Leaky Gut Syndrome
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
A rather unattractive term, "leaky gut syndrome" (LGS) refers to intestinal permeability.
This means that, in some individuals, the walls of the intestine become perforated with tiny holes.
Undigested food particles then migrate out into the bloodstream, where the immune system attacks them, causing a host of inflammatory problems.
Protein particles are of particular concern.
What are the Symptoms?
Some of the symptoms of LGS include (but are not limited to):
-abdominal pain-persistent diarrhea-joint pain-other allergies-low-grade fever-Behavioral disorders, such as autism and ADHD, are symptomatic of LGS. While it may not be proper to call these symptoms, they are often connected to LGS and the treatment of one often brings relief from the other.
What Causes It?
One of the most prevalent theories regarding the cause of LGS is that it is connected to food allergies and/or sensitivities. As an individual eats foods to which he or she is sensitive, the food does not get digested properly.
This gives rise to the undigested particles that then migrate out into the body. Wheat gluten and dairy are often the culprits in these cases. Many times, the food sensitivity itself is the result of an imbalance of bacteria in the gut.
Another theory is that candida, or yeast, contributes to LGS. Yeast is always present in the gut, but when a bacterial imbalance occurs (not enough of the "good guys"), this can result in the overgrowth of the "bad guys."
Diets high in refined, white sugar and white flour products feed the yeast, contributing to the problem.
Yet another theory is that a lack of breastfeeding gives rise to leaky gut. Babies whose intestines are not populated with the beneficial bacteria from their mother's milk may be more susceptible to LGS.
Infant formula itself may play a role in increasing sensitivity, as it may contain common allergens such as dairy or soy.
Even internal parasites may be implicated in LGS.
LGS can be cause by one or all of these factors, or any combination of them. A common thread, though, is a lack of beneficial intestinal flora, or bacteria.
How is LGS Treated?
You may have heard of probiotics, or of gluten-free diets. These are gaining prevalence in conventional medical circles, although they still are in the realm of "alternative" or "natural" medicine.
Conventional treatment may involve steroids to treat the inflammation, as well as pain relievers. Surgery may be performed to remove damaged parts of the bowel.
The alternative health approach generally involves avoidance of all gluten and dairy (perhaps excepting yogurt, which is full of good bacteria), and adopting a probiotic-rich diet along with probiotic supplements.
Further Reading For Leaky Gut Syndrome:
Leaky Gut and Candida: An explanation as to why some medical experts believe both these conditions are linked.
Symptoms to look for: Could you be experiencing this syndrome? Learn what the warning signs are and what to look out for.
Treatment through diet: A natural way to cure your symptoms and feel better overall.
Causes of this condition: What may cause this syndrome and how you may be able to treat and avoid it.
Natural cures for LGS: Before you resort to traditional medication, take a look at this section and learn your options.