Saturday, May 25, 2024

What Is The Medical Term For Leaky Gut

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A Keto Diet Was First Used To Treat Seizures

A ketogenic diet or keto is an eating plan that is very high in fat and low in carbohydrates and protein. The preferred fuel for our brain and body cells is glucose, a kind of sugar. If we dont have enough glucose available because of a low-carb diet, our body makes ketones a substitute fuel.

Ketones are then used for energy, but they also suppress hunger. Going into ketosis is a survival mechanism that allows us to stay alive during food shortages.

The ketogenic diet was first investigated as an intervention for those with epilepsy or seizure disorder.  Although currently quite popular, it is very restrictive and difficult to follow long-term .

A ketogenic diet influences the kinds of bacteria that thrive in our gut and may reduce inflammation . There are no known studies linking keto and gut permeability directly just yet.

How Is Leaky Gut Syndrome Diagnosed

Health professionals are still wary about making leaky gut syndrome an official diagnosis. It is not a condition that is formally recognized in the medical world. However, this does not make the symptoms less real; it simply means that they may be symptoms of other gastrointestinal conditions.

Natural health advocates consider the Mannitol and Lactulose test as the standard test for leaky gut. However, a research study conducted on the said test revealed that it is not a valuable tool in detecting indigestible sugars.

With the lack of conclusive medical studies that support the existence of leaky gut syndrome as an official diagnosis, health experts remain skeptical. But if youre experiencing symptoms, the best medical advice is for you to consult with a gastroenterologist. 

Tell your doctor about what youre feeling. From there, they may ask you to undergo diagnostic tests to determine the cause further. They may refer you to a specialist for more in-depth medical advice and for you to receive proper treatment.

At-home microbiome test kits are available. This allows you to know the health status of your gut. These are tests that you can take from the comfort of home. 

One of these is Verisanas Leaky Gut Complete test. Using a stool sample, it tests the gut microbiome for candida and mold, bacterial imbalance, secretory IgA, and Zonulin value. 

What Does Leaky Gut Mean

Here’s the biggest question surrounding leaky: What, exactly, does it mean? According to Dr. Tarek Hassanein, a surgeon, researcher, professor at The University of California San Diego School of Medicine and the founder of the Southern California Liver & GI Center, “leaky gut” is a more of blanket term that covers a variety of different GI issues than a specific diagnosis. “Leaky gut syndrome is the manifestation of multiple different ailments,” says Dr. Hassanein. “It essentially is when the lining in the stomach and the cell walls on the small intestine experience degeneration to the point where bacteria and other consumed content can leak out into other areas of the body.”

The Low Fodmap Diet Is Used To Treat Ibs

F-O-D-M-A-P is an acronym that stands for a group of carbohydrates that can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and other symptoms in some people.

FODMAPS are found naturally in a wide range of foods, even healthy foods like onions, apples, and garlic. It is hard to predict which foods contain FODMAPS without help or guidance from a health care provider. Yes, there is also an app for that.

So far, most of the research on a low FODMAP diet focuses on helping symptoms, such as diarrhea and gas. One study did show that a  low FODMAP diet can improve gut function and reduce leaky gut . In part, this may be due to which bacteria are thriving in the gut .

The diet helps many people with IBS, and further research is warranted to look at the effect of the diet directly on the gut lining .

Do I Need A Supplement

Leaky Gut

According to research published in the journal Frontiers in Immunology, there is some evidence that probiotics can improve the function of your gut and even help reverse leaky gut, but long-term studies are still needed. There is not a single study to date suggesting that probiotics are harmful.

Probiotic supplements are more like a fertilizer that communicates to your existing gut bacteria. It can regulate the pH and cross-talk to other bacteria, increasing short-chain fatty acids which is the food for the gut cells and help regulate inflammation and the immune system of the gut, says Dr. La Vella. Transitioning away from processed foods and toward whole foods is usually enough to keep your gut healthy.

Herbal supplements may be helpful in certain situations, but arent necessarily a quick fix.

I think of supplements as medications; there is always a risk and a benefit. I prefer to think about restoring ecosystem balance rather than supplementing to cover up a bad dietary or lifestyle choice, says Dr. La Vella.  

