Gut health is a hot topic these days. Gut health doesn’t just affect your digestive tract. Over the past decade, research has shown that gut health affects everything from metabolism to sleep quality and mental health. For that reason, conditions like Leaky Gut Syndrome can take a major toll – not just on digestive health, but on overall health and wellness. But what is Leaky Gut Syndrome, and how can we treat it?
Leaky Gut Syndrome is the colloquial term for increased permeability in the gastrointestinal lining. When the intestinal lining is permeable, or leaky, unwanted particles can get through the lining into the bloodstream. The particles from the gut are mostly bacteria, waste and antigens – for example, undigested food proteins – which have no business being in our bloodstream. Absorption of those particles leads to a variety of unpleasant symptoms and diseases like autoimmune conditions, diabetes and fatigue. One kind of particles is especially harmful: lipopolysaccharides (LPs).
Why Are Lipopolysaccharides Harmful?
Lipopolysaccharides (LPs) are large, complex molecules that are found in gram-negative bacteria. LPs are endotoxins, which means they cause an overreaction of the immune system when they’re absorbed. When individuals struggle with Leaky Gut Syndrome, those LPs can leak through the gastrointestinal wall and into the bloodstream, causing a condition called endotoxemia. Endotoxemia raises inflammatory cytokines in the body, causing full-body inflammation and triggering the onset of insulin resistance, diabetes and obesity. Endotoxins like LPs can also cause poor nutrient absorption, leaving you unable to absorb nutrients like B12, magnesium and iron. Finally, nutrient malabsorption can worsen the immune system response, causing gastrointestinal issues like food intolerances and celiac disease. The bottom line is that a leaky gut releases harmful particles like LPs that can cause severe immune reactions and inflammation.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
There are several factors that can increase the permeability of the gut lining:
- Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen
- Toxic exposures
- Food allergies and sensitivities
- Stress hormones
- Strenuous exercise
- Alcohol abuse
Consequences of Leaky Gut
Particles like LPs can lead to chronic activation of the immune system, eventually causing your immune system to attack your own healthy tissue. That’s a calling card of autoimmune disease. LPs can also migrate to the blood-brain barrier, causing inflammation, inhibiting dopamine receptors and ultimately leading to depression. LPs can also disrupt the communication in the brain, increasing the release of corticosteroid-releasing hormone and leading to anxiety. There are several other common symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome:
- Histamine intolerance
- Food sensitivities
- Autoimmune disease
- Weight gain
- Skin rashes
- Chronic pain
Treating Leaky Gut
As we’ve seen over the last decade, gut health is a major cornerstone of your ongoing well-being. Keeping your gut lining intact reduces the chance that LPs will end up in the bloodstream. However, if you’re already struggling with gut health, it’s treatable. At Kare Health and Wellness, our experts can identify Leaky Gut Syndrome identifiers like increased LPs through a simple blood test. We can also identify sensitivities and conduct delayed food allergy testing in Springfield Missouri to find out what is contributing to your poor gut health. Once we’ve identified your Leaky Gut Syndrome triggers, we’ll work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan. Over time, we’ll be able to alleviate your symptoms and heal your gut.
Are you struggling with symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome? Reach out to Kare Health and Wellness at 417-881-4994. Our goal is twofold: to improve your immediate health and prevent future health issues through functional medicine in Springfield Missouri. Our patient-centered approach and innovative solutions – like personalized Leaky Gut Syndrome treatment – will have you feeling better in no time.