If you’re dealing with gastrointestinal distress, there could be a number of different issues going on with your digestive system. One such condition that can cause problems is known as leaky gut syndrome. It occurs when bacteria and toxins leak through intestinal walls and into the bloodstream. In today’s blog, we take a closer look at why this condition develops and how a gastroenterologist can help you treat leaky gut.
Understanding Leaky Gut
In a healthy digestive system, the intestines form a barrier that allows helpful substances to be absorbed into the bloodstream while also blocking out potentially harmful substances. If your intestinal tract is damaged or unhealthy, certain gaps can form that allow unwanted substances to be absorbed into the bloodstream. When this happens, inflammation and gut bacteria imbalances can develop, which can lead to the onset of other intestinal problems.
Symptoms and related conditions that can develop if you are dealing with leaky gut include:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Celiac disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Inflammatory bowel disease
Treating Leaky Gut Syndrome
So while we know that leaky gut syndrome can cause gastrointestinal distress, doctors still aren’t completely sure about whether a leaky gut is a symptom of larger conditions or a contributing factor to these related conditions. Either way, if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it’s important that you reach out to your primary care physician or a gastroenterologist.
Treating leaky gut needs to be done on an individualized basis, because there could be varying factors and related conditions at play. However, some lifestyle adjustments that can help improve your gut health and work to prevent leaky gut include:
- Improved Diet – Eating healthier and cutting out things like fats and carbohydrates can help to improve your overall gut health and limit symptoms associated with leaky gut.
- More Exercise – Exercise has also been shown to be great for your gut health and your overall health. Work to get 30-45 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 3-5 times a week.
- Better Sleep – Getting plenty of quality sleep is also helpful for a number of bodily processes, including your gut health and immune system.
- Stop Smoking – Finally, smoking has been shown to negatively impact your gut health and can affect the healthy bacteria that helps to digest food. Stop smoking, and your gut health will certainly improve.
And if more hands-on treatment in the form of medication or an operation are needed, Dr. Bhatti and the team at Bhatti GI Consultants are here to help. For more information or to set up an appointment, contact our office today at (651) 430-3800.