Do You Have a Leaky Gut?
If you have health problems, they likely start with an unhealthy gastrointestinal tract. This condition is known as Leaky Gut Syndrome. This diagnosis has been used by natural doctors for years but only recently has started to appear in the medical literature.
The good news is that by healing your gut, your health problems could resolve very quickly.
What is a leaky gut?
The gut naturally allows small molecules such as proteins, fats, sugars, vitamins, and minerals to pass through. This is how we absorb nutrients. Millions of cells line the intestines for this purpose and they are strung together in a tight barrier. The problem stems when poor nutrition and chemicals damage the cells, allowing large proteins and bacteria to invade the body. It is at this time the body starts to react to these foreign invaders. Immune cells are called into action, which leads to a host of problems.
It also affects your heart, as a porous gut or increased intestinal permeability can cause coronary blockages and heart inflammation. Autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and Type 1 diabetes are no doubt linked to a leaky gut.
What causes leaky gut?
The main culprits are foods, infections, and toxins. Gluten, for example, may be the number one cause of a leaky gut. Next in line of offenders are sugar, dairy, corn, and soy. Unfortunately, eggs may be an issue with some people, as up to 25% of my patients are sensitive to them based on blood testing. Parasites, yeast such as Candida, and certain bacteria can also damage the lining of the GI tract, causing leakage. Chlorine and fluoride lead the list of toxins in addition to pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and plastics.
Stress and lack of physical activity contribute to a leaky gut.
Do you have leaky gut? If you suffer from the following, the diagnosis is likely:
- Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
- Low thyroid and autoimmune disease such as arthritis and psoriasis
- Anxiety, depression, ADD
- Allergies or asthma
- Female hormone imbalance
How do you diagnose?
The diagnosis can often be made by taking a good history. The best lab test I have found is from a company based in Phoenix, Cyrex Labs. It performs an excellent test that only requires a couple tubes of blood. Genova diagnostics also runs an excellent test as well as a stool test for bacteria, yeast, and parasites.
Now it’s time to heal.
The foundation of healing is removing the offending agents. Paleo nutrition and lifestyle is the best way to go. Eat healthy and avoid the toxins that lead to leaky gut. I offer my patients a list of do’s and don’ts.
Next, if evidence of an infection is found, natural products are selected to rid the person of these pathogens.
Now that we have removed the cause, there are ways to speed up the healing process. Probiotics and digestive enzymes are the foundation of supplements to repair the gut. Other products such as the amino acid glutamine, aloe vera juice, and even melatonin have roles. Discuss natural remedies with your health care provider. Pharmaceuticals do not have a role in the repair of leaky gut. Lastly, stay active and try to limit stress. Sleep is critical for any healing process.
Heal your gut and heal your body. I personally think that a leaky gut also leads to “leaky heart”. In this case, the cells that line the arteries of the heart allow molecules to pass into the vessel wall. Eventually, this leads to coronary artery disease.
Be pro-active and find out if you have this condition. Find the cause of your symptoms and you have the cure.
Dr. Jack Wolfson
Senior Editor, Clear Health Now
Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC is a board-certified cardiologist who believes bad nutrition and toxins create heart health problems. He prevents and treats cardiovascular disease with good nutrition, not medicines and treats the whole person, not just the symptoms.
He is the author of The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health. You can find out more about Dr. Wolfson at The DRs Wolfson.