What Does It Mean If Youre Fatigued Or Feeling Low
Constantly feeling fatigued can be another signal that youre experiencing leaky gut syndrome. Thats because harmful bacteria in your gut let off toxins that cause swelling in your body. So, when your immune system releases fighter cells to take down these substances, it can get really tiring.
Fighting off bad bacteria is no easy task. And the more toxic bacteria and particles that enter your bloodstream, the more your immune cells get ready for battle and the more tired you can become.8,9
What Factors Contribute To Leaky Gut
A permeable gut is not caused by one single factor. There are many reasons why you might be suffering from an inflamed and leaking gut. Perhaps you were not inoculated with a vibrant inner ecosystem at birth to protect you throughout your life.
Or maybe you werent breastfed as a child and the beneficial microflora werent fed the sugars found in breast milk that allowed them to grow and form a civilization of beneficial microflora inside you to protect your gut lining. Even if you did develop a healthy inner ecosystem at birth, years of stress and the Standard American Diet could have depleted your microflora.
Stress alone kills microflora and is a major cause of inflammation in your gut. Alcohol, wine and coffee contribute to gut inflammation. Contributing factors can also include:
Mental, emotional, or physical stress
Stress hormones, hormone imbalance
Continued use of NSAIDs, antibiotics or steroids
Exposure to chemical toxins
Foods that irritate the lining of the digestive tract
You Have Gluten Intolerance
Yes, its in the previous list, but gluten is one of the most common triggers for leaky gut, says Dr. Edelberg, and it deserves to be called out separately. If you notice you feel crummyGI upset, bloating, lethargicafter eating bread, pasta, cereal, or other gluten-containing foods, your body may have trouble digesting this problematic protein. Gluten is an inflammatory grain, he explains. These are the signs you might have celiac disease and cant process gluten.
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Leaky Gut: What Is It And What Does It Mean For You
- By , Contributor
Before the medical community had better understanding of the mechanisms that cause disease, doctors believed certain ailments could originate from imbalances in the stomach. This was called hypochondriasis. This concept was rejected as science evolved and, for example, we could look under a microscope and see bacteria, parasites, and viruses. The meaning of the term changed, and for many years doctors used the word “hypochondriac” to describe a person who has a persistent, often inexplicable fear of having a serious medical illness.
But what if this ancient concept of illnesses originating in the gut actually holds some truth? Could some of the chronic diseases our society faces today actually be associated with a dysfunctional gastrointestinal system?
The expression “leaky gut” is getting a lot of attention in medical blogs and social media lately, but dont be surprised if your doctor does not recognize this term. Leaky gut, also called increased intestinal permeability, is somewhat new and most of the research occurs in basic sciences. However, there is growing interest to develop medications that may be used in patients to combat the effects of this problem.
Symptoms & Signs Of Leaky Gut Plus The Tests You Can Take To Prove Them
If you have leaky gut there is also a good chance youll be experiencing several of these symptoms.
e.g. at my worst I was enjoying food intolerances, SIBO, all the digestive problems below , several of the skin related issues, brain fog and nutrient deficiencies.
So dont get overwhelmed or feel worried, if you find yourself nodding to several of the symptoms/signs below.
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Common Causes Of Leaky Gut
Common factors that cause the intestinal barrier to become âlooseâ so to say, include:â Gluten sensitivityâ Excessive consumption of inflammatory foodsâ Use of antibiotics and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs â Infections like candida, intestinal parasites, and small intestine bacterial overgrowth â Chronic stressâ Lack of healthy gut bacteria
Leaky Gut Syndrome: 7 Signs You May Have It
May 8, 2018
If youve been around the natural health world very long, youve probably heard of a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. It sounds pretty gross, but its an important enough problem to consider. There are several leaky gut symptoms to be aware of, which is particularly important since leaky gut is associated with dozens of related conditions and diseases.
As more Americans are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalance, it appears that the prevalence of leaky gut has reached epidemic proportions. The medical profession is just now agreeing this condition may even exist, which is especially shocking to me because intestinal permeability has been discussed in the medical literature for over 100 years!
Why should leaky gut syndrome concern you? Recently leaky gut has been called a danger signal for autoimmune disease. If youre wondering if you may be experiencing leaky gut, the first thing to do is access your symptoms. Keep in mind that its very common for people on a Standard American Diet to struggle with poor gut function and high levels of inflammation but just because digestive issues and autoimmune conditions are common doesnt make them normal!
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Common Causes Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
- Genes: Many of us are simply predisposed to developing leaky gut syndrome because were overly sensitive to environmental conditions that bring about an autoimmune response.
- Stress: Chronic stress disrupts gut balance, and leads to a wide variety of digestive health issues.
