Leaky gut syndrome — how healing your digestive tract promotes total wellness
by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP
Molly had been lactose-intolerant for many years before having children. Surprisingly, she went through two pregnancies completely able to digest dairy foods, and thought she’d overcome whatever the problem was — until faced with a newborn who had nursing difficulties, a two-year-old, and a full-time job. Suddenly it seemed like everything she ate gave her bloating, gas, and eventual diarrhea. She was tired, irritable, unable to exercise — and running frequently to the bathroom. As she relayed her story, it sounded a lot like leaky gut to me.
As I explained to Molly, leaky gut syndrome is a digestive disorder that is not yet fully understood, especially in conventional medicine. But clearing it up is a top priority if you want to maintain your health. As it turned out, Molly’s leaky gut caused foods that ordinarily were fine for her to wreak havoc on her system. With a little extra help Molly was able to heal her gut and come back to enjoying nearly all her favorite foods — without the embarrassing symptoms!
Most people do not understand that digestion is absolutely the foundation of our health. Because of the way our bodies are connected, inflammation in the gut can eventually lead to inflammation in the bones, heart, brain, or beyond, making osteoporosis, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, or other diseases you may have a genetic predisposition for more likely as you age. I was refreshed by Molly’s determination to get to the bottom of her digestive health. Her health will benefit.
Let’s take a look at leaky gut syndrome, and how you can resolve it naturally.
What is leaky gut?
Along the lining of healthy intestines, cells are sealed together by what are known as tight junctions. These junctions are the gatekeepers that allow or bar particles from the gut’s interior to move into the body’s circulatory system. When your intestinal lining is compromised, particles can “leak” inappropriately through these cells and their junctions, and pass into the bloodstream or lymphatic system. These particles may be incompletely digested chunks of food, or microbes, or wastes, toxins, and even antigens and pathogens.