We have all heard the phrase, “trust your gut” or “I have a gut feeling” but did you ever wonder why people say that? The gut is another word for your digestive system. Often people describe emotions and intuitive feelings as having a strong effect on the gut, to the extent that at times these feelings seem to come from the stomach and lower intestinal area. Scientists have discovered that after the brain, the nervous system’s second biggest network of closely interconnected neurons is in the digestive tract. The actual signals come from your brain, but the nerve cells in your gut do play a part in your emotion and intuition. In fact, 90% of our neurotransmitters (chemicals responsible for regulating mood) such as serotonin are made in our gut.
If you have struggled with acid reflux, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, bloating or nausea, you understand the impact that gut health can play in your day-to-day life. There are a number of things that can throw our gut out of balance and lead to these symptoms including illness (virus, infections), stress, dysbiosis (imbalanced gut bacteria), food allergies and sensitivities, lack of fiber, parasites, and more.
For many, it can be difficult to fix leaky gut when you don’t know where to start, and that’s where we come in. But before we share our approach to repairing your gut, first, we want to help you gain a clear understanding of what gut health means and why it’s important.
Understanding gut health
Gut health refers to the balance of microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. Caring for the health of your gut and maintaining the right balance of these microorganisms is vital for both your physical and mental health, immunity, and more. In fact, 60-80% of our immune system is in our gut.
What is ‘leaky gut’?
Leaky gut is a term used to describe a digestive condition in which bacteria, toxins, and undigested foods “leak” through a damaged intestinal wall. The immune system responds by attacking these “foreign objects,” producing chemical messengers that can create chronic inflammation throughout the body. This can manifest in a variety of digestive and systemic symptoms. It is also difficult to have a trim waistline or flat stomach with a compromised or leaky gut.
Leaky gut is a rapidly growing condition that millions of people are struggling with, and may not even know they have. What’s worse is that many mainstream medical professionals do not recognize leaky gut as a real condition.
Almost all Americans have a gut imbalance, called dysbiosis, which can manifest as an imbalance between favorable and unfavorable microorganisms in the gut.
Examples of certain imbalances in the gut include:
- An imbalance between good and bad bacteria, such as in SIBO, which is small intestine bacterial overgrowth.
- An imbalance between good bacteria and the overgrowth of candida yeast, which is particularly an issue for women.
Symptoms and associated conditions of leaky gut
Problems and imbalances in our gut can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating or diarrhea, they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems. Leaky gut has even been associated with hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and hashimotos thyroiditis, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and skin conditions, just to name a few.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed below, you could have leaky gut.
Symptoms of leaky gut include:
- Bloating and fluid retention
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Brain fog/difficulty concentrating
- Mood imbalances such as depression and anxiety
- Thyroid conditions
- Fatigue and chronic fatigue
- Seasonal allergies
- Joint pain and fibromyalgia
- Headaches and migraines
- Skin issues like rosacea, eczema, and acne
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight
- Autoimmune diseases
What causes leaky gut?
We all have some degree of leaky gut, as this barrier is not completely impenetrable, nor was it meant to be. Some of us may have a genetic predisposition and may be more sensitive to changes in the digestive system, but our DNA is not the only culprit. Modern life may actually be the main driver of gut inflammation.
The standard American diet, which is low in fiber and high in sugar and saturated fats, may initiate this development. Gluten is often the main cause of leaky gut. Gluten triggers the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart the tight junctions in your intestinal lining. Other inflammatory foods, such as dairy, or toxic foods like sugar and alcohol are causes as well. Deficiencies in vitamin A, vitamin D and zinc have each been implicated in increased intestinal permeability.
Infectious causes that contribute to leaky gut include candida yeast overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
Medications including NSAIDS (like Ibuprofen), steroids, antibiotics, and acid-reducing drugs are toxic to gut health. Birth control pills are also a contributing factor.
Heavy metal exposure to mercury and vaccinations, pesticides, and BPA from plastics are also contributory agents.
Both mental and physical stress (particularly chronic stress), including over exercising and lack of sleep play a role in gut health.
The BeBalanced approach to ‘how to fix leaky gut’
Our Leaky Gut program will help you address all contributing factors and root causes, through a holistic, natural approach guided by the 5 R’s to gut health.
