Leaky Gut: What Part is Leaking?

When partially digested food, toxins, and bacteria pass through the small intestine and enter the bloodstream, this is referred to as a condition known as leaky gut syndrome, or LGS. In simple terms, large spaces occur in between the cells that compose the wall of the gut. Since these spaces exist in the gut wall, bacteria, toxins, and food can find their way into the bloodstream.

How many of these 52 leaky gut syndrome symptoms do you suffer from?

Arthritis Abdominal Distention Airborne Allergies
Hay Fever Gluten Intolerance Dairy Intolerance
Parasites Reoccurring Infections Diabetes Type 2
Diabetes Type 1 Obesity Chronic Fatigue
Multiple Sclerosis Ulcerative Colitis Confusion
Poor Memory Fatigue & Malaise Toxic Feelings
Fevers Asthma Shortness of Breath
Bronchitis General Food Intolerance/Allergies Bacterial Infection
Candida Infertility Osteoporosis
Fibromyalgia Depression Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
ADD ADHD Crohn’s Disease
Fuzzy Thinking Mood Swings Aggressive Behavior
Mouth Sores Recurrent Colds & Flu’s Sinus & Nasal Congestion
Unstable Blood Sugar Yeast/Fungal Overgrowth Urinary Tract Infections
Weight Gain Weight Loss Resistance Inability to Heal Adrenals
Autism Insomnia Celiac Disease
Eczema Dermatitis Nervousness
Anxiety

It is too easy for someone to say, “You have Leaky Gut.” As you can see from the list above, Leaky Gut is a vague unclear and indefinite term. Almost anyone can fall under any one more so than the others. Simply treating the vast number of symptoms and conditions is like fighting an uphill battle that you will never win.

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What is Leaky Gut?

Some experts contend that the most common cause of this condition is ingesting foods that one is allergic to. Interesting, isn’t it? This begs two questions, the first being, “What comes first, the chicken (allergies) or the egg (leaky gut)?” However if these particular experts are correct, then common allergens like dairy products, wheat, and eggs will contribute to leaky gut. Should we then ask the question, if these foods are the problem why doesn’t every one have Leaky Gut? The second question, “Is it an allergy or a food sensitivity?” What is the difference between the two? An allergic reaction happens when someone has a severe reaction after eating a peanut. While a food sensitivity may just have minor gas and bloating.

Unfortunately, there is no agreement in health care as to the precise definition of any of these terms, and patients are often frustrated when they hear their diagnosis referred to in different terms by health care professional and non-professional practitioners. Rather than try to reconcile the terminology used to refer to a gut problem, it’s generally more useful to gain an understanding of the actual cause.

Separating the Leaky Gut Science from the Folklore

The Gut lining along with the Barrier Variables protect a healthy gut from food, bacteria, candida and parasites. From the mouth to the anus, the gastrointestinal tract has a single contiguous layer of epithelial cells that separates the inside of the body from the external environment. While the epithelial lining of the intestine plays a critical role in preventing access of these agents, it is not the only component of what is termed barrier function. Also important are the Barrier Variables such as SIgAscommensal bacteria, mucous, genes, defensins, and cytokines. Separation is important, as there are a wide variety of environmental agents in the bowel that can initiate or perpetuate mucosal inflammation if they cross the epithelial barrier.

Knowing a person with impaired Barrier Variables can develop food sensitivities to any food they commonly eat. Is a Food Allergy test the best lab to start with? Many of my new patients come in carrying a card from a 5-year-old food allergy test.  The have tried countless diets while avoiding the listed foods, all of which fail after 45 days. One case was a young lady that would go violently manic after eating gluten. She justified eating gluten because the food allergy test showed Zero sensitivity to gluten. The test reported high sensitivity to Lima beans, which she never ate. Her manic behavior was due to a Cytokine Storm caused by pro-inflammatory cytokines and stimulatory neurotransmitters. Immunoglobulins are not necessary to cause reactions to food. Cytokines are able to react independently and cause a much more severe reaction.

