You may have heard about Leaky Gut but few understand just how complicated and often confusing the diagnosis can be to those who suffers from it. Part of the reason why Leaky Gut is difficult to treat is because much of the medical community does not formally recognize it as a legitimate gastrointestinal problem making it very difficult to get a clear course of action from your GI.
Although Leaky Gut or Gut dysbiosis continues to gain recognition as more scientific evidence is being published linking leaky gut to autoimmune conditions, it is still best to see an alternative medical practitioner such as a nutritionist or naturopath for guidance on how to treat it.
For those who are not familiar, Leaky Gut Syndrome is a term used to describe the condition in which the intestinal lining of our digestive tracts has become hyper permeable and more porous. The increase in these pores creates holes in our digestive tracts which result in large undigested food molecules and toxins flowing freely throughout our bloodstream that normally wouldn’t pass through. What happens next is the immune system marks these foreign particles as invading pathogens and attacks them. The immune response leads to constant inflammation through out the body and can cause many symptoms including the ones listed below.
- Food sensitivities and allergies
- Headaches and brain fog
- Overall fatigue
- Depression and anxiety
- Joint pain
- Thyroid conditions
- Skin issues like rosacea and acne
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain
Graphic Source from Dr. Axe
One of the most obvious warning signs that you may have leaky gut is if you are experiencing multiple food sensitivities. Partially digested particles that make their way into the bloodstream can cause an allergic response. In addition to adverse food allergies, leaky gut can cause malabsorption of vital vitamins and minerals, particularly zinc, iron and Vitamin 12 leading to nutritional deficiencies and fatigue. It is possible to go on for several years without picking up on these symptoms however life stressors and sickness such as a bacterial infection are enough to kick start one into having more the pronounced symptoms of Leaky Gut.
Leaky gut left untreated can lead to severe health issues such as Inflammatory bowel disease, migraine headaches, arthritis, eczema, chronic fatigue and autoimmune diseases. If you have any of the following listed below, it may indicate that a leaky gut is a contributing factor to your health.
- Hormonal imbalance such as PMS or PCOS
- Seasonal allergies or asthma
- Digestive problems such as bloating, diarrhea or IBS,
- Food allergies or food intolerances, especially gluten
- Skin issues, such as rosacea, acne, eczema
- Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression
- Disorders such as ADD, ADHD, Autism
- Diagnosis or chronic fatigue, or fibromyalgia
- Candida (yeast) overgrowth
- SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth)
- Diagnosis of autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease, lupus, psoriasis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, or rheumatoid arthritis
Repairing the gut through diet and supplementation is absolutely essential to healing and managing any of the conditions listed above.
Stay tuned for an upcoming blog post, where I go in detail about my journey with leaky gut and how I have managed to heal my digestion.