There are two types of fat in our bodies. Subcutaneous fat, (the fat you see on the back of your arms, your belly and your legs) and visceral fat which can’t be seen as it is in your abdominal cavity surrounding your organs.
Overabundance of visceral fat, in conjunction with high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, a high A1c, blood glucose levels that are too high (or are erratic) and high levels of cholesterol make up what we call “metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome can be deadly, as it greatly increases your risk of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. Diet and exercise will help keep visceral fat levels to a minimum, however having a healthy digestive tract may help also.
New research from Sweden has discovered a link between leaky gut (intestinal permeability) and visceral fat. Leaky gut is a condition that occurs because of spaces in the membrane lining your intestinal wall. These tiny spaces allow materials that should never leave your digestive tract to escape into your bloodstream. Candida yeast overgrowth, food sensitivities, undigested food particles or waste products will inflame and irritate your intestinal lining, eventually compromising its integrity and allowing a flow of particles to “leak out” into your bloodstream. The leaking particles, in turn, prompt an inflammatory reaction from your body that can cause a wide variety of symptoms.
Leaky gut syndrome is often associated with inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, or celiac disease, but even healthy people can have varying degrees of intestinal permeability. In fact, Swedish study involved healthy women, not those with a health condition that would normally signal a problem with leaky gut. This becomes important because it may mean that you could have a leaky gut causing you to carry higher levels of visceral fat, which may increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease and other chronic diseases.
Anything that can upset the balance of bacteria in your digestive tract can encourage damage to your intestinal lining resulting in leaky gut. Too much sugar, antibiotics, food sensitivities to name a few are things that can result in your gut flora being out of balance Simply altering your diet to avoid processed foods and focusing on whole (ideally locally grown organic) foods will make a big dent! That change alone will dramatically reduce the amount of sugar and fructose you consume, as well as automatically limit your exposure to antibiotics and agricultural chemical.
The following symptoms are all signs that unhealthy bacteria are dominating your gastrointestinal tract and may be associated with leaky gut: gas/bloating, nausea, constipation or diarrhea, fatigue, sugar cravings.
Testing can be done to ascertain if you have yeast overgrowth, a food sensitivity or a bacterial imbalance that may be predisposing you to metabolic syndrome and leaky gut. Prebiotics and probiotics as foods or supplements may be incorporated as part of treatment.
One of the simplest and most effective steps you can take for your health and weight is to limit your intake of sugar and grains, as they serve as food sources for pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungi, which crowd our your good bacteria and upset the delicate balance in your gut.
Exercise not only lowers inflammation in your body, it is also a great way to combat visceral fat.
So while the dietary approaches mentioned above will be key for preventing and recovering from leaky gut, a comprehensively diagnostic work up that identifies gut health issues and a treatment plan that identified foods to avoid and exercise programs will be the best way for keeping away dangerous visceral fat, minimizing the risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, and diabetes.
Dr Crosby and the Doctors at Crosby Chiropractic Centre can do these evaluations for any patient, (636) 928-5588