These are symptoms of Leaky Gut, a condition recognized and treated by Functional Doctors for years and only recently being paid attention by some conventional physicians. In order to understand “Leaky gut” it is important to remember that 75% of your immune system is located in your gut. Immune System recognizes anything that enters body as “Self’ or “Non-self” and attempts to kill everything that is “Non-self”
Everything that enters your mouth, after being swallowed, is digested in the stomach and duodenum and absorbed in the small and large intestines.
Digestion is process of breaking up large complicated molecules of proteins, fats and starches which are foreign to you body and if entered in the bloodstream will cause severe allergic reaction. Proteins are broken into single amino-acids, fats – into fatty acids and starches into basic sugars.
These molecules : amino-acids, fatty acids, simple sugars are small enough to pass between cells into the inside of the intestinal wall where they are checked by immune system and if considered harmless are allowed to enter blood stream to be used to build body’s own proteins, fats and sugars. Inner layer of the intestines is acting as a barrier for incompletely digested larger particles.
Intestinal bacteria feed on partially digested fiber and products of their digestion provide nutrition to intestinal cells. Under certain conditions such as treatment with antibiotics, lack stomach acid, use of pasteurized instead of fermented food, intestinal bacteria may be changed or deactivated. This leads to malnutrition and shrinking of intestinal cell and opening of spaces between them. Now larger particles can pass into blood stream and cause multiple allergic reactions.
Moreover, immune system is in a state of constant alert and may overreact and attack body’s own organs.
The loss of barrier function of the intestines and the leaking of larger particles into blood stream is called “Leaky Gut”.
Treatment of Leaky Gut consists of 4 major actions.
- REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut
- REPLACE with healing foods
- REPAIR with specific supplements
- REBALANCE with probiotics