Do you have any of the below conditions below?
- Gas, bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
- Food sensitivities
- Anxiety or depression
- Psoriasis or eczema
- Chronic fatigue
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Well, you may suffer from “leaky gut” – also known as intestinal permeability, due to compromised integrity of the epithelial lining of the gastrointestinal tract.
Technically, the gastrointestinal tract—from mouth to anus—is simply a hollow tube situated within our body with numerous functions, mainly to absorb nutrients and water. The gut “tube” is lined with epithelium, functioning as a protective barrier to prevent particles from leaking into the extracellular tissues or absorbing into the bloodstream before first being filtered through the liver.
The epithelial membrane is produced by a collection of cells layered together and connected side-by-side by tight junctions.
The tight junctions of the epithelium are crucial for maintaining the physical structure of the membrane. These cellular junctions must be bound tightly together to avoid certain molecules, particularly proteins, passing across the epithelium and causing inflammation.
So, what is causing breakdown of tight junctions within the epithelium?
There are a number of things that can break down the tight junction barrier between cells in the epithelium including things such as:
- Food – gluten, dairy, other pro-inflammatory foods.
- Certain bacteria species – gut dysbiosis, bacterial overgrowth, fungal infections.
- Stress – physical or emotional stresses, interpersonal conflicts, history of trauma.
- Toxins – medication metabolites, heavy metal exposure, pesticides.
When the gastrointestinal epithelium becomes permeable, things like bacteria, toxins, partially-digested food molecules, and medication metabolites leak through the barrier lining and the body interprets these as foreign molecules, thereby triggering an immune response.
Hence, the connection with chronic inflammation.
Addressing leaky gut is a multifactorial process. The first, and often most difficult, piece is to avoid the foods that are known to make your symptoms worse. This can be accomplished by a blood test to look for food sensitivities and avoiding the foods to which you produce a high immune response.
At The Aesthetic & Wellness Center, we will work closely with you to determine the root cause of your leaky gut whether it’s food sensitivities, a bacteria overgrowth, fungal infection, a chronic stress reaction. And often, it’s a combination of a few of these.
If your goal is to resolve your digestive symptoms, call us today at (941) 749-0741 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Inda Mowett—your trusted health and wellness resource!
Dr. Inda Mowett is certified in Bariatric Medicine (non-surgical medical weight loss). She is one of 400 physicians nationwide specialized in this field.