The Why, What, and How of Leaky Gut Syndrome

leakygut

In posts past, we’ve mentioned Leaky Gut syndrome. Just last week we spoke about the importance of keeping the mucosal immune system healthy and the effects of when it’s not.  When infections break through the musocal barrier, allergies and inflammation can occur. Furthermore, if levels of certain antibodies are increased when a test is ran, this is an indication of an an excess of yeast in the body, and also symptoms of leaky gut syndrom.

But what is Leaky Gut syndrome? What causes the gut to leak? Can it be fixed? Why are children with Autusm more at risk for this condition?

That’s a lot of questions, and we only have one blog post to answer them in. Let’s get started.

What is leaky gut syndrome?

First thing’s first: Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that is said to affect millions of people world wide. Again, I’ll reference last week’s post about Mucosal Immunity. Remember when we mentioned that the immune system has a mucous like protective coating to keep microorganisms out. If the mocosal barrier weakens, toxins and other microorganisms are leaked into the blood stream from the stomach area. Hence, Leaky Gut.

How does the gut leak? How does that happen?

In order to understand how the gut can leak, it’s important to understand how the body digests, at least when it is doing so correctly.

70% of the body’s immune system is located in the digestive system. [1] In this system, the small intestine works as a filter, only allowing the breakdown of products to enter into the bloodstream. In an ideal situation, only nutrients are allowed to pass through, and toxins are held in the small intestine away from the blood.

In the intestine, villi and microvilly (small, hair-like extensions of the intestine), carry nutrients, amino acids, and electrolytes into cells.

Leaky gut syndrome, causes the intestinal lining and villi to become damaged and unable to develop the enzymes that are necessary for the absorption of nutrients. More simply said, even though you may be feeding your child healthy foods that are packed with vitamins and nutrients, they’re useless if the body isn’t absorbing them.

Sometimes, toxins can leak from the intestine. In most cases, humans will have a strong enough immune system to control the leakage. Over time, however, the leakage will erode the stomach lining and weaken the immune system, thereby giving the body a zero defense against toxins.

As the intestinal lining becomes weaker and weaker, larger molecules of toxins can enter the immune system. Because of this, toxins are produced that cause allergies and inflammation.

Leaky Gut Syndrome’s Effect On The Liver

The liver is the largest gland in the body and takes on a lot of roles and has a lot of functions in the body including producing bile, storing bile that is essential for digestion, filtering out drugs, alcohol, and other toxins, storing glucose, and removing damaged blood cells.

Leaky Gut Syndrome really kicks the liver into an unhealthy overdrive as it subjects it to harmful toxins. When the liver cannot deal with the toxins that it is being given, it releases them back out into the bloodstream.

Can leaky gut syndrome be fixed? What are the treatments?

As for the leaky gut itself, there are a large amount of treatments, and depending on the doctor you consult, your answer may be different. We aren’t hear to attack other doctors, but just as a warning: some doctors do not believe that leaky gut syndrome even exists, while others believe in a series of medications are the trick. Be sure to investigate all possible avenues before choosing a method of treatment.

Some more examples of treatment are: increased activity (sweating rids the body of toxins), a detoxification diet, a parasites cleanse, dental cleanup (if your teeth are infected, you are constantly ingesting that infection into your body), and many others.

There are many treatments available for Leaky Gut syndrome. People that are experiencing leaky gut syndrome are severely lacking in amino acids and other nutrients because again, the body isn’t capable of absorbing them.  The lacking nutrients can absolutely be attempted to be replenished using methods like Amino Acid Therapy.

[1] Spaeth G, Berg RD, Specian RD, Deitch EA, August 1990, “Food Without Fiber promotes bacterial translocation from the gut” Surgery 108 (2) pp 204-47