This is a perfect example of false negative and false positive lab tests due to impaired Barrier Variables. Lab testing can provide valuable information. The question is which testing should be done first? We should think this through logically. Growing up on a farm teaches common sense logic, like a tire goes flat because there is a hole in it – not a lack of air. You look for the hole, fix the hole, and then fill the tire up with air in that order. Okay, I can see where some would say you have to put air back in to find the leak (elimination/provocation challenge). In some cases this can be effective, however in many cases the holes may be so small (a bunch of small holes will leak as much or more than one big one) it requires a test to find all of them.

Rather than looking for offending foods, which change based on what a person is eating. The Metametrix GI Function profile provides information about the overall state of the Barrier Variables. A dysbiotic, inflamed gut with microbial overgrowth, as potentially illustrated (finds the holes) through this type of testing, may offer additional clues to prove impaired Barrier Variable are indeed wreaking havoc in the gut. Then treatment can be targeted to a specific Barrier Variable (fixing the holes). With the holes fixed, we can then find the true food sensitivities if there are any.

There are a number of diagnostic means at Wellness Alternatives disposal to further explore a patient’s Leaky Gut symptoms. Metametrix offers a series of tests including an Allergix IgE Food AntibodiesCeliac Profile, and the Allergix IgG4 Antibody Profiles. These can provide a great platform in the treatment plan creation. Results also serve as powerful reinforcement towards removing or decreasing offending foods that just so happen to be a person’s favorite—whether it’s a tall glass of cow’s milk, or whole-wheat bread. We all know that seeing something in writing may be the only way to bring about change!

With that said, it’s important to remember that “negative” results or an absence of a response does not necessarily mean a person is free of any potential adverse food responses. If a patient has symptoms otherwise unaccounted for, the gold standard is implementation of an elimination diet. This is the only method to truly discover which foods cause a reaction in an individual!

How can I get help? Click on this link Wellness Alternatives

Assessment of Leaky Gut

Each of the Barrier variables plays a role in the maintenance of the mucosal homeostasis. Any event causing Barrier variable defects may underlie food allergen sensitization, not only in the gut but also elsewhere in the body, such as the skin and airways. Using the Allergix IgG4 Antibody Profile to determine how many food reactions can demonstrate if you have a Leaky Gut or an impaired Barrier. The Gastrointestinal Function Profile would show which Barrier Variable is in need of attention for both a Leaky Gut and the Impaired Barrier.

  1. Not just food particles slip through. Pathogens, toxins, and other types of ‘waste’ get through that should normally be screened out. Insufficiently broken-down food particles or toxins may cause the liver to work much harder trying to clean everything out. The liver may not be able to keep up with all the detoxification demands sent its way and the toxin load starts building up in the body.Homeostasis in the gut mucosa is normally preserved by the Barrier variables. In Normal permeability or even the presences of minor gut permeability, antibodies are not produced against food. The immune responses to food are controlled.
  2. Less than 5 IgG4 Reactions: If there are one to five reactions to foods, these should again be eliminated form the diet to test for involvement in your symptoms.
  3. 5-19 IgG4 Reactions: Intestinal permeability may be a problem, and steps should be taken to identify which portion of the intestinal lining is not working.
  4. 20 or Greater IgG4 Reactions: If you have more than twenty foods that have an IgG reaction, a ”Leaky Gut” intestinal permeability is indicated.

There have been many studies showing a variety of environmental factors that can affect mucosal permeability and initiate immunological inflammatory cascades. These include:

  • Dysbiosis and microorganism invasions of (bacteria, yeast, viruses, parasites)
  • Traumas including surgical and non-surgical lesions
  • Stress due to disease, starvation, sustained strenuous exercise, radiation
  • Other environmental factors such as medications, allergenic foods
Concerned about your Health?

