What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

leaky gut

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky Gut Syndrome is the general term used where toxins leak from the intestines into the bloodstream. Further research is showing that it could be the hidden cause of modern diseases, such as:

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Celiac disease
  • Food allergies and intolerances
  • Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic inflammatory conditions
  • Skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis
  • Mood disorders such as depression and anxiety
  • Neurological disorders like autism spectrum disorder
  • Metabolic disorders including obesity and metabolic syndrome
  • Cardiovascular diseases
  • Liver diseases

Leaky Gut Symptoms

These can vary from person to person but the following symptoms may indicate a leaky gut:

  1. Digestive issues: Such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation.
  2. Food sensitivities: Experiencing adverse reactions to certain foods.
  3. Fatigue: Persistent tiredness or low energy levels.
  4. Joint pain: Aches or discomfort in the joints.
  5. Skin problems: Such as acne, eczema, or rashes.
  6. Headaches: Frequent or persistent headaches.
  7. Mood disturbances: Including depression, anxiety, or irritability.
  8. Autoimmune symptoms: Flare-ups of autoimmune conditions or new onset of symptoms.
  9. Allergies: Increased sensitivity or allergic reactions to various substances.
  10. Poor immune function: Frequent infections or susceptibility to illnesses.
  11. Nutritional deficiencies: Due to malabsorption of nutrients.
  12. Brain fog: Difficulty concentrating or experiencing mental clarity.
  13. Weight fluctuations: Unexplained weight gain or difficulty losing weight.
  14. Hormonal imbalances: Irregularities in menstrual cycles or hormonal disturbances.
  15. Chronic inflammation: Manifesting as systemic inflammation or localized inflammation in various parts of the body.

What causes Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut syndrome causes:

  • Lypopolysacharides (LPS)
  • Additives in Foods (processed foods)
  • Chemicals
  • Excessive Alcohol
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Stress
  • Imbalances in gut microbiota

The gut lining is what separates us from whatever we have ingested from the outside world. This wall is only one cell layer thick which is made up of tight cells. These tight cells are what protects us from toxins or large particles that don’t belong in our body.

Inflamed intestines cause gaps in the wall lining, allowing toxins to leak through into the bloodstream and around the whole body including the brain

Inflammation of the intestines results in the gut cells becoming wider causing the “tight junctions” between the cells in the lining to loosen. This creates gaps between the cells, which allows substances to leak through the gut wall into the bloodstream.

How do I know if I have leaky Intestines?

Recognizing the presence of leaky intestines (leaky gut), also known as increased intestinal permeability, can be challenging as its symptoms often overlap with other digestive issues.

Common indicators may include persistent digestive discomfort such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, or constipation. Individuals may also experience food sensitivities, where certain foods trigger adverse reactions.

Fatigue, joint pain, and skin problems like acne or eczema might also be present. Mental health aspects, such as mood disturbances or brain fog, can also be signs of leaky intestines.

The good news is that the steps to repair the gut lining are often non pharmaceutical and therefore, you can only improve your health by taking the steps to heal a leaky gut.

What are Lypopolysacharides?

Dr Pradip Jamnadas excellently explains how toxic LPS gets into the bloodstream

Leaky Gut

Several compounds like endotoxin “Lipopolysaccharide” (LPS), thought to be one of the strongest promoters of inflammation in the body, are made and should remain within the gut and are produced by about 50% of the bacteria that exist there. LPS can leak through the gut lining into the circulatory system, activating cytokines, the chemical messaging for the immune system.

These cytokines can cross the blood-brain barrier and can be sent to various areas of the body, for example, in the lungs causing asthma. If cytokines are released to the brain it can trigger various problems with cognitive functions resulting in a variety of mental health issues. 

We can make a big difference just by changing our diet and lifestyle.  Stress can also be a big factor because it is believed that cortisol increases the permeability of the gut, releasing more endotoxins and repeating the cycle.

How to Heal leaky gut

The mechanisms that exist to help heal a cut on the skin, do not exist in the gut. It is the action of the microbes themselves that repair our gut lining.

What can you do to heal a Leaky Gut naturally? It is possible over time and given the right environment, to heal gut permeability. Here are some simple things you can do to start the process of healing.

  • Remove toxic food from your diet.  This means all processed foods and alcohol! 
  • Reducing the exposure to chemicals in the home, cosmetics and food. Eat organically and use non chemical cleaners and natural essential oils for scents.
  • Repair – Drinks like Licorice Root Tea, Marshmallow Root Tea, and Slippery Elm Tea all have demulcent properties which form a protective layer over the mucus membranes of the digestive tract. Aloe vera juice also has calming properties which can help with inflammation and calming the gut.
  • Repopulate – Eating fresh whole foods and fermented foods will add Prebiotics and Probiotics to your daily diet promoting a healthier microbiome.
  • Restore the Spirit – Stress control is very important when it comes to overall health but especially for gut health. There is a very strong correlation between the gut and the brain via the vagus nerve.

What’s great about all of this is that it’s never too late to start the healing process.  One of the things about microbes is that they are very resilient and given the right environment they will flourish.

Nature is the ultimate pro-biotic as we absorb microbes that are all around us in nature and make contact with the soil