Tammy Strome is a Transformation Coach, Fitness Intuitive and IFBB Pro with 17 years in the industry as a Transformation specialist, Life Coach and Supplement Expert. She uses a combination of science, insight and intuition to help her clients sculpt their bodies and transform their lives. For more info on Tammy please visit her website at www.tammystrome.com or follow her on social media at FB: TammyStromeIFBBPro, Instagram @tammystromeIFBBPro and Twitter: @tammystrome
Is Leaky Gut Syndrome Ruining Your Muscle Gains?
Are you experiencing digestive issues such as gas, bloating, indigestion, nausea, constipation, diarrhea or cramping? Maybe they aren’t that frequent but enough to cause occasional trouble. Maybe you’re experiencing some other symptoms such as fatigue, poor recovery, brain fog, new allergies, muscle and joint pain, or even stalled progress in the gym.
Could It Be Leaky Gut Syndrome?
“Leaky gut” is known in Western medicine as “intestinal hyper-permeability.” Eastern medicine is well versed in the health consequences of “leaky gut” and tries to treat it via naturopathy and functional medicine. Traditional medical science is catching up, and more Western doctors are acknowledging the health improvements that occur when “leaky gut” is addressed. In fact, if you dig into PubMed, you’ll find a ton of studies done on leaky gut and the correlation between this and various health issues, including autoimmune disease.
The small intestine has a mucosal lining made up of many cells. This lining forms a physical, biochemical, and immunological barrier for the rest of the body. A healthy lining allows small particles such as micronutrients to be absorbed. It keeps out larger particles such as food, bacteria, or fungus. However, a damaged lining allows these larger particles access to the blood stream. The immune system sees them and attacks, which can trigger systemic inflammation, thus setting off a cascade of issues that affects many systems.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
The causes are numerous, but chronic stress is thought to be part of the problem. Centuries ago, stresses were more acute in nature, such as being chased by a predator. Today’s stresses are more chronic, such as working 24-7 and consuming too many chemicals and artificial sweeteners, which constantly puts our nervous systems on high alert. This negatively affects gut health. Quite a bit of research shows that high cortisol levels from stress will lead to a decrease in health-enhancing gut bacteria. Other factors such as age, infections, and toxins weaken gut health further. The recent explosion in the consumption of probiotics comes from the mounting evidence that the community of bacteria in our gut plays a vital role in maintaining the health of this intestinal lining. Toxins from alcohol, antibiotics, pain medications, steroids, NSAIDS, heavy metals pesticides/insecticides, and chemicals from plastics have all been shown to increase the odds of leaky gut by damaging the protective community of good bacteria and harming the lining.
Why Should You Care?
Well, because if you don’t address gut issues, the damaging effects on your health (and gains in the gym) are life altering. If you happen to be just fixated on what you see in the mirror, then remember a gut that isn’t healthy cannot absorb nutrients properly. This means you won’t be able to build muscle, recover, and even burn fat as well as you could otherwise. In fact, your progress could stall completely, and if your body is mounting an inflammatory response, then bloating, weight gain, fat accumulation, and fatigue could become your bedfellows.
There are tests that can be done to determine what is going on. The best healing tools are lifestyle changes, dietary changes, and supporting your body with missing micronutrients, probiotics, and glutamine to help the intestinal lining heal. It’s not just about taking supplements, though. You must remove what is causing the damage as well as repair and replenish in order to get back in top form.