Both leaky gut and a weak gut wall are associated with the same issues: increased inflammation, immune response, and autoimmunity. Moreover, both conditions can be triggered by the same factors and result in the same consequences — that is, type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, autoimmune hepatitis, gastric ulcers, and so on. A weak gut wall or “gut mucosal barrier” doesn’t just refer to the thinness of the mucosal layer; it also involves an impaired ability of epithelial cells (the innermost layer) to repair after damage. In this article you will learn what a weak gut wall means for your health and how to increase gut wall strength naturally.
What Does A Weak Gut Wall Mean?
A gut wall that is weak or “leaky” refers to a dysfunctional intestinal barrier. In a nutshell, the intestinal barrier is the intestinal wall that separates the inside from the outside of the body so that the immune system doesn’t attack itself and the gut microbiome doesn’t cause harm. The wall can become compromised if you eat foods that are difficult to digest, are contaminated with toxins, or if your immune system is attacking the wall. When the gut wall is leaky, large molecules like food antigens, digestive enzymes, and bacterial toxins can escape the intestines and enter the bloodstream. This can trigger an immune response and lead to low-grade inflammation.
How To Determine If You Have A Weak Gut Wall
There are several ways to determine if you have a weak gut wall. First, you can identify and eliminate any potential triggers causing intestinal inflammation. If this doesn’t help, you can test your intestinal permeability with a gut wall integrity test like the Indican test. When testing for a weak gut wall, look for an increased level of small-chain fatty acids in the urine after a glucose challenge. If the level of small-chain fatty acids is high, this could indicate that your small intestine is permeable.
Ways To Strengthen Your Gut Wall
Again, strengthening the gut wall is the best way to heal from a leaky gut and increase gut wall strength. Here are 8 ways to do so:
- Eat healing foods: A high-antioxidant diet has been associated with improved gut health. Foods rich in antioxidants like spinach, broccoli, and red peppers can help reduce oxidative stress and fight inflammation.
- Eat prebiotic foods: Foods high in prebiotics like bananas, garlic, asparagus, and leeks promote the growth of beneficial bacteria and can help improve intestinal health.
- Eat probiotic foods: Fermented foods like kimchi, sauerkraut, and pickles contain valuable probiotics that can help rebalance the gut microbiome.
- Take immune support vitamins: Probiotics and immune support supplements like Quercetin aid in supporting the gut to funtion at an optimal level.
- Find stress management techniques that work for you: Stress can be a contributing factor to the weakening of the gut wall. Try to find stress management techniques that work for you and make them a part of your everyday life.
- Get enough sleep: Sleep deprivation is associated with inflammation and can damage the intestinal barrier. Make sure you get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night to keep your gut wall strong.
- Practice self-love: Low self-esteem is associated with a weakened gut wall, especially in women. Make sure to practice self-love and let go of negative emotions like guilt, shame, regret, and resentment.
Breathing Exercises To Increase Gut Wall Strength
The gut-brain axis is a bidirectional pathway that connects the gastrointestinal tract to the central nervous system. This means that your gut health can affect your psychological health and vice versa. Gut-directed therapies that can help strengthen the gut wall and improve gut health include meditation, visualization, and breathing exercises. These breathing exercises can help reduce inflammation, decrease stress, and strengthen the gut wall.
- Deep Breathing: Deep breathing exercises can help reduce stress and improve the functionality of the gut wall. A study shows that quick, shallow breaths cause a reduction in the blood flow to the intestines, which weakens the gut wall. Slow, deep breaths, on the other hand, result in an increase in blood flow to the intestines.
- Releasing Your Breath: You can even take your breathing exercises a step further by releasing your breath. Try exhaling longer than you inhale so that you’re left with a slight pause before you inhale again.
- Controlled Breathing: Controlled breathing techniques can also be used to improve gut health. Controlled breathing can help slow down your autonomic nervous system and reduce stress.
Yoga Poses To Increase Gut Wall Strength
There are several yoga poses that can help strengthen the gut wall and improve gut health.
- Bridge Pose: This yoga pose improves blood circulation to the digestive organs, which can help reduce inflammation and strengthen the gut wall.
- Seated Forward Fold: This pose can help relax the nervous system and reduce stress, which is a significant factor in the weakening of the gut wall.
- Corpse Pose: This pose is great for relaxation and can help lower your breathing rate and heart rate, which is beneficial for your gut health.
Rituals You May Want To Adopt To Increase Gut Wall Strength
- There are some rituals you can adopt to bring your attention towards strengthening your gut wall. Meditation: The gut-brain axis makes it clear that the health of your gut can affect your psychological health and vice versa. Regular meditation can help reduce stress and improve the functionality of your gut wall and digestive system.
- Journaling: Writing your thoughts and feelings down can be very therapeutic. Journaling has been shown to reduce stress and improve emotional wellbeing.
All in all, a weak gut wall is not something you want to have. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it is also associated with increased risk of autoimmune disorders. Luckily, strengthening the gut wall is easy to do. With the right diet, exercise, and lifestyle habits, you can strengthen your gut and improve gut health. A strong gut wall is crucial for your health. Make sure you are doing everything you can to strengthen your gut wall and increase gut wall strength. With these tips, you can look after your gut, improve your digestion, and reduce your risk of developing an autoimmune disorder.