- Standard Western/American Diet: This way of eating is no good for your gut health. Too many chemicals, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, refined oils all these toxins take a major toll on digestive health.
- Imbalances in gut bacteria. Dysbiosis is an imbalance in the gut between good and bad bacteria.
- Too many toxins. Toxins add up, and some of us have far too many lurking in our bodies. Exposure to chemicals from over-the-counter drugs, medications, conventionally grown foods, personal care products, air pollution, plastic food containers all of these add up and can result in a high internal toxic load.
- Gluten. Some people can eat gluten, but many cannot. And for those with gluten intolerance, it can cause leaky gut syndrome.
Is Leaky Gut Treatable
According to proponents, you can treat leaky gut syndrome. The first step is to eliminate the trigger, says Dr. Edelberg. Then he has his patients take a glutamine supplement. Glutamine is the fuel of the cell lining of the intestine and it helps regenerate the cells, he explains. Intestinal tissue is one of the fastest healing tissues in the body, says Dr. Edelberg. The key is to learn how to meet the unique needs of your body. Other triggers can include painkillers like ibuprofen or aspirin and drinking too much alcohol. Try tracking the times when you feel lousy, and see if you can spot a pattern. That will go a long way toward helping you reach a diagnosis and find a way to eliminate your troubles. It can be a long learning experience, but one thats worth it to help you feel your best every day. Next, dont miss these silent signs your microbiome could be in trouble.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Many of the signs of leaky gut syndrome are so ambiguous that they can be easily overlooked or blamed on other digestive and dietary issues. So its worth considering your own symptoms and exploring if leaky gut syndrome might be the cause.
Here are four signs that your digestive issues could be linked to leaky gut syndrome:
Can Leaky Gut Be Tested On The Nhs
At present, the NHS doesnt test for leaky gut. This is likely because it doesnt recognise leaky gut as a condition.
We agree with this. Leaky gut is a symptom rather than a conditionbut that doesnt mean its not worth testing. This is because there is plenty of evidence to suggest that leaky gut contributes to other conditions.27 This includes the obvious ones, such as IBS, and the less obvious ones, such as diabetes. You can read more about this over at What is dysbiosis?
This means that if youre suffering from a chronic condition and you suspect your gut function is involved, its worthwhile to test for leaky gut. You can order a test through a private lab or buy leaky gut test kit online.
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Historically Microbiome Testing Has Been Pretty Useless In Terms Of Takeaways
In fact, if you asked me whether it was worth doing only 2-3 years ago, I would have said heck no!
I remember when I got my first few tests it was more out of scientific wonder, than anything else.
My doctor and I would be sitting there pouring over the data and just looking at each other goingokay, so now what?
It may as well have been jibberish.
How To Test Blood For Leaky Gut
The easiest way to test for leaky gut is through a urine test , but there are a few ways you can investigate leaky gut through taking a blood sample. These include:
Serum zonulinThis is one of the proteins that regulates tight junctions in the intestines. If zonulin levels are high in the blood , it suggests that your gut is more permeable than it should be.
There are a couple of issues with this test. Firstly, zonulin levels naturally fluctuate, so one reading may not be reliable.28 Secondly, the specificity of the testing method is variable, which means you can get false positives.
Zonulin antibodiesWhen zonulin is released into your blood, your immune system responds by making antibodies. Measuring these antibodies can therefore indicate the level of zonulin. This test is considered to be more accurate than serum zonulin, but its also more expensive.
Other antibody markersIf your gut is leaky, other substances such as LPS , occludin and actomyosin can find their way into the bloodstream.29 Again, your immune system produces antibodies, which can then be detected in a blood sample. Like zonulin antibodies, this is a pricey way to test for leaky gut.
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Leaky Gut Causes And Risk Factors
A few key risk factors increase your likelihood of having a leaky gut. Research does indicate that the following factors increase your risk of having a leaky gut.
|Poor diet high in sugar, carbs, or processed foods. A diet with gluten may increase your risk, especially if you are celiac or have Crohns disease|
|Trusted SourcePubMedGo to source|
You Have High Blood Sugar
Leaky gut can trigger body-wide inflammation, and that can worsen insulin resistance, finds a Swedish study. Because insulin is crucial for managing your blood sugar, insulin resistance can lead to surges in blood sugar surges. That can lead to all kinds of trouble for your health: Elevated blood sugar along with high blood pressure and triglycerides can ultimately raise the risk of metabolic syndrome, a dangerous condition that worsens your odds of developing heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. These are the signs you might have metabolic syndrome.
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Relief Starts With Healing
In reading through the list of symptoms that can help you determine if you may suffer from a leaky gut, Im sure you noticed a consistent theme: weakened or loose junctions and damage to the intestinal lining, which is quite literally a leaking gut.
