-skin connection theory has described how intestinal hyperpermeability can cause a slew of skin conditions, particularly acne and psoriasis. (18) Creams and drugs with endless lists of (sometimes dangerous) side effects are often prescribed for these skin disorders, yet there has been evidence for several decades that part of the root cause might exist in the gut.

7. Mood Issues and Autism

According to a study published in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters, leaky gut has been shown to cause various neurocognitive disorders. For example, the inflammatory response characteristic of intestinal hyperpermeability triggers the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines and other chemicals that are thought to induce depression. (19)

A study published in the journal Nutritional Neuroscience described the “vicious circle between immune system impairment and increasing dysbiosis that leads to leaky gut and neurochemical compounds and/or neurotoxic xenobiotics production and absorption.”

The authors go on to describe findings from a number of studies that point to their theory thatautism may be connected to problems in the gut microbiome, particularly within the first year of life. (20) It is actually a common hypothesis in modern science that leaky gut is strongly related to autism. (21)


What the Medical Community Has to Say About Leaky Gut Syndrome

Do most conventional doctors support the idea that leaky gut is real?

WebMD refers to leaky gut as “something of a medical mystery.”(22) This isn’t surprising, since it’s not a diagnosis that most doctors have been taught in medical school. “From an MD’s standpoint, it’s a very gray area,” says gastroenterologist Donald Kirby, MD – Director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic. In his opinion, “Physicians don’t know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ.” (21)

To make matters worse, government agencies have also contributed to the confusion. According to the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS), “There is currently little evidence to support the theory that a porous bowel is the direct cause of any significant, widespread problems.” (23)

Yet, not everyone agrees. A roundtable review quotes the researchers at seven different European universities in 2014 agreeing upon the following: (24)

Alteration of the gut barrier seems to have multiple consequences facilitating the onset of a variety of diseases depending on other hits and on genetic or epigenetic constellations, respectively. The growing significance of the gut barrier and bacterial translocation raises the questions of how we can improve gut barrier functions and gut microbiota.

So while it’s encouraging that science is coming around to leaky gut syndrome being a real problem, we are by no means at a point where there are standard diagnostic tools for testing and treating leaky gut.

In the Western/conventional medical world, if there are no standard diagnostic criteria for a disease, then there are no specific therapies or treatments available. Moreover, if there are no “proven” treatment models, then most MD’s are left with no other choice than to follow what they believe to be the “safe path” and prescribe drugs that only treat leaky gut symptoms. For example, medications (like proton pump inhibitors or antacids) can be used to manage symptoms like acid reflux medications but these drugs don’t solve the root problem.

Because much of the medical community denies leaky gut’s very existence, it’s critical that you understand what leaky gut is and what to look out for in case you or a loved one is affected by it. The good news is that many functional and integrative medicine practitioners have a greater understanding of this condition than they did even a decade ago. They are much more likely to help you determine if you are suffering from leaky gut syndrome and to give you tools to help repair your gut.


How Do You Get Rid of Leaky Gut?

Now that we’ve been talked about leaky gut symptoms, causes and opinions, let’s talk about how to test for and repair leaky gut.

How do you test for leaky gut?

Several leaky gut syndrome tests are available that can help confirm a diagnosis and point you in the right treatment direction. Tests are helpful for identifying specific sensitivities and uncovering which types of toxins or deficiencies are contributing to your symptoms. Leaky gut tests include:

  • Zonulin or Lactulose Tests
  • IgG Food Intolerance Test
  • Stools Tests
  • Organic Acid Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies Tests
  • Lactulose Mannitol Test

What leaky gut treatments are available?

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After years of research and patient care, Avisae has developed a gut protocol process for helping to heal leaky gut. . If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have leaky gut symptoms, I encourage you to read the detailed instructions, food suggestions and recommended leaky gut supplements listed in this article.

The basic steps to healing leaky gut are as follows:

  1. REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut.
  2. REPLACE these with healing foods as you follow an anti-inflammatory leaky gut diet.
  3. REPAIR the gut with specific leaky gut supplements like butyric acid.
  4. REBALANCE your microbiome with probiotics (beneficial bacteria). This is key because bacteria in your gut are a major component of the intestinal barrier. They help promote resistance to the colonization of harmful or pathogenic bacteria species by competing for nutrients. Gut microbiota also regulate the digestion and absorption of nutrients and help supply epithelial cells with energy.
Two of the most commons questions people ask are: “What can I eat if I have leaky gut syndrome? And what should I NOT eat when I have leaky gut?”
If you’re struggling with leaky gut or other GI issues, remove processed foods— including un-sprouted grains, added sugar, GMO’s, refined oils, synthetic additives and conventional dairy products. A healing leaky gut syndrome diet includes foods like:
  • Bone broth
  • Raw cultured dairy (like kefir, yogurt, amasai, butter and raw cheeses)
  • Fermented vegetables and other probiotics foods. Probiotics may help reverse leaky gut by enhancing the production of tight junction proteins that defend against intestinal permeability.
  • Coconut products
  • Sprouted seeds (like chia seeds, flaxseeds and hemp seeds)
  • Foods with omega-3 fatty acids, especially salmon and other wild-caught fish
  • Herbs and spices
  • Other nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods like grass-fed beef, lamb, other fresh veggies and most fruits, apple cider vinegar, sea veggies, and other superfoods

