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The leaky gut syndrome is one of the digestive health concerns that affect your intestine lining. Under this digestive condition, the gap existing in intestine walls allows bacteria and toxins to easily pass into the bloodstream of the affected person. This digestive disorder can also lead to many chronic diseases if you do not take immediate action to cure the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.
The intestine is one of the vital organs of the human body which is segregated into two parts large and small intestine. The digestive enzyme existing in your stomach and small intestine breaks down the nutrients components into small molecules existing in foods that you consume every day.
This molecule is further utilized by your body for gaining energy, repair and growth work. The human intestine also helps in protecting your body against harmful bacteria and toxins. In normal conditions, the tight openings in the intestinal walls allow easy passage of only water and nutrients into the bloodstream.
However, in the case of LGS these openings get wider hence the food particles, bacteria and toxins become able to easily pass through directly into the bloodstream leading to different painful symptoms develop.
Regarding the leaky gut syndrome, there are many conflicts between healthcare specialists. One group of healthcare specialists considers LGS as a diagnosable condition whereas another group linked it with other health conditions associated with this intestinal concern.
However, there are several scientific evidence which suggests that LGS can lead to different medical conditions that needed complete care and treatment to cure.
As per its medical treatment is concerned it is considered that it can better be improved and cured with the incorporation of healthy changes in lifestyle rather than sole dependency on prescribed medication to treat it.
This is also because lots of unhealthy lifestyle routines and factors increase its growth risk so avoiding them only one can get complete relief and prevent its recurrent risk in the future.
Causes and Risk Factors
The actual cause of the leaky gut syndrome is still a medical mystery as the healthcare specialists are still not sure what exactly causes this digestive condition.
A protein known as Zonulin is the only considered suspect for this intestinal health condition. When this protein is activated in the genetically susceptible people means people whose immediate parent or close blood relation are diagnosed with LGS, it leads to leaky gut disease in them.
Two prominent factors that increase the risk of zonulin release in the body are intestinal bacteria and gluten which is a protein exists in food like wheat and other grains.
Regarding gluten triggering effect on intestinal permeability, it is said that it only activates in people who are already suffering from irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease.
Though experts don’t conclude what exactly causes to leaky gut syndrome but they consider differ risk factors that can disrupt your gut health and lead to an increased level of IP. Some common risk factors which are believed to play its prominent role in contributing leaky gut syndrome, digestive condition are mentioned below-
Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)- The long term usage of NSAIDs such as ibuprofen etc can increase the intestinal permeability that leads to the leaky gut syndrome health condition.
Nutrient Deficiency- The deficiency of certain nutrients in the body in necessary limits such as Vitamin A, Vitamin D and Zinc mineral, can increase your intestinal permeability that contributes to the leaky gut syndrome.
Excessive Sugar Consumption- People who consume more sugary foods especially high in fructose have a greater risk of developing the leaky gut syndrome. This is because these unhealthy diets hamper the barrier function of the intestinal wall. Thus its opening gets wider and allows easy passage of direct foods, bacteria, and other toxins into the bloodstream.
Excessive Intake of Alcohol- Excessive intake of alcohol or beyond the daily recommended limit increases the risk of the leaky gut syndrome. This is because the excessive doses of alcohol increase intestinal permeability that contributes to LGS.
Weak Gut Health- Your gut is full of millions of bacteria, some of them are healthy and some of them are harmful. However, when the balance between these two groups of bacteria disrupted, it harms the barrier function of the intestine wall leading to leaky gut syndrome digestive health concern occurs.
Inflammation- Chronic inflammation problem all around the body can interfere with your normal gut health and increases the risk of intestinal permeability.
Autoimmune Disorders- Autoimmune disorders in the body such as Lupus may contribute to leaky gut syndrome symptoms by harming the barrier function of the intestine wall.
Yeast Overgrowth- An overgrowth of yeast in your gut which naturally exists in your gut in healthy quantity, may contribute to leaky gut syndrome symptoms.
Stress- Stress is a leading contributing factor to this digestive disorder. Chronic stress interferes with different intestinal functions and gives birth to different gastrointestinal disorders, the leaky gut syndrome is one of them.
A leaky gut syndrome is a chronic digestive disorder which has the following signs or symptoms-
- Chronic fatigue
- Brain fog and memory loss
- Gas or bloating
- Poor immune system
- Joints pain or Arthritis
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Different skin issues such as rashes, acne, eczema, and rosacea.
- Autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease or Crohn’s.
- Depression and Anxiety
- ADD and ADHD
- Cravings for carbs or sugar
Who are at risk of the leaky gut syndrome
Every one of us has the leaky gut to some extent as this is a kind of barrier which is not fully impenetrable and it must not be. Genetic disposition is a prominent factor that makes susceptible to a related group of people of this digestive condition.
In such cases, the digestive system of the concerned people is more sensitive to changes. However, we cannot consider DNA as the sole responsible factor for this digestive health concern.
The unhealthy lifestyle followed by people all around the world is enough to cause gut inflammation. Excessive alcohol intake, stress, low fiber intake and more concentration on high sugary and highly processed meals are enough to disrupt the balance of your gut flora, leading to increase intestinal permeability.
