Leaky gut syndrome is relatively new in the medical world and is still not fully recognized by doctors, mostly because there is still so much unknown.
So what is this medical mystery? Leaky gut is loosely defined as an increase in gut permeability caused by damage to the intestinal lining. This makes it difficult for the intestines to protect their environment and filter nutrients and other biological substances. This can result in toxins and substances to leak out of the intestines and into the blood stream, causing an autoimmune reaction that can result in the following symptoms
- Joint and muscle aches and pains
- Skin rashes
Unfortunately, most of these symptoms are also associated with other conditions, making leaky gut syndrome difficult to identify, adding to the medical mystery of the syndrome.
What could cause this medical mystery? It’s believed that a wide variety of causes could play a role in developing leaky gut syndrome.
These factors include: chronic inflammation, food sensitivities, taking large amounts of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), cytoxic drugs, trauma & burns, stress, radiation & chemotherapy, alcohol, Chron’s disease, type 1 & 2 diabetes, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, obesity or antibiotics could all contribute to leaky gut syndrome.
What to do if you have been diagnosed or you suspect you may have leaky gut syndrome–
- Consume a diet based in whole foods with minimal food additives and high in anti-inflammatory foods (omega-3 fatty acids, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans, avocados, nuts, tea, etc).
- Look out for food allergies or intolerances and avoid such foods
- Consider a gluten free diet (only after your doctor has ruled out celiac disease)
- Probiotics (**your dietitian may recommend additional supplements on a case to case basis)
- Control stress