What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Why You Want To Pay Close Attention To This Controversial Subject…
Leaky Gut is technically classified as a “proposed condition” because it is not fully understood, especially from the perspective of “conventional medicine.” However, the symptoms that are associated with leaky gut syndrome are very real.
From the perspective of some leading doctors, there is no doubt that the syndrome is real. According to Linda Lee, MD, and director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center: “We don’t know a lot but we know that it exists.”
If you are suffering from skin rashes and eczema, intestinal irritability, fatigue, food sensitivities or joint pain, you’d be well served to understand what is currently known about leaky gut syndrome as the evidence accumulates.
How Leaky Gut Syndrome Is Thought To Work
Imagine you’re waiting to pass through airport security. Normally you must endure several inspections before passing through to your gate. As you enter today, however, you notice the TSA guys seem distracted and start letting everyone through without a check. These aren’t necessarily bad people, but they need to be carefully screened before they get through.
Then, as these people pass through the detector, airport police swarms upon them and attack. Behind them await a SWAT team ready to pounce.
Something very similar occurs in your body when undigested food and other components slip get past your gut wall’s security and make its way into your bloodstream.
How Leaky Gut Syndrome Is Believed To Develop
Your gut wall packs millions of cells held together by tight junctions that only allow properly digested food to pass through. Over time, conditions like stress, a high-sugar/processed-food diet, use of antibiotics, and overusing Tylenol can erode those tight junctions.
Tiny gaps develop in your gut wall, which allow undigested food, bacteria, and metabolic wastes — things that should stay confined in your gut — to escape into your bloodstream. That’s when intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome, develops.
Once in the blood, your body releases an army of white blood cells to zap these foreign invaders. When that doesn’t clear the problem, your immune system overreacts and signals an even more militant army to eliminate these invaders.
Your immune system attacks these substances with antibodies, which latch on to the substances and form an immune complex. These complexes then find homes in your brain, joints, and other tissues.
Inflammation is the end result, which only exacerbates the damage. For one, inflammation further erodes your gut wall and destroys your good bacteria. Whatever tissues these complexes lodge onto — your brain, for instance — also becomes inflamed.
At its worst, inflammation triggers autoimmune diseases like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). But you might never suspect leaky gut syndrome’s more subtle damage that manifests as numerous symptoms.