Impaired intestinal permeability is commonly known as leaky gut .
In a healthy person the small intestine permits efficient absorption of nutrients while also preventing absorption of undigested food, bacteria and toxins.
A damaged gut lining does the opposite and allows increasing amounts of toxic substances into the body. Immune system response, which results in inflammation occurring throughout the body.
Leaky Gut has been shown to be associated with many medical conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, inflammatory joint disease, arthritis, irritable bowel syndrome, food allergies or sensitivities, liver dysfunction, psoriasis, eczema, multiple chemical sensitivity, acne, impaired immunity, autism, rheumatoid arthritis, thyroid disease and other autoimmune conditions.
Symptoms of Leaky Gut include fatigue, bloating, fuzzy or foggy thinking, impaired memory, digestive problems, headache, anxiety, acne, impaired immunity, diarrhoea, excessive wind, food intolerances, joint pain, skin rashes, insomnia, hormone imbalances and others.
Causes of Leaky Gut, include prolonged stress, poor diet, alcohol, allergies, some medications (especially non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids), fungal infections, coeliac disease, parasitic infection, deficient stomach acid secretion, some enzyme deficiencies and gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of organisms in the gut).
Dysbiotic organisms within the gut produce toxic chemicals and when they die, fragments of their cell walls (known as endotoxin or lipopolysaccharide) are released and absorbed into the bloodstream. Lipopolysaccharide is one of the most potent stimulators of the inflammatory response known and is the cause of much of the tissue damage that arises from a Leaky Gut.
Programmes to heal the gastrointestinal lining, treat food sensitivities and restore a healthy gut microbiome , involving diet, lifestyle modification and nutritional supplements, are an essential component of a holistic program to address leaky gut.