Illustration demonstrating leaky gut

What Is Leaky Gut?

Gut Health is often the root of so many health issues. It is where inflammation almost always starts. It is linked to healthy brain activity, mood regulation, and inflammation throughout the body. Gut health is critical for overall health!

Leaky gut is a growing condition affecting millions of Americans who don’t even know they have it!

The gut is the largest organ in our body. Our gut stretched end to end is the size of a tennis court. That is a tremendous surface area. If an inflammatory process goes on all over something the size of a tennis court… if there is a little bit of inflammation, that amounts to a lot of cumulative inflammation… and a big problem.

So What is Leaky Gut?

Your intestinal lining has junctures that hold it tightly together to create an intestinal barrier between the food in your digestive system and the rest of your body. In a healthy body, these junctures remain tight.

Leaky gut happens when these junctures loosen up, allowing food particles to get into the body.

The body then reacts as though it is being invaded by foreign threats, and attacks these particles causing inflammation. Why? Because the body doesn’t recognize these particles and it can’t process them… only the digestive tract can do that when it is healthy. And a little inflammation in the gut is a lot of inflammation for the body to process.

The cause of Leaky Gut can start in a number of places, but it can be caused by:

  • Food sensitivities that your body no longer processes properly. These can onset later in life as the gut strength wears down. Main culprits are often: eggs, milk, gluten, cheese, and sugar.
  • Microbiota imbalance. Taking antibiotics can imbalance your gut. Things like candida can cause an imbalance in your gut bacteria and make it more difficult for your body to process food properly.
  • Low stomach acid. By not having enough stomach acid, the body doesn’t break down food fast enough or well enough before sending it through the rest of digestion.
  • Excessive alcohol or sugar intake
  • NSAID usage
  • Stress
  • Exposure to environmental toxins, mold, or pesticides… especially through foods

Gut Conditions are more prevalent than you would think!

As many as 75% of people that have a gut disturbance do not seek treatment for it.

Leaky gut doesn’t just affect your digestive tract

Conditions of the gut can be disconcerting to life-threatening. Conditions such as Crohn’s and Colitis are most notable. Other digestive issues such as IBS, Gas, Constipation, Loose stools, and Bloating are also notable gut issues.

But did you know that the inflammation caused by the gut can affect much more? Your joints and joint pain; your mind, clarity of thinking, and memory; your moods; your cravings and urges to eat; your weight gain and loss.

Symptoms may include:

  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin conditions, like acne, psoriasis, and eczema
  • Food sensitivities
  • Fatigue
  • Brain Fog
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Digestive problems, constipation, loose stools
  • Bloating
  • Anxiety & Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Weight gain

These conditions make us more likely to have issues with bone density or even depression, yet root causes for their appearance are not usually sought out.

The impact of not having a healthy gut is widespread for your health! It results in malabsorption, which means even if you are eating healthy foods, you are not absorbing them… leading to a nutritional deficiency that can cause other problems.

Evaluating Leaky Gut

These are not conditions that one must own. In fact, there are many natural ways to reestablish gut health and lower the inflammatory load not only in your gut but throughout your body. By measuring foods you are sensitive to, bad flora is known as “dysbiotic bacteria,” and other offenders of the gut we can figure out why the condition is occurring and change it.

Do not feel that you are merely a victim of your gut. Gut health is a battle we can win and is largely responsive to changes we ourselves can make. Gut health is global health, and there are simple steps that can help you to reclaim the health that is yours.

In order to completely evaluate the gut, we must measure foods that we are sensitive to, bugs or pathogens that could be irritating the gut as well as markers of gut irritation. Diamine Oxidase is the major enzyme that degrades histamine. If a person is histamine intolerant, they will have erosion of the gut lining, and will be susceptible to the symptoms of “leaky gut.”

We can also measure Zonulin, a marker of tight junction permeability, or the “grout” between the gut cells, so one can assess the impact of a leaky gut and monitor the restoration of normal gut health.

Zonulin, this direct marker of gut permeability, helps not only with treatment but in prevention as it goes up three years before allergies, autoimmune conditions, and cancer. It is now possible to gauge the exact amount of gut distress through these markers.

A Healthy Gut is Key!

A healthy gut is key to healthy nutrition, immune function, and disease prevention.

~ Progressive Medical Center Team