Are you worn out and feeling sick and tired? Are you struggling, trying to lose weight? Do you wonder why you don't wake up feeling full of zest and vitality? If you're feeling crummy but there is no obvious diagnosis read on...you may be suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Did you know that if the toxins and poisons that you inadvertently absorb through the food you eat, are not adequately removed from your intestines, they may actually leak back into your system and make you very sick?
In my mind, Leaky Gut Syndrome is probably the number one reason why many people are chronically sick, can't lose weight and feel tired and lacking in energy. Take our Leaky Gut Quiz to find out of your gut lining may be compromised.
A healthy small intestinal tract functions to digest food and absorb nutrients into your blood. A healthy large intestinal tract works to remove waste and toxins and acts as the first line of defense against infection and disease. The intestinal wall allows smaller, nutrient particles to cross into the blood but blocks the larger food molecules, toxins and poisons from leaving, forcing them down and out through the anus.
While this amazingly important organ is supposed to be nutrifying and detoxifying you, it may instead be inadvertently killing you.
It is interesting to find out that while Leaky Gut Syndrome is not considered a disease by the AMA, it is considered, by functional medicine advocates, to be the leading cause of serious illness.
Did you know that 70% of your immune system is actually located in your intestinal tract? One football field in length, it twists and turns inside your abdominal cavity and along the way manages to come in contact with every major organ except the brain.
Picture a healthy intestinal tract like a garden hose. When the hose is new and well cared for the water flows smoothly, without seepage. If however, the hose is left outside and exposed to the weather, it soon becomes dry, cracked and twisted. Stagnant water, left inside the hose, becomes an infestation of bacteria, slime and mold.
This is exactly what happens to your intestinal tract when you have Leaky Gut Syndrome. Putrefied food, bacteria and toxins, instead of leaving the gut via daily, healthy defecation, pass out across the intestinal wall and into the blood stream, poisoning your entire system.
Continuous irritation of the intestinal lining from poor diet and stress along with the deterioration of the lining due to excessive exposure to toxins, causes weakening of the walls, creating a lining full of microscopic holes that now allows the poisons to leak across into the blood. This weakening then sets up an immune reaction in the body, as it tries to fight and remove these foreign invaders from the blood. Your immune system becomes hyperactive as your body begins to develop inflammation, pain and super sensitivity to most allergens that you are exposed to.
The toxins that are created from this horrible "Leaky Gut" condition are stored in your fatty tissue, muscles, connective tissue organs and your brain. You can only imagine how sick you begin to feel. Most doctors do not consider this condition as the cause of your malaise and may not even know how to diagnose it, so you walk around feeling terrible with no way of knowing how to feel better. You can however, feel reassured that there is a solution and a way to reverse this debilitating disease, but first you need to understand what causes it.
1. POOR DIET
Processed and packaged foods are low in healthy nutrients and rich in additives, preservatives, dyes, sugar, trans-fats and artificial sweeteners. Years of poor diet help to deteriorate the gut lining.
Many studies have shown that Leaky Gut and allergies coexist. If you suffer from severe allergies it is likely that your body is in a constant state of immune reaction and that you have Leaky Gut Syndrome.
You may have delayed or hidden food allergies (IgG) sensitivities), which are hard to pinpoint because unlike a peanut, shellfish, egg or other immediate allergic reaction (IgE) which can lead to serious allergic responses, such as anaphylactic shock, you just feel inexplicably crummy. In a way, these insidious food allergies are more vicious than the obvious ones because you continue to expose yourself to them unknowingly, causing chronic, ongoing undetected inflammation and weakening of the immune system.
3. GLUTEN ALLERGY
Gluten, found in most grains, such as wheat, is the number one food allergen. People who recognize that they have this sensitivity may have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease or not know that they have the "new" diagnosis of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. One out of every eight people has Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity!
Studies show that more than 65% of people, who chronically use NSAIDs (non-steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) such as Ibuprofen, will develop intestinal inflammation leading to Leaky Gut and up to 30% will develop gastroduodunal ulceration! NSAIDs not only temporarily block the enzymes that create pain and inflammation, they also have been shown to damage the fine, thin hairs in your gut that help you absorb nutrients.
STEROID'S such as cortisone and prednisone, used for inflammation and asthma, speed up or make worse, the symptoms of Leaky Gut. These medications suppress the immune system, killing friendly bacteria and causing fungal infections.
ANTI-ULCER MEDICATIONS block the production of Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) which is needed to digest protein. Without the proper amount of HCL, food will sit in the stomach for hours, decomposing, putrefying and releasing toxins.
ANTIHISTAMINES such as Zyrtec are prescribed to help the immune system fight inflammation and irritation caused by the large particles of undigested foods and toxins leaking into our system. These medications are only a band aid for your symptoms while they temporarily make you feel better causing you to ignore the cause.
Many parasites inhabit the gastrointestinal tract, eating fecal matter and waste material while secreting toxins and poisons which make us sick.
Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) is produced in the stomach to break down protein. A lack of HCL, caused by poor diet and the chronic use of antacids and ulcer medication, produces toxic cadaverine and hydrogen sulfide.
Dysbiosis is a bacterial imbalance in the intestinal tract, caused by poor diet and medications. Over production of these unfriendly bacteria cause them to cross the intestinal lining into our system, creating a variety of chronic and degenerative diseases.
It is essential to have an abundance of healthy yeast and friendly flora in our intestinal tract, mouth and genitourinary tract. A weak immune system together with poor diet, stress and medication use may cause an over growth of fungal yeast which further destroys the intestinal lining and penetration of this fungus into the blood. Excessive yeast also increases carbohydrate cravings causing a dietary sugar imbalance and inexplicable weight gain.
Stress leads to the production of Cortisol which is a major irritant causing inflammatory response in the body and weakening of the immune system. Fortunately Leaky Gut Syndrome is totally reversible, usually without medications. If you suspect your gut might be leaking, take our Leaky Gut Quiz.
Learn more: Is your Colon unintentionally poisoning you?