It’s been a long time coming, but the discussion on “leaky gut syndrome” is finally getting more attention. Given the vast array of ‘s a lot more educating to be done!
Holistic physician Dr. Andrew Weil, MD, has a helpful definition of leaky gut.
Leaky gut syndrome is not generally recognized by conventional physicians, but evidence is accumulating that it is a real condition that affects the lining of the intestines. The theory is that leaky gut syndrome (also called increased intestinal permeability), is the result of damage to the intestinal lining, making it less able to protect the internal environment as well as to filter needed nutrients and other biological substances. As a consequence, some bacteria and their toxins, incompletely digested proteins and fats, and waste not normally absorbed may “leak” out of the intestines into the blood stream. This triggers an autoimmune reaction, which can lead to gastrointestinal problems, such as abdominal bloating, excessive gas and cramps, fatigue, food sensitivities, joint pain, skin rashes, and autoimmunity.”
Doesn’t sound like something you want to have, does it?
Leaky Gut – A Medical Mystery?
In Leaky gut Syndrome: What Is It? WebMd refers to leaky gut as a “medical mystery.” Getting a diagnosis can be difficult.
Respected gastroenterologist Donal Kirby, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic says “physicians don’t know enough about the gut which is our biggest immune system organ.”
That is likely true, but I was pleased that he added “you may have leaky gut and we may be able to treat what causes it…” and further, “If you have something going on, it is incumbent upon the medical community to listen to you.” (emphasis mine)
Chances are good that some of us do have something going on and it’s great to know someone will listen.
So what other things might you wonder about this medical mystery?
Is There a Connection Between the Gut and Moodhealth?
Below are a few symptoms of leaky gut and according to this article from GreenMed.info.com, there is now evidence that “leaky gut plays a role in the inflammatory pathophysiology of depression.”
There are additional resources that point to a possible the microbiome-mood connection you might find helpful:
- PubMed: mind-body-microbial continuum
- Scientific American: Mental Health May Depend on Creatures in the Gut
- American Psychological Association: That gut feeling
- Translational Microbiome Research Forum: Gut and Mood: The Microbiome In Anxiety And Depression
Since more than 100 million Americans have digestive issues, it’s worth additional research to explore the gut-mood connection especially since digestive issues continue to rise. (Source)
For those who support a diagnosis of leaky gut, here are possible signs that a person may have it.
Leaky gut symptoms:
- Allergies, skin rashes (psoriasis and eczema)
- Poor concentration.
- Some forms of arthritis
How Do Digestive Enzymes Support Digestion?
Your digestive enzymes play a critical role in your gut health — they serve to protect the gut lining by breaking down your food, they help eliminate toxins and allow you to absorb critical nutrients from your food…provided of course you’re eating a healthy diet!
Did you know your digestive enzymes deteriorate as you age?
Digestive enzymes occur naturally in raw foods, but how much raw food do most of us eat? Processed foods, stress, and environmental factors can further impact your digestive enzymes.
Many complementary and alternative medicine practitioners, like Dr. Mark Hyman, advise their patients to use digestive enzymes. Here Dr. Hyman explains how your digestive system could be making you sick and fat.
Even if you’re eating a really nutritious diet and taking good supplements, some people suffer from malabsorption and leaky gut syndrome. Malabsorption is just what it says – your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients it’s supposed to. It may be caused by leaky gut, or other factors that can contribute to it, like low stomach acid, parasitic infections, candidiasis, etc.
If you want to know more about the importance of digestive enzymes, check out EnzymeStuff.com. Here’s a link to our best selling digestive enzymes. You might want to think about adding them to your daily routine.
Children can have leaky gut, too!
If you think you’re off the hook because you’re younger, guess again. Even children can suffer from intestinal disorders. Holistic healthcare practitioners and physicians are treating record numbers of children with chronic intestinal issues like Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, leaky gut, irritable bowel, etc, especially children with autism.
The food you eat and the supplements you take do make a difference…..Which reminds me, if you’ve seen the movie Food Matters, you’ll understand why I bring this up. Check out the trailer.
So there’s a little food for thought to chew on. Is your gut telling you something?
If you’ve had leaky gut or other digestive issues, we’d like to hear from you. Please comment below!
Image Source: flickr.com