Most people suffer from symptoms of leaky gut syndrome without realizing it. While the symptoms are pretty common, the condition is not commonly known under conventional medicine. According to naturopathic experts, leaky gut syndrome is a condition that can possibly cause symptoms such as pain, digestive disorders, frequent infections, and skin disorders. However, most conventional treatments fail to address this condition as they are more focused on treating the symptoms, rather than the underlying problem.
Leaky gut syndrome simply means increased permeability of the intestinal lining which has become leaky due to damages to the lining of the bowel. Naturopathic experts cite reasons such as an overuse of antibiotics, dietary problems, toxins, or infection as possibly causing a leaky gut. Increased permeability means that the lining does not absorb nutrients selectively, but material can leak through the wall. Toxins, waste, undigested food and other material pass through the intestinal lining, causing inflammation and affecting the functionality of the digestive tract.
Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome include:
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic pain in joints and/or muscles
- Poor immune system
- Foggy thinking, anxiety, mood issues, and/or memory problems
- Respiratory problems such as asthma or wheezing
Still, you may find it hard to believe that such a condition exists. Fortunately, there is a test to help determine if you are having leaky gut syndrome symptoms. There are two chemicals that are both soluble in water and unused by the body. Mannitol is easily absorbed by a healthy intestinal lining. Lactulose is a large molecule and can only be slightly absorbed by healthy intestines.
To perform this test, you would need to drink a solution containing both these chemicals. You would then need to collect urine for six hours. The amount of each chemical in the urine is used to calculate the amount absorbed by your body. How well your intestines is functioning is determined by how much of each substance was absorbed. A healthy test shows high levels of mannitol and low levels of lactulose. If high levels of both molecules are found, it indicates a leaky gut syndrome. If low levels of both molecules are found in the urine, it is a sign of a general malabsorption of all nutrients.
Since damage is already done, it is important not to worsen the problem of increased permeability. Ways to help include:
1. Removing any infections and parasites
Many sources agree that leaky gut syndrome is caused by candida yeast infections. There are several natural treatments available to control candida including acidophilus, fresh garlic cloves, and dietary changes.
2. Adopting a healthy diet
You should take a high fiber diet, in addition to eliminating foods that are high in starch and sugar. It is also important to limit fungal foods such as mushrooms and cheese. Also avoid foods with yeast such as bread, alcohol, soy sauce, and vinegar.
3. Using nutritional supplements and digestive aids
There are many supplements that aid in digestive health. For example, essential oils like fish oil and flax seed oil may be beneficial and can be safely taken over time.
You also need to maintain a healthy balance of bacteria in your body to keep the unfriendly bacteria from getting out of balance with the good bacteria. Probiotics are supplements that support the proper balance of bacteria in your system.
Very often, the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome are not dealt with at the root. Hence, you would find that even after taking years of medications for them, you never quite cured yourself. It is important to find ways to fight the problem at he source, rather than finding ways to cope with your symptoms. Luckily, there are measures that can help you minimise the damage done and to help your leaky gut heal.