Is a leaky gut affecting your health?
Intestinal permeability or ‘Leaky Gut’ refers to a not uncommon condition where tiny, microscopic leaks have formed between the cells of your intestinal wall. This is not a good thing, as it means that bacteria and food proteins are able to enter your blood stream.
Your intestinal wall is lined with tiny microscopic hair-like villi, whose job it is to make sure that nothing gets in that shouldn’t.
Intestinal permeability is something I see more and more commonly in many women (and also children) as a result of damage to the gut or intestinal lining through antibiotics and other medications, including the oral contraceptive pill, as well as infection, candida, stress and eating foods which are causing inflammation.
When the gut lining is damaged, your likelihood of developing food intolerances or sensitivities increases so when working with food intolerances, we must also consider the health of the gut lining and address and ‘leaky gut’ or increased intestinal permeability.
A leaky gut will also make you more susceptible to infections as bacteria are able to get through but also because of the effects on your immune system. Remember that a large amount of your immune tissue resides in your gut, so a healthy gut is very important for a healthy immune system.
Aside from digestive problems or food intolerances, increased intestinal permeability can also often be involved in hormonal imbalances, endometriosis, PCOS, autoimmune conditions, thyroid conditions, frequent infections, allergies and hay fever type symptoms, recurrent candida, skin problems, mood swings and many more common health complaints.
How do you know if you have a leaky gut?
Intestinal permeability can be measured via a urine test ( different to the gut indicans urine test which looks for gut dysbiosis). If this shows that you have increased intestinal permeability, it is important to then focus on correcting the bacterial and flora balance in your gut as well as healing the gut lining. Fortunately we have many natural options to support gut health and to reduce gut or intestinal permeability.
If you think that leaky gut could be a cause of your symptoms or may be affecting your health contact us to find out more and arrange an intestinal permeability test.