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Leaky Gut Syndrome: Causes ant Treatment

by Gauri Kolhe

Leaky gut syndrome is associated with digestive system and the most affected part is intestines.

A Condition in which gaps of intestinal walls keep allowing to pass bacteria and toxins outside of the intestine, into the bloodstream called as leaky gut syndrome.

Leaky gut syndrome is not a diagnosable pathological condition hence cannot be easily recognized by healthcare professionals and doctors. Several scientific evidences said that leaky gut syndrome may associate with many other medical conditions.

Leaky gut syndrome can also be arises as a result of unhealthy diet and a lazy life style. Lack of exercise may cause oxidative stress which leads inflammation results poor digestion of food.

Consumption of food having gluten, protein and fast food also promotes indigestion and hence it could be a reason of leaky gut syndrome.

Longer use of some medicines weak the digestion which inhibits growth of bacteria. This decreasing growth of bacteria may also cause this pathological condition.

What is leaky gut syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome passes bacteria into the bloodstream through the gaps present in the walls of intestinal.

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is well organized system starting from oral cavity to anus. All organs are connected in a way like tube and work in coordination. Here are the organs consisting in GIT (gastro intestinal tract)

  • The esophagus
  • The stomach
  • The small and large intestines

Process of digestion starts with the oral cavity followed to stomach, small intestine and large intestine. All organs secrete digestive enzymes. Digestive enzymes show their mechanism by breaking food into essential nutrient.

Enzyme tylin secretes in oral cavity digest carbohydrate digestive juice trypsin, chymotrypsin, and lipases are responsible for digestion of protein and fats. So in short whatever we eat or drink get break into nutrient and provide energy, growth and repair.

Intestinal secretion does play an important role in the protection of body from the vulnerable bacteria and toxins present in our body.

Tightly bound cellular junctions do allow the transportation of water and nutrient from inside to the outside of intestinal wall and release in bloodstream. They keeps harmful bacteria and toxins inside and don’t let them pass through the wall in normal condition.  

In LGS condition the gaps between the opening present in wall of intestine get wider and permits passage of food particles, toxins and bacteria into the blood stream.

Relation between gut microbiota and leaky gut syndrome:

Although bacteria known to cause many diseases, a wide range of bacteria are living in small intestines and large intestines.

These bacteria are good for our health hence called as good bacteria and intestines provide a home and growth environment to bacteria so named as gut bacteria helps in digestion and give support for strengthening the immune system.

A bacterium also protects the wall of intestine. When this system misbalanced, leaky gut syndrome appears.

An article published in 2016 shown that the imbalance I gut microbiota affects responses given by immune system.

The imbalance leads in gut inflammation and increase permeation of food particles and toxins in to the blood stream in short intestinal permeation is the main cause of LGS.

Leaky gut syndrome may have a link with various health conditions:

However there is no indication showing whether LGS is a cause or the symptoms of disease, here re some examples related to LGS.

  • Crohn’s disase
  • Irritable bowel disease (IBS)
  • Celiac disease
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic liver disease
  • Food allergies
  • polysysteic ovary syndrome

Symptoms

headaches

Leaky gut syndrome’s symptom resembles many of the symptoms associated with other diseases so it causes difficulty to recognize the disease.

Due to this many doctors gat confused between the Leaky gut with other diseases having same symptoms.  LGS may have following symptoms.

  • nutritional deficiencies
  • chronic diarrhea, constipation, or bloating
  • widespread inflammation
  • headaches
  • fatigue
  • skin problems, such as acne, rashes, or eczema
  • confusion
  • difficulty concentrating
  • joint pain

Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome

Researchers and experts do not have confirmation that exactly what causes leaky gut syndrome. Many risk factors are associated with the leaky gut syndrome and disturb microbiota and causes increased   intestinal permeation. Some causes are as follows:

  • poor nutrition
  • alcohol consumption
  • infections
  • autoimmune disorders, such as lupus
  • diabetes
  • stress

Other than these causes, a protein name zouline which is responsible for regulating tight junctions of cells seems to cause intestinal permeability in a research has been proved.

In a research it has been found that gluten also causes LGS.

Some researchers found that increasing higher levels of inflammatory mediators like interlukein 13, tumor necrosis factor or continuous consumption of NSAID’s (non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs) can also cause LGS such as aspirin, ibuprofen.

One of the most important causes is the decreasing gut microbiota.

Treatment

Because doctors do not consider leaky gut as a legitimate medical condition so no standard treatment is there for leaky gut syndrome. However some changes in lifestyle and dietry supplements may helps in the management of LGS.

Here are some dietary and lifestyle tips:

  • To protect and boost gut microbiota have more probiotics.
  • Eat foods enriched with high fiber content and prebiotics for example vegetables and whole grains.
  • Reduce the frequency of eating meat, eggs and dairy products.
  • Make sure to avoid added sugar and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame.
  • As digestion improves this also support health of gut microbiota. So involve some physical exercises in your daily routine life.
  • Make sure to minimize stress as much as possible so digestion improves.
  • To improve gut health have proper sleep at night. Minimum 7-8 hours for normal adults.
  • Do not smoke if you done than quit smoking.

Food to eat

vegetables

An unhealthy gut flora may lead to various health conditions like chronic inflammation, crohn’s disease, some metabolic disease, cancer and diabetes.

You can have plenty of healthy foods and a healthy lifestyle so you can get a hand full of help to improve gut microbiota.

Following mention food is quite helpful in improving your health:

  • Some vegetables such as carrots, kale, broccoli, spinach, ginger, mushroom, zucchini and Brussels sprout improve digestion.
  • Sweet potatoes, potatoes, turnips also improve digestion so include them in your food.
  • Have some fermented food such as miso, tempeh, sauerkraut and kimchi. Also involves sprouted seeds of chia, flax and sunflower. They are a good source of fiber.
  • Do not consume food enrich with gluten so have some gluten free food like amaranth, rice, oats and buckwheat.
  • Choose healthy fat having healthy fatty acid such as coconut oil, avocado oil and extra virgin olive oil.
  • Fish like tuna, herring and salmon that enriched with omega3 fatty acids, include them in your food.
  • Various nuts such as almond, peanuts are rich in fiber and fatty acids.
  • Garnish and flavor your food with herbs and spices.

Food you have to avoid preventing Leaky gut syndrome.

In this era of packed and processed food there is some food which promotes inflammation which is a key driver of many diseases. Here is some food you should have to avoid:

  • Wheat is a rich source of gluten so food made of wheat like bread, pasta, heat flour etc should be avoided.
  • Make sure to avoid processed food like deli meats, bacon, hot dogs, cold cuts etc.
  • Bakery products such as cookies, muffins, pies, pastries, pizza, cupcakes and cakes should have avoided as a dessert.
  • Your favorite snack also affects you in negative way so you should avid snacks such as, popcorns, pretzels, potato chips, muesli bars and crackers.
  • Excessive use of Diary products like cheese, ice cream and milk should also avoided.
  • Avoid some refined oil like canola, sunflower, soyabean, and safflower.
  • Do not use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, saccharine and sucralose.
  • Junk food is another category of food should have avoid includes fast foods, chips, candy bars and sugary cereals.
  • Salads is the most simple and healthy food but tossing the fresh vegetables with some sauces like teriyaki sauce, soy sauce and hoisin sauce  makes it less effective. So do a void these sauces.
  • Besides the food there are some beverages you should have avoid. They does not seems to contain a healthy nutrient do not consume beverages like alcohol, carbonated soda  and other sugary drinks.

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