“Leaky Gut” – What Does It Really Mean?

Leaky gut is becoming more prevalent as practitioners are understanding the severity of this health condition. Leaky gut has more research revolving around it as well as the multiple health conditions it is linked to. In years past, headaches and joint pain would not be associated with a microscopic occurrence. However, we are finding that leaky gut syndrome affects many individuals today. 

What Is Leaky Gut?

Hyper permeability, more commonly known as leaky gut syndrome is a common problem where there is inflammation in the pore-lining of the gut. The inflammation causes the tight junctions to open more than usual allowing toxins to leak in and out of the GI tract. This aggravates other body systems and in turn, results in systemic body inflammation. Health conditions that have been associated with leaky gut include but are not limited to: 

  • Attention Deficit Disorder 
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis 
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Brain Fog 
  • Food Allergies/ Intolerances 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Irritable Bowel Disease
  • Joint Problems 
  • Eczema 
  • Compromised Liver Function 
  • And more

The lining of the intestinal wall has two major functions: the absorption of nutrients from foods inside the digestive tract, and provide a barrier function to control the microbes and large food particles from going beyond the gut environment. When the tight junctions become inflamed and more porous, the structures open and toxins spill over into the bloodstream, setting antibodies in the immune system into action. This event is what causes the multiple health conditions mentioned above.   

Testing For Leaky Gut?

Testing for leaky gut provides practitioners with information regarding what is causing your leaky gut. One lab test that can be performed is to test for food allergies and intolerances. This process is more effective than the elimination diet as many food intolerances show symptoms as late as 72 hours after ingestion. 

By eliminating these inflammatory triggers caused by diet, a patient’s gut will begin to repair. Testing for leaky gut should be performed to identify the extent of damage to the mucosal barrier. In a healthy gut, we will see the tight junctions contracting to allow the proper nutrients to be released without allowing pathogens in. In a gut with too much permeability, we will see nutrients being inappropriately released into the gut, resulting in malabsorption and other complications. 

Leaky Gut Resolution 

There are six steps we take to repair the gut, oftentimes referred to as the 6 R’s. 

  1. Remove the mucosal irritants. This step is crucial. Removing the inflammatory foods will progress healing. 
  2. Reduce refined sugars, carbohydrates, and bad saturated fats. 
  3. Restore proper transit time. This is performed by increasing the level of insoluble fiber. 
  4. Replace agents for digestive support 
  5. Reinncoculation with friendly bacteria such as probiotics. 
  6. Repair the mucosal lining. Depending on the individual, all-natural supplements like L-Glutamine are used. 

 

Lab testing combined with the 6 R’s will tremendously slow the progression of disease and effectively “heal and seal” the gut. 

 

Practitioners realizing that leaky gut syndrome is interconnected to many other chronic health conditions has already begun to change the dynamics of healthcare. This is an issue that can be tested for and corrected, thus aiding medical professionals to catch diseases early and slow the progression of the disease. This is a huge medical breakthrough for those with autoimmune diseases everywhere. -Kenna Vaughn, Senior Health Coach  

 

References: 

University, Functional Medicine and Ronald Grisanti, directors. Advanced FDM Testing — Interpretation and Treatment of the Intestinal Permeability Test. Functional Medicine University – The Leader in Online Training in Functional Diagnostic Medicine, 2010, www.functionalmedicineuniversity.com/members/445.cfm.

 

The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.  

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