Leaky gut syndrome can wreak havoc on your body, yet it goes undiagnosed quite often.
When you were a child, you probably learned a song about the backbone connecting to the neck bone and other various body parts. However, you had no way of knowing how direct these connections were at such a young age. Now that you’re older, you do know firsthand that pain in your neck might be coming from tension in your back or a slipped disc.
You can have aches that show up in random areas caused by another region of your body. Such is the case with your digestive system. Your bones are not the only things that connected inside the human body. Did you know that you can have body-wide pain that all stems from your digestive system?
One such issue is called a leaky gut syndrome. Now, you should know that many doctors have yet to define this as an actual medical condition. Still, it has a massive following among holistic practitioners as well as nutritionists across the globe. What is leaky gut syndrome, and how can one ailment have such an impact on your entire body?
Defining Leaky Gut Syndrome
A leaky gut is simply an enhanced porousness in the intestines. This means that toxins and some of your undigested foods make their way into your bloodstream instead of being passed through your feces. The intestines should be porous, but it can become too permeable and cause leakage to occur.
The real problem is that all that material meant to be confined to your digestive system is now loose in your body. It can cause a plethora of symptoms in many areas. As the song states, since everything is connected, then its effects can be widespread.
Your digestive system should seal these toxins in a specific area to prevent them from going into places not equipped to handle them. Your intestinal walls are a fortress that ensures that the contents don’t get into your bloodstream and travel to your organs.
However, tight junctions or gaps in these walls allow your nutrients to escape to nourish your body, but it keeps harmful substances secure. Now, if these junctions become loose, then the walls have become leaky.
This is a dangerous situation because some bacteria and toxins in this system should never circulate through your entire body. Sadly, when these toxic materials hit your bloodstream, they cause inflammation and can also cause an immune reaction. Intestinal hyperpermeability is still being studied, and most doctors won’t even consider it as a cause for your widespread medical issues.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
With toxins and bacteria flowing throughout your entire body, it’s easy to see why there can be significant issues. Here are some of the most observed symptoms of a leaky gut.
1. Mood Disorders
Mental health has become more recognized as the stigma about such conditions decreases. According to Naturopathic Doctor News and Reviews, studies now show that having a leaky gut may contribute to mood disorders. There are a wide variety of mental health ailments that could be derived from this gut leakage. These are emotional conditions that cause unstable temperaments and unhealthy thought processes.
The gut-brain access is being heavily studied, and it’s believed that such conditions can cause things as serious as autism. It will be interesting to see the research that comes from this as it seems that this argument is only gaining steam among the medical community.
2. Skin Conditions
Is it possible that leaky gut has something to do with eczema, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and other inflammatory issues of the skin? An article in Dermatology Times references a study on this issue. While they believe that further work needs to be done to prove this connection, there is substantial evidence to back this hypothesis.
3. Autoimmune Diseases
An autoimmune condition that occurs in the body starts attacking the healthy cells and tissues. It can cause widespread damage and intense symptom malfunction. It’s believed to be triggered by the protein called zonulin. This protein is responsible for regulating the tight junctions in the gut that affect your immunity.
According to an article on Doctor’s Data, when the zonulin passageway becomes lax, it can cause a leaky gut. What triggers pathway deregulation? It’s believed that gluten is a key component in making this area weak, so practitioners believe that observing a gluten-free diet can strengthen these passageways.
According to Celiac Disease and Gluten-Free Diet Support, this autoimmune condition was discovered in the 1950s. However, it didn’t become widely accepted by the medical community until the 1990s. When people with this food allergy consume gluten, it causes immune responses in the body. Celiac can cause mood disturbances, brain fog, fatigue, abdominal pain, and even weight loss.
5. Acute Inflammatory Conditions
Doctors believe that when the zonulin passageway becomes lax, it can cause an autoimmune response. Many health problems have inflammation at the source. Some acute inflammatory issues include edema, gout, bacterial or fungal infections.
6. Thyroid Trouble
The butterfly gland in your neck can cause a whirlwind of problems in your body. It’s incredible to think that this small area of your system controls so much. Did you know that the thyroid regulates your metabolism, concentration, as well as heart?
What’s even more harrowing is that it’s believed a leaky gut can cause this organ to generate an immune response, and the thyroid cannot produce the hormones needed. There are two noted issues with the thyroid, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism. When your thyroid isn’t working correctly, it can cause extreme sensitivity to heat and cold, dry skin, brain fog, fatigue, fluid retention, as well as muscle and joint aches.
7. Polycystic Ovary Syndrome
PCOS is a condition that causes tiny cysts to form in the ovaries. A hormonal disorder causes the production of these cysts. According to MedIndia, around 18 percent of women of reproductive age have this condition.
While several studies regarding the cause of this ailment have been observed, according to the article, new research shows that the gut microbiome may be a cause of this condition. Women who have this disorder often have weight gain, insulin resistance, hirsutism, irregular periods, and infertility.
8. Stomach and Bowel Disorders
A leaky gut can cause significant issues in the stomach and bowels. Your general digestion goes into a tailspin from the bacteria and parasites. While other things can cause these conditions, they have also been linked to a leaky gut.
These are painful lesions that grow on the stomach walls. They cause agonizing heartburn as well as bloating. They can become so severe that you may lose enough blood to become anemic.
An infection can spread in your digestive system from the toxins causing infectious diarrhea.
•Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Though this condition presents with a myriad of symptoms, the most observed are diarrhea, constipation, painful gas, and abdominal cramping.
Like IBS, Crohn’s is a condition caused by inflammation n the bowels. It develops over a period with the symptoms intensifying. It can have symptoms such as sores in the mouth, fevers, chronic fatigue, and diarrhea.
9. Food Sensitivities and Allergies
If you grew up in the 70s, 80s, or 90s, you probably never heard of a peanut allergy. Now, nut allergies are commonplace and can be deadly if not handled immediately. Some practitioners theorize that when the gut leaks and lets toxins into the body, your system becomes defensive against those proteins, which causes allergies.
The National Library of Medicine posted a study about leaky gut and the connection to food allergies. Shengzhen University’s School of Medicine did a study with rats to see if the connection was vital. Based on the rat’s responses, it’s believed that a leaky gut syndrome could absolutely cause food allergies. However, they did state that further investigation is needed.
10. Persistent Inflammatory Conditions
Inflammatory conditions can either be acute or chronic. A chronic illness is one that lasts for an extended period. Such persistent conditions caused by pathway deregulation would include rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. Did you know that many of the health issues that you face have inflammatory properties?
Though the medical community wants to refute leaky gut syndrome, there is a vast amount of evidence that proves otherwise. Remember back in the 1980s when the medical community refused to acknowledge chronic fatigue syndrome? Now, this is a widespread issue that has been deemed a medical diagnosis.
As more studies continue to pour in on such matters, it seems that Western medicine could be on the cusp of a breakthrough. The gut-brain connection is becoming harder to deny, and acknowledging this issue exists may be the very thing needed to end some of these mental and physical conditions that plague millions.