“Do you have Leaky Gut”
What is leaky gut? How do you know if you have it?
The correct term is Intestinal Hyper-permeability, but we can just stick to “leaky gut” for now as this is probably a term you have heard of but is still largely misunderstood.
Leaky gut is a loss of gut barrier function where the tight junctions between gut cells lose their integrity and come apart. This means that food proteins, toxins and even bacteria inside our intestine can “leak” through these gaps and initiate inflammation and immune responses. The contents of our intestines should remain there until the cells process and absorb nutrients from our food through specific processes.
Introducing Leaky gut expert Dr Alessio Fasano. He is the head of research at the University of Harvard Celiac Research Centre, and is responsible for discovering the gluten/leaky gut connection. He explains in his recent articles that leaky gut occurs alongside two other factors; a change in bacteria diversity in the mucosal layers of the gut and low grade inflammation as the immune system is primed by the presence of “foreign” bodies where they don’t belong. This inflammatory process is then further exacerbated by some food proteins which reduce the ability of the tight junctions from closing up which perpetuates immune response and inflammation.
Some of the symptoms of leaky gut can be; brain fog, gut pain, allergies, eczema, headaches, fatigue, loose bowels, IBS, low mood and even autoimmune conditions. This is how I believe my own autoimmune disease; Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis was triggered.
Through dietary changes we can restore gut lining integrity and ecology so that you can get back to having better skin, mood, energy and prevent immune reactions that can drive systemic inflammation. For example, we now know that gluten can be a trigger for leaky gut in some people, for others it is the presence of some strains of bacteria triggering the immune system to react resulting in Colitis and Crohns.
There are some functional tests available that I will sometimes use when helping my clients find the root cause of their leaky gut but I often find that by looking at the diet first and foremost can have the biggest impact!
Discovering what and how to keep our gut ecology healthy has never been a more exciting area to learn about and worth investing time into.
Come with me this Friday for my 1-hr online Zoom workshop to take a deeper dive into the gut, the gut microbiome and how we can optimise our gut health (if you missed it, you can still get the recording: Contact me
If you would like to talk to me in private about your symptoms and find out more about functional tests and how I can help you please get in touch: Contact me