Leaky Gut Syndrome: What it is and How to Treat It?
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Leaky gut syndrome is probably not the most prevalent condition regarding digestive health. For this reason, there is a lot of ignorance about what it is, its causes and treatments, and the type of diet a person with it should have.
In fact, many doctors don’t even recognize it as a diagnosable condition. Still, there is scientific evidence that this condition can lead to a number of medical conditions that could be avoided if properly diagnosed through its symptoms. And for this reason, it is necessary to be clear about how Leaky Gut Syndrome works.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky Intestine Syndrome is an alteration of the small intestine wall that allows substances and microorganisms to pass this barrier and reach the bloodstream. And is that, in a healthy person, the mucosa of the small intestine has an extended surface of between 400 and 600 square meters, in addition to a protective layer, which serves as protection and defense but, when affected, cannot stop the passage of unwanted substances to the rest of the body.
For example, the protective layer of the intestinal mucosa allows the selective passage of some molecules that do not have a size greater than 50 Armstrong (a unit of length used to express wavelengths, molecular, and atomic distances). That is, some nutrients and minerals can pass through it. However, when this protective layer suffers from permeability, undesirable substances such as heavy metals, toxins, bacteria, viruses, and food additives can enter the bloodstream, causing various symptoms in people.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
The symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome are similar to those of other medical conditions, which contributes to a large extent to the difficulty of diagnosing this condition and treating it on time and assertively. For example, some of the symptoms are the presence of diarrhea and constipation, a deficiency of some nutrients, tiredness, headache, difficulty concentrating, skin problems such as acne, joint pain, inflammation of the body, and mental confusion.
Leaky Gut Syndrome is also linked to conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, diabetes, food allergies and sensitivities, and even polycystic ovary disease. However, it is not yet known whether Leaky Gut Syndrome is the cause or consequence of some of these conditions.
Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Although today the causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome are still not precisely known, there are several risk factors that are known for the alterations they cause in the microbiota and intestinal health in general, which could easily affect the protection the intestinal mucosa provides and increase intestinal permeability. This is a poor diet that has excess fat, salt, or sugar; alcohol consumption without moderation; some stomach infections; the presence of diabetes or some autoimmune diseases such as lupus; and subjects the body to high and constant levels of stress.
Since Leaky Gut Syndrome is not considered by many experts to be an exact condition, it is difficult to find a standard treatment. However, some adjustments in lifestyle, especially in diet, can reduce the symptoms of this condition and also help prevent it.
For this, it is recommended to stop smoking, exercise regularly, get enough sleep every night, reduce stress levels, and avoid excessive use of antibiotics, as these drugs also damage the microbiota.
One of the most important changes in habits against Leaky Gut Syndrome is to follow a correct diet for the condition. To do this, it is important to eat foods high in prebiotic fiber, such as whole grains, and foods high in probiotics, such as yogurt and kefir. Similarly, it is recommended to reduce the consumption of meat, milk, and eggs and avoid added sugar and artificial sweeteners. Fermented foods also help, as do fruits such as apples, berries, and others that contain antioxidants. Still, these should be eaten in moderation to avoid excess sugar, which also harms people with Leaky Gut Syndrome. Of course, a gluten-free diet will be ideal.