“Leaky gut” or gut permeability
The recent explosion of research into the gut microbiome and overall gastrointestinal function has allowed great insight into the impact of gut health on systemic disease. Researchers acknowledge that interactions between the microbiome, gastrointestinal barrier integrity and immune system are integral to development of many chronic inflammatory diseases.
“Leaky gut” is implicated in many conditions including autism spectrum disorders (ASD), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), stress, anxiety, depression, insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, thyroid dysfunction, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, rosacea, migraine, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular disease, visceral adiposity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, acne, eczema, fatigue and brain fog – to name a few!
Healing a damaged barrier involves:
- breaking the inflammatory cycle, by removing damaging agents,
- reducing inflammation,
- healing loose junctions and
- supporting microbial health.
The most common causes of leaky gut include:
- an overgrowth of gastrointestinal pathogens,
- damaging food components (alcohol, food additives, gluten for example) and food allergies
- the use of medications including antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- poor diet high in processed foods high in sugar and saturated fats.
Once the insulting agents have been removed, restoration of barrier function can be achieved with the use of targeted nutrients and herbal medicines.
Breaking the inflammatory cycle and healing a damaged intestinal epithelium is central to holistic treatment of many gastrointestinal disorders. It is now also recognised as a fundamental component of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune disease management. Safe, gentle and effective repair of a leaky gut may be the missing link in providing you with lasting benefits to your overall health.