Leaky GUT: The correct medical term is actually intestinal permeability.
While this is not an illness or disease in itself, it’s associated with a host of health conditions and problems and the subject of thousands of research articles. And, while you are not very likely to hear this term used by your family physician, left uncorrected leaky GUT can lead to some serious, lasting, health problems.
What is Leaky GUT?
Leaky Gut is a condition where the intestinal wall has become damaged and large undigested food particles are allowed to flow into the blood stream. Normally, in healthy individuals food is broken down by a series of steps.
The proper breakdown of food depends upon the availability of various enzymes for protein, fats and carbohydrates. The enzymes are essential for breaking down large food particles into very small particles and they also act as catalysts for thousands of other metabolic processes throughout the body.
Proper digestion (and absorption) of nutrients is also highly dependent upon a healthy microbiotia. This means about 75-80% of your microbiome should be comprised of beneficial bacteria with around 15-20% of being of the more commensal type.
Under healthy digestive conditions only a few small particles actually permeate the intestinal wall lining and flow into the bloodstream. Larger molecules are not allowed to pass from the brush border on the mucosal lining into the blood stream. This mechanism acts as a protective barrier against bacteria and other foreign substances going directly into the bloodstream that could potentially kill us.
This process is what allows us to absorb and use nutrients from our food such as amino acids, fatty acids, glucose, vitamins and minerals. This happens through a process called diffusion that allows ions from these substances to pass into the cells.
How things go wrong:
When our delicate digestive process is not working properly and food is not properly digested you end up with leaky GUT. This means that your body is subject to increased inflammation; infections and chronic illness and increased probability of antibody production.
Symptoms of Leaky GUT:
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic joint pain/ muscle pain
- Food intolerance’s
- Mood swings
- Poor concentration
- Poor immunity
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
- Skin rashes
- Toxic feelings
- Yeast infections
~Can you begin to see how when you are not digesting your food properly this leads to many chronic health complications?
Improper breakdown of food means your body is unable to absorb needed nutrients for energy production, hormone and neurotransmitter production and basic homeostasis. The slow transit time that frequently occurs with Leaky GUT also means undigested food matter is left in the intestinal tract for long periods of time making the environment a host to unfriendly bacteria like yeast and other nasty bacterial and parasitic pathogens. This leads to frequent illness and poor immunity. Unfortunately, many people I see who have hidden food allergies have Leaky GUT but don’t know it. This is why addressing Leaky Gut is an integral piece of Healing from Within Program
What causes Leaky GUT?
It’s usually a combination of factors that end up causing leaky GUT. Major contributors are long-term stress; dysbiosis (undigested food left in the intestinal tract to ferment); environmental toxins; gastrointestinal disease; impaired immune function; over consumption of alcohol, a clogged liver, and diet: too much sugar, simple carbohydrates, processed foods. Bacteria, yeast, parasites, and prolonged use of NSAID’s and other prescription medications also contribute to GUT permeability.
On a personal note: I had Leaky GUT and chronic fatigue about 15 years ago. It took me years of searching that led me to become a nutritionist in order to learn what to do to heal myself. If any of these symptoms sound familiar to you and you too have been feeling poorly for some time without any improvement through conventional medical treatments please know there is not only hope but a real resolution to your pain.
Without a properly functioning digestive system we cannot live for long and we certainly can’t live “optimally”. If you have the symptoms listed in this blog post maybe it’s time to fix your Leaky GUT! Are we a Fit?
In Part Two I’ll explain more about what chronic health conditions are helped by fixing a Leaky GUT and how the repair process begins.
Are you ready to stop feeling like your body is working against you and reclaim vibrant health?
Take the next step and contact me to see Are We A Fit?
I teach people just like you how to transform from hopeless to happy again every day. Very often these people tell me that working with me was the catalyst for so many other positive transformations in their lives.