Leaky Gut Syndrome
Over years, we have discovered a range of symptoms and conditions that all have their genesis in gut health. While there is disagreement on whether leaky gut syndrome is a collection of related symptoms or a distinct malady, there is also strong evidence that treating leaky gut can have significant health benefits. By finding the cause of your symptoms and the right course of treatment, you can find that many persistent symptoms cease and that you enjoy less pain, higher levels of energy and better general health.
WHAT IS LEAKY GUT SYNDROME
Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the intestinal walls become overly porous and permeable. The intestines are lined with cells that act as a protective barrier. These cells absorb food particles, microorganisms and ingested toxins to protect the body. It is believed, with leaky gut syndrome, that the layer of cells lining the intestinal walls become inflamed and irritated and no longer work the way they should.
IS LEAKY GUT A REAL THING?
At this time, leaky gut is poorly understood. Mainstream medicine does not yet recognize it as a real condition. However, there is a growing body of research that supports the prevalence of leaky gut and demonstrate that it is associated with myriad health problems. We assess your medical history in a way that helps us not only treat symptoms but find the root causes of your condition.
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SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
In some cases, the signs of leaky gut are obvious and easy to trace. For instance, it is very common for someone who suffers from IBS to also have symptoms that clearly point to hyperpermeability. However, you may also experience other symptoms that you may not connect as intuitively. Some of those symptoms include:
When the are allowing leakage of toxins and microbes, your immune system can go into overdrive. This means an overabundance of antibodies that can make your body more sensitive to previously well-tolerated foods. Common sensitivities include dairy and gluten.
Bloating, Gas and Cramps
People who are suffering from leaky gut do not digest food fully and properly. The result can be uncomfortable bloating, cramps and gas.
There is a strong connection between poor gut health and the chronic hypothyroid condition known as Hashimoto's disease. This disease occurs when the immune system attacks the thyroid gland, causing it to produce too little thyroid hormone. Weight gain, fatigue, depression and brain fog are all common symptoms.
People who are suffering from leaky gut may also experience skin issues that include psoriasis and acne. While the connection between gut health and skin health was first identified around 70 years ago, scientists are still working to identify the exact causal link.
Anxiety and Depression
When our bodies are experiencing gut hyperpermeability, they release inflammatory chemicals that can have negative effects on our mood. Researchers recently published a paper that describes the cycle in which depression both leads to and is caused by increased inflammation in the gut.
There is no single cause of leaky gut. Rather, it can occur as a result of a number of health and wellness issues. In some cases, the cause is an underlying gastrointestinal issue such as Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. Controlling flare-ups of these chronic conditions can often control the incidence of leaky gut syndrome as well.
Many researchers have come to believe that a poor diet high in processed foods can contribute to leaky gut syndrome. These foods can harm your natural gut flora, reducing numbers of healthy bacteria and allowing less healthy yeast and bacteria to grow in its place.
In other cases, toxin exposure is responsible for leaky gut. Overindulgence in alcohol can irritate the intestinal lining. There is also a link between cigarette smoking and leaky gut syndrome.
DISEASE LINKED TO LEAKY GUT
Leaky gut is most frequently observed in people who have gastrointestinal conditions that include Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome. Research has also found a link between chronic hyperpermeability and conditions that include:
- autoimmune disorders. People who suffer from one autoimmune illness have an increased likelihood of developing another one.
- respiratory infections.
- allergies, including food allergies.
- esophageal and colorectal cancers.
- Parkinson's disease.
- obesity-related metabolic conditions such as type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease and heart disease.
- chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis.
- chronic fatigue syndrome.
At this point in time, few causal links have been found. However, these illnesses tend to cluster. As scientists continue to learn more about these disorders, they can also find how these are linked and how to eradicate the root causes. In the meantime, many practitioners have found that treating the gut can help patients find relief from a range of seemingly unconnected health issues.
TESTING AND DIAGNOSING
When we suspect that a patient is suffering from leaky gut, the first step is to eliminate other possible disorders. We will work with your other medical providers to see if there are signs of maladies that include IBS and Crohn's, for instance.
The most common tests for leaky gut include the Lactulose/Mannitol Test and the Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen. These can show your immune response to leaky gut and can give us more information about the severity of your condition and any related health issues.
Blood tests can help detect increased antibodies that are associated with autoimmune issues. We will also look at metabolic figures, such as those associated with your thyroid function.
Since leaky gut is often closely related to other chronic health issues, it is important to get a full picture of your health in order to create an effective treatment plan.
REPARING A LEAKY GUT
One of the most important steps is identifying the foods that can trigger leaky gut and eliminate these from your diet. We'll work with you to identify which foods you are eating that are causing inflammatory reactions and to replace these with healthier options.
Supplements such as glutamine supplements can help strengthen and repair the lining of the gut. Using these in conjunction with an anti-inflammatory diet provides many people with relief. Lately, therapy using “redox” molecules appears promising.
At our practice, we are passionate about offering treatment that treats the patient as a whole. We will listen to you when you describe your symptoms and work to create a treatment plan that locates and deals with the root cause. The result is more full and complete healing, higher levels of energy and an increased feelings of well-being. Do you have health issues that you feel have not been properly addressed in other medical settings? We can help. Call or click below today to schedule a consultation with Florida Health and Wellness Institute.