Leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a condition that occurs when the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, allowing undigested food particles, toxins, and bacteria to pass through into the bloodstream. This can trigger inflammation and an immune response and lead to a variety of health problems.
The lining of the small intestine is made up of millions of tiny finger-like projections called villi. These villi help to absorb nutrients from food. When the lining of the small intestine is damaged, the villi become flattened and less effective at absorbing nutrients. This can lead to malnutrition and a variety of other health problems.
Causes of Leaky Gut
Several factors can contribute to leaky gut syndrome, including:
- Infections: Infections with bacteria, viruses, or parasites can damage the lining of the small intestine.
- Inflammation: Inflammation of the small intestine can also damage the lining of the intestine. This can be caused by conditions such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and celiac disease.
- Medications: Some medications, such as antibiotics, chemotherapy drugs, and steroids, can damage the lining of the small intestine.
- Diet: A diet that is high in processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats can damage the lining of the small intestine.
- Stress: Stress can also contribute to leaky gut syndrome. When you are stressed, your body releases hormones that can damage the lining of the small intestine.
- Environmental toxins
- Food sensitivities and allergies
Symptoms of Leaky Gut
The symptoms of leaky gut syndrome vary from person to person and can include:
- Abdominal pain
- Skin problems such as eczema
- Joint pain or stiffness
- Brain fog
- Food intolerances or sensitivities
- Mood disorders such as anxiety or depression
We will start with a thorough evaluation of your medical history, your symptoms, and your diet. We will also recommend certain tests, such as blood, urine, and/or stool tests to determine possible causes of your symptoms.
There is no one-size-fits-all treatment for leaky gut syndrome. The treatment will depend on the severity of your symptoms and the underlying cause of your leaky gut. Some of the naturopathic and functional medicine treatments that may be used to treat leaky gut syndrome include dietary changes to eliminate triggers, herbal remedies, nutritional and microbiome support, and stress management.
If you are experiencing symptoms of leaky gut syndrome, it is important to see a doctor to get a diagnosis and treatment plan. Leaky gut syndrome is a treatable condition, and with the right treatment, you can improve your symptoms and restore your health.