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5 Root Causes of Leaky Gut (That Your Doctor Won't Tell You)

I don't know why my gut is a mess starter pack - how to heal your gut

(Just a forewarning, I’m sharing some hard facts on gut healing inside this blog that not everyone will want to hear. But stick around, this information may save your gut for good!)

The most common question I get from women in my practice is, “I eat sooooo healthy, I take all the supplements, I’m doing everything right, why is my gut such a mess??”

I completely understand - I've been there. You've worked with multiple doctors and practitioners, consumed all the green smoothies, spent $1,000's on labwork and supplements (hello, supplement graveyard!) but you're still dealing with mystery bloating, constipation, food sensitivities and irregular bowel movements. So what gives?

Let's take a deeper look into the main stressors that are preventing your gut from healing fully.

1. Hormonal Birth Control

hormonal birth control impacts gut health

Hormonal birth control (“the pill”) has been proven to cause iron overload, estrogen dominance and mineral dysregulation, all of which wreak havoc on the gut lining.. Massive NO-GO’s when it comes to your gut health.

"Oral estrogen has been shown to modify intestinal permeability, a critical step in the pathophysiology of inflammatory bowel disease. Second, exogenous hormone use through its effect on endogenous levels of hormones may enhance the development of Th1- and Th2-mediated inflammatory diseases. Lastly, recent data have linked modification in the gut microbiome to endogenous levels of androgens, which are also known to be altered with exogenous hormone use and influence the development of autoimmune diseases." (1)

2. You're Addicted to STRESS!

Stress and cortisol cause damage to the gut lining

Let's paint a picture: You woke up tired and didn't have time for breakfast before your morning HIIT workout. So you grab a coffee on the way to the gym and drink it within minutes on an empty stomach. Sound familiar?

There are so many physiological stressors in those two little sentences. And I don't blame you. Society has trained us to believe that those behaviors are normal. But in reality this "go-go-go" mentality is ramping up cortisol and sending signals to your body that you are under constant stress. This is what I like to call “living in survival mode”, and it’s no bueno for your gut health or sex hormones.

"Stress and depression can reshape the gut bacteria’s composition through stress hormones, inflammation, and autonomic alterations. In turn, the gut bacteria release metabolites, toxins, and neurohormones that can alter eating behavior and mood. Some bacterial species may encourage dysregulated eating." (2)

3. Bye Bye Veganism. No, seriously.

Vegan diet is not good for gut health

If you’re like me and spent multiple years of your life downing "healthy" vegan foods like salads, legumes, nuts, raw vegetables and green juices, your gut is likely a mess. All these foods have one thing in common: they are super hard to digest. These foods can also cause mineral imbalances due to the high amount of anti-nutrients they contain. Anti-nutrients like oxalates and lectins impede your body's ability to absorb critical nutrients which are needed to form the basic building blocks of your gut's mucosal barrier.

"There’s scientific evidence showing oxalic acid can harm glandular function, connective tissue function, neurological function and the function of excretion routes, particularly the kidneys." (3)

4. Get Back To Primal Eating

A primal paleo way of eating is best for gut health

While you were focused on the kale craze, you also missed out on critical gut-supportive nutrients like bioavailable protein, zinc, retinol, saturated fats and copper from grassfed animal products. Time to reincorporate grassfed beef, organ meats, wild caught seafood and bone broth! Your gut will thank you in the long run.

"Here are some of the facts about proteins: protein is essential to a healthy heart and a healthy body; animal sources of protein including eggs are better for you nutritionally since they contain all of the essential amino acids; as with most nutrients and vitamins, both too much and too little protein have detrimental effects on the body; and, protein cannot be “stocked” up like fat but must be eaten daily. Protein is the basic nutrient and plays an essential role in carrying cholesterol and preventing heart disease. (4)

5. Ditch the Screens