Symptoms of a Leaky Gut
You would be surprised at how many health conditions stem from having a leaky gut. Hippocrates believed that “All disease begins in the gut”, and modern research is proving him right.
Leaky Gut Syndrome as it is most commonly known has been gaining more attention lately as it is being linked to a number of seemingly unrelated chronic diseases and health issues.
Some of the causes are poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalance, all of which seem to be more common nowadays.
Leaky Gut Syndrome is not a condition to ignore or take lightly.
What is a Leaky Gut?
Intestinal hyper permeability happens as a consequence of intestinal tight junction malfunction. What this means in simple English is that the gatekeeper (tight junctions) between your intestines and blood stream has left the gate open. So instead of the tight junctions preventing toxins, microbes, undigested food particles and other potentially harmful particles from entering the blood stream, these random particles have in fact been allowed free passage through a leaky gut whenever they like.
This gut lining permeability caused by the breakdown of the tight junctions, which results in ‘holes’ in your intestinal lining, sets off alarm bells and tells your immune system that foreign invaders have entered the bloodstream. Your immune system reacts aggressively and attacks the particles by eliciting an immune response. This causes inflammation, which is a problem because chronic inflammation is one of the leading causes of many chronic health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes.
Toxins in your bloodstream can also result in food intolerances, sugar cravings, weight gain, diarrhoea, constipation, hormonal imbalances and autoimmune disease.
Signs of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Approximately 70% of your immune system cells are found in your gut and chronic inflammation caused by a leaky gut is what can lead to inflammatory disease.
Determining if you have a leaky gut can be tricky, but if you have a few or more of these signs, it would be wise to investigate further.
- Food allergies and sensitivities, especially those that have recently developed and are usually gluten or dairy based.
- Seasonal allergies
- Joint pain
- Skin conditions related to inflammation such as acne, psoriasis or eczema
- Nutritional deficiencies caused by improper absorption of key enzymes which include vitamin B12 and magnesium
- Impaired metabolism
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
- Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD)
- Strong cravings for sugar or carbs
- Weakened immune system
- Autoimmune disease - sometimes eating gluten can activate zonulin, the physiological modulator of intercellular tight junctions, leading to increased intestinal permeability to macromolecules.
- Hormone imbalances such as an underactive thyroid – hypothyroidism
- Mood disorders such as depression
- Weight Gain
Keeping your Gut Healthier
Our modern diets are full of pro-inflammatory foods, that when frequently consumed, can damage our gut tissue cells (epithelial tissue) and promote Leaky Gut Syndrome.
For a healthier gut, here are some of the foods you should cut down on anyway, or avoid altogether if you are diagnosed with Leaky Gut Syndrome.
- Conventional dairy
- Wheat and gluten
- Highly processed vegetable oils
- Refined sugar
- Additives and preservatives found in processed foods.
To naturally reduce the inflammation in your gut, eat more of:
- Gluten-free grains
- Coconut Oil
- Nut or seed milk
- Probiotic supplements
Dr Alain Sanua is a qualified doctor with additional qualifications in Homeopathy and Acupuncture and is passionate about Integrative Medicine. Talk to him about your leaky gut symptoms and let him get you back on the road to a healthier, happy life.