Diet for leaky gut syndrome: what to look out for

Do you suffer from allergies, inflammation or digestive problems? All of this can be related to a disturbed intestinal barrier. In the following report you will find out what Leaky Gut Syndrome is and how you can help your intestinal health with dietary adjustment.

In this article you will learn:

  • what a leaky gut syndrome is,
  • which symptoms indicate leaky gut,
  • how you can support your intestinal health with the right diet.

Leaky Gut Syndrome: what is it and what role does diet play?

The term “leaky gut” translates as “permeable gut” . This means that the barrier function of the intestinal mucosa is disturbed. Because of the more permeable intestinal barrier, food components and other substances can get into the body from the intestine. Examples of this are dietary fats, proteins or even microorganisms that occur naturally or harmful in the intestine.

However, if these microorganisms or substances enter the organism unhindered, they can cause discomfort. These complaints include, for example, joint pain, headaches or allergies . In medicine, the term “syndrome” describes combinations of various symptoms (symptoms) that can occur at the same time in such syndromes.

The name “Leaky Gut” has become very fashionable lately. However, it is important for you to know that the leaky gut syndrome as such has not yet been scientifically accepted . There is still a lack of meaningful studies and investigations. Therefore, always regard nutrition tips as valuable support, but never as the sole treatment option for your symptoms. Because there is no clear scientific evidence that a certain diet can cause your complaints. But nothing stands in the way of an attempt.

On the other hand, it can be harmful for you if you eat one-sidedly and only eat certain foods. For this reason, a change in diet should best be discussed with your family doctor.

What are the causes of a leaky gut?

Your digestive system processes what you eat into very small pieces. These are then absorbed as nutrients through the intestinal mucosa and released into your blood. This is how these nutrients get to all parts of your body where they are needed or stored.

The mucous membrane of your intestine has an extremely important task in this context: The mucous membrane acts as a barrier between the intestinal contents and the many blood vessels that surround your intestine. With its special structure, the intestinal mucosa is supposed to prevent unhealthy or harmful components from entering your body from the digestive tract.

However, in order to enable the vital passage of water and the smallest molecules, your mucous membrane has passage mechanisms on the mucous membrane cells and passages between the mucous membrane cells, the so-called “tight junctions” . Malfunctions associated with increased permeability can occur at these small openings. There can be different reasons.

The leaky gut syndrome describes a condition in which harmful substances enter the bloodstream through a damaged mucous membrane from the intestine.

For example, celiac disease can impair the opening mechanisms. If you have celiac disease, your immune system turns against the cereal gluten gluten . Gluten is actually a harmless protein that is contained in certain types of grain such as wheat or rye. Irritation and inflammation from gluten and celiac disease can damage the mucous membrane and thereby impair the barrier function. Scientists have succeeded in proving this connection between gluten and barrier disorders in the test tube, i.e. in the laboratory.

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In addition to chronic diseases such as diabetes, certain pain relievers can also increase the permeability of your intestines. This is known from the so-called non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. This group of active ingredients includes, for example, acetylsalicylic acid, diclofenac and ibuprofen.

The intestinal bacteria can also play an important role in leaky gut . If there are too few intestinal bacteria or if the composition of the intestinal flora does not match, this can also make your intestinal mucosa more permeable. You can find more about your intestinal bacteria in the article below.

Which symptoms indicate leaky gut?

The Leaky Gut is said to be responsible for a whole range of different diseases and symptoms. We are talking about inflammation in the body, arthritis, migraines, chronic fatigue and a lot more. On the Internet or in appropriate forums you can read that some illnesses can be traced back to a leaky gut, for example if you are overly sensitive to certain foods or have problems with your skin.

However, you should note that these claims have not been scientifically proven . The vast majority of medical professionals do not yet share this view. The diagnosis of “leaky gut syndrome” does not exist for them.

