“Leaky Gut Syndrome” is a term describing damage done to the stomach and intestinal wall by food, infections, nutrient deficiencies and toxins. Under normal circumstances gut cells are pulled tightly together to prevent molecules leaking from the gut into the blood stream in an inappropriate fashion.

The places where these cells are pulled together are called “tight junctions”. When bad bugs like H pylori, or foods such as gluten cause inflammation and tissue damage, the tight junctions can become separated, with tiny gaps appearing between the cells and this is called “leaky gut”.

A leaky gut can cause many symptoms to develop because once molecules begin leaking through the gut wall into the bloodstream, the immune system may start attacking them, which in some people causes symptoms such as fatigue, arthritis and headaches. According to researchers in Portugal:

H. pylori interferes with epithelial tight junction integrity by altering the localization of junction proteins, compromising the barrier function. H. pylori-induced gastritis includes the production of pro-inflammatory molecules known to be implicated in deregulation of paracellular permeability in intestinal cell lines.

The Portuguese researchers wanted to determine how H pylori causes the tight junction separation. They found that the bacteria cause changes in stomach cell proteins, leading to electrical changes. As a result, the tight junctions are damaged.

Reference

A. C. Costa et al. H. pylori disturbs gastric epithelial tight junctions in an inflammation-independent manner. XXIII International Workshop on Helicobacter and Related Bacteria in Chronic Digestive Inflammation and Gastric Cancer. Rotterdam, September 16–18, 2010. P.318.

Leaky gut is a very important factor to consider in all illness and disease. As undigested food particles, toxins, bacteria and other unwanted invaders begin seep through the gut wall and into the blood stream, the load on the body’s immune system increases. The immune system gradually has to work harder and the liver has to work hard to clear the unwanted particles. If the total load of particles leaking through the gut wall is too large for the body to cope, symptoms and disease are guaranteed.

Food antigens leaking through the gut wall cause allergic reactions, toxins cause allergic reactions and direct toxic effects, the hormone system becomes imbalanced and the usual mechanism for absorbing nutrients is compromised. The end result:

A plethora of “bad” things getting into the body that shouldn’t be there.

Inadequate amounts of “good” things getting into the body that are required for optimal function.

H pylori infection is by no means the only cause of leaky gut syndrome and a partial list of factors causing leaky gut includes:

H pylori infection
Parasite infection
Yeast and fungal overgrowth
Vitamin D deficiency
Thyroid dysfunction
Gluten
Processed food
Alcohol consumption
Stress
Mercury toxicity and other heavy metals
NSAID use (aspirin, etc.)

To fix a leaky gut, we simply help you remove what shouldn’t be there and put back what should. It’s a very simple, yet extremely powerful process.

Author's Bio: 

David Hompes specializes in designing natural treatment programs for a wide range of health issues, applying laboratory- and evidence-based clinical nutrition protocols for patients with digestive infections, food cravings, hormonal imbalances such as PMS, chronic stress related disorders, low libido, low energy, depression and many other health complaints.