Inside our intestines, the intestinal lining forms tight junctions. These tight junctions act as a barrier to control what gets absorbed into the bloodstream. When you have an unhealthy gut lining it may contain leaks, which allows food particles, toxins, and bacteria to penetrate into the bloodstream. Oftentimes, this results in inflammation and changes in the gut flora that could lead to problems within the digestive tract and beyond.
Your body houses trillions of bacteria, and they make up what is known as your microbiome. Your intestinal lining also contains healthy bacteria, which aid your body in the process of digestion. Any disruption in the health or function of the microbiome can significantly compromise the absorption of nutrients.
When the tight junctions between cells become damaged or faulty it allows undigested food particles, bacteria and debris that are normally excreted to pass into the bloodstream. The immune system will then flag these molecules as foreign invaders and an immune response will be initiated. After several years of this recurring problem, your immune system will begin to see molecules and cells in your body as foreign, creating an autoimmune process. An autoimmune response means that your body is attacking itself and if left unchecked will result in multiple gastrointestinal symptoms as well as systemic illness– Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, lupus, etc. In addition, your body will be vulnerable to inflammation associated with a leaky gut that will damage the protective coating of the intestines making your body more susceptible to infections. Prolonged exposure to inflammation will result in chronic inflammation, immune system dysfunction, food intolerances, allergies, discomfort while eating and eventually chronic inflammation in all body tissues.
The first step to healing, is to put you on a customized dietary program to eliminate any foods that can be inflammatory to your system. Next, we add targeted nutritional supplements to support your intestinal tract and intestinal lining. These supplements support gastrointestinal tissue to help jumpstart the healing process. We often see patients improve significantly from leaky gut.