On day one of the much-anticipated Heal Your Gut summit, Dr. Josh Axe said his own journey to understanding the central role of gut health (and dangers of leaky gut) in overall wellness began with his mom.
“My mom, when I was growing up, was diagnosed with a number of health conditions. We were always a sort of fit and active and, what we thought was a healthy, family growing up,” says Axe.
But when Axe’s mom was diagnosed with cancer a second time, and this on top of autoimmune, digestive and thyroid issues like Hashimoto’s, Axe began to work through his training in nutrition and ask key questions about the gut as a possible root cause.
As they began to shift her from a diet of “chicken sandwiches and juicy juice” into a diet of whole foods, there began to be a shift.
Her tumors began to shrink and her digestive issues began to clear up. Her fatigue, autoimmune and depression symptoms also began to subside. Within a year her cancer was in remission.
“Hippocrates said ‘All disease begins in the gut,” Axe says. “But you know I’m a big believer in that in seeing my mom completely healed.”
Axe affirms what many in both the conventional and alternative health fields have suspected—the digestive tract and gut health have an impressively powerful impact on everything else in your body.
So while leaky gut may just seem like a funny way of describing Irritable Bowel Syndrome, it is quite literally describing what so many of us walk around with daily that is being linked to many diseases and disorders.
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky Gut, or Intestinal Permeability, is actually the subject of more than 11,000 medical and scientific studies addressing a variety of ailments.
“Your digestive tract is a barrier for your bloodstream,” says Axe.
So our digestive tract is a gatekeeper in a sense that allows nutrients and other important elements into our bloodstream and keeps bad things out. But Axe says chronic inflammation can cause and grow “holes” at key points in the digestive system that allow bad proteins (like gluten) and other undesirable elements into the blood stream to make us sick.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut
- Bloating and gas
- Food sensitivity
- Thyroid conditions
- Fatigue of any type
- Joint pain
- Headaches and skin issues
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain
- Type 1 diabetes
5 Healing Steps
After years of research, Dr. Axe has developed a protocol that removes many of the risk factors and begins healing the body so that it functions properly. Here are five healing steps he recommends:
- Remove the triggers. Unhealthy triggers are all around us, but often the most dangerous triggers are the ones we put in our mouths.
- Consume healing foods. Bone broth, raw cultured dairy, and other foods can begin the healing process.
- Use targeted supplementation. High-quality probiotics and many other supplements such as L-glutamine can help with repairing the gut.
- Lifestyle change. Exercise is extremely important in the healing process as are cutting out inflammatory foods and lifestyle choices like constant high stress with no real downtime.
- Eat right for your gut type. There are different gut types, so pick the plan that’s best for you.
- Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe