In this week’s episode, Dr. Agolli chats with Dr. Burdette and they dive deep into your gut health.
“Leaky gut” is a term used to describe increased intestinal permeability. The lining of the intestines is made up of cells that are tightly packed together, forming tight junctions. These tight junctions act as a barrier, preventing unwanted substances from passing through into the bloodstream.
Zonulin is a protein that regulates the permeability of these tight junctions. When zonulin levels rise, the tight junctions between cells open up, allowing substances to pass through into the bloodstream. This can lead to an immune response and inflammation in the gut and throughout the body.
The microbiome, or the community of microorganisms that live in our gut, can impact leaky gut. An imbalance in the microbiome, known as dysbiosis, can contribute to increased intestinal permeability.
Zonulin levels can rise in response to several triggers. One of the most powerful triggers for zonulin release is the presence of gliadin, a glycoprotein found in gluten. When gliadin is present in the small intestine, it can stimulate the release of zonulin, leading to increased intestinal permeability.
Other factors that can contribute to increased zonulin levels and leaky gut include an overgrowth of harmful bacteria or yeast in the intestine, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), fungal dysbiosis or candida overgrowth, and parasite infections.
Leaky gut can cause a wide range of symptoms, as it can affect many different systems in the body. Some common symptoms of leaky gut include:
A test that may be used to assess leaky gut is the zonulin test. This involves measuring levels of zonulin in the blood or stool. High levels of zonulin can indicate increased intestinal permeability.
There are several factors that can contribute to the development of leaky gut. Some common causes include:
It’s important to note that leaky gut is a complex condition and may have multiple underlying causes. If you’re concerned about leaky gut, it’s a good idea to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
There are several ways to improve gut health and support a healthy gut microbiome. Some ways to improve gut health include:
It’s important to note that everyone is different and what works for one person may not work for another. It’s a good idea to work with a healthcare professional to develop a personalized plan for improving gut health.