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Sure Signs Your Colon Isn't As Strong as it Should Be

These are the signs of leaky gut.
FACT CHECKED BY Emilia Paluszek

You may have heard that your gut–including the colon and intestines–is actually a crucial part of the immune system, but what does that mean, exactly? When this area weakens and breaks down, it can cause "leaky gut syndrome," a range of uncomfortable symptoms and potentially serious health issues. These are the signs that you have leaky gut, according to physicians. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

What Is Leaky Gut?

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When the gut becomes "leaky," the gut lining itself breaks down, creating gaps or holes. When this happens, undigested food particles, potentially harmful microorganisms, and toxins—which would normally be eliminated through the stool—can enter the bloodstream, causing a range of symptoms.

2

Most Common Signs Your Colon Isn't As Strong As It Should Be

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Symptoms of leaky gut commonly include:

  • Irregular stools, including diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Bloating or indigestion
  • Food sensitivities
  • Body aches 
  • Mood changes
  • Fatigue
3

Health Risks of Leaky Gut Syndrome

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If a leaky gut isn't treated, in some cases it may become severe. The body's damaged gut lining may become less able to absorb nutrients from food, leading to malnutrition. Experts say that can cause brain fog, fatigue, skin and eye problems, weaker bones, and mood changes. Leaky gut can cause body-wide inflammation and has been linked to autoimmune conditions, such as thyroid disease.

4

How to Keep Your Colon Strong

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Experts say the best ways to avoid leaky gut and keep your colon strong include eating a diet that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, and fiber, while avoiding foods high in sugar, highly processed foods, chronic use of anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen, and excessive use of alcohol or antibiotics. 

The Low FODMAP diet is an exampole of a diet that's good for the gut, experts say. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, spinach, kale, green tea, and even dark chocolate may help prevent or decrease gut imbalances. Probiotics may also be helpful in rebuilding a healthy gut microbiome.

And to protect your life and the lives of others, don't visit any of these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.

Michael Martin
Michael Martin is a New York City-based writer and editor whose health and lifestyle content has also been published on Beachbody and Openfit. A contributing writer for Eat This, Not That!, he has also been published in New York, Architectural Digest, Interview, and many others. Read more about Michael