Do find yourself constantly struggling with digestive problems that don’t go away, no matter what you try? Some people end up being treated for irritable bowl syndrome (IBS) or believe that they are just too stressed out. But sometimes, it is neither of these things. Sometimes, a leaky gut is to blame. You might have heard about leaky guts over the years, but do you know the relationship between a leaky gut and hormonal balance?
And that is exactly why this article is for you. If you want to learn about how a leaky gut can affect your digestion and hormones, keep on reading.
What is a Leaky Gut?
In basic terms, a leaky gut is a condition that happens when the junctions of the intestinal lining get too thin and wear down, allowing for more cross-flow between out guts and the rest of our bodies. This means that toxins and other substances leak out (or in), causing issues.
These substances can be anything from undigested food, toxic waste, bacteria, and more. If left untreated, a leaky gut will cause inflammation within the digestive tract and elsewhere in the body, potentially prompting other chronic diseases to begin.
What Causes a Leaky Gut?
There are a number of triggers for a leaky gut, but the primary cause would be a poor diet. Diets that are low in probiotics, fiber, protein, and healthy fats are going to wreak havoc on your gut health. In other words, if you are eating junk food and fast food non-stop, as well as washing that down with alcohol, you’re going to be doing untold damage to your digestive tract. Other causes include antibiotic medications, acetaminophen, aspirin, chronic stress, and disrupted sleep cycles.
People with gluten intolerance usually suffer from a leaky gut as well, because gluten increases the permeability of the intestinal wall.
What Are The Symptoms of a Leaky Gut?
The common symptoms of a leaky gut include the following:
- Excessive fatigue
- Sugar and simple carbohydrate cravings
- Arthritis and joint pain
- Autoimmune diseases – rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease
- Food intolerance – such as gluten intolerance and food allergies
- Brain fog and inability to concentrate
- Digestive discomfort – gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation
- Mood issues – depression, ADHD, anxiety
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
If any of these symptoms are familiar, you might have a leaky gut. Be sure to schedule an appointment with a medical professional to figure out what is going on. If your good bacteria is low and if you have a leaky gut, you will need treatment.
How Leaky Guts Affect Hormones
You might have realized by now that a leaky gut can be detrimental to your entire body, not just your sensitive belly. Bloating, diarrhea, headaches, joint pain, deficiencies…when you are unable to digestive food properly and have bad bacteria and toxins floating around, horrible things happen.
The gut as a whole plays a major part in hormone development and function. Certain vitamins and minerals are necessary for the formation of specific hormones. Also, your need hormones like secretin and CCK to digest food and break it down for absorption.
But the biggest reason you need a healthy gut and better digestion is for the microbiome dwelling in your digestive tract. The bacteria in your gut regulate mood, blood sugar, immune system functions, and metabolism—all of which need hormone balance to work. Without a healthy gut to keep hormone balance, your body can’t carry out certain processes.
If you think you have a leaky gut, you need to get to a doctor, nutrition counselor, and start making some lifestyle changes. You can patch up a leaky gut and start correcting your hormone imbalances, but you need to start today. The longer you wait, the more damage is done.