The No-More-Leaky-Gut Diet!
Hashimoto’s and stomach troubles often go hand-in-hand. If you are suffering from painful gas, bloat, acid reflux, diarrhea, or just an unhappy tummy, you might have a leaky gut. Ew, really? A leaky gut. Yes! When your gut becomes inflamed, the walls of your intestines can become porous, letting food particles, bacteria, and parts of your microbial biome into your bloodstream. Guess who doesn’t like that? Your immune system, which gets triggered and goes on a rampage.
Is there any way to heal a leaky gut? I thought you’d never ask. The answer is an enthusiastic yes! Learn how by reading about the No-More-Leaky-Gut diet below.
Your gut is an amazing thing. It is a landscape unto itself, a “microbiome” filled with gut flora, bacteria, and other microbiota. Scientists are just beginning to learn that your gut does so much more than simply digest your food. Researchers are finding that your gut plays a big role in the health of your immune system, affects the way your brain operates, and even affects your emotional health. If you have Hashimoto’s you may not believe that your gut is a wonderful thing. In fact, your gut can often feel like the enemy, delivering up burning stomach acid, painful gas, and diarrhea, just to name a few of your gut’s worst weapons. If you are experiencing these symptoms, you might have a leaky gut.
Yes! Your gut may actually be leaking. Many different things can trigger a leaky gut, but one of the most common is a poor diet. If you want to tighten up your gut and work to eliminate your unhappy stomach symptoms, then start by changing what you put into it. Let’s learn more about leaky guts, and then I’ll give you my No-More-Leaky-Gut Diet.
What Is a Leaky Gut?
I’ve written several articles about leaky guts in the past because it can play such a big role in making Hashimoto’s symptoms worse. If you’ve never heard of a leaky gut before, the condition is exactly what it sounds like. Learn what you can do about Hashimoto’s here.
A leaky gut is an imbalance in your microbial ecosystem that results in damage to the intestinal wall. Over time, this damage makes the intestinal wall overly porous. Then the real mayhem starts. A leaky gut allows undigested foods, bacteria, yeast, and other antigens into the bloodstream. Unsurprisingly, your body – particularly your immune system – doesn’t like all these invaders floating around inside your bloodstream. Leaky gut triggers inflammation and puts your immune system on high alert.
In women (and men) with Hashimoto’s, the immune system overreacts, attacking the body and causing all sorts of additional chronic symptoms. If you have Hashimoto’s, the last thing you want is for inflammation to trigger an immune reaction. Unfortunately, if you’ve got a leaky gut, that’s what happens every time you eat a meal!
A Leaky Gut Isn’t Permanent
A leaky gut can sound scary, but there’s hope! Your body is an amazing machine capable of healing and renewal. This is true of your leaky gut, too. If you can eliminate the foods from your diet that harm your intestinal walls, they will eventually heal. A healthy intestinal system will be able to keep your food and microbiome inside your intestines where they belong. No more floating particles of your supper in your bloodstream, no more inflammation, and no more immune reactions!
How do you actually fix your gut? It’s all about adhering to my No-More-Leaky-Gut Diet. Alright, in truth, the No-More-Leaky-Gut Diet is actually the same thing as the autoimmune protocol (AIP). This is a special diet that is specifically designed to eliminate inflammation within the body. In my opinion, the AIP diet is the ideal eating system for anyone with Hashimoto’s!
The AIP follows a lot of the cornerstones of the paleo and keto diets, though with a few more restrictions. The protocol is designed to:
- Repair your leaky gut
- Help you manage blood sugar imbalances
- Lower or elimination intestinal inflammation
- Promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria
Introducing the Autoimmune Protocol (AKA The No-More-Leaky-Gut Diet)
The AIP is simple. Here’s what you should eat:
- Lean, hormone-free meats
- Fish (but not shellfish)
- Fibrous and fermented vegetables
- Organic low glycemic fruits
- Healthy fats
I also suggest that you consider taking probiotic supplements to really speed up the gut healing process.
What types of foods should you avoid? Basically, anything that isn’t on the list above, but to make it easy, stay away from:
- Any type of processed foods
- Grains and breads, including anything with gluten
- Dairy products
- Refined sugars
- Nuts and seeds
- Nightshade vegetables, including eggplant, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and okra
- Seed oils
- Dried fruits
- Alternative sweeteners, like stevia, xylitol, and mannitol
Okay, but Seriously, What Can I Eat?
Looking at that long list of foods you can’t eat on the AIP might feel demoralizing. No bread rolls? No cocktails? NO CHOCOLATE?
Shift your thinking away from what you “can’t” have and recognize everything you can have. Adhering to the AIP will give you so many gifts. First and foremost among them is a happy tummy. The AIP can also help clear away your brain fog, lower your anxiety, and help you finally sleep at night. Sticking with the AIP isn’t always easy, especially in a modern society that seems fueled by sugar, gluten, and carbs, but your health and well-being are on the line. Also, after you heal your leaky gut, you may be able to slowly add more foods back into your diet to learn what your body can and can’t tolerate.
In the spirit of abundance, let’s look at a short list of delicious and wonderful foods you can eat on the AIP:
- Chicken, steak, and pork – Yum!
- Salmon, tuna, and trout
- Lamb, turkey, and venison
- Rich green salads filled with cucumbers, avocado, and spinach
- Stir-fried broccoli
- Did I mention avocado? Lots of yummy, filling avocado
- Olive oil, coconut oil, and avocado oil
- Squash and sweet potatoes
- Onions, parsnips, and carrots
- Basil, garlic, rosemary, sage
- Apples, bananas, berries, mangos, peaches
This is only a very short list of the many foods that are included in the AIP. I encourage you to research the AIP diet in greater detail and get creative in devising your recipes. Keep your eyes on the prize. The purpose of the AIP is to completely eliminate inflammation from your body in order so that your gut can heal.
When you start to feel the wonderful difference of the AIP diet, you’ll understand the value of focusing on foods that are meant to nourish your body instead of triggering inflammation and disease.
Check out Unbound Wellness for printable sheets that list foods to include in your AIP diet, as well as foods to avoid. I love these sheets, and they are especially helpful to new API eaters.
More Healthy Gut Advice
A healthy gut is the foundation of a healthy body. When your microbiome is stable and your gut is working well, your life can be truly transformed. On the autoimmune protocol diet, you should notice a significant lessening of your Hashimoto’s symptoms.
However, the right diet is only the start of repairing your gut. Some women suffering from Hashimoto’s may also be struggling with infectious bacteria, parasites, worms, and amoebas in their intestines.
If you have been suffering from digestive or elimination issues (or lack thereof!) for over six months, I strongly recommend that you get tested for parasites, worms, and other potential gut issues. At the very least, by eliminating possibilities, we can get closer to the truth.
The best way to test is by submitting a stool sample. It’s a little awkward, to be sure, but you’re not going to let a little embarrassment stop you from reaching your optimal health, right? Also, if you decide to request a fecal test kit from my office, you’ll be able to collect your sample in the comfort and privacy of your home.
If you are ready to finally shore up your leaky gut, start by implementing the autoimmune protocol diet immediately. I would also strongly suggest that you schedule a Clarity Call with me. That will allow me to better understand your unique symptoms, challenges, and lifestyle. I may be able to point you to next steps including supplements to improve your results and a fecal test if I believe that is the right option for you.
Schedule a half-hour Clarity Call today!