However, there are definitely people whose intestinal mucosa is particularly permeable and who suffer from various diseases at the same time. However, it is unclear whether and how this permeability is one of the causes of their chronic diseases. The reverse is also possible. This would be that a chronic illness makes the intestine more permeable, there is also a bit of truth to this point of view.

If you experience symptoms such as migraines, allergies, or chronic fatigue, it is imperative that your doctor clarify them . Never start a diet without talking to him first.

Why can diet play a role in a leaky gut?

Since Leaky Gut is not a diagnosis, i.e. not an accepted disease, there have not yet been any generally applicable therapy recommendations, such as specific guidelines. However, researchers and doctors have already dealt with many questions about the leaky gut, including the importance of intestinal germs in this context. One thing is becoming increasingly clear: Your diet can help keep you and your body healthy.

Plan your diet so that it optimally supports your healthy intestinal bacteria , i.e. your intestinal microbiota. Perhaps you will encounter this term for the first time. It means almost the same as the word “intestinal flora”. What is meant is the complex ecosystem in your intestines that is closely related to your health. Because your intestines are home to up to 99 percent of all bacteria that live in and on your body. You need them badly to stay healthy.

If you were to put all the bacteria in your digestive system on a scale, that would actually add up to about two kilograms! So it is worth taking good care of our intestinal germs. Mainly because some diseases are also associated with a weak gut microbiota . These diseases include chronic inflammation, heart disease, or some forms of cancer.

If you find yourself having health problems again and again, it is worth keeping a nutrition symptom diary .

Keeping a food diary will help you find out which foods you tolerate well and which you don’t.

In this diary you enter all the food you eat. At the same time you record your complaints. After a while, you may see connections between your food and your symptoms. Your diary can also be very helpful for your doctor, especially if it is kept correctly.

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Diet in Leaky Gut Syndrome

What should I eat if I have leaky gut syndrome?

If you want to support your gut, you can start with your diet. Reach for fresh fruit, vegetables and salads when shopping . They contain plenty of vitamins and inexpensive fiber. Dietary fiber is a constituent part of food that humans cannot digest. The dietary fiber “feeds” the vital microorganisms in your intestines and helps them to multiply.

Avoid a “western-style” diet that is heavily based on animal fats, sugar, and low -fiber foods. Researchers suspect that such a diet adversely affects the composition and species richness of the microbiota in the intestine and can thereby weaken the intestinal barrier.

Prefer unprocessed and fresh foods. Eat meat rather than sausage or plain yogurt rather than high-sugar milkshakes. Reach for high-quality vegetable oils that are unprocessed. Cold-pressed oils in particular contain very high levels of unsaturated fatty acids . Researchers believe that these unsaturated fatty acids have anti-inflammatory effects.

Which foods protect the intestines in leaky gut syndrome?

If you want to improve your intestinal health , it is best to use foods that are not industrially processed if possible. You can find a list here. She can give you good clues:

  • Vegetables: types of cabbage such as Brussels sprouts, kale, white cabbage, broccoli or savoy cabbage, as well as carrots, spinach, zucchini, chard or mushrooms
  • Tubers / root vegetables such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin or kohlrabi
  • Vegetables in fermented form , i.e. modified by microorganisms , such as sauerkraut, kimchi (fermented Chinese cabbage) or miso (paste, mostly based on soybeans)
  • Fruits such as bananas, grapes, all kinds of berries such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, oranges, tangerines, melons, passion fruits and pineapples
  • Sprouts (i.e. sprouted seedlings) such as chia seeds, cress or radish seeds
  • Vegetable fats and oils , such as avocado fruits, avocado oil, safflower oil, rapeseed oil and olive oil
  • Gluten-free grains such as buckwheat, rice, millet, amaranth, corn and quinoa
  • Fish , especially types that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids (essential fatty acids that your body does not make itself), such as salmon, herring, tuna, mackerel or sardines
  • Meat , preferably low in fat, such as chicken, turkey, lamb or beef
  • Owner
  • Dairy products such as yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk
  • Nuts , such as peanuts and almonds
  • herbs and spices
  • Beverages such as tea (preferably unsweetened), water or coconut water

Which foods should i avoid?