Your intestinal epithelium is a protective mucosal barrier that research is only beginning to understand. Along with other epithelial barriers in other parts of your body, the breakdown of this protective system has been linked in the past 20 years to 2 billion chronic, non-infectious diseases which are believed to be triggered by distant inflammatory responses in the guts microbiome.
That means to heal from leaky gut and all of its effects, you must start with healing the epithelium, with tightening the junctures, reducing the inflammation and balancing the microbiome.
Here are steps you can start taking today to start that road to recovery:
Take A Prebiotic Or Probiotic
Adding a prebiotic or probiotic supplement to your diet may be a great way to improve your gut health. Prebiotics provide food meant to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut, while probiotics are live good bacteria. People with bacterial overgrowth, such as SIBO, should not take probiotics. Not all probiotic supplements are high quality or will actually provide benefit. Its best to consult your healthcare provider when choosing a probiotic or prebiotic supplement to ensure the best health benefit.
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My Favorite Company For Micriobiome Testing Is Viome
Not only are they doing scientifically sound testing, but theyre also focused on the right things.
So instead of trying to sell you follow up products like other companies, theyre giving you simple-to-follow diet and lifestyle advice.
And Im actually kinda amazed at what theyre able to tell from our stool samples now.
For example, they are now able to pinpoint specific foods that YOUR specific gut flora tolerates well and what foods it does not. This puts a whole new spin on reactive testing.
It is quite possible that this info can sniff out food sensitivities that no other test can. And then by eliminating these foods, you could potentially say adios to food-based digestive problems almost overnight.
In other words, this test is trying to deliver the benefits of a 3-month elimination-reintroduction diet, but without the painstaking effort from you.
Unsurprisingly, Viomes testing service is priced higher than the likes of Ubiome, Biohm and Thryve. But for me, thats because it is simply backed by better data and more useful results.
Is There A Test For Leaky Gut
While diagnosis is incredibly difficult as mentioned, there is one specific test that some physicians will use in order to test intestinal permeability. The test is called the mannitol and lactulose test. Both of these are water-soluble molecules that the body cannot use. Mannitol is easily absorbed by people with healthy intestinal linings, whereas lactulose is a larger molecule, and thus is only slightly absorbed. A person is instructed to drink a solution containing both of these molecules, and then their urine is collected for six hours. The amount present in the urine reflects how much was absorbed by the body a healthy test will display high levels of mannitol, and low levels of lactulose. If high levels of both are found, it indicates increased intestinal permeability. If low levels of both are found, it indicates general poor absorption of all nutrients .
It is important to note that this test is an indicator of small intestine permeability, and cannot definitively diagnose leaky gut with full certainty. Most physicians steer clear of this test, as they do not believe it is very reliable. Additionally, since increased intestinal permeability is a symptom of many other diseases, it should not be used to necessarily diagnose leaky gut syndrome, as this could prevent a patient from receiving treatment for a more serious condition they may have. Seeking the advice of a gastroenterologist is recommended, as they specialize in digestive health and the GI tract.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Leaky Gut
Know that you need to have the following symptoms over a period of time to indicate leaky gut syndrome most doctors say between three and six months.
Sometimes, your body changes and symptoms arise due to other circumstances, such as a period of intense stress, which can cause intestinal distress. A womans menstrual cycle can also cause digestive issues. Pay attention to what else is going on in your life and try to gain an understanding of how it affects your health. Your body is constantly changing depending upon the normal ups and downs of life.
The following signs, if you continue to experience them over an extended period, may indicate that you have a leaky gut:
Signs Your Dog May Have Leaky Gut
The main reason leaky gut goes undiagnosed in both humans and dogs is because its symptoms can easily be attributed to many other diseases.
Veterinarians might only treat the symptoms of leaky gut, like allergies and recurring ear infections, while the root problem continues to go unhealed. This is why its important to assess all of your pets symptoms and see if any are occurring together. If youre consistently seeing more than one symptom, it might be time to consider leaky gut as a root cause.
Here are some common symptoms of leaky gut in dogs:
- Immune system disorders
- Digestive issues
- Respiratory problems
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What Is The Leaky Gut Syndrome
The leaky gut syndrome is a rapidly growing condition that people from the world over are experiencing of late. Although problems begin with your digestive system if you have the leaky gut syndrome, it affects other aspects of your health as well.
Your gut is lined by a wall, which is similar to a net with small holes in them. These small holes act as filters and enable the passage of certain substances only. It acts as a shield to keep out the bigger, harmful substances from entering your body.
When someone has a leaky gut, it means that the gut lining is damaged and cannot optimally function as a barrier any longer. The smaller holes become larger and allow harmful substances like gluten, bad bacteria, and undigested food particles to enter your system and cause considerable damage to health.