Leaky Gut is a poorly recognised but extremely common problem, and as such is rarely tested for. Essentially, it represents a hyperpermeable intestinal lining. In other words, larger than normal spaces develop between the cells of the gut wall, and bacteria, toxins and small particles of food leak out of the gut and into the body.
It can masquerade as fatigue, anxiety, depression, digestive symptoms, weight problems, and other serious conditions… It’s been found in association with chronic diseases including: asthma, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, irritable bowel, psoriasis, cancer, and heart failure.
Leaky Gut sounds a bit messy, but actually it isn’t at all. The gut should, indeed, be permeable to a certain degree to allow nutrients through. Ordinarily the large intestine acts like a one-way protective sieve that filters out certain food molecules and peptides. In the case of Leaky Gut, the one-way gate of the gut opens too wide, allowing through an increased number of peptide molecules and pathogens, which attract certain cells of the immune system called phagocytes, letting them pass through the gut wall. It Is the presence of these phagocytes that causes an inflammatory reaction in the gut wall.
To understand ‘leaky gut’ we must first understand the workings of the gut.
Functions of the gut:
If the gut is not healthy, neither is the rest of the body. It is the point of fuel and nutrient entry. If healing is at a standstill look at the gut to see if this is where the block is. Chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia and escalating food allergies and intolerances are among the many problems caused by a leaky gut.
Whatever causes leaky gut, once the condition has developed, it can be self- perpetuating. The relationship between food sensitivities and the leaky gut is both complex and circular. In experimental trials reported in Allergy in 1989, children and adults with eczema, urticaria or asthma triggered by food allergy show that they have higher gut permeability than those who don’t have these conditions. This indicates that allergies and food sensitivities may be caused by an over permeable gut. Interestingly, gut permeability also sharply increases whenever allergic subjects are exposed to allergenic foods. In all probability what this indicates is that an increase in intestinal permeability is both important as a cause of food allergy and also the result of food allergy.