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Does Alcohol Cause Leaky Gut?

The quick answer is YES, but let's dive deeper into WHY...

For the last 2 years I've tested for my food inflammatory triggers AND my gut health. What did I find? Persistent Candida and LPS presence in my blood. WHat does this mean? Well, it means my gut is leaky!

You've probably heard the term leaky gut, but don't really know what that means. You see, our gut lining is only the thickness of a single piece of human hair, and so it is very susceptible to damage!

Outside of the gut lining we have a mucus layer that is ideally tightly knit together so that it protects the very fragile gut barrier. However, many things loosen the tight junctions in the protective layer and erode it too.

Those things are varied but can include toxins (seed oils, alcohol, additives, etc.), inflammation, stress, sugar, illness, injury and more!

I was able to remove almost ALL of the causes of my leaky gut except for stress (prayer, meditation and journaling have helped immensely but stress never fully goes away) and the occasional glass of wine. I LOVE wine with gourmet meals - whether i've cooked the meal or I'm out at a restaurant. But now I'm contemplating removing alcohol all together.

I wanted to learn how alcohol affects your gut beyond the dreaded "beer belly", and found insights from UNC Health gastroenterologist Tanvir Haque, MD.

He found that moderate consumption is generally safe, but excessive drinking poses risks to your gut health and overall well-being. For example:

  1. Acid Reflux: Alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter, causing acid reflux and potentially leading to serious conditions like Barrett’s esophagus.

  2. Diarrhea: Excessive alcohol disrupts gut bacteria balance, leading to inflammation and a "leaky gut" syndrome.

  3. Gastritis: Alcohol inflames the stomach lining, potentially leading to ulcers or stomach cancer.

  4. Bloating: Alcohol disrupts digestion and gut bacteria balance, leading to uncomfortable bloating.

  5. Liver Damage: Heavy alcohol use can cause fatty liver disease, liver inflammation, and liver failure.

  6. Pancreas Damage: Alcohol can lead to pancreatitis, a painful inflammation that can be life-threatening.

CLICK HERE for the article so you can discover the full impact of alcohol on your gut health and take steps toward a healthier lifestyle today.

AND if you want to understand your individual gut health - IS MY GUT A LEAKY MESS? - CLICK HERE to order your at home Gut Barrier Test!

Cheers to drinking less, and having a healthy, happy gut! Love & yum,

Lindsay O'Neill

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