According to a research article (relating to gut health) published in 2016, when there is a severe imbalance in the gut microbiome, it leads to several health conditions. Initially, the body’s immune system receives a setback, followed by a substantial level of inflammation. This condition is called ‘leaky gut syndrome’ in medical terms.
In a study, it has been mentioned that a leaky gut condition can lead to inflammatory bowel disease, which results in severe discomfort and aches. It becomes challenging for a normal person to live a normal life while living with an IBS condition. Similarly, a leaky gut could be a symptom of diabetes I, but that is not common. It is an interesting observation of worldwide scientists that there is a more profound connection between the gut and the brain. As per the medical research reports from the medical community, a leaky gut leads to emotional health issues such as depression. Even people suffering from an unhealthy gut or a leaky gut experience severe anxiety.
Even if medical research has been carried out in this regard and we have evidence as stated above, more substantial evidence is appreciated. Hope more scientists put the effort into establishing a connection between gut health and other ailments.
A leaky gut is a symptom of autoimmune diseases, including inflammatory bowel disease or irritable bowel syndrome; this is one of the important observations found in medical research reports.
What is a leaky gut syndrome?
In the human body, the GI or gastrointestinal tract is a system that comprises the esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestines. When you consume food through the mouth, it reaches the stomach, and then the small intestine works by breaking down the nutrients contained in the foods and beverages that you consume, including water. This breakdown results in tiny molecules which are further utilized by the body to release energy, grow cells and tissues, and repair damaged parts.
Another important function of the intestines is to safeguard your body from unnecessary bacteria, toxins, and other substances that are obstacles in the overall digestion process. The intestinal walls have small openings or holes which work like a firewall. They retain the unnecessary substances inside and release only essential nutrients and water into the bloodstream.
When a person suffers from a weak and leaky gut syndrome, the openings in the intestinal walls become wider (intestinal permeability defects) and let the harmful bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream along with the food and water.
Yes, this health condition needs your care and attention. But before that, you need to determine whether you suffer from this health condition or not. If you suffer from one or many of the health problems given below, it implies you need to consult a doctor and confirm whether or not you suffer from the leaky gut syndrome.
What are its major symptoms?
The primary symptoms of a leaky gut syndrome are given below. However, you need to know that certain symptoms could be general or indicate other health diseases. Hence, be careful before you come to a proper conclusion. Also, be alert when you recognize or try to recognize the leaky gut syndrome.
Well, diarrhea is one of the symptoms faced by a person having a leaky gut. But it is not diarrhea that bothers you, but the dysfunctional behavior of your stomach. Sometimes, the person with a leaky gut is bloated the whole day and cannot function well physically and emotionally, and sometimes, he/she even experiences diarrhea-related symptoms. This pattern is not for a short span but for a prolonged period. Often, a person suffers from chronic diarrhea or constipation. Hence, it is better if you study your patterns and the severity of the issue. Some people are diagnosed with Celiac disease and this could itself be a symptom.
A person feels fatigued when he has a leaky gut. We have already specified above that the gut has a huge impact on a person’s immune response and overall health. When a person with a weak gut experiences a reduced immune system, he falls sick frequently. As a result, he is fatigued all the time. Also, when a person has a leaky gut, he/she has less energy and enthusiasm to live through the day. He constantly feels a sense of tiredness, and other related problems are given below.
c. Difficulty concentration.
When a person is constipated for two consecutive days or has to visit the washroom often in a day, then he also suffers from brain-related issues. Gut and brain health are interconnected, and a person with a weak gut can experience a mild reduction in cognitive abilities. One of them is the challenges faced in concentration and alertness. If you are a university student or a corporate employee, or an entrepreneur, you will have difficulty concentrating when you have a leaky gut. You will have more thoughts and worries in your mind than the power to focus on a particularly important thing.
Frequent headaches are not only a sign of chronic stress, but they could also refer to a weak gut as well. When you have a leaky gut, you experience unusual digestive problems and symptoms of constipation or diarrhea. We all know that chronic constipation leads to frequent headaches as your body is holding the toxins and waste materials inside your body. Hence, if you notice that you have stomach issues along with frequent, throbbing headaches without any valid reasons, then you might have a leaky gut. Headaches are common these days, but you need to determine the root cause. If it is not resulting from any reason such as migraine or sinus, then it is better if you evaluate your digestive condition as well.
e. Skin problems.
