You’ve heard of leaky gut, but have you heard of leaky brain? If you have symptoms of leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, you most likely also have leaky brain, or “blood-brain barrier permeability.” How do you know? You can perform a simple test with store-bought supplements to find out.
The blood-brain barrier is a thin barrier that lines the brain. Its role is to keep out viruses, bacteria, chemicals, heavy metals, and other pathogens, but to allow nano-sized particles in and out as necessary.
Unfortunately, the blood-brain barrier can become leaky just as the gut can. A leaky brain allows harmful pathogens to enter, where they trigger inflammation. This chronic inflammation damages and destroys brain tissue, accelerating brain degeneration.
Symptoms of leaky brain and leaky gut
A leaky brain has been linked to depression, ADD/ADHD, chronic pain, autism, mental illnesses, seizures, and facial palsies.
One of the more common symptoms of leaky brain is brain fog, especially if you feel it after eating.
The leaky brain challenge test
How do you know if your blood-brain barrier is leaky? You can perform a simple test with a store-bought supplement.
Simply take 1,000 mg of straight GABA (not GABA precursors such as theanine). For the best results, be sure to take this test during the day and not at bedtime.
GABA is a calming neurotransmitter. Although you can buy GABA supplements, the truth is the GABA molecule is too large to pass through a healthy blood-brain barrier.
If you feel drowsy or sleepy several hours after taking 1,000 mg of GABA, this means your blood-brain barrier is leaky enough to let GABA through.
Instead of feeling relaxed, some people find GABA makes them feel anxious. This is because the brain’s GABA system is weak and taking GABA over stimulated it. This also indicates a leaky brain barrier.
If taking GABA caused no change in how you feel, that is a good sign your blood-brain barrier is intact.
What causes leaky brain
Studies show a variety of factors cause leaky brain:
- Unstable blood sugar; high blood sugar
- Chronic stress
- Chronic inflammation
- Poor gut health (leaky gut)
- Excess alcohol consumption
Repairing leaky brain and leaky gut:
Fortunately, there is plenty you can do to repair leaky brain, reduce or halt brain inflammation, and slow brain degeneration
- Take care of gut health
- Go gluten-free
- Remove other food intolerances (dairy, etc.)
- Manage low or high blood sugar imbalances
- Ensure adequate vitamin D level
- Manage inflammation and autoimmunity
Ask my office for more ideas on how you can repair leaky brain and leaky gut and manage symptoms of brain fog, depression, memory loss, and other signs of poor brain function.