How To Improve Your Gut Health

Understanding and acceptance of leaky gut syndrome is growing. Researchers have found evidence of leaky guts existence, as well as indications that it contributes to a variety of health issues. However, the research is limited, and many doctors still do not consider leaky gut to be a legitimate medical issue. Because of the work yet to be done, there is no standard diagnosis and therefore no standard treatment. This has caused some people to explore natural or alternative medicine approaches. However, there are doctors like those at Gastroenterology Associates of Savannah, who understand the research and its limitations, but are committed to finding a solution to the symptoms you are experiencing. 

There is no one proven method for completely healing the symptoms of leaky gut. But there are ways to improve gut health which is known to be good for overall health. And taking action to improve gut health may also relieve symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome. An important first step is to make sure to address any known underlying or associated conditions. 

Nutrition is another area vital to the health of your digestive system. Eat a well-balanced diet that incorporates lots of fruits and vegetables. Foods with prebiotic fiber are also important to help protect the good bacteria in your gut. What should you eat less of? Its generally good nutritional practice to consume less sugar and sweeteners, as well as less dairy, eggs, and meat.

Leaky Gut Or Intestinal Permeability

Although leaky gut syndrome is a marketing term, a leaking gut is a real thing in medicine.

Its best described as a loss in intestinal barrier function combined with increased intestinal permeability.

Put simply, the lining of our intestine controls what materials may pass from the gut into the bloodstream. An increase in permeability means large unwanted particles can more easily leak into the bloodstream, hence the term permeate .

Certain medical conditions are strongly linked with increased intestinal permeability. The main ones include :

However, most gastro experts believe intestinal permeability is a symptom rather than a cause of these conditions.

Additionally, a certain degree of intestinal leakiness is natural in order to allow fluids and nutrients to pass through. An increased permeability could actually improve water and nutrient absorption as well as activating the immune system .

For this reason researchers are not certain of what the implications are for increased permeability.

Summary: Leaky gut is based around a legitimate medical concept called intestinal permeability. Its unknown if this permeability is a cause or symptom of disease.

How Can You Heal A Leaky Gut

Doctors are still working on finding the best way to treat the condition, so if you suspect you have it, it’s important to work with a skilled physician who understands the gut. To combat your gut issues naturally, Christie recommends some lifestyle changes. I start people with sleep and stress, she says. When you are getting good quality and quantity of sleep, and your stress is mitigated, not only are you actively healing your body, you are also setting the stage for more challenging lifestyle behavior modification. 

Once youve lowered your baseline of stress, you can work on rebuilding the good gut bacteria to support damaged tissue repairs. Christie advises clients to eat a wide variety of plant foods in their diet. Shifting the food you are consuming away from processed and damaging foods to more organic, whole, plant foods is always beneficial, she says. She typically suggests cutting out gluten, dairy, and eggs to begin the healing process, and instead opting for fresh fruits and vegetables. Supplements are also a key lifestyle change. Taking a daily probiotic will introduce good bacteria back into your digestive system and support the healing process.* 

Suggested Treatments Range From Bogus To Dangerous

The Myth: Many solutions that leaky gut syndrome proponents recommend are based in fad diets, which declare that normal foods cause serious problems in most people. For instance, proponents of leaky gut syndrome recommend that patients avoid any foods with high sugar content , claiming that the excess sugar causes an overgrowth of a certain strain of yeast in the GI tract that is responsible for the damage to the intestinal wall. In addition, they say that sensitivities to gluten or lactose damage the intestine, and they recommend avoiding all dairy products and anything containing gluten.

Debunked: Fruit will not cause yeast to attack your intestines. While a small percentage of the population have symptoms related to gluten and lactose intake, these foods cause no problems for most individuals. Following these practitioners instructions is more likely to lead to nutritional deficiencies rather than reduced symptoms.

Another issue in this field is that many people in the popular media who support this unverified condition try to sell special products as a treatment for leaky gut syndrome. They offer unproven treatments for a condition that has no medical basis. Additionally, since many of these supplements havent been well researched, taking them could cost you a lot of money, do little to reduce your symptoms, and could even be dangerous.

