Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that has been known for some time, but only recently has it started to gain attention in the news. Most doctors are still unaware of the condition, which may actually be at the root of many common health problems and serious diseases.
The gut in question actually refers to your small intestinal tract, which is where the nutrients and micronutrients that you ingest through food are absorbed into your bloodstream through tiny holes in the intestine. These semipermeable holes allow some things out, but they prevent others from entering your body, such as toxins and large bits of undigested food. If you have leaky gut syndrome, the pores in your intestine become stretched out enough to allow undesirable elements to enter the bloodstream. Your body recognizes these elements as foreign invaders and reacts against them, often as an allergy or immune reaction.
There are various causes of leaky gut, including food intolerances and sensitivities. Leaky gut syndrome is often associated with gluten sensitivity, as well as lactose, sugar and alcohol intolerance. Infections and toxins, along with parasites and bacterial overgrowth, can also cause leaky gut syndrome. Toxins that cause leaky gut include over-the-counter medications, such as painkillers, prescription drugs and environmental toxins like pesticides, chemicals and BPA.
Since leaky gut does not allow your food and essential nutrients to digest and absorb normally, you can experience uncomfortable symptoms. Common symptoms of leaky gut syndrome range from discomfort and bloating to gas, constipation and diarrhea. Other symptoms may also appear as the toxins escape throughout your body, but are often misdiagnosed as an allergy as your immune system kicks in. Side effects of leaky gut syndrome include feeling tired, allergies, food allergies, joint pain, arthritis, inflammation, rashes, inability to absorb nutrients and weakened immune system.
If leaky gut syndrome is left untreated, it can lead to serious digestive issues as the pores in your intestine widen causing irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or colitis. Some people may have leaky gut without symptoms, or symptoms may become worse after eating meals that contain trigger foods, such as gluten or lactose. Children may also be affected by leaky gut syndrome, and symptoms can include behavioral issues, as well as headaches, digestive issues, tiredness and ADHD. Some of these issues can also occur on their own unrelated to leaky gut syndrome.
You can heal leaky gut by removing the toxic food causing the leaky gut and replacing it with healing foods and good bacteria, as well as repairing the damage to the intestine with healing supplements, such as L-glutamine, an amino acid.