Call today! 530-615-4083

MEASURING INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY

Two decades ago, the assessment of Intestinal Permeability was done by measuring the leakage of a sugar molecule (lactalose) into the blood stream. Since then, numerous studies have questioned the clinical relevance of this marker. It is not measuring antigenic macromolecule passage, because passage of very small molecules such as sugars, lacks a capacity to challenge the immune system. Therefore, measurements of intestinal permeability to antigenic molecules are assessed not only against the triggers of intestinal barrier degradation such as bacterial endotoxins, but also against barrier structures occludin /zonulin and actomyosin, which represents both paracellular and transcellular pathways (see Figure 3).

Fig. 3: Assessment of Intestinal Barrier Permeability to Large Antigenic Molecules – Aristo Vojdani, Ph.D., M.T.

Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) are large molecules found in gram-negative bacteria. They are endotoxins, and if absorbed, elicit a strong immune response. The detection of antibodies against LPS reveals macromolecule-sized endotoxin infiltration through the intestinal barrier into the systemic circulation.Elevated antibodies to LPS, Occludin/Zonulin and the Actomyosin Network are biomarkers indentifying the breakdown of a healthy intestinal barrier:

  • Occludin is part of the main component of proteins holding together the tight junctions between the cells of the epithelial lining. The detection of antibodies to occludin indicates that the tight junctions are breaking down. This is a measure of an autoimmune mechanism damaging the intestinal barrier membrane.
  • Zonulin, a protein, regulates the permeability of the intestine. The detection of antibodies against zonulin indicates that the normal regulation of tight junction is compromised. This can be a clue to the presence of an ongoing autoimmune mechanism damaging the intestinal barrier.
  • The actomyosin network, a protein complex, regulates intestinal barrier function by maintaining the plasticity of the tight junctions. Antibodies to the actomyosin network are a biomarker of intestinal barrier dysregulation via cell infiltration. For example, 98.2% of Celiac disease patients with a flat mucosa have antibodies to actin. This is a measure of an autoimmune mechanism damaging the intestinal barrier.

I would be wary of any diagnosis of leaky gut syndrome if you don’t have inflammatory bowel conditions (Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome), rheumatoid arthritis, or asthma. To repair a Impaired Intestinal Barrier, you must identify both transcellular and paracellular routes of intestinal barrier penetration by large molecules with a capacity to challenge the immune system. To do that you must know what is causing the problem. Different Barrier Variables require different but simultaneous treatment.

4 Key Concepts That You MUST Understand If You Are Ever Going to Take Control of Your Health and Say Goodbye to Your Leaky Gut Syndrome Symptoms

  • There are a lot of highly advertised “health foods” out there that all claim to be a necessary part of your well balanced diet. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. You are likely eating many of these foods every single day, which are actually driving the inflammation that is making your Leaky Gut Syndrome symptoms worse.
  • Even if you are eating all the right foods, which may not be enough. When you develop Leaky Gut Syndrome you can become sensitized to any food that you commonly eat, including foods that really are normally healthy. And the more you eat these foods, the worse your condition becomes. But I can show you how to identify these underlying hidden allergies that are sabotaging your results.
  • There are many things that you can do to help heal your Leaky Gut Syndrome outside of eating the right foods. By incorporating some very simple but highly effective techniques to your current lifestyle you can help drastically cut down on the time it takes to heal your Leaky Gut. These will have you feeling great in no time at all.
  • If you’re trying to solve your problem with supplements alone then you are in for a big surprise because supplements alone are not the answer when it comes to Leaky Gut Syndrome. When you are doing all of the other things right, supplements should be used to help speed up the healing process. And not all supplements are created equal. In fact, I have found many of my own clients that were reacting negatively to supplements that they believed were supposed to be helping. And some of these supplements were designed specifically for Leaky Gut Syndrome!

It’s all about identifying the Barrier Variables using the appropriate lab tests and using the right supplements at the right time. Otherwise you’re really just wasting your money. How can you get help? Click on this link Wellness Alternatives

Concerned about your Health?

Call today! 530-615-4083

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