Norman Regional Health System

Gut Health is an essential key in unlocking optimal wellness and athletic performance. The gut, or GI (gastrointestinal) system, is connected to and impacts all other body systems. The importance of a healthy and balanced microbiome, adequate digestive enzymes and a healthy lining of the intestines are crucial to an athlete’s performance. Intestinal permeability, also known as a ‘leaky gut,’ is a condition where the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, causing undigested food particles, toxic waste products, and bacteria to ‘leak’ through the intestines into the blood stream. Once in the blood stream these particles can trigger an inflammatory response anywhere in the body. With a damaged or leaky gut, your intestines are unable to produce the enzymes needed for proper digestion and absorption of vital nutrients and calories needed to sustain an athlete’s training, recovery and performance. Specialty testing can be used to evaluate gut health and food sensitivities.

leaky gut syndrome image

Symptoms of poor gut health in athletes

  • Low energy
  • fatigue
  • bloating
  • gas
  • abdominal pain
  • constipation
  • diarrhea
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • cramping
  • joint pain
  • skin issues
  • feeling “off”
  • brain fog
  • menstrual changes