March / April 2016
By Dr. Angela Dagley
Have you heard of the common GI condition known as “leaky gut syndrome?” It is becoming a more widely known condition, and with good reason! Many have heard this term but really have no idea what it is. The prevalence of leaky gut is reaching epidemic proportions. This is widely due to poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalances.
A leaky gut is also referred to as intestinal permeability. The intestines have small openings called “tight junctions.” Think of the wall of the intestines as a net with little tiny holes in it. These small holes allow nutrients from food to enter into the bloodstream and also allow toxins and waste to be expelled from the bloodstream. Leaky gut occurs when there is damage to the net, causing the holes to get bigger. These bigger holes allow toxins, bacteria, and even microscopic food particles to enter the bloodstream. The body is very smart and knows these things don’t belong, therefore it goes to work to get rid of the “invaders.” This creates inflammation throughout the entire body and leads to a variety of diseases.
Now consider this. If your GI system has just a little damage, the body can work quickly to repair and flush the system of the unwanted invaders. But if your GI system is constantly bombarded, it has significant damage and no time to repair. The bloodstream and the body would be incessantly exposed to inflammation. The body is then spending all its energy on attempts at repair instead of normal function. This chronic inflammation associated with leaky gut can then also contribute to the growth of cancers, autoimmune conditions, and other chronic diseases. It is amazing that so much havoc can be created because one system is not functioning properly!
Could you be suffering from leaky gut? Do you have food sensitivities or intolerances? Inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis? Suffer from an autoimmune disease or thyroid problems? Have an inflammatory skin condition such as acne, psoriasis, eczema or rosacea? Experience joint pain or arthritis? Frequently get sick or experience other immune issues? Suffer from migraine headaches, fatigue, depression, anxiety or ADHD? If you answered yes to any of these questions you may have a leaky gut!
Hope is not lost, though! There are treatments available to help the body to repair itself. By properly testing for current food allergens in the bloodstream, and with nutritional changes and supplements, your body can repair the GI system over time. We work with patients to make the best food choices, empower them with the knowledge of test results, and give them the tools necessary to help their bodies repair. You can start healing the GI system immediately by avoiding inflammatory foods, such as processed foods, gluten, refined sugars, and hydrogenated oils. We encourage you to attend one of our many complimentary seminars held throughout each month. Our 6 PM, March 22nd educational seminar, “Food Matters” will delve extensively into the topic of leaky gut and food allergens. Register at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/food-matterstickets-21096322669 or by calling 281-488-8300.