Leaky Gut has been a buzzword in the healthcare industry in the recent years. Intestinal Permeability is caused by damage to the lining of the small intestine, allowing toxic waste product to leak into the bloodstream.  No matter the term you choose this condition is unpleasant and, if left untreated, can cause serious issues that you don’t want to have to repair. Leaky Gut is actually very common, but don’t be surprised if your MD doesn’t recognize this term as it’s mostly being treated successfully in functional and regenerative medicine.

 

Causes:

 

Though there is very little scientific study for this condition, properly trained practitioners are finding common causes to be: toxic overload from alcohol, prescription drugs, poor diets that are low in fiber and high in sugar, undiagnosed food intolerances, as well exposure to certain food pesticides like glyphosate. All of these factors contribute to chronic inflammation and are believed to compromise the lining of the intestines. Another leading factor is the consumption of gluten.  It’s been both a craze and a joke to be gluten-free.  However, we are finding that whether or not a patient has a gluten intolerance that the consumption of this highly inflammatory ingredient is a front runner in the race to causing leaky gut.  Parasites and candida can also play a role in deteriorating the intestinal wall, as they can perpetuate inflammation and cause our bodies to crave some of the bad foods that we should be avoiding.

 

Symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Headaches/Migraines
  • Brain Fog
  • Memory loss
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Lowered Immune Function
  • Achy Joints
  • Weight Gain
  • Muscle Pain
  • Malabsorption of nutrients
  • Depression/Anxiety
  • Skin Issues
  • Respiratory Problems

 

That may look like a pretty common slew of symptoms that come along with other root causes, but these are specifically related to leaky gut because of its ability to cause major inflammation throughout the body. For someone with leaky gut, they’re basically walking around with an overload of toxins circulating in their bodies. This means the body is constantly fighting with itself to fix the inflammation, but also signalling the person to give it more of the bad stuff that is causing it. It’s a vicious cycle. One form of bacteria (with several different strains) that has the ability to cross the blood brain barrier is known as Candida. It’s common to see leaky gut paired with candida overgrowth. Having particles of this in the bloodstream, crossing the blood brain barrier, is what can cause the cognitive dysfunctions and lead to anxiety and depression.  If you feel like you have a few of these symptoms, reach out to our clinical staff. There are tests that can be done for leaky gut and candida overgrowth to diagnose the culprit.

Treatment:

 

Prioritize a Healing Diet:
Bad foods and allergenic foods (these are unique to each person, but the big ones are eggs, dairy, and gluten) should be immediately eliminated from your diet. Sugar, yeast, and other foods high in lectins like spelt or soy wreak havoc on the microbiome. Working with your health care practitioner or nutritionist to customize a meal plan and food prescription is ideal. This will also ensure that you’re adding in healing foods along with eliminating problematic foods. Healing foods like broths, yogurt and kefir with probiotics, kimchi, coconut oils and coconut milks, and other healthy fats such as avocado all support the healing of the digestive tract and should be incorporated into your food rx plan.

 

Powerful Herbal Medicines:
Herbal medicine has been praised for many years for it’s healing ability, powerful effects, and little to no side effects or contraindications. For leaky gut in particular, healing herbs we suggest are slippery elm, aloe vera leaf, marshmallow root, chamomile, and turmeric. These all have different healing abilities on the gut in particular, and will work fairly quickly to repair the intestinal walls.  You can ingest teas (which is very soothing to the stomach as well), tinctures, or capsules of these herbs.

 

Essential Nutrient Supplements:
In most cases of leaky gut, we are seeing that essential vitamins and minerals aren’t being absorbed by the body. This causes deficiency, and deficiency is one of leading pathways to disease.  One mineral that’s crucial for healing leaky gut is zinc. Daily probiotics are necessary to help rebalance the biome. Quercetin can lower the histamine cascade effects, and l-glutamine has been shown to have incredible repairative abilities for an inflamed and leaky intestinal lining.

 

IV Nutrition Therapy:
As mentioned above, vitamins and minerals that have to be processed by the digestive system aren’t being properly absorbed. Be it by food or supplementation, leaky gut prohibits us from getting our daily intake and then contributes to a worsening problem.  The absolute best and most effective way around that issue is to receive high doses of nutritional supplements via IV Therapy. This introduces the nutrients directly to the blood stream, so absorption isn’t limited by the distressed digestive tract.

 

We have been seeing an increase in patients with leaky gut, but also seeing wonderful results when treated appropriately. If you are having any of these symptoms and suspect you may be suffering from this condition, it’s a great idea to reach out to Gentera Center for Regenerative Medicine. We can plan for a proper assessment from our clinical team, and a personalized plan will be put into place to heal your Leaky Gut.  Let us help you feel your best!

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