Are you sick and tired of being sick and tired? Do you feel guilty for being sick and not being able to work? Do you often feel sick “for no reason?”
If these questions sound even vaguely familiar, it’s time to check your gut! With somewhere around 90% of our immune system residing in the body’s gastrointestinal system, any imbalances, infections, and stressors will have a negative effect on overall health.
Although leaky gut syndrome is a relatively new concern, it has recently gained traction in research for treatments for many health issues. According to a recent study, it affects overall health and well-being.
Let’s discuss 3 of the major areas these impacts are felt.
- A Leaky Gut Can Impact Mental Health: Poor gut health can lead to anxiety and depression. When the digestive system is compromised and you just don’t feel well, it can be challenging to have a positive attitude. Additionally, if you feel bad for always being sick and it feels like you’re never well, depression can set it. It can be very difficult to overcome this feeling, especially if there’s no support from others. Anxiety can result from the frustration of not knowing exactly what’s wrong. It can make a person have self-doubt and to feel like they always need to be waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. Leaky gut syndrome is just one of many gastrointestinal issues that can trigger anxiety and depression.
- A Leaky Gut Can Impact Autoimmune Issues: Autoimmunity occurs when the body’s natural defense system attacks itself. Leaky gut allows toxins, viruses and infections into the bloodstream, which triggers inflammation. The more inflammation, the more reactive the immune system becomes and this results in autoimmune flares. The immune cells that are attacked and the resulting overproduction of antibodies determine which autoimmune disease shows up. For example, too many thyroid antibodies will trigger Hashimoto’s and too many joint antibodies can lead to Rheumatoid Arthritis. These are just a couple of many autoimmune diseases that have been linked directly to a leaky gut.
- A Leaky Gut Can Impact Hormones: The gut is essential to hormone development and function. It produces pivotal hormones that work to help digest and break down the foods we eat. Many of the important processes in our bodies, like immune functions, metabolism, digestion, and sugar regulation depend on a healthy hormone balance to function effectively. Headaches, diarrhea, joint pain, and bloating are just some of the unpleasant results that can happen when hormones become imbalanced.