Before the advancement of medical science and rise of technology to identify and cure illnesses, it was a popular belief amongst traditional doctors that imbalances in the stomach would lead to numerous minor diseases, a condition called hypochondriasis (derived from the Greek work hypochondrium, which refers to the upper area of the abdomen).
As medicinal science evolved, many traditional illnesses like these were ultimately rejected due to a better understanding of their underlying causes and the term hypochondriac was instead used as a reference to someone who suffers from a chronic, oftentimes bizarre fear of having a serious medical illness without actually contracting it.
So what exactly is a Leaky Gut?
Our digestive tract has a gut lining that is partially permeable to allow the absorption of food and nutrients into the bloodstream in a controlled manner.
This lining of our intestines can sometimes have cracks or holes which can lead to undigested food, toxins and bugs passing into our bloodstream which can cause inflammation and an imbalance in our gut leading to digestive issues.
Causes of Leaky Gut
Technically speaking, all of us have a ‘’leaking gut’’ since the permeable membrane of our gut does allow digested food and nutrients into the bloodstream- it’s when this ‘leak’ is substantial enough to cause illnesses like gut inflammation, celiac disease, Chron’s disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
According to studies, in more severe cases it can also lead to autoimmune diseases (lupus, type 1 diabetes), asthma, allergies, arthritis, chronic fatigue, obesity, acne and even mental illness.
Steps towards A healthier Gut
Removing gluten and dairy casein from your everyday diet is a step in the right direction since they are one of the most common irritant food causes for a leaky gut. Dairy casein is normally present in ice cream, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products.
Eating foods that are high in fiber and probiotics are great for people with gut problems since foods like raw apple cider, vinegar, pickles, miso, kimchi contain digestive enzymes which not only help in digestion and nutrient absorption but also produce the ‘good bacteria’ that help improve your gut health.
Using ghee for cooking instead of butter will improve your quality of life in more ways that just intestinal health, since unlike butter, it free of casein and whey whilst also being high in short-chain fatty acid ‘butyrate’ all of which reduce inflammation and dietary irritations.