Leaky gut is the basis of so many of our ills, but doctors seem to be oblivious to the obvious. If a person has a food allergy, then eating that food will irritate the lining of the gut, causing it to lose integrity. We call it “leaky gut”, the doctors call it “intestinal hyperpermeability.”
Leaky gut is what brings us full circle and links so many ailments that at first blush seem very unrelated.
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
- Crohn’s Disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Juvenile Diabetes
All of these are considered auto-immune diseases and each of them is associated with a permeable gut. The simple concept is that the lining of the digestive system is interrupted, allowing larger molecules to escape the intestines. Which molecules escape and are targeted by the awakened immune system, dictate which auto-immune disease one ultimately displays.
The term Leaky Gut Syndrome is used to describe ‘gaps’ that appear in the lining of the intestines which allows partly digested molecules of foods, bacteria and toxins to pass through into the bloodstream.
Once the larger molecules of foods, toxins or bacteria pass into your blood, it will eventually pass through your liver. Normally the liver filters the blood for toxins and waste and is able to excrete them along with bile that is released into your colon. But it cannot possible cope with the amount of toxic substances that may now be passing through your bloodstream if you are eating a typical Western diet and inevitably most of it will be absorbed into tissue causing inflammation.
Eventually your immune system will pick up on these ‘foreign bodies’ and will start to produce antibodies to try and fight them off, creating an autoimmune response. Food intolerances develop as part of this response. Whatever foods you eat regularly, with leaky gut they have the potential to set off an intolerance.
Most common culprit is gluten found in massive amounts in today’s grain based foods.
There are at least 9 signs that you have leaky gut. Any one can be an indication, while more than one becomes pretty obvious:
- Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
- Seasonal allergies or asthma.
- Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS.
- Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease.
- Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
- Mood and mind issues such as depression, anxiety, “foggy brain”, ADD or ADHD.
- Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema.
- Diagnosis of candida overgrowth.
- Food allergies or food intolerances.
What causes Leaky Gut?
The consensus of opinion is that the main factors are :
- Poor diet full of GMO, pesticide laden and processed food/beverages and toxins – especially alcohol, chemicals and sugars.
- Chronic stress which can affect our adrenal system and also depletes our immune system. The ripple effect is that our immune system is too weak to deal with all the inflammation, infection and parasites such as Candida that may also be growing out of control at this point.
- Low stomach acid allowing undigested foods to pass through and irritate the gut lining further.
- Over the counter and prescribed medications – all contain toxins adding to the inflammation. But especially NSAID painkillers and steroids.
- Yeast overgrowth, usually Candida albicans. Over a long period it can progress to its fungal state and start to put down ‘roots’ into the gut wall which further opens up the permeability.