Leaky Gut Syndrome – Pardon, How Can My Gut Be Leaky?
The official definition is as follows; an increase in the permeability of the intestinal mucosa to luminal macromolecules, antigens and toxins associated with inflammatory degenerative and or atrophic mucosal damage. A bit of a mouthful and a sentence that has you grabbing for the medical textbooks, but really does not tell you much.
Leaky gut syndrome is an old naturopathic term that describes in a sentence the fact that your gut lining is not in good shape, and that there are foods, toxins, bacteria, and yeasts leaking from your gut into your blood stream, which in turn is playing havoc with almost every body system that you have.
There are tests available that can test the permeability of your gut, I however do not think that I have ever ordered one for a client, as the symptom picture of leaky gut syndrome is actually quite a clear one, but the test is available if desired.
There are many ways that your gut becomes leaky, often stress is a major cause, this evolves from the fact that your gut lining requires a lot of glutamine to stay in great shape, your body also requires a lot of glutamine when you are stressed, and the stress response wins, leaving the gut severely lacking in glutamine, which in turn affects the integrity of the lining, causing it to become leaky.
It not only becomes leaky, but inflamed and as well the layer of mucous that makes up an additional protective layer can also become damaged, this can be quite unpleasant as the acids in your stomach then damage the lining even more as the mucosal layer is not doing its job, this is how stomach ulcers can occur.
Other things that can affect the lining and integrity of the gut wall include infections that can be bacterial or viral, or may originate from parasites, one solitary case of food poisoning can affect the lining of your gut. Alcohol and caffeine irritate your gut wall, especially in larger quantities, as can NSAIDS such as aspirins, ibuprofen, pain medications and antacids.
Antibiotic use causes an increase of intestinal yeast growth and other anaerobic bacteria, that affect both gut integrity and alter the balance of gut bacteria in a negative way. A diet high in refined carbohydrates is irritating to the gut, as are food additives, poor liver function, insufficient digestive enzymes and environmental contaminants.
Is it any wonder that there are so many people out there that have a leaky gut.
This unfortunately is when the health problems start, because the gut is leaky large food proteins, toxins, yeast, and bacteria are able to escape through the lining and into the blood stream, your immune system sees this and reacts, as it sees these things as a foreign body, something that it needs to kill off and kill off fast, and this is what causes all or most of the reactions or symptoms that you feel when you have leaky gut syndrome.