Leaky Gut & COVID-19 SeverityOct 06, 2021
I need to share something ground-breaking with you. I know many of our clients (most being mums, who want the best for their families) are always asking best ways to protect themselves during this pandemic.
The big news is: chronic diseases (i.e. diabetes, heart disease, cancer, etc) are NOT the only conditions putting people at 'high risk' for COVID-19.
New research has come out, linking leaky gut & dysbiosis with COVID-19 severity.
In my functional medicine world, leaky gut & dysbiosis isn't anything new. But there are still many gastroenterologists and medical doctors out there, who continue to be skeptical when it comes to leaky gut and dysbiosis causing big health issues. Now, I'm excited to see, that we have scientific evidence in a very well-known medical journal, American Society of Microbiology (1), supporting the hypothesis that leaky gut can lead to pretty serious health issues, including multi-organ complications as a result of COVID-19 infection.
“Leaky Gut” Could Put You At High-Risk of COVID-19
The research paper, titled "Do Altered Gut Microbiota and an Associated Leaky Gut Affect COVID-19 Severity?", argues that leaky gut may be one of the biggest mechanisms for severe covid due to the infiltration into circulation (i.e. virus leaking through gut lining to the bloodstream) and the increased binding to ACE2 which creates the uncontrollable inflammatory response that we call the cytokine storm.
According to the research, the virus starts in the lungs, then progresses to the GI tract, where it should be eliminated via the colon. If the infected person has a "leaky gut", however, the virus can "leak through" the gut wall and pose a considerable threat to other organs like the brain, heart, kidneys, and liver. The article also suggests that leaky gut could be the reason why non "high-risk" people (i.e. people WITHOUT diagnosed 'high-risk' diseases) are falling very ill with COVID-19.
The interesting thing is that leaky gut & dysbiosis are often underlying imbalances in people with chronic diseases. And there are many people (MANY...I know, based on analysing 1000's of functional medicine lab tests!) with leaky gut and significant microbiome imbalances, that are still chronically ill, yet not (yet?) diagnosed with a chronic disease, by medical standards.
Treat The Root Cause
The point of my article today is that you can PREVENT (and the research even suggests treat) COVID-19 severity by addressing gut health. YES! By treating the ROOT CAUSE!
I haven't personally been infected by COVID-19, and I know the common flu is different from covid, but I can definitely testify of the immune system improving by healing the gut.
After my babies were born, I struggled big-time with low immunity. I was catching colds and flu and infections literally every 2-4 weeks. I'd get over one infection, and come down with another a few days later. But after I did deep-healing work of my gut (getting rid of pathogens, restoring beneficial bacteria, strengthening up the gut lining, as well as addressing root causes of poor gut health like stress, adrenal fatigue, diet, etc), my immune system has never been better! I can literally suck my sick kids’ snot, and not get sick. (I don't do that on purpose by the way...haha...but you know with kids, they’re always sticking their snotty noses and hands, on your face!).
Take An Active Role in Your Own Prevention
Would you rather live in fear? Wait to get infected. Rely on the 'jab'. Or even be indifferent. Or would you rather take control and action over the pandemic situation, and actively work on your own health and immune system, and that of your family's?
I was chatting to one of our health-nut clients in NSW the other day (this woman is my idol!), and she said rather than getting stressed and worked up about what may or may not happen around covid, she is focusing her energy on preparing her body for whatever is to come (whether that be the vaccine, getting COVID-19, or living unvaccinated). I loved her words of wisdom!
What You Can Do NOW To Work on Your Immune System
Natural healing isn't just something that is "cute & trendy". It can literally make the difference between life & death.
If you really want to protect yourself against the virus (or any other microbial infection), start working on your gut. In my clinic, I'm a big fan of helping our people restore their microbiome; a healthy microbiome will naturally heal up the leaky gut and keep the gut lining strong. You can start very simply by increasing fibre in your food, or taking a prebiotic, as this feeds up your good bugs. Adding in probiotics with butyrate producers (or supplementing with butyric acid) can also be beneficial, as butyrate (the metabolic by-product that certain good bacteria produce) is extremely anti-inflammatory and healing to the gut lining. These two treatments are also mentioned in the research article (1), as well as fecal microbiota transplantation for severely infected individuals.
Now many people are confused about where to even start. You might even be thinking: is leaky gut something I have? or something I should be worried about? My answer to that is to get tested! Stop guessing, and let's actually discover where your imbalances are, that could be affecting your immune system and putting you at risk of infections.
If you'd like to deep-dive into this topic, as well as discover other ways that you can support yourself through COVID-19, I'd love to invite you to join our NEW Ending Burnout: Pandemic Edition live web class - https://www.chrisandfilly.fm/power-parent-webclass-registration
Filipa Bellette is Co-Founder of Chris & Filly Functional Medicine. She is an accredited Clinical Nutritionist & Functional Medicine Practitioner. She is also a Ph.D. thought-leader, award-winning writer, and regularly published as a guest blogger & in the media. Together with her husband Chris Bellette, Filipa has worked with over 2,000+ busy, burnout clients in the last 10+ years, and specialises in producing healthy, balanced, and happy Mums & Dads...or as she calls it, a Power Parent! Filipa’s own passion for producing high-performance Power Parents came from her own personal experience of Mummy Burnout, after having babies and juggling the demands of business, family, and her failing health.
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