Overview of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is a debilitating but poorly acknowledged disease that stems from an inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract. The intestinal lining is normally permeable, but it has a selective permeability, allowing the absorption of nutrients while keeping other contents in the intestines where they belong. In leaky gut syndrome, it seems that the chronic alteration of the intestinal lining may damage it, increasing its permeability to allow passage of food particles, bacteria, and other contents of the gastrointestinal system. This causes an even more intense immune response, as the body senses these escaped substances and determines that they are dangerous.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Although leaky gut initiates in the gastrointestinal system, it may move on to target other organs and potentially cause systemic effects. Not all patients have the same symptoms, but those with leaky gut may experience:
- Nutritional deficiencies due to leakage and lowered nutrient absorption.
- Development of new food allergies or skin rashes.
- Anxiety, moodiness, and irritability.
- Fatigue, headaches, and feelings of "fogginess."
- Digestive problems, including bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and constipation.
Risks of Leaky Gut Syndrome
If left untreated, the symptoms will not only persist, they can potentially worsen, causing feelings of declining physical health, mental health, and overall well-being. Because the immune system is constantly responding to the threats of the particles leaked from the gut, it can also be exhausted, making it difficult for the person to fight off other infections. More extreme nutritional deficiencies may also develop, as the gut lining's ability to absorb nutrients is impaired by the chronic inflammation.
Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome arises from damage to the lining of the digest tract such that it becomes inflamed, enlarged, and more porous. This may be caused by:
- Bacterial, fungal (yeast), or parasitic infections.
- Alcohol, caffeine, or other known gut irritants.
- Antibiotics and pain medications (ibuprofen, etc).
- Prescription corticosteroids (prednisone, hydrocortisone, etc) or hormones (oral contraceptives).
- Ingestion of contaminated foods.
- Ingested toxins.
- Digestive intolerances (such as lactose intolerance, celiac disease, etc).
- High sugar or low fiber diets.
- Vitamin deficiencies.
Conventional Treatment of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is not currently recognized by conventional medical health professionals.
Patients Medical's Treatment of Leaky Gut Syndrome
As with all our therapies, proper treatment of your case of leaky gut syndrome will begin with a complete medical interview, including assessments of your dietary and lifestyle habits that may have contributed to this disorder. We will also perform diagnostics on stool samples to culture them and look for possible overgrowth of unnatural bacteria, yeast, or parasites, as safely eliminating them will be a critical part of your recovery.
In the initial phase of your treatment, we will help cleanse your gastrointestinal system of whatever may be perpetuating it. If there is an infection, the pathogen must be starved by removing foods from the diet that will help it propagate. Very sugary and starchy foods are particularly to be avoided. If the leaky gut syndrome has developed due to some other sort of toxification, a full detoxification program may be recommended depending on your case.
To help restore your gastrointestinal health, we may suggest probiotic therapies such as UltraFlora IB™ to re-establish the growth of friendly bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. Each capsule contains Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis to aid in digestion and relieve abdominal discomforts. We may also suggest SpectraZyme®, an enzyme supplement that can help relieve bloating and gas by aiding digestion of sugars, carbohydrates, and proteins. To reduce nausea, reflux, and indigestion, we may recommend Zinlori 75®, a zinc-rich supplement that helps support maintenance of healthy cells in the gut.
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