But there are also foods that you should leave out when it comes to your intestinal health. Here is a list of foods and beverages that can damage your gut microbiota or cause digestive problems .

  • Processed meat products such as sausage, bacon, bacon or hot dogs
  • Wheat foods such as bread, pasta, cereals, couscous or white flour
  • Grains containing gluten , such as wheat, barley, rye or bulgur
  • Baked goods such as cakes, pastries, muffins or pizza
  • Snack foods such as granola bars, crackers, chips or popcorn
  • Junk food , such as french fries, fast food, sugary granola, or chocolate bars
  • Dairy products such as cow’s milk, milkshakes, cream or ice cream
  • Refined oils , made from sunflower, rapeseed, soy or solid fats such as palm oil
  • Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin or sucralose
  • Beverages , such as alcohol, carbonated beverages, or beverages with a high sugar content such as soda or cola
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Are there certain diets that are recommended for people with leaky gut syndrome?

Leaky gut has not yet been recognized as a disease in evidence-based medicine . Evidence-based means, among other things, that leading medical societies and doctors, based on meaningful clinical studies, come to the same assessment of certain diseases or treatment options. So far, this has not been the case with Leaky Gut. For this reason, you shouldn’t start dieting without nutritional advice.

In your diet, look for whole foods that nourish your microbiome, rather than processed foods that harm it.

Many diets are very one-sided in terms of nutrient intake and can even harm you. So be careful with diet tips from internet forums or internet blogs. Choose foods that aid your digestion and that your body will benefit from. You can find food suggestions in the list above.

If you have digestive problems, ask your doctor for advice. He can examine you thoroughly. He will then give you special nutrition tips if necessary . If he thinks that’s right, he can also recommend further treatment options for your complaints. At the moment there are no blanket or standard solutions that help everyone.

Can Diet Supplements Help?

Basically, you are supplying your intestinal bacteria very well with the right foods. For example, regularly choose natural yogurt, buttermilk, sauerkraut or bread made from sourdough . They can improve the composition of your intestinal flora. If you do not tolerate these foods or if you do not particularly enjoy eating them, special dietary supplements can be an alternative that support your intestinal bacteria. But make sure to pay attention to the quality and get comprehensive advice from your pharmacy.

Are there recipes that can be cooked at Leaky Gut?

If you want to eat healthily, pay attention to vitamin-rich, plant-based foods in your recipes that you do not store too long and only cook for a short time. Prefer whole grains over white flour products. Choose cold-pressed oils , they contain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are good for your health.

Try to avoid sugar as much as possible. Of course, nothing speaks against a piece of chocolate every now and then. Mainly sugary drinks and chocolate bars are meant. You should avoid these.

Diet for leaky gut syndrome: what to look out for

The term “leaky gut syndrome” has become very fashionable lately. In the case of “leaky gut”, it is assumed that the natural barrier function of the intestinal mucosa is disturbed. Therefore, food components from the intestine can enter the body in an uncontrolled manner. There are people who attribute their symptoms to a leaky gut, such as joint pain, headache, inflammation, chronic exhaustion or allergies.

“Leaky Gut” is so far not a recognized disease , such as colon inflammation or gastritis. However, researchers are investigating to what extent some complaints or some diseases, such as diabetes, are related to a disturbed intestinal barrier. The reverse conclusion is also possible, namely that certain diseases, allergies or inflammations damage the intestinal barrier and make it more permeable.

In any case, you will help your digestion if you heed some nutrition tips. Always consider these tips as support and always ask your doctor if you experience any discomfort or even pain.

Reach for plant-based foods that are high in fiber . Fruits and vegetables provide vitamins. Give preference to vegetable oils over animal fats. Eat low-fat meat and whole grains. Cut down on “western style” foods, that is, fatty fast food and sugary drinks. With these tips you can help keep your intestines healthy and prevent discomfort.

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