Leaky Gut Syndrome Explained

If youve been struggling with GI issues or have noticed some systemic symptoms that negatively impact your life it could be leaky gut syndrome. Its very possible that this condition will be affecting many individuals each year, and with the proper treatment, they could restore a better quality of life.

For now, you can take steps to improve your gut health and decrease the risk of leaky gut syndrome by following some of the steps mentioned. By reducing inflammation, transforming your diet, and adding a wide range of beneficial supplements you could eradicate your symptoms and feel like your best self. If you feel you need help on that journey, our Integrative Nutrition Team treats both local and virtual patients. Wherever you are, were there too. Just or, you can start by filling out the form below.

What Can Cause Leaky Gut

While there isnt a single cause to pinpoint, leaky gut can be a result of several things that may increase your intestinal permeability. Certain causes may be genetic or related to other medical conditions, while other causes are lifestyle choices that can be easily changed.

Lifestyle choices that can lead to a leaky gut include things like our diet, stress levels, narcotic intakes, etc.

Starting off with our diet, high sugar intake has been linked to increased intestinal permeability and poor gut health. These sugars, including sweeteners like sucralose and aspartame, damage the intestinal barrier and can cause long-term gut damage .

A stress-filled lifestyle can also be detrimental to your gut health and lead to leaky gut. Research done at the University of California San Diego has found that those tight junctions loosen up and create holes when they are under a lot of stress . This leads to intestinal hyperpermeability and, thus, a leaky gut.

Another lifestyle choice that can be damaging to your gut is drinking excessive amounts of alcohol. Excessive alcohol intake can lead to tissue damage and improper organ function, particularly in your gut. It can promote increased intestinal inflammation, leading towards a weakened barrier and a leaky gut .

What Is The Treatment For Leaky Gut Syndrome

There is no standard form of treatment for leaky gut syndrome. This is because it is not recognized as a legitimate medical condition despite the claim.

The usual form of treatment is symptomatic. This means that your doctor will treat you based on your symptoms. 

However, because no official treatments are in place, your doctor will typically recommend the following to help alleviate your symptoms and generally improve your gut health:

The Scd Diet Lowers Inflammation But Is Challenging Long

What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome and Is It Even Real? A Sales ...

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet diet has been around for almost 100 years. A physician originally developed it to help her child with celiac disease. Today it is used for many conditions, including inflammatory bowel disease 00504-3/fulltext” rel=”nofollow”>40).

Despite its name, the diet is not a low carbohydrate diet. It focuses on eating simple carbohydrates that can be easily absorbed. It eliminates all grains, milk , and sugar, except for honey. There is overlap with the low FODMAP diet .

Research demonstrates an improvement in IBS symptoms with the SCD diet, but not research looking specifically at gut permeability. It has been shown to lower inflammation .

How Can You Improve A Leaky Gut Through Diet

Protecting and nurturing your digestive health through diet is one way to improve or prevent a leaky gut. However, it is not a one-stop-shop miracle solution instead, its a piece of the complex health puzzle.

According to one 2018 review, low biodiversity of gut bacteria can lead to an increase in inflammation and intestinal permeability. Foods that contain prebiotics and probiotics support the growth of healthy gut flora. These include:

  • Fermented foods like kimchi and miso
  • Yogurt

Other foods known to aid gut health include:

  • Some fruits, such as grapes, oranges, blueberries, and strawberries
  • Some vegetables, such as cabbage, zucchini, and eggplant
  • Nuts, such as cashew, peanuts, and almonds
  • Dairy alternatives, such as plant-based milk
  • Grains, such as quinoa, oats, and rice

A gut-friendly diet tends to minimize processed, high-fat, and high-sugar foods and maximize fiber. My book, Neurishment: The Brain Tune Up! Food Guide, takes you through the steps necessary to repair and restore your digestive tract to resilient health.

In addition, it may be necessary to investigate and identify other environmental and lifestyle causes of inflammation, that can work against you, even when you have your diet dialed-in.

