What is “Leaky Gut” Syndrome?February 26, 2020
“Leaky gut,” (also known to some doctors as increased intestinal permeability), occurs when damage to the cells lining your gut allow bacteria and bad proteins – toxins – to break through and enter your bloodstream.
Stomach and intestinal disorders have been written about for – at this point – literally thousands of years. Despite this, the term Leaky Gut or intestinal permeability is rather new and so there is not much research focused on these terms. In addition, awareness among healthcare providers (nurses and doctors particularly) is still rather low.
There is evidence that the phenomenon known as Leaky Gut has a genetic component, but it is yet unclear how much of a role someone’s genes play. There is also ample evidence that modern diets have played a significant role in the decline of the overall population health. More processed foods, chemicals, additives, and modified food sources are present in our diets… and all mixed together. Untangling the root cause of some GI symptoms can seem near impossible! What we do know is that the usual diet of high sugars/carbohydrates, high fat, and low fiber causes heightened levels of various sorts of inflammation and immune disorders. Each individual seems uniquely susceptible, so no two people have the same experience… even those from the same family with same/similar diets!
Does it cause any other problems?
This increase in inflammation and permeability (Leaky Gut) we know plays a role in Celiac Disease (Celiac Sprue/Gluten Sensitivity), Crohn’s Disease, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). In addition to these primarily GI diseases, there is some evidence that there are more systemic issued connected to Leaky Gut from various autoimmune disorders (like Systemic Lupus, Diabetes Type I, and even Multiple Sclerosis) to chronic fatigue and pain syndromes (fibromyalgia) to skin rashes, acne, and obesity and some claim mental illness! While there is no absolute link published in the literature, the growing understanding of these connections will give us better insight in the near future.
So what do I do?
It is already known amongst medical professionals and alternative medicine practitioners that changes to a person’s diet can alter their disease state. While the mechanisms may not be completely worked out, we can use this simple principle to get a head start. Leaky Gut may seem like a hard thing to wrap your mind around, but any food(s) that causes your body to increase inflammation or damages the gut lining cells (causing them to “leak”) should be either removed from your diet or minimized.
There is now a growing population of people that have found significant help in not only changing their diet, but fighting back against inflammatory damage and Leaky Gut by supplementing their diet very specifically with anti-oxidants (which help reduce inflammation), lectin-binding proteins (which stop gut lining damage), and a variety of all-natural ingredients that help not only to restore the natural function of your gut lining cells, but also help them repair when damage does occur.
The best results come from those who have been able to:
1. Identify and remove any offending foods/beverages
2. Improve the health of the cells lining their gut
3. Boost the good bacteria in their gut (probiotics or microbiome)
4. Maintain a lifestyle that limits the exposure of the harmful foods or bacteria.
Eating a nutritious diet with low amounts of processed foods is a great start – and exercise never hurts – but using what you’ve learned from this article, I hope that you’ll be able to start shifting the tide of the battle back in your favor! Reduce inflammation and boost good bacteria! You’ll be amazed at the difference it makes!