You may be hearing murmurs here and there about leaky gut syndrome, and the name probably made you cringe a little. A newly identified condition that hasn’t quite broken into the mainstream, leaky gut syndrome may be at the heart of a number of ailments, from arthritis to diabetes. But what is this terrible-sounding syndrome, and how can you stop the leaking?
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
The lining of our intestines cover more than 4,000 square feet of surface area, and it serves to form a tight barrier between the gut and the bloodstream. This barrier is designed to keep partially digested food, toxins, bacteria, and bugs from penetrating the tissues beneath it. If the gut lining has large cracks or holes in it and toxins, food particles, bacteria, and such get through, it can trigger body-wide inflammation and cause changes in the microbiome, or the four-trillion-member-strong community of bacteria that resides in the gut.
To some degree, we all have a leaky gut. The barrier, after all, is not entirely impenetrable, and it’s not supposed to be. An excessively leaky gut–or increased permeability, as the scientists put it–can have a number of causes, including genetics and, more commonly, environmental factors like chronic stress, consuming excess amounts of processed food and alcohol, food allergies and intolerances, and certain medications.
It’s well-established by research that increased permeability of the gut plays a role in several gastrointestinal conditions, including celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and Crohn’s disease. But an increasing body of research is pointing to a link between a leaky gut and seemingly unrelated conditions like chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, arthritis, allergies, autism, obesity, asthma, acne, a variety of mental illnesses, and autoimmune diseases like lupus and multiple sclerosis.
Harvard Medical School points out that while controversy still exists on whether a leaky gut is at the root of this broad range of diseases, alternative and integrative medical practitioners have, for decades, worked on gut healing as an important treatment for a number of chronic diseases, with great success.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Food allergies and intolerances are an important sign that you may have a leaky gut. According to an article published in the journal BMC Gastroenterology, other diseases that are related to and may point to a leaky gut include:
•Respiratory and other infections.
•Esophagus and colorectal cancers.
•Chronic inflammation, including arthritis.
•Diabetes and other obesity-associated metabolic diseases.
Research shows that an excessively leaky gut can also cause thyroid problems, nutritional deficiencies, skin conditions like acne and psoriasis, and mental illnesses like depression.
Treating Leaky Gut Syndrome
While many mainstream physicians will prescribe medication for the symptoms a leaky gut, these don’t address the cause of the problem. Integrative medicine practitioners are more likely to find and address the root of the problem, whether it’s a combination of diet and stress, a food allergy or intolerance, or a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Treating leaky gut syndrome–and the many conditions it may cause–requires a multi-pronged approach to health and wellness. It involves removing food and other lifestyle factors that cause damage to the gut, reducing inflammation through diet, repairing the gut through diet and supplementation, and rebalancing the microbiome with probiotics.
Stonehenge Health Dynamic Biotics Can Help
Long-term gut health requires eating a healthy diet that includes mostly plant-based foods, along with a few lean proteins. Limiting processed foods, alcohol, and sugar are essential for a healthy microbiome. A daily probiotic like Stonehenge Health’s Dynamic Biotics helps to restore and maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria and reduce symptoms of gastrointestinal and other problems. Dynamic Biotics provides you with 51 billion live probiotic cultures and 16 probiotic strains in every capsule to aid the growth of healthy colonies in the microbiome and promote better overall health and wellbeing.