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Leaky Gut Syndrome

The new buzz phrase to explain all ills, but it is really a bit of a mystery what is the cause and what we can do about it.

Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is a condition that causes inflammation of the gut lining eventually leading to dysfunctional intestinal absorption (problems getting digested food molecules into the bloodstream). The intestinal lining becomes more porous, with more holes developing that are larger in size than the normal holes so that the usual screening out process is no longer functioning properly. The outcome results in larger, undigested food molecules and other “bad stuff” (yeast, toxins, and all other forms of waste) that your body normally doesn’t allow through, flowing into your bloodstream.

shutterstock_222585415Because these items are not supposed to be roaming around in our blood, they cause the immune system to go into attack mode, which can often lead to sensitivities and allergies. The problem is the immune system doesn’t just build up antibodies to the food particles; it starts to attack your healthy cells, too. This is one of the ways food sensitivities develop and it is thought to be one cause of autoimmune disorders, like Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS), Chronic Fatigue, and Fibromyalgia.

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LGS what may lead to this?

Diet:

So it seems that the Paleo diet is one of the few diets sticking around, and making it’s way to being one of the top most effective “lifestyle inspiring diets”. I hate using the word “diet”, since it seems like one of those quick fixes, and it’s really not. Paleo diet is based on the notion that for optimal health, modern humans should go back to eating real, whole unprocessed foods that are more healthful than harmful to our bodies. Logically this makes so much sense, our bodies are incapable of adapting to the rapid agricultural changes, some of which include genetically modified wheat, excessive sugar, chemically processed vegetable and seed oils, etc.

Consuming high amounts of refined sugars, processed foods, preservatives, refined flours, and flavorings introduces massive amounts of chemicals into the body that is seen by the liver and kidneys as toxic.  If your body has a hard time keeping up the clearing out of the toxins, they start to build up and cause inflammation (like we talked about earlier).

Alcohol (yes, that includes beer and wine), soda pop and caffeine act on the body like toxins.  They place a heavy load on the body’s immune system, overburden the liver, and irritate the intestinal lining.

Chronic Stress:

Stress suppresses our immune system. In the event of a stressful situation, our bodies release hormones like cortisol and norepinephrine. Because our gut is innervated by our peripheral nervous system these hormones put our bodies in fight or flight mode, during stress or anxiety the digestive system slows down as well as the immune system.

 

When the body releases cortisol it directly increase gut permeability, which means the bacteria and toxins which are not supposed to be released through the gut may now make their way to your bloodstream.

A lack of the following vitamins:

Vitamin A, vitamin B-5, zinc, selenium and folic acid are all required for a healthy intestinal lining. A deficiency in one or more of these vitamins or minerals can weaken the small intestinal lining or lead to an inability of the lining to repair itself.

Medications and Toxins

We come into contact with over 80,000 chemicals and toxins every single year but the worst offenders for causing leaky gut include antibiotics, aspirin, NSAIDS (non steroidal anti –inflammatories) and pesticides.

 

Look out for our suggestions on prevention and treatment of Leaky Gut Syndrome.