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Brain Fog, Leaky Gut and Lupus: Uncovering the Hidden Connection

Are you tired of feeling foggy and confused? 

Living with lupus can be a daily battle, and one of the most frustrating symptoms is BRAIN FOG. It's like having a cloudy mind that makes it hard to focus, remember things, and even think clearly. 

Can you relate?

black women stressed with brain fog and lupus
black women stressed with brain fog

Brain fog can be a frustrating symptom of lupus and autoimmune conditions, but did you know that a leaky gut could be the culprit? Yes, Warrior. 

In this blog, we'll explore the gut-brain connection and how healing your gut can help clear the fog.

Let’s get into it. 

What is a Leaky Gut?

A leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability or gut dysbiosis, occurs when the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, allowing toxins and undigested food particles to pass into the bloodstream. This can trigger an immune response, leading to chronic inflammation and brain fog.

leaky gut table
leaky gut

How a Leaky Gut Causes Brain Fog.

Gut-Brain Axis: The gut and brain are connected through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve is a part of the central nervous system (CNS). When the gut is unhappy, it impacts the CNS and the brain can feel it, leading to brain fog and other cognitive issues.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH) “...intestinal dysbiosis can negatively impact human health, leading to different diseases, ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to central nervous system (CNS) diseases, and where the “gut-brain axis” will play a major role.”

Further, “intestinal dysbiosis can negatively influence the physiology of the gut, causing an inappropriate transmission of stimuli along the gut-brain axis and consequently causing the breakdown of the intestinal permeability and lead to an inflammatory condition where the cytokines could get into the bloodstream and reach the brain. Stress can also affect the microbiota by modifying its composition, since it can influence the functions of the gut.

I know that's a gut full ...

With all of that said, the health of our gut, including how we manage stress, has a direct impact on our brain AND our mood. Period.

picture of brain and relationship with gut
our brain is connected to our gut

Lupus and Leaky Gut:

Individuals with lupus are more likely to experience gut problems, including leaky gut, due to chronic inflammation. This can worsen brain fog symptoms and overall quality of life.

In another article published by NIH, “Most notably, leaky gut promotes the production of anti-dsDNA autoantibodies and immune complex deposition, ultimately leading to lupus exacerbation.” 

If you are reading this article with lupus and /or an autoimmune condition, in a flare, most likely, you have gut issues. Trust me, I get it!

Since focusing on my gut health, my DsDNA Antibody markers have significantly decreased, and so has inflammation, pain, fatigue and brain fog! It's time to break the vicious cycle.

lupus high disease activity and lupus gut dysbiosis are connected
our gut can affect disease activity

Healing Your Gut, Clearing the Fog:

What we eat truly matters. We are what we eat. If we focus on eating whole foods that are nutrient dense, we become stronger and more whole with our mental, physical and emotional capacities.

Eat a gut-friendly diet rich in whole foods (eat the rainbow, filled with fiber), probiotics (go for natural fermented foods), and omega-3 fatty acids (like wild caught fish, walnuts, chia seeds and flax seeds).

Consider L-glutamine and turmeric (with black pepper) to support gut healing and reduction of inflammation.

Note: Check out my Amazon storefront for my favorite gut-healing foods. I get a small commission with your purchase. Thank you in advance. 

Reduce Stress: Stress exacerbates leaky gut. It’s okay to say NO. Stress can be deeply rooted in trauma. Don’t be afraid to seek help and get therapy. Practice stress relieving techniques like breath-work, walking in nature, dancing, singing, and yoga. 

Let’s Get to the Gut of It. 

Don't let brain fog hold you back any longer. By addressing a leaky gut and promoting gut health, you can improve mental clarity and reduce lupus symptoms. 

I know. I wish someone would have told me this a long time sooner! But here we are.

The more you know, the more you glow.

Genny Mack walking and smiling as a lupus warrior and holistic nutritionist
Genny Mack

Disclaimer: Always consult with a professional. This is not medical advice.  This article is solely based on my personal experience and my nerdiness, as a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, with a mission to educate and uplift the community.

Share your experiences with leaky gut and brain fog in the comments below! Do you suffer with brain fo? Did you find this article helpful?

Are you ready to take control of your gut health today?

In Love and Good Gut Health,

Genny Mack

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