Leaky gut, or medically termed “intestinal permeability”, is a condition in which the tight junctions binding the enterocytes of the small intestine together (controlling what passes through its lining) have been compromised. This ultimately leads to the passage of food particles, as well as other substances (toxins, viruses, bacteria, etc), into the bloodstream. However, this condition is not one taught in traditional medical schools, or even Naturopathic schools, and while is a hot topic in alternative, or “functional” medicine at the moment, methods for diagnosis are lacking.
Leaky gut syndrome is said to be correlated to gas, bloating, cramping, food sensitivities, brain fog, aches and pains, and skin conditions such as eczema, dermatitis, acne, hormonal imbalances, and so on. While evidence is still trying to understand the connection between hyperpermeability and health outcomes, we do know that poor digestion and malabsorption of vital nutrients can contribute to degenerative diseases, compromised immune status and nutritional deficiencies, and compromised GI barrier can result from a number of causes including:
• Low gastric acid production
• Chronic maldigestion
• Food allergen impact on bowel absorptive surfaces
• Bacterial overgrowth or imbalances (dysbiosis)
• Pathogenic bacteria, yeast or parasites and related toxic irritants
• The use of NSAIDs and antibiotics
Our Naturopaths’ management approach involves assessment involves a throughout overview of symptoms experienced, as well as investigation for the underlying pathogenesis of intestinal permeability. Laboratory testing such as a Comprehensive Stool Analysis can aid in the identifying bacterial imbalances and intestinal malabsorption. IgG Food Sensitivity Testing can help identify which foods have been isolated as” inflammatory”, and to what severity of permeability is being experienced.
Therapies target both the removal of provocative agents worsening the potential permeability, as well as managing the root to its development, all while supporting proper tight junction formation and intestinal regeneration. Treatment incorporates dietary modifications, as well as nutraceutical therapies when necessarily.
For further question, please contact our Naturopaths‘ today!