What is Leaky Gut and Do I Have It?

What is Leaky Gut and Do I Have It?

If you’ve heard the term “leaky gut” and thought it sounded pretty gross and kind of painful, you’d be right. If you’ve also wondered if any of those pesky symptoms you’ve been experiencing lately – like food sensitivity – are actually leaky gut… well you might be right.

So what is it? Leaky Gut Syndrome is what functional medical practioners call a condition where the proteins that link your intestinal cells together have a malfunction. These proteins are called Tight Junction proteins or TJ Proteins, and their job is to allow vital nutrients to enter your bloodstream, and keep disease causing compounds out.

When there is a malfunction among TJ proteins, the good and the bad get in and that’s when things get ugly. Our immune system has a large piece of real estate inside our gut, so when something is off balance within the gut, it can cause a slew of problems in your digestive system and throughout your entire body. So how do you know if you have leaky gut? Here are 7 symptoms and signs:

  1. Food sensitivity, especially to gluten and dairy
  2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  3. Autoimmune Disease
  4. Thyroid issues like Hashimotos’s disease
  5. Nutrient deficiencies due to malabsorption
  6. Inflammatory skin conditions like acne and psoriasis
  7. Mood issues and depression

What causes leaky gut syndrome? A number of things can cause your system to go off balance. Some of the most common causes for leaky gut are:

  1. Genetic predisposition
  2. Poor diet, especially those heavy in processed foods, GMOs, dairy and added sugar
  3. Chronic stress
  4. Toxin overload caused by antibiotics, pesticides, unfiltered tap water and other environmental factors.
  5. Bacteria imbalance

Is leaky gut really that serious or will it just go away over time? As mentioned in the beginning of this article, much of our immune system lives in the gut. Allowing any disruption within the body to go on for a long period of time will inevitably cause serious problems.  The list of diseases linked to leaky gut syndrome is overwhelming and includes: Parkinson’s disease, Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and colon cancer; chronic fatigue syndrome, obesity, allergies, sepsis, organ failure, arthritis, lupus, Type II diabetes, heart disease and many more.

Healing a leaky gut doesn’t happen overnight. However, there is a formula for healing that includes changing your diet, including proper supplements (insert link to our blog), probiotics and addressing any other root causes you may be battling. If you are suffering from any of the symptoms above, we can help you. Contact us today to learn about holistic solutions for leaky gut and start feeling better.

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Important Information: Dr. Rappe, D.C. is a certified functional medicine practitioner and is not a medical doctor. The information presented and/or supplements prescribed is not intended to take the place of your primary care physician’s advice and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Discuss our information with your own primary care physician to determine what is right for you. All information obtained in our office, from our website, social media pages, private member groups, health coaching services or other communications is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice from your primary care physician or treatment for specific medical conditions. 

References:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4253991/table/Tab6/ https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440529/

Lorrie Rappe
Lorrie.Rappe@ThriveFunctionalWellness.com
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