Leaky gut overview
You might’ve heard a term ‘leaky gut’ but aren’t sure what is it and how it affects your digestive and overall health.
Let me explain.
Leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability or hyperpermeability) is not currently recognised by conventional doctors but it has been long known in natural medicine and now evidence is accumulating that it is a real condition with many health ramifications.
Leaky gut is caused by damage to the intestinal lining and low sIgA (secretory immunoglobulin A) resulting in a loss of integrity of gut walls leading to increased permeability.
This allows bacteria, toxins and incompletely digested foods such as proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream (just imagine a garden hose with holes in it).
The intestinal lining can then become damaged by the passage of these substances, which cause it to become inflamed. This in turn affects the normal absorption of all nutrients and overall digestive health.
A further more serious impact is the body’s immune system becoming compromised. This is likely as around 70% of the immune system is located in the abdomen area around the bowels. Leaking toxins can also damage the liver, which can become overworked which leads to allergies, sensitivities and food intolerances.
Keep reading about food sensitivities/ intolerances and testing HERE.
Increased intestinal permeability has been implicated in a number of conditions including IBS, anxiety, depression, PMS and weight gain. The vast majority of autistic children have leaky guts, suggesting the involvement of toxins from the gut in the brain dysfunction.
Causes of the leaky gut syndrome include:
- Poor diet high in sugar, refined carbohydrates and processed foods (e.g. soft drinks, white bread, sweets)
- Parasitic infections of the gut
- Candida overgrowth
- Food allergies and intolerances
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Food poisoning and gastrointestinal infections
- Stress, especially chronic stress
- High consumption of alcohol
- Overuse of medications including antibiotics, steroids and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antacids
There a number of potential symptoms of the leaky gut syndrome and include: abdominal pain, heartburn /reflux, bloating, excessive gas and cramps, food intolerances and sensitivities, malnutrition, eczema, insomnia, fatigue, stress, anxiety, irritability, muscle cramps and autoimmunity.
It has also been linked with people that suffer from Crohn’s and celiac diseases.
Resolving the leaky gut syndrome
Treatment is personalised for each individual and includes removing inflammatory triggers, and providing nutritional support to rebuild the gut wall and rebalance the microbiome using anti-fungal and anti-bacterial remedies, antioxidants, probiotics and prebiotics.
Apart from resolving digestive symptoms, correcting leaky gut syndrome can often result in feeling less stressed, sleeping better, feeling calmer and having enhanced energy levels.
For convenience and easier access to natural gut repair treatments, I offer either Skype or telephone consultations for Australia-based individuals only and also see clients in the Sydney CBD and Lake Macquarie clinics.
I’m afraid I’m not able to offer any specific treatments or advice to individuals based in other countries at this time.
To book a consultation, click on the button below. I also offer a free 15-minute initial discussion to talk about your circumstances and how I can help.
I look forward to connecting with you and to helping you to feel healthier and happier soon!
Latest research on microbiome
Dr Leo Galland, a leader of integrative medicine, gave a talk titled “Planet You” on the discovery of microbes and the crucial role of microbes in human healing. He believes that we can learn from the inner ecosystem to better understand our relationship with our outer ecosystem, and this understanding has the potential to transform modern medicine.
Needless to say, naturopaths have always focused on healing leaky gut and dysbiosis as a treatment priority, and now the importance of such approach is being confirmed by numerous research and studies.
Mind you, the gut flora aka the good and bad bacteria was renamed the ‘microbiome’ and it became a very important ‘news’ for scientists and most doctors. Well, better late than never!
Holistic Health and Lifestyle Therapist
Natural and Lifestyle Solutions for Abundant Health and Wellbeing
Check out other posts here:
- Secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA) for the gut, digestion and immunity
- Histamine intolerance: causes and treatment
- Low vitamin D – what you need to know to achieve and maintain high levels
- Online naturopathic consultations in Australia
- Drinking coffee – pros and cons from a medical perspective
- Know and love your herbs – Coriander
Joanna Sochan is a Natural Therapist and founder of Naturimedica Holistic Health & Wellness. She has a passion for helping her clients transform their lives by becoming healthy and well naturally. Joanna is a fatigue, sleep and gut health expert helping tired, stressed or unwell individuals to regain their energy, sleep better and be happier, more relaxed and calm. Joanna practices in Sydney and Lake Macquarie, Australia and also conducts online consultations for clients Australia-wide. View full bio.