What is leaky gut?

What is leaky gut?


Is your gut in a rut?

Do you suffer from any of these miserable symptoms…diarrhea, bloating, excessive gas, constipation, heart burn, headaches, brain fog, memory loss, fatigue, skin rashes such as eczema? Many people report craving sugar or carbs as well. If any of this sounds like you then you may have Leaky Gut.

Studies say that at least 80% of Americans have some form of leaky gut. Leaky gut is related to many health problems including 80-90% of food allergies, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, diabetes, system toxicity and heart disease autoimmune problems such as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, sjogren’s syndrome, and lupus to name a few. In this newsletter, you will learn the Genetic, Eastern and Western Medicine reasons that cause leaky gut to occur.

Leaky gut occurs from the small intestines to the blood stream. The small intestine is very important for absorbing your vitamins and minerals from the foods you eat. These nutrients get absorbed through the pores of the small intestines and then enter the blood stream. The typical space between these colon cells (colonocytes) is 1-3 Microns. Leaky gut changes these spaces to 200-300 Microns in distance. This allows for much more debris to pass through the barrier of defense. Normally, only the tiny nutrients should get into the blood stream from the small intestines. When these spaces are large undigested nutrients from food and toxic substances enter your blood stream, your immune system goes on attack mode and releases all types of inflammation molecules. This leads to many of the symptoms listed above.

Lifestyle factors (epigenetics) significantly affect all of us and has a big effect on our digestive system. These lifestyle factors can turn on or off our genes to express in unhealthy ways. One of the main genetic factors of leaky gut is a gene called FUT2 also known as fucosyltransferase 2. If you have one parent that passed on FUT2 then you are likely to have a 25-40% increase in leaky gut problems and if both parents have FUT2 then you’re likely to have 75-90% increase in leaky gut and associated problems. There are genetic tests that can help determine if you have these genes.

Western medicine tries to understand leaky gut. This is usually done with a Gastroenterologist who will utilize scopes to perform colonoscopy and/or endoscopy procedures the form of Western medicine that best understands leaky gut is functional medicine. Leaky gut is described as the loss of the functional barrier of the intestinal tract. The proteins that hold the gut lining together are broken apart and allow larger molecules through to the blood stream.

Chinese medicine is about patterns of diagnosis. Leaky gut starts with a pattern of weak spleen and stomach. The question is what may cause the spleen to weaken. The answer is often worrying, anxiety, craving and eating sweets, cold or ice drinks. As a result, you may have more fatigue, weak or sore muscles such as in fibromyalgia which then can create weakness in the small intestines to create leaky gut. We assess these patterns with tongue and pulse diagnosis. These tell us where your weakness is and what herbs are needed, and what acupuncture points will be treated to strengthen these points.

Now that you know ideas from different forms of medicine, what can you do about your leaky gut. First, we run through a thorough history to see what may be triggering your leaky gut, maybe it’s as simple as you drink too much coffee, alcohol or sugar. We run blood, stool, and urine tests that help with the assessment of your leaky gut. We may recommend acupuncture to strengthen your spleen, stomach and small intestines. We may recommend adjustments as the nerves have to be working properly for the intestines to perform their job. Most importantly we use natural products to help the gut lining to heal.

If you think that you or a loved one may have any symptoms related to a leaky gut then you should know that there is hope. Make an appointment today.

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