Leaky gut is a condition of your gut that can lead to other chronic illnesses, especially autoimmune and Lupus.
As more people are affected by poor diet choices, toxic exposure, stress, and microbiome imbalance, leaky gut is affecting more people than ever before.
What’s more is that the Medical community is just now recognizing this condition as the potential threat to various conditions like Lupus and Autoimmune.
The concept of “intestinal permeability” has been acknowledged in medical literature for over 100 years.
Leaky Gut Symptoms List
In the Eastern Medicine and the father of Western Medicine, both agree that “All Disease Begins in the Gut”. And more research is proving that this is actually true.
Our gut is protected by a “tight” junction and they serve as a barrier in your intestine and determines what passes through into our body. These tight junctions keep our body safe from harm by keeping toxins, bacteria, undigested food particles, and various other threats that can trigger our immune response.
Think of it as having broken doors and windows in your home. The various insects, rodents, and dust that should remain outside now begin to enter the house and growing in numbers to a point of chaos. This leads to our immune system malfunction causing inflammation in our bodies effort to fight the toxins.
Leaky gut is associated with the following conditions:
- Autoimmune diseases, RA, Lupus, etc.
- Rash, Eczema, and psoriasis
- Inflammatory bowel disease- IBS, Crohn’s
- Celiac Disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type I Diabetes
7 Symptoms of Leaky Gut:
1. Food Sensitivity or Intolerance – You may be eating foods that you are sensitive to. Medically, only the true “allergies” are diagnosed where you have an anaphylaxic shock after consuming peanut butter for example. But what research is proving is that more people are developing low-grade antigens to the foods that they commonly eat and this is because of the Leaky gut. The difference here is between IgG reaction vs IgE. The latter is the immediate symptoms such as hives, difficulty breathing, etc. Food sensitivity is very common due to increased leaky gut prevalence all over the world, which is often overlooked in the medical community. The symptoms of food sensitivity can be non-GI related such as fatigue, headaches, mood swings, etc.
2. Autoimmune Disease – The link between Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases largely involves a protein called “zonulin”. According to a 2011 article published in the medical journal, Physiologic Reviews, zonulin is proven to be a modulator for “tight junctions” in our gut. When zonulin levels rise then it opens the door way into our body. Dysbiosis (imbalance of gut microbiome) and Gliadin in gluten is ultimately responsible for increasing this protein called zonulin potentially leading to autoimmune, inflammatory, and cancer.
This is why eating gluten with weak probiotics in the gut can trigger this dangerous cascade. The University of Maryland, School of Medicine researchers have uncovered that gluten “activates zonulin signaling despite a genetic predisposition to autoimmunity, leading to leaky gut.
3. Inflammatory Bowel Disease – More evidence is emerging that the leaky gut is responsible for triggering irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
Some research also states that leaky gut is prevalent in Crohn’s disease patients as well as in their family members, between 10-20%, which implies a potential genetic component.
4. Thyroid Disorders – If you have Hashimoto’s, this can be due to leaky gut as well. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune disease that causes lack of thyroid production in the body leading to fatigue, hair loss, and weight gain.
5. Nutrient Deficiency – If your gut is leaking, it’s likely that there’s limited absorption of vitamins and minerals. Common deficiencies include vitamin B12, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and vitamin C. I recommend a supplement to close the gap along with a good quality probiotic.
6. Skin Irritations – In Eastern Medicine, any manifestations of irritation on the skin suspects the Gut disorder. This gut-skin connection is because the gut is the first line of defense and manifestations of irritation shows up on the skin like psoriasis, acne, and eczema. The typical medical solution is to prescribe toxic creams and medications when in fact, they can be healed over time by repairing the gut.
7. Depression/Anxiety/Neurological Disorders – According to a study published in the journal Neuro Endocrinology Letters, leaky gut was suspect in causing various neurological disorders. The leaky gut leads to inflammation leading to malabsorption and nutrient deficiency which collectively impairs the proper neurotransmitter synthesis for healthy cognitive behaviors and moods.
Conventional Medicine Bias
The medical community considers leaky gut as a mystery. According to Dr. Donald Kirby, MD, who is a GI Doctor, and a Director of Human Nutrition at the Cleveland Clinic, Physicians typically don’t know much about the gut even though our intestines are the biggest immune modulators.
All in all, most medical community chooses to leave it as a “mystery” disorder as they don’t have a specific “treatment” at the present time.
It’s important to note that Medical practices focus on “standardized” criteria for various diseases. They rely on prescribing drugs to relieve the patient’s symptoms and since there is no set criteria for this prevalent dysfunction, they rely on Prevacid, Antacids, Anti-inflammatories, and Anti-depressants and hope for the best.
What Do You Do?
Most people do have a certain degree of leaky gut, this is from my clinical experience with treating patients for the last 19 years. But for us Lupus patient, it’s a good idea to assume that you do to take all precautions.
It starts with getting on a CLEAN diet to repair your gut lining. This is to minimize potential inflammatory reactions in the body and to allow for “healing”.
A good probiotic along with a complete vitamin is ideal as well.
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