What is Leaky Gut? And why you probably have it
Leaky gut is a condition that I find in practically every patient that walks in my office. Even though it is often over looked in conventional medicine this condition can be one of the main underlying causes of disease and disorder in the body.
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut syndrome (also referred to as increased intestinal permeability) is the result of a damaged intestinal lining. When your intestines becomes permeable it means that there are tiny ruptures in the lining large enough for food molecules, bacteria, and toxins to “leak” out and pass through into your blood stream. The particles that leak out are viewed as foreign invaders to your immune system and it goes into full on attack mode! This triggers an autoimmune inflammatory response where your body is literally attacking itself.
Signs and Symptoms of Leaky Gut
Individuals experience the side effects of leaky gut in different ways. For many there is gastrointestinal upset, bloating, IBS like symptoms, food allergies, cramping, and inflammatory bowel disease. Another common reaction is a worsening of allergies, asthma, congestion, sinus problems, and headaches. Others can actually see their symptoms as they will break out into hives, develop a skin rash, or acne. It can even affect your mind causing depression, ADHD, and anxiety. If leaky gut goes untreated for a longer period of time more serious conditions can occur. Autoimmune diseases such as MS, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, and psoriasis can all be the result of leaky gut. While there may be other contributing factors to the development of these conditions, leaky gut is a common component in all of them.
Causes of Leaky Gut
The reason why so many people have leaky gut today is that there are so many causes! The pesticides and chemicals that cover our food irritate the gut lining. GMO’s and processed food are foreign to our body and are difficult to digest and break down. Frequent antibiotic and steroid use has destroyed the good bacteria in the gut that promotes the integrity of the gut lining. An overgrowth of Candida (which feeds on sugar) creates porous openings in the lining of the intestines. Environmental toxins such as mercury and BPA’s from plastic containers wreck havoc on our digestive system. And of course stress (who doesn’t have that) promotes a state of chronic inflammation.
Now you understand why so many people have leaky gut. In today’s society it is hard to avoid!
Healing Leaky Gut
In order to heal leaky gut you have to first eliminate all the irritants that are causing it. This is easier said then done. In our practice we walk people through a cleansing process to eliminate food toxins, candida, parasites, and heavy metals. This is done in a very particular and timely manner as you don’t want to detox the body too fast. At the same time we focus on building up and repairing the lining of the gut with prebiotics (different than probiotics) and supplements such as Glutamine. This is definitely a process, but totally worth it. When you heal the gut you have the potential to heal anything in the body, even autoimmune disease.
One of the best ways to get started on healing this condition is to eliminate irritants from your diet such as gluten, dairy, excess sugar, and soy. Steer clear from processed foods, pesticides, and GMO’s. If you think you have leaky gut and want to learn more I encourage you to make an appointment for a health evaluation at our center. This can be done in person or over Skype if you are not local to the Sarasota area. We can also run a comprehensive stool panel that will show you if you have leaky gut, and all the potential factors that are causing it.
I’m sharing this information with you because knowledge is power, and this is not something that you are going to learn at your next yearly check up. You have the potential to heal anything in the body. Anything! But you need the education, the tools, and the guidance to do so. That is my mission and passion. To empower you with the knowledge to make your own health care choices.