Signs and Symptoms of Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is extremely common and can lead to devastating health problems. Yet most people who have it… don’t even know it.
To make things worse, most doctors don’t understand the condition, or don’t know anything about it, and usually don’t consider it when evaluating a sick patient. So leaky gut goes undetected in most cases, despite the fact that it can be the root cause of many diseases.
So, I’ll show you some of the major signs that will tip you off to the fact that you might have a leaky gut. Just don’t get too down on yourself as we go through these symptoms, because there are solutions available.
What The Heck Is A Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut is also called intestinal permeability.
The lining of your intestines should be “tight”, so that only properly broken down nutrients and water can pass through and enter your body. But when junctions between the cells that line your gut become loose or develop gaps and holes, food and bacteria can exit your gut and make their way elsewhere. That means particles of bacteria and toxins that should never leave your digestive tract wind up sneaking through into your bloodstream. This is bad. Very bad.
That’s why the condition is called leaky gut – or intestinal permeability.
Having a leaky gut can trigger widespread inflammation and immune reactions in your body. It can result in conditions that are difficult if not impossible to reverse.
Symptoms Of Leaky Gut
All of the symptoms on this next list can be signs of a leaky gut:
- joint pain
- food sensitivities and/or allergies
- skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and acne
- autoimmune disease
- cognitive disorders like depression and autism
I’ll go into more detail for a few of these.
Food Sensitivities and Allergies
If you have food sensitivities or allergies, there’s a good chance your gut is leaky. Because the leaky gut allows foreign substances – undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins – into your bloodstream, your immune system gets triggered to attack those substances with antibodies, which are proteins that destroy foreign invaders.
This is both good and bad. It’s good because these undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins are not supposed to be in your blood, so your immune system is doing what it should by attacking and getting rid of them. But it’s bad because the leaky gut causes repeated and almost constant exposure to these foreign particles, which makes your immune system become hyper stimulated. There’s another problem, too. You can become sensitive or allergic to certain foods that you eat routinely, because your immune system has a memory and every time you eat those foods, you develop symptoms and an immune response. This can happen even long after a leaky gut has been repaired.
Autoimmune Disease and Leaky Gut
This warning sign is when your body’s immune response is directed at a specific tissue in your body, such as your thyroid gland or muscle tissue. This attack by your immune system causes dysfunction in that tissue. There are more than 100 different autoimmune conditions – lupus, Crohn’s Disease, celiac, and rheumatoid arthritis are among the most common. Other examples include Hashimoto’s Disease and Grave’s Disease. Around 25 million Americans have been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. This number could be up to 50 million if you include the estimated numbers that go undiagnosed.
Your Skin is a Window Into Your Gut Health
I mentioned that skin issues like acne, eczema, and psoriasis might be a warning sign of a leaky gut. Your skin is intended to be a physical, chemical, and antimicrobial defense system for your body. But inflammation resulting from a leaky gut destroys the protective function of the epidermal layer, which is the outermost layer of your skin. This impairs its antimicrobial ability and makes your skin prone to inflammation and infection.
Another way a leaky gut contributes to skin problems is by preventing proper nutrient absorption. Remember, your skin is your largest organ, making up about 10% of your body weight. It needs nutrients to survive. But when nutrients are in short supply, your body will prioritize those nutrients to the essential organs like your heart, brain, and liver. The less essential areas like your skin, hair, or nails suffer.
Even issues like autism and depression can point to a leaky gut. Inflammation is again a common theme here. In this case, the inflammation triggers a class of chemicals called inflammatory cytokines. Elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines are linked to depression and autism.
Primary Foods That Contribute To A Leaky Gut
The main offenders are:
- Unhealthy fats
How Do You Fix A Leaky Gut?
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