Did you know that your digestive tract is the size of a small football pitch?
If you've got colitis then this football pitch sized bodily organ has become damaged at one or various points along its enormous area. When the cells of the digestive tract become damaged it makes the digestive tract more permeable - hence the term Leaky Gut. When your gut is leaky like this it can let through the digestive wall some incompletely digested food particles.
Some research has been done into the link between IBD and Intestinal Permeability and one study found that Crohns patients had a six fold increase in intestinal permeability.
A leaky gut can lead to food sensitivities as any food particles leaking out of the digestive tract may cause an immune response in the body, leading to inflammation. Elemental diets where patients are fed a diet of pure nutrients have been shown to bring about a reduction in intestinal permeability. Researchers have also found that low-allergenic diets where grains and dairy are avoided can produce welcome relief from Ulcerative Colitis.
How to fix a leaky gut?
There are several steps we can take to heal a leaky gut -
· Initially identify any foods you may be allergic to or have intolerance to. Try a York Test which is a pin prick blood test that you can do at home. A small blood sample is sent away to a lab where they test it to look for any anti bodies to specific foods. It will tell you if you have any food intolerances.
· Next you need to get some probiotics in there, to correct any in balance between the good and bad bacteria, and correct any Dysbiosis in the gut. You need more good than bad! A good Probiotic is Primal Defense or VSL-3. Probiotics have been shown in several medical studies to be very helpful in the treatment of colitis.
· Get some l-glutamine powder, glutamine is an amino acid which is very useful for healing the digestive tract. Glutamine is the preferred 'fuel' for the cells lining the mucosa of the small intestine called enterocytes. These cells have the ability to take up glutamine directly rather than waiting for it to be supplied through the blood stream. Glutamine is also required for the production of both intestinal mucus and Secretary Immunoglobulin Type A (SIgA).
As a result of these functions, a good supply of glutamine will help repair a leaky gut. Glutamine also has the benefit of helping to prevent bacteria from getting from the gut to the bloodstream. You can buy l-Glutamine powder, or try juicing Cabbage as this is a good source of Glutamine.