Leaky gut can be a symptom of many underlying problems, particularly allergies to some foods. Without proper care, leaky gut may lead to very serious health problems. Having a leaky gut is one of the major issues leading to food intolerances and allergies. Some of the symptoms of a leaky gut include:
- Chronic muscle or joint pain
- Constipation and/or diarrhea
- Mood swings
- Poor immunity
- Food intolerances
- Brain fog
- Malabsorption of nutrients
The mucosal lining of the gut is the primary barrier system that is the first contact for foods with the immune system. The lining contains Secretory IgA (SIgA) which is the primary antibody defense in the gastrointestinal tract. It is crucial for containing microbes and large food particles so they don’t go beyond the gut environment and translocate into the bloodstream.
Between the epithelial cells in the mucosal barrier are “tight junctions” that are surrounded by a complex array of proteins and lipids. One of the inflammatory signaling pathways in the epithelium is regulated by a protein called zonulin.
Many studies have demonstrated that an increase in zonulin stimulation can open the tight junctions and cause intestinal permeability.
Increased zonulin levels are also implicated in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, allowing the gliadin molecules to pass into the bloodstream and initiate an autoimmune reactivity not only to gliadin, but body tissues as well. In fact, all types of autoimmunity can be initiated by an increase in zonulin activity in the gut mucosa.
Researchers in Italy incubated gliadin with zonulin from rabbit’s mucosal cells and found an increase in the levels of zonulin which caused a “rapid increase in intestinal permeability.” Conversely, the cells were treated with a zonulin inhibitor and when exposed to gliadin the cells did not release zonulin and increased permeability did not occur.
The inflammatory process can be altered by removing the pathogens and/or the offending foods and substances and can also be altered and repaired by abolishing the gut permeability through instituting a gut restoration program.
If a leaky gut is not repaired, this long term damage leads to systemic inflammation.
It allows undigested particles of foods, bacteria, fungus, parasites and toxins to move through the porous membranes and into the bloodstream. This can lead to malabsorption and depletion of nutrients.
If left untreated, other health issues are likely to occur: GERD, IBS, allergies, autoimmune conditions, neurological diseases, skin eruptions, chronic fatigue, arthritis, and even cancer.
It can be helpful to Identify some other sources that can cause a leaky gut so that those sources can be addressed as well.
Leaky gut may also be caused by the following:
- Eating too many refined foods
- Prolonged states of stress
- Unresolved food intolerances
- SAD diet
- NSAIDS (aspirin, Tylenol, etc.)
- Chemotherapy and radiation
The 4R GUT RESTORATION PROGRAM is one of the most important steps to healing a “leaky gut”.