More than a few years ago, if you had mentioned to someone that you had “leaky gut,” you probably would have been laughed out of the room. There were pockets of the medical community that understood the connection between a damaged gut and a host of health issues, from digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome to autoimmune diseases including lupus and multiple sclerosis. The problem, however, was that many people—people who didn’t believe that toxins and undigested foods particles could easily seep through a permeable intestinal lining and wreak all kinds of havoc—wrote this theory off as nonsense.
The reality is that “increased intestinal permeability”—the official term for leaky gut—has been researched and documented in medical literature for many years. And in recent years, with so many people realizing that the conventional American health care system is failing them and instead searching for an alternative path to healing, the curtain around leaky gut has been lifted and longtime sufferers are beginning to get to the root of their medical problems. But despite this increased awareness, not everyone has been able to reduce or eliminate their symptoms. I have built my life and career around helping people to become their healthiest selves, and there is nothing that disturbs me more.
As I’ve discovered, it’s not simply a lack of information that is preventing some people from achieving their health breakthroughs—it is a lack of information that is tailored to their specific circumstances. When you go to dinner with friends, you don’t automatically order the same entrée they do, nor would you buy the same size clothes. But this is exactly the way we’ve been approaching health care.
In my new book, Eat Dirt, I share easy and affordable ways that everyone can begin to heal their gut and reclaim their health. And while there are some core recommendations that apply to every situation across the board, there are additional tips specific to five common gut types. This unique advice is based on personal health and lifestyle factors, and it can very well mean the difference in whether your leaky gut is finally healed for good.
If you are suffering from chronic conditions like skin rashes, brain fog, fatigue or other issues that don’t seem to improve no matter how hard you try, it is very likely that leaky gut is to blame. And if you’ve found that your prior efforts to heal your gut have been unsuccessful, this unique and targeted approach may be the final step you need to find relief.
The 5 Most Common Leaky Gut Types
If you’ve been on long courses of antibiotics, cancer treatments or birth control pills, or if you tend to overeat sugary foods and/or refined carbohydrates, you are likely suffering from an overgrowth of the yeast Candida albicans. Before you can begin to heal your gut, you must address the ratio of good to bad bacteria.
In today’s 24/7 society, we’re always on the go, always glued to our cell phones, always running from one commitment to the next and, as a result, always stressed. If you’ve been dealing with constant stress or emotional issues, or if you’re battling thyroid or adrenal conditions that affect your body’s stress-related hormones, your mental state is definitely impacting your gut.
If you’ve found that your diet has grown more and more limited as food sensitivities and intolerances have taken over, you may be suffering from immune gut. This is the most severe form of leaky gut, and it can lead to conditions like irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Knowing your specific trigger foods and introducing those that are easily digested will get you on your way to health.
The treatment of acid reflux is a multibillion-dollar business in the United States, thanks to fact that so many of us are having a hard time digesting our meals—even the “healthy” ones. If you’re experiencing indigestion, bloat and/or a burning sensation after you eat, it’s time to kickstart your digestion with therapeutic foods and supplements that will heal your digestive system and your gut.
No one can eat the perfect diet 100% of the time, but for those who overindulge in processed food and burgers from the nearest drive-thru, the consequences extend far beyond a larger waistline. Those “foods” are filled with toxins that—coupled with environmental pollutants and toxins from home and personal care products—can do considerable damage to the liver and gallbladder. Additionally, emotions like unforgiving have an ability to act as toxins within the body. If you’ve been consuming a high-fat, high-sugar diet and/or are exposed to considerable toxins or negative emotions, it is likely that you have a toxic gut.