EP 11: Diagnostics of Gut Health

In this week’s episode, Dr. Agolli talks with Dr. Burdette and they continue their discussion on gut health.

  1. What type of medicine can hurt your gut?
  2. What are the signs of leaky gut syndrome?
  3. What is zonulin and how does it affect your gut?
  4. What causes inflammation in your gut?

While chronic stress, environmental toxins, and gut infections such as Candida overgrowth and small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can damage your gut cell walls, the primary cause of leaky gut is what we eat, particularly inflammatory and toxic foods. Chronic inflammatory states, such as IBD and celiac disease, other diseases that cause intestinal injury, such as HIV/AIDS, chemotherapy and radiation therapies that degrade the intestinal mucosa, chronic overuse of alcohol or NSAIDs can also cause intestinal permeability. Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities, and aches and pains.

There are several factors that can cause gut inflammation. Imbalances in your gut microbiome, the friendly bacteria that live in your intestines, is one factor that can cause gut inflammation. A gut imbalance could come in the form of something like SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth), a decrease in beneficial bacteria, or a pathogenic overgrowth. Gluten triggers gut inflammation in susceptible individuals by binding to intestinal CXCR3 receptors, prompting the release of zonulin. Zonulin is a protein that facilitates the breakdown of tight junction proteins between intestinal epithelial cells, increasing intestinal permeability and gut inflammation. Poor sleep and high stress can lead to changes in the tight junctions that stitch the cells of the gut together.