Is It Worth Formal Testing For A Leaky Gut

In my opinion, not always. Lets start with a detailed timeline to better understand the events and circumstances that contributed to why you got sick in the first place, and then identify the things that are keeping you on the illness trajectory. By gaining more insight in to what makes you YOU, my team and I can put together a comprehensive, personalized plan that includes but goes beyond, the simple first step of healing your gut. At Sharlin Health and Neurology I want to shift my patients mindsets and lay a healthy foundation for healing the gut that functions on both a physical and philosophical level to transform your life, not just provide a quick fix.  I bring in a highly skilled multi-disciplinary team that empowers my patients to do so much more than improve their diets. Together, we give them the tools they need to completely redirect the trajectory of their well-being. I do all of this through my Brain Tune Up! Protocol.

Whether or not you have increased gut permeability, if you would like to find out more about my Brain Tune Up! Protocol, please contact my friendly staff today. We offer a free 15-minute pre-enrollment consultation.


What We Know For Sure

Leaky gut is a condition in which bacteria and toxins pass through small junctions in the intestinal wall into the bloodstream.

Various medical professionals reject that leaky gut exists, but there is growing evidence to substantiate that increased intestinal permeability is real andpresent in several autoimmune disorders.

However, there isnt enough evidence to conclude that leaky gut syndrome is the underlying cause of the diseases where it is present.

Some Signs Of Leaky Gut

There are multiple studies that suggest that leaky gut occurs simultaneously with other health detriments . However, its difficult to pinpoint exact symptoms of leaky gut, as it hasnt been fully proven that leaky gut is the reason for these certain symptoms. Having said that, there are multiple studies that suggest leaky gut correlates with these other symptoms:

  • Excessive fatigue
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, or CFS, has been correlated with a weakened tight junction barrier. Weakened tight junction barriers are evident in leaky guts, so be mindful if you have been excessively tired for a long period of time.
  • Digestive problems like bloating, IBD, constipation, excessive gas, etc.
  • Leaky gut can damage of gut health and digestive tract. Leaky gut can be synonymous with certain digestive problems like bloating, constipation, IBD, excessive gas, etc.
  • Food allergies
  • Inflammation that might be caused from food particles leaking through the gut barrier can cause underlying food allergies. Watch out for new food allergies and see if there are correlations to a leaky gut.
  • Joint pains
  • Similar to other autoimmune diseases, rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis has been linked to a poor gut microbiota and a leaky gut.
  • Hormone imbalances
  • Due to increased intestinal permeability from leaky gut, pathogens and foods can alter our gut microbiota and create irregularities in our hormone imbalances. This also correlates with estrogen imbalances, so keep an eye out for any connection there.
  • Sane Solutions To Reduce Stress

    Chronic stress has not only been linked to leaky gut, it has also been linked to many other physical and mental disorders. For your overall health, it is best to make a point to reduce stress whenever you can.

    Here are a few tips to get you started at reducing stress:

    Slow Down: Running around like a crazy person keeps your stress hormones high, and they stay high as long as you remain hyperactive. Just the act of taking a deep breath and physically and mentally slowing down lowers your stress hormones, making you feel calm. Try it and see.

    Practice Mindfulness: Most of us are so busy dwelling on the past or thinking about what were going to do in the next minute or hour or day or year that we never think about right now. But you know something? Peace is only present in the NOW. Anxiety and stress only occur when you negatively anticipate a future event. So, a few times every day, pay total attention to what is going on in your present moment. What do you feel? Smell? Touch? Taste? You may only be able to stay in the NOW a few seconds at a time in the beginning, but with practice, youll be able to extend it for 5 minutes or more. This is one of the best ways to cure chronic stress and cure or prevent leaky gut.

    How Is Leaky Gut Syndrome Treated

    The treatment of leaky gut syndrome is centered on decreasing intestinal inflammation to restore the barrier function of the intestines. In many cases, the diagnosis of the underlying cause determines the treatment that is required. In the absence of a definitive diagnosis however, there are some treatments that may be recommended.

