Did you know that leaky gut otherwise known as intestinal permeability has been researched for nearly 30 years and is one of the leading causes of chronic disease?
You may be wondering what is leaky gut? We have an epithelial lining of the gut mucosa which functions as a protective barrier. Simply put, it helps to get the good things in and keep the bad things out.
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In this lining, we have tight junctions. These tight junctions are regulated by a protein called Zonulin and some other proteins.
In a healthy gut, the tight junctions allow the nutrients to be absorbed by the small intestine but keep the toxins, pathogens, viruses, and bacteria’s out.
When we have a leaky gut, these tight junctions are altered. Therefore, the pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and so on get into the bloodstream. Once this happens, our immune system is activated.
Think of our immune system as the detection of strangers and dangers. Once these antigens from the bacteria are crossing into the bloodstream, then our B cells are activated which can in turn attack the body. That is why a leaky gut can cause knee osteoarthritis. It is creating this systemic inflammatory response. It can cause pain, swelling, and inflammation, whether that is localized to a joint or body part or more systemic. This is also what leads to autoimmune disease.
So what are some causes of leaky gut?
– Food triggers
– Food sensitivities
– Imbalance of the bacteria or bacterial overgrowth
– Intestinal inflammation
– Poor digestive sufficiency (enzymes, low HCL, etc)
– Nutrient deficiencies
– Many disease states
This ultimately can contribute to more food sensitivities, malabsorption, and uptake of lipopolysaccharide, which is an endotoxin. This is something that can cause significant disruption in the body.
What to do if you’re not feeling your best
Whether you don’t feel your best or you’re dealing with some kind of chronic health condition, please know that this could be a possibility for you. Your first step is to reach out to a professional to be properly evaluated and treated. There is testing available, however is not always the most reliable. We are happy to help you and would love to see you virtually or in person, so please reach out for any assistance.
Leaky gut can be the root of so many chronic diseases whether it’s elevated cholesterol, osteoarthritis, or autoimmune disease. All of these things are related to systemic inflammation. Ninety percent of all chronic disease is linked to systemic or excessive inflammation. Please make sure that you are not just treating your symptoms and taking more medications which further contributes to intestinal permeability. Rather, seek the root cause.