The 5 R’s of gut health
- Remove anything irritating the gut that might cause inflammation, such as certain foods/beverages, medications including NSAIDS, and certain supplements.
- Reduce bad bacteria and fungal overgrowth that can cause holes to form in the gut. Also reduce or eliminate food sensitivities and allergies.
- Repair the cellular wall of the gut to avoid foods, toxins, fungus leaking through to the bloodstream.
- Replace good/healthy bacteria in the gut to improve overall health and immunity.
- Rebalance the gut environment with healthy foods and lifestyle habits to reduce stress and improve overall digestion health.
Why we created the BeBalanced Leaky Gut program
When developing a protocol for leaky gut, we wanted to offer a program that provided a comprehensive approach to gut health, ensuring our clients success long-term.
At BeBalanced, we know that whether you suffer from symptoms of a hormone imbalance or symptoms of leaky gut, our programs will help you address all contributing factors and root causes, through a holistic approach.
What to expect from our holistic approach to gut health
As with any of our program, the first place we start is with education and continual support. When it comes to leaky gut, it is important to us that you understand the root causes of your symptoms while providing you with an easy to follow, clearly defined process for healing your body. You will work directly with one of our trusted Natural Hormone Balancing Specialist, who will keep you on track, motivate you, and support you every step of the way – even beyond your regularly scheduled check-in appointments.
Next, we tackle your diet, as this will be the foundation of the healing process. For the first 30 days you will follow what we call an “elimination diet” – eliminating all inflammatory foods that can irritate your gut and contribute to permeability. This is not a calorie restricting diet by any means, but don’t be surprised if you lose a few pounds in the process (hint, hint… bonus)!
Third, we support your body with supplements containing the highest quality ingredients available, including key components that specifically address and improve your gut health. Together, they help to replenish beneficial flora in the intestinal tract as well as promote a healthy intestinal lining, disallowing toxins, food particles and yeast to enter your bloodstream. These supplements are only available as part of our Leaky Gut program and are far superior to anything you can find online or commercially. These professional quality formulas are specially chosen for our Leaky Gut program based on research, studies, and proven results in helping to bring a healthy balance back to the gut.*
Last, but certainly not least, we provide relaxation tools to help lower stress as well as specific daily exercises and yoga poses to support digestion. Stress has a direct impact on the delicate balance of your sex hormones and can contribute to inflammation in the digestive tract. Therefore, stress management is an essential part of all the BeBalanced programs. However, these tools and exercises are specific to the Leaky Gut program and are created to help clients who are on the journey of healing their leaky gut.
What our clients have to say about the Leaky Gut program…
“Thanks to the Becoming Balanced weight loss program, I lost a total of 72 pounds and saw great improvements in my energy, mood, sleep, and more. However, after finishing the maintenance phase, I noticed that I was experiencing food sensitivities which were causing bloating, gas, brain fog, and fatigue. My specialist told me about the Leaky Gut program, and that my issues were likely related to a gut imbalance. Today, I am on day 25 of the Leaky Gut program and all my symptoms are gone! On top of that, I have lost an additional 6 pounds! This has been the best thing that has ever happened to me!” – KirstenKirsten, BeBalanced Client
“I am so grateful for the Leaky Gut program! I found it extremely easy to follow, and I was never hungry. In the first few weeks I lost 2 inches on both my waist and stomach area, and 1 inch on my hips! I also lost 8.2 pounds and was finally able to pass my “spit” test!! Best of all, I feel so my better. My bloating, gas, and heartburn are no longer an issue. Thank you again for this! It’s been a lifesaver!” – HeidiHeidi, BeBalanced Client
Ready to fix your leaky gut and improve your overall health?
If you suffer from digestive issues such as stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea or have associated health concerns such as autoimmune diseases, thyroid issues, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, or skin conditions, we can help!
To take your first step towards improving your gut and overall health, contact your local BeBalanced Center and request to take our free leaky gut assessment to see if our Leaky Gut program is the right fit for you! You can also schedule a free in-person or virtual consultation to learn more about this or any of our other programs.
At BeBalanced, we believe that you can feel and look your best at any age! Let us be a part of your journey.
– Your dedicated team at BeBalanced
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.