Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged, allowing bacteria, undigested food, and toxins to leak through the intestine and enter the bloodstream. The presence of these substances in the blood can trigger inflammation and lead to a number of health problems that range from migraines to irritable bowel syndrome. A person who suffers from leaky gut syndrome is often at high risk for malnutrition, weakened immunity, hormone imbalances, and other serious health conditions.
Leaky gut syndrome is often caused by eating a diet high in sugar, dairy, and processed foods that contain toxins. All of these foods, along with alcohol, can trigger inflammation and lead to leaky gut syndrome. This autoimmune condition can also be caused by certain medications that irritate the lining of the small intestine, such as aspirin, steroids, and antibiotics.
Do you suffer from one or more of the following symptoms on a regular basis? If so, it’s possible you may have leaky gut syndrome.
1. Digestive problems
Leaky gut syndrome can cause a range of digestive issues including chronic diarrhea, bloating, constipation, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome. If you tend to experience digestive problems regardless of what you eat, leaky gut syndrome may be to blame.
2. Nutritional deficiencies
Since 90 percent of all nutritional absorption takes place in the small intestine, those with leaky gut syndrome are more prone to suffering nutritional deficiencies. If you tend to become sick quite frequently, or experience symptoms of vitamin deficiencies such as numbness in limbs caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, you may have leaky gut syndrome.
3. Weakened immune system
Since leaky gut syndrome is tied to nutritional deficiencies, those with this condition also tend to have weakened immune systems as a result of malnutrition. Pay attention to the frequency at which you get sick from the flu, the common cold, and other viruses and infections. If you find yourself repeatedly falling ill, it may be due to weakened immunity caused by a leaky gut.
4. Mental health disorders
Depression and anxiety are common side effects of leaky gut syndrome. In the past, mental health disorders such as these were thought to be solely caused by an imbalance in brain neurotransmitters like serotonin. But new evidence shows that depression can be triggered by digestive problems, and is often a symptom of inflammation.
5. Chronic fatigue
Leaky gut syndrome increases the production of inflammatory compounds called cytokines that can trigger chronic fatigue. If you’re constantly feeling exhausted even after getting lots of sleep, leaky gut syndrome may be affecting your energy levels.
6. Food intolerances or allergies
Leaky gut syndrome may cause you to experience a higher number of food intolerances and allergies due to the way this condition allows undigested food particles to pass through the lining of the small intestine. An increased number of food sensitivities, such as gluten sensitivities, are often a sign of leaky gut syndrome.
7. Autoimmune diseases
The passing of bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream caused by leaky gut syndrome may lead to the development of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease, multiple sclerosis, and Crohn’s disease. If you’ve recently been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, then leaky gut syndrome may be the root cause of your condition.
8. Hormonal imbalances
Inflammation caused by leaky gut syndrome can cause your body to under- or over-produce certain hormones, and lead to conditions such as PCOS and PMS. If you’re experiencing symptoms of hormonal imbalance, talk to your doctor about ways to treat leaky gut syndrome and balance your hormones.
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