Apart from this some gastrointestinal conditions and autoimmune disease are also found responsible for this digestive condition in some studies. Certain diseases associated with the leaky gut syndrome are mentioned below.
As per some study report, an increased intestinal permeability plays a crucial role in increasing the growth risk of type 1 diabetes which is an autoimmune disease. In the cases of type 1 diabetes, your body fails in producing the necessary amount of insulin as insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas destructed by the immune disorder.
Researches support that the immune response responsible for the beta cells destructions are triggered by the foreign substances leaking via your gut or leaky gut syndrome.
One study report says that 42% of type 1 diabetes patients are found with an increased level of Zonulin which is a mediator of increased intestinal permeability. This proves that people with leaky gut syndrome health conditions have a greater risk of developing type1 diabetes in the future.
It is found in many studies report that in celiac disease patients the intestinal permeability remains higher. Celiac disease is a kind of autoimmune disease that causes severe sensitivity to gluten which is a group of proteins found in different types of grains.
Some research study says that in some people with celiac disease health condition the rise intestinal permeability is seen immediately after the consumption of gluten-rich meals. This reflects the higher possibility of the leaky gut syndrome in patients of celiac disease.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Researches show that people with irritable bowel syndrome a digestive disorder are quite likely to develop increased intestinal permeability. The IBS is associated with both kinds of digestive disorders such as diarrhea and constipation.
Another study report says that increased intestinal permeability is very prevalent in people suffering from diarrhea-predominant IBS.
Crohn’s disease is a chronic digestive disorder and is associated with persistent inflammation in the intestinal tract. It is found in several studies report that increased intestinal permeability plays a crucial role in developing Crohn’s disease.
Another study report says that people with Crohn’s disease have a greater risk of increased intestinal permeability. Also, few studies have found increased intestinal permeability conditions in the relatives of Crohn’s disease patient which further can develop into this disease. This shows that the leaky gut syndrome may be connected with the Crohn’s disease patient’s genetics.
As per some studies report, people affected with food allergies have a greater possibility to have an impaired intestinal barrier function. As a result of leaky gut syndrome, food proteins could easily pass through the intestinal barrier which stimulates the immune response. The immune response to a food protein is called as an antigen which is a general definition of food allergy.
Treatment for Improving Gut Health
There is no definite procedure of treatment for leaky gut syndrome health condition because many medical practitioners do not consider it as a valid medical condition that can be cured with conventional treatment technique.
However, since decades healthcare specialists treat several chronic diseases only by improving gut health as the first line of treatment including alternative and integrative medicine practitioners.
One common step taken by the healthcare professionals in different counties including the United States for improving the condition of the patient with this digestive disorder health condition is to recommend changes in their current diet routine.
In such cases, doctors ask to remove certain diets from the daily diet menu which has a potent inflammatory effect and that can interfere with the gut flora until the patient’s condition gets fully healthy. Some very common diets asked for removing from daily diet routine include processed foods, alcohol, medications and any other food that can create sensitivity or allergy.
This health issue primarily triggered and often developed due to an unhealthy diet pattern followed by the affected person so these changes in diet routine proved very effective in improving the symptoms of the leaky gut syndrome in the affected patient.
Many times treating the underlying conditions that are often susceptible as responsible for this digestive disorder proves effective to cure this health condition.
However, a medical practitioner cannot start treatment of any susceptible underlying health condition such as celiac or Crohn’s diseases unless they have a full diagnosis report proving these health problems really exist.
Certain dietary changes that may help in alleviating leaky gut symptoms and improving the gut health include :-
- Eating the lesser amount of eggs, meat, and dairy products or stop eating them completely for a temporary period.
- Avoid the usage of artificial sweeteners and added sugar in meals.
- Eating more and more amount of foods rich prebiotic fiber such as whole grains and vegetables.
- Eat more probiotic diets in order to boost the beneficial gut bacteria to improve gut health faster.
Along with making necessary changes in your diet pattern some lifestyle routine changes can also improve gut and boost your digestive health.
- Reduce Stress- Stress plays a crucial role in causing leaky gut syndrome health issues. So in order to cure this condition, one must control their stress either by taking consultation with a professional or with natural measures like yoga and meditation practices.
- Exercise Everyday- You can improve your gut health and reduce the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome by practicing exercise every day. There are many exercises that specially focus on your abdominal area and effective for improving the digestive function in the body.
- Stop Taking Some Medications- Many times leaky gut syndrome develops as a result of excessive use of certain medication or as a side effect of certain medication intake. Antibiotics medicines play their role in increasing the symptoms of LGS if taken very frequently. So it’s unnecessary usage must be avoided.
- Have Quality Sleep- Your sleeping pattern throws its impact in every health aspect, digestive health is one of its priority lists. So if your sleeping pattern is unhealthy means you are lacking to sleep 7 to 8 hours at night peacefully then you must improve your sleeping quality to improve your gut health faster.
- Quit Smoking- Smoking is no way healthy in any respect. It interferes with your digestive health as well and in the long run, it can develop the symptoms of LGS. So to improve your gut health and for boosting the digestive functions you must quit smoking as early as it is possible.
An unhealthy dietary routine plays a vital role in causing the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome and disrupting your gut flora so it is advised to consult with a gastroenterologist who is also an expert in the nutrition department to get rid of this digestive disorder completely.View Article Sources