The Art of Health

Leaky Gut and Your Health

It is often said “you are what you eat” but the truth of the matter is “you are what you digest correctly”. If the food taken into your body is not absorbed properly, overall health will be compromised.

This is when the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged. A healthy intestine allows only nutrients to pass into the blood stream. When damaged, larger molecules such as incompletely digested fats, proteins and starches can slip through as well.

Any irritation of the gut lining will promote “leakiness”. Factors such as exposure to chemicals, medical drugs, alcohol. Food allergies and food intolerances can also contribute to leaky gut. Other factors are: parasite, yeast, viral or bacterial infection; poor digestion due to low stomach acid or lowered enzyme levels; imbalance of bowel bacteria; and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) may also be involved with leaky gut, and up to 15% of the NZ population is affected by this.

Chronic gut irritation leads to poor absorption of important nutrients. This nutrient deficiency then causes a whole array of problems. Common examples would be headaches, fatigue and lowered immunity. Undigested food fragments produce food allergies and several other allergy related conditions. An increased burden is placed on the detox systems which can become overwhelmed producing symptoms such as skin rashes, sinus or nasal congestion, migraines, diarrhoea, bloating, burping, weight gain, ear infections.

Unwanted food substances entering the blood stream are recognized as dangerous and the immune system mounts an attack against them. In theory this is good, however the trouble is when these foreign fragments appear similar to various body tissues and so trigger immune reactions in other organs and even the joints.

Leaky gut sets in motion a chain of events: the immune system reacts, the body thinks it’s sick and expresses this in a number of ways, that may include joint pain and some of the symptoms already mentioned. Auto-immune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis are related to this state, and psychological symptoms such as depression are also evident for some people.
Leaky gut is not in itself a disease, but it is thought to play a significant part in the development of disease. Studies over the past decade have found ample evidence of the role of leaky gut in human disease.

Various tests are available which show existence of this condition, also taking into account the presenting complaints. I use a simple, non invasive urine test which gives a basic indication of the severity of leaky gut and other digestive disturbances. Each case is treated individually. I expect most patients to make a satisfactory recovery at which time they will be placed on a personal Wellness Program to avoid any recurrence of their “leaky” gut.

Are any of the above symptoms familiar to you? Do you want to get out of a state of chronic ill health? I'm sure you do! Please contact me and make a start on your “Gut Repair” program today.