Final Thoughts on Leaky Gut Syndrome

image of gut

  • Leaky gut syndrome is classified by malfunction in the intestinal tight junctions in the digestive tract, allowing larger-than-usual particles to pass from the digestive system into the bloodstream. When this occurs, the balance of inflammatory immune responses is disrupted, leading to chronic inflammation and poor immunity.
  • Although no causal relationships have yet been officially established, leaky gut is correlated with a large number of issues and diseases, including digestive disorders, depression, autism, celiac disease, autoimmune disease and more.
  • Common leaky gut symptoms include: food sensitivities, digestive issues, autoimmune disease, thyroid dysfunction, nutrient malabsorption, inflammatory skin conditions and brain-related issues such as depression and autism.
  • Leaky gut syndrome is not a recognized diagnosis in the medical community yet — but I’m confident it will be recognized someday, due to the vast body of research that has already been conducted.
  • If you suffer from any leaky gut symptoms, I encourage you to consult with your naturopathic doctor about options for treatment. Many of my patients have seen improvements when adjusting to a healing diet, rather than a disease and inflammation-causing one. In addition, there are helpful dietary supplements many people implement to support better gut health.

 

Migraines and fatigue may start in the gut, experts say

 

If you suffer from migraines, you know how debilitating the piercing pain, sensitivity to light and sound and nausea can be.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, about 38 million people suffer from them and more than 4 million who get them on a daily basis.

What you may not realize and what your doctor probably isn’t telling you is that  migraines may be linked to your gut health. More specifically, the cause of migraines can be caused by “gut hyper-permeability,” a condition often dubbed leaky gut syndrome.

 

“Migraines are the result of a perfect storm,” said Dr. Vincent M. Pedre, an integrative and functional medicine doctor in New York City and author of “Happy Gut: The Cleansing Program to Help You Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Eliminate Pain.”

Dehydration, not sleeping well, blood sugar fluctuations, artificial sweeteners, even a glass of wine can cause migraines. For women, hormonal shifts at the beginning of their menstrual cycles can be the culprit. For men, , an age-related testosterone deficiency known as “andropause” can trigger an incident.

Yet experts agree there are also inflammatory factors at play which can lead to gut hyperpermeability.

Leaky gut is activated by zonulin, a compound that our bodies produce to open up the tight junctions or the cells that line the inside of the intestines to let nutrients through.

When those tight junctions open up too much and allow undigested food particles and pathogens to get through, it elicits an immune response that can cause migraines.

Frequent use of antibiotics, an imbalance of good and bad bacteria, an overgrowth of yeast and stress and food sensitivities can all increase the hyperpermeability of the gut.

Up to a third of people with leaky gut may not even experience GI issues, a common symptom of leaky gut syndrome, Pedre said.

What’s more, conventional NSAID pain killers like ibuprofen also increase intestinal permeability within 24 hours of taking them and also when they’re taken long term, according to a review in the Journal of Gastroenterology.

Stress, in particular, affects the production of gastric enzymes, which aid digestion. If you’re not sufficiently breaking down proteins and your gut is hyperpermeable, your immune system is exposed to partially digested proteins that lead to an immune response.

Foreign proteins can also make their way into the bloodstream because of your own unique genetic predisposition.

“Your immune system is essentially going to be attacked by those foreign proteins and your tissues could look similar to those proteins,” said Shawn Stevenson, a nutritionist in St. Louis, Mo. and bestselling author of “Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies To Sleep Your Way To A Better Body, Better Health and Bigger Success.”

The same immune response that causes migraines can also lead to fatigue, along with the auras that precede migraines by one or two days or after the migraine has passed, Pedre said.

Gluten can increase gut permeability

“Most people can eat bread and gluten for their lives and not have anything they know to be a problem but that it doesn’t mean it’s good for them,” Stevenson said.

Although food sensitivities can trigger migraines, gluten, in particular, can cause hyperpermeability of the gut whether you have celiac disease, are gluten sensitive, or not, Pedre said.

If you suspect you have leaky gut syndrome, here’s what you can do about it.

See your doctor.

Leaky gut is controversial and not typically validated by conventional medical doctors so you should try to see a functional medicine doctor, integrative physician or homeopath  who can help to identify the underlying cause of your migraines.

Although there’s a test—the lactulose mannitol test—to screen for gut permeability, it’s not perfect. Instead, your doctor will probably run a test to look for food sensitivities.

“If a person comes back with a whole bunch of foods they are reactive too, we know that they have a leaky gut,” Pedre said.

Do an elimination diet.

“One very powerful way to lower our inflammation in the body is through the diet,” Pedre said.

Talk to your doctor about a four-week elimination diet which excludes common food triggers and includes anti-inflammatory foods. Then slowly re-introduce the trigger foods and pay close attention to your symptoms. Although gluten might be the culprit, it can be something as inconspicuous as cinnamon, Pedre said.

Drink plenty of water.

Hydrating and re-hydrating after a workout or on a hot summer day is key to ward off migraines. When you’re dehydrated, the tiny capillaries in the brain get smaller, which makes it painful for the blood to pass through and circulate around the brain, Stevenson said.

Try bone broth.
Bone broth is trendy and experts say drinking it can help restore the gut microbiome. Chia seeds and okra are good choices too.

Take supplements

Supplements such as aloe vera gel powder, L-glutamine, deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), fish oil and curcumin can help.

Eat probiotic-rich foods.

Try adding foods rich in probiotics into your diet like sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir as well as prebiotic foods like Jerusalem artichokes, garlic and onion.

Reduce stress.

It’s one of the most difficult things to make room for in your life, but stress-reduction activities like yoga, meditation and spending time in nature are important to restore gut health and prevent migraines.

“If you only change your diet but you’re still living in this rushed, stressed out way, then you’re missing part of the picture,” Pedre said. 

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