Before we talk about leaky gut syndrome, let’s talk about what the intestines are and what they do.
The intestines main function is the ability to absorb nutrients from everything you consume. All food, drinks, and water are processed and absorbed through the small and large intestine. This is where most absorption happens.
Another function of the intestine is to help act as a barrier between the bloodstream and harmful substances, and then excreting them through waste.
Now, what is leaky gut syndrome? Simply put, leaky gut syndrome is an intestinal digestive disorder. What happens is that the barrier between the toxins in the intestinal system and the bloodstream is weakened. This weakened barrier can let in toxins such as bacteria, viruses, and undigested food particles.
How easily something penetrates a barrier is known as permeability. In a healthy gut, the intestine’s permeability is low; in a weakened gut, the permeability is high.
There are 10 common symptoms of leaky gut:
- Diarrhea, constipation, or bloating
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Constant sickness due to a poor immune system
- Headaches and brain fog
- Skin issues such as rashes, eczema, acne, and psoriasis
- Joint pain
- Depression or anxiety
- Extreme carb cravings
- Autoimmune diseases
Widespread immune reaction is caused by the high permeability of the intestinal walls. The particles enter the bloodstream and cause inflammation throughout the body.
No one knows the exact causes of leaky gut, but medical practitioners believe that the following are a few factors that are believed to play a role:
- Excessive sugar intake: An unhealthy diet high in sugar, particularly fructose, harms the barrier function of the intestinal wall
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs): The long-term use of NSAIDs like ibuprofen can increase intestinal permeability and contribute to leaky gut
- Excessive alcohol intake: Excessive alcohol intake may increase intestinal permeability
- Nutrient deficiencies: Deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc have each been implicated in increased intestinal permeability
- Inflammation: Chronic inflammation throughout the body can contribute to leaky gut syndrome
- Stress: Chronic stress is a contributing factor to multiple gastrointestinal disorders, including leaky gut
- Poor gut health: There are millions of bacteria in the gut, some beneficial and some harmful. When the balance between the two is disrupted, it can affect the barrier function of the intestinal wall
- Yeast overgrowth: Yeast is naturally present in the gut, but an overgrowth of yeast may contribute to leaky gut
There are some solutions to alleviate these symptoms and to potentially help relieve someone of the issue entirely. One of these remedies is shilajit, which has anti-inflammatory properties. Historically, shilajit has been used to treat issues such as stomach ulcers and constipation.
Another way shilajit is beneficial for the treatment of leaky gut is its ability to help flush toxins from the cells. Shilajit is rich in fulvic acid which helps import nutrients to and export toxins from your cells through a natural chemical process called “chelation.” Fulvic acid is a “chelant” – a special organic chemical that bonds to metal ions in your digestive system and your bloodstream.
Leaky gut can be a very frustrating condition for someone until they get it under control. Flare ups come from many types of food, but they aren’t the same for everyone.
Until it’s under control, shilajit – and its active ingredient fulvic acid – can be used not only as a supplement to help your leaky gut, but to benefit health and increase your quality of life.
- Leaky gut
- Digestive issues
- Fulvic acid