    “The treatment of leaky gut syndrome is centered on decreasing intestinal inflammation to restore the barrier function of the intestines.”

    First, any allergens or potential toxins should be removed from your cats diet. Your pet should be transitioned to a hypoallergenic diet, unless a food allergy has been definitively ruled out using a veterinarian-directed food trial in the past.

    Medications with the potential to cause intestinal inflammation, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, should be discontinued if possible. If your pet has pain from arthritis or another condition, talk to your veterinarian about other options for managing your pets discomfort.

    Probiotics may be recommended to restore your cats normal intestinal bacterial flora. Your veterinarian can help you determine the best probiotic for your pet.

    Finally, additional medications may be given to treat intestinal damage. Antioxidants, fatty acid supplements, fiber supplements, and other medications may be used to promote intestinal health and help restore normal intestinal function.

    Contributors: Catherine Barnette, DVM

    Symptoms Of Leaky Gut

    The tricky thing with leaky gut is that it can manifest via a wide range of symptoms. Many of which are also common for other digestive disorders such as IBS, Crohns and even auto-immune issues such as eczema. Several of the most common symptoms are:

    • Chronic diarrhea or constipation
    • Skin problems such as acne, eczema and psoriasis
    • Widespread inflammation
    • Nutritional deficiencies

    What Are The Symptoms And Causes Of Leaky Gut

    Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

    Symptoms and causes are an example of how medical professionals disagree. Some believe that leaky gut directly causes various diseases. Others claim that leaky gut only exists as a symptom of further, more chronic and serious diseases .

    Until scientists conduct more clinical studies, the debate between cause and symptom will not resolve any time soon .

    Whether a cause or an effect, there are various diseases or health issues generally associated with leaky gut.

    These diseases and issues are directly associated with leaky gut, but there are other actions that can cause the problem.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Leaky Gut

    Because leaky gut isn’t an official diagnosis, the condition doesn’t have an official list of symptoms. “The symptoms can vary for each individual, but it manifests in constant bloating, gas, and diarrhea, nutritional deficiencies, headaches, fatigue, skin rashes, cravings for things like sugars and carbs, joint pain,” says Dr. Hassenein.

    Signs You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome & How To Heal It

    Leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition that can drive inflammation and autoimmunity. While it is not yet a widely recognized medical condition, integrative and functional medicine doctors are at the forefront of diagnosis and treatment, while more research is starting to emerge to explain what it is and how to heal it.

    Which Diet Helps Heal A Leaky Gut

    What is the best diet for healing a leaky gut? A leaky gut has been linked to chronic disease and inflammation, two things that negatively impact your overall health. Information regarding leaky gut and ideal treatments is controversial and confusing.

    Everyone seems to have a different cure. How do you decide which path to follow? Diet is one part of most treatment options. Is one diet better than another?  Lets look at leaky gut and the diets that claim to treat it.

    How To Prevent Leaky Gut Naturally

    Anyone experiencing negative symptoms of leaky gut should consult a medical professional for their advice and guidance.

    This said, scientific studies and medical professionals offer various suggestions on how to lessen or avoid the symptoms and risks for causes of leaky gut.

    • Eat diets high in fiber and low in processed fats and sugars. One medical study took a group of Americans and a group of rural Africans and switched their diets. The Americans had improved gut health with their new diet full of natural fruits and vegetables with lessened amounts of sugars and fats.

    The Africans showed a significant decrease in the health of their digestive systems due to the unhealthy common foods of the American diet . Fruits and vegetables are the easiest and best way to improve gut health quickly.

    • Find foods or supplements with probiotics. Probiotics are foods that contain beneficial bacteria for the gut. These are usually found in fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, yogurt, and kefir. See: Drinks to Help Your Gut.

    Eating probiotic foods or supplements helps the gut by providing the extra bacteria to break down food and fight infections.

    See: What are Probiotics?

    • Cut back on or avoid foods with gluten. One study found consuming gluten on a regular daily basis can contribute to chronic inflammation in the human body .
    • Avoid dairy products. Not everyone has sensitivities to dairy products, but many are dairy sensitive without being completely lactose intolerant .

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