A leaky gut is responsible for skin-related issues, acne, and rashes. If you have acne and are searching for home remedies, then people and the internet must have suggested clearing your bowels on time. There is a deep connection between gut and skin health. When you have a leaky gut, the toxins remain in your body and show up on your skin in the form of acne and rashes. Some even experience eczema, which is a pointer to look into the matter.
f. Joint pain.
When we say joint pain, you will certainly associate it with bones and tissues. But which organ sends the requisite nutrients to your bones, joints, and tissues? Obviously, it is the gut. If proper nutrients are not released into your bloodstream, then your joints won’t receive sufficient nutrition, and it could cause joint pain or ache.
g. Nutritional deficiency.
Yes, there is certainly a significant connection between the level of your body’s nutrients and gut health. When the intestinal walls fail to deliver nutrients and water to the bloodstream, nutritional deficiency is an expected outcome. When people have a nutritional deficiency, they mostly focus on consuming more nourishing foods, but they fail to determine the root cause of the problem. The issue could be inside your body and not in your consumption pattern.
Who suffers from Leaky Gut Syndrome, and is it fixable?
Several people suffer from increased intestinal permeability, also known as leaky gut syndrome, but in some people, the gut lining or issues in the intestinal epithelial barrier might seem severe and needs timely attention, like a robust diet plan, exercise, and other healthy habits, read how to improve gut health naturally. Some people have genetic issues. If you have a family history (for decades) of the leaky gut syndrome and it runs in your family, it is likely that you might experience the symptoms. But it is unfair to blame the genetic disposition all the time. The root cause is the modern lifestyle that consists of unhealthy eating habits and lack of exercise. Moreover, not paying attention to the kind of supplements one consumes can also lead to a leaky gut. Also, people suffering from Celiac disease have a leaky gut.
A person who consumes excessive carbs and sugar and less fiber and nutrients is stressed out, or is involved in substance abuse can suffer from increased intestinal permeability.
State by Stage manifestation of Symptoms
Symptoms will come gradually. It might start with mild constipation and frequent bloating, but later, it will turn into a chronic condition. You will always feel constipated and emotionally blocked when you have a leaky gut. It is better to identify the symptoms beforehand. It doesn’t mean you need to go for tests as soon as you are constipated for a day or have a headache for an hour or so. But if you have a chronic issue concerning digestive health and it doesn’t seem to recover after implementing a few home remedies, it is better if you get yourself checked.
What tests are available for leaky gut syndrome?
A leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal permeability, can be diagnosed with the tests, mannitol, and lactulose tests. The body cannot utilize these water-soluble molecules if you have increased intestinal permeability.
A person is required to consume a solution of these two substances and provide a sample of their urine after six hours. If the levels of these two substances are higher in the urine, then it indicates that the person has chronic inflammation.
General guidelines on how leaky gut can be avoided
Increased intestinal permeability can be avoided. One can take a rigorous effort to heal leaky gut. We can surely stop blaming modern life and try to be a little proactive while living life. Inculcate healthy habits such as eating fibrous foods, prebiotics, and probiotics, exercising daily, moving around (if you don’t have time to exercise), and adding a supplement to your routine, learn about the Best 10 Leaky Gut Supplements. Focus on the beneficial gut bacteria instead of cursing the current lifestyle.
- Add more fiber and nutritious foods to your routine, and you can also check out the list of Digestive Superfoods from here!
- Check on the conditions such as constipation, diarrhea, and bloating if they occur frequently. Your digestive health needs a thorough evaluation before you see a doctor.
- Add a prebiotic supplement or a supplement for your healthy gut bacteria to your routine.
- Exercise or move around, here are some of the exercises that can improve gut health.
- Stop sitting for prolonged hours.
- De-stress from time to time.
- Check for any food allergies or food sensitivities.
The benefits of treating a leaky gut are plenty. You can avoid autoimmune diseases affecting your body.
It is easy to avoid a leaky gut, but you need to be more conscious of your habits and replace the unfavorable ones with good ones, and treat increased intestinal permeability gradually. Find out the Foods to Avoid for someone who is suffering from leaky gut.