Do You Have Leaky Brain?

What exactly is leaky brain? If you have or currently experience brain fog or difficulty concentrating, you may very well have leaky brain.

Signs and Symptoms of Leaky Brain
  • ADD/ADHD/Autism spectrum disorders
  • Brain fog/difficulty concentrating
  • Chronic fatigue: does not improve with rest/sleep
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Cognitive impairment
    • Memory loss
    • Dementia
    • Alzheimer's
  • Stress
  • Mood Disorders
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Schizophrenia
  • Insomnia
  • Peripherial neuropathy or Muscular Sclerosis
What is "Leaky Brain"?
Our brain is protected by a thin, porous membrane called the Blood Brain Barrier or BBB.  It is this membrane that allows beneficial and necessary substances, such as oxygen, hormones, and nutrients, into the brain.  At the same time, however, it blocks and prevents toxic substances (heavy metals, pesticides, pcbs, damaging proteins) from entering and causing damage.  

The BBB is very similar to the lining of the stomach and small intestine.  When this gut lining becomes compromised it can no longer prevent harmful substances from entering the gut OR leaving the gut and entering the blood stream to other parts of the body.... including the brain.

Think of these linings as very tightly-woven fabric similar to the kind active-wear is made from.  Some of this fabric allows perspiration to escape so the body can "breathe".  At the same time, however, the fabric may be moisture-resistant.... not easily penetrated by water.  What happens, however, if the fabric becomes worn and develops holes or the strands of thread become weak and loose?  It is now "compromised" and can no longer offer the same level of protection.  

The same is true with the BBB.  When the tight junctions of the "fabric" of the membrane have been compromised, then the level of protection is no longer available.

What Causes Leaky Brain?
There are 5 main causes of leaky brain.  However, ultimately, inflammation is at the root of all of them. This translate to "inflamed brain".
  • Gut Dysbiosis (Infections)
  • Leaky Gut
  • Autoimmune Disease (including allergies/food antigens)
  • Mental Health Conditions
  • Stress
What Can You Do?
  • Eliminate inflammatory foods
  • Stress: finds ways to manage it
  • Environmental Toxins: reduce toxic air, water and food exposures
  • Food: eat a diverse spectrum of colors if possible
  • Sleep: prioritize
  • Supplements that help reduce inflammation and support your membrane barriers
    • Omega-3
    • Fatty Acids
    • Glutamine
    • Vitamin D
    • Vitamin A
    • Probiotics
  • Tests: work with your Integrative Health Practioner for screening:
    • GABA-EEG
    • Spectrophotometry and Optical Imaging
    • MMP9 Leel Evaluation
    • Genetic Testing
    • Occludin and Zonulin
Treating leaky brain must start with healing leaky gut.  This means all factors involved in causing both leaky brain and leaky gut must be removed and, then, replaced with positive dietary and lifestyle changes that promote healing and brain health support. It can be difficult to take that first step.  However, the important thing is to just start some place. If getting started seems overwhelming, this Gut-Healing Class may be a good place to start as it breaks down each cause of leaky gut in a simple to understand format.

Ref: Lindsey Elmore

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