Leaky Gut Syndrome is characterized by a loss of permeability in the intestinal wall. In the case of “leaky gut”, transferred toxins and bacteria cause an inflammatory reaction of the entire body. The syndrome is not a medically or scientifically recognized disease, but an alternative medical hypothesis.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky Gut Syndrome is not a medically or scientifically recognized disease. For this reason, conventional physicians do not diagnose a “leaky gut”. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Leaky Gut Syndrome.
The leaky gut syndrome describes a hypothetical condition that has not yet been medically recognized. Naturopaths and nutritionists have developed the theory. The hypothesis focuses on the permeability of the human gut.
Due to its selectively permeable properties, the intestinal wall of a healthy person represents a barrier that only allows certain substances to pass through and thus absorb them into the organism. In patients with leaky gut syndrome, the permeability of the intestinal wall is said to be greatly increased. The result is a loss of selectivity, which appears to primarily affect the intestinal wall of the small intestine.
The hypothesis establishes a causal connection between increased permeability of the intestinal wall and a large number of diseases. Among other things, rheumatoid arthritis, chronic fatigue, migraines, multiple sclerosis and autism are said to be favored by the leaky gut syndrome. Little evidence for the hypothesis exists.
According to the hypothesis, the leaky gut syndrome is due to various factors. These factors include, for example, bacteria and yeast fungi of the genus Candida, the excessive growth of which is said to disrupt the permeability of the intestinal wall. According to supporters of the theory, poor nutrition and poisoning due to excessive antibiotic or alcohol consumption also cause selectivity losses in the intestinal wall.
This creates “gaps” in the natural barrier, especially in the area of the small intestine. Instead of only absorbing water and the nutrients dissolved in it, the intestinal wall allows numerous proteins, toxins and bacteria from the interior of the intestine to enter the bloodstream.
According to the theory, this transfer of harmful substances causes a chronic inflammatory reaction throughout the body, which is triggered by immunological reactions. This favors a wide range of secondary diseases. In this context, autoimmune diseases in particular are associated with leaky gut syndrome.
Symptoms, Ailments and Signs
According to the hypothesis, patients with leaky gut syndrome suffer from a wide range of symptoms, ranging from chronic joint pain to muscle pain and impaired concentration. In addition to bloating and migraines, mood swings, depression, nervousness, and skin conditions such as acne are associated with the syndrome.
The same applies to eczema and susceptibility to infections, which are due to a weakening of the immune system. The infections are often recurring bladder and vaginal infections. In addition, many patients suffer from chronic fatigue and food intolerance such as gluten or lactose intolerance.
In addition, there are often irritable bowel problems, which can develop over the years to chronic inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis are said to be caused by the syndrome.
Diagnosis and course of the disease
Leaky Gut Syndrome is not a medically or scientifically recognized disease. For this reason, conventional physicians do not diagnose a “leaky gut”. Usually, the diagnosis is made by naturopaths or nutritionists instead.
Only the alleged consequences of leaky gut syndrome are medically diagnosed, such as the inflammatory bowel disease Crohn’s disease. The prognosis is excellent for patients with leaky gut syndrome according to the hypothesis. Not only can the syndrome be cured with simple means.
Any secondary diseases should also disappear after the “leaky gut” has been eliminated. For many patients with incurable autoimmune diseases, the leaky gut hypothesis is therefore a welcome glimmer of hope.
The leaky gut syndrome causes a porous intestinal mucosa, which mainly affects the small intestine and is considered to be a contributor to various chronic diseases, allergies and incurable autoimmune diseases. As long as the natural barrier of the intestinal mucosa is intact, only nutrients and water are released into the bloodstream. However, in leaky gut syndrome, holes develop in the intestinal barrier and undigested substances, toxins and fungi enter the bloodstream, causing numerous complications.
The body’s own defenses begin to work against itself and an immune reaction is the result. If those affected notice inexplicable bouts of fatigue, food intolerance and loss of strength, gastrointestinal problems and an increase in infections, a medical evaluation should be carried out. The syndrome can otherwise inflame the thyroid and pancreas.
There is a risk of diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes and multiple sclerosis. Those affected who have a genetic predisposition such as celiac disease or suffer from acne, allergies, neurodermatitis, asthma, osteoporosis and are exposed to severe stress are more likely to develop leaky gut syndrome. In the laboratory, the clinical picture can be examined and verified in detail using blood, urine and stool samples.
A special indication of this are increased liver and zonulin levels and the detection of alpha-1-antitrypsin. In addition to medical therapy, a radical gluten and sugar-free diet is recommended as part of a Paleo diet, which also means avoiding artificial additives.
When should you go to the doctor?
Typical warning signs such as stomach pain, flatulence, migraines or gluten or lactose intolerance indicate leaky gut syndrome, which must be examined by a doctor. If signs of an irritable bowel or another intestinal disease occur, medical advice is also required. Above all, longer-lasting symptoms that cannot be attributed to a specific trigger must be examined by a doctor and treated if necessary. People who have been intoxicated by alcohol or antibiotics in the past are particularly susceptible to developing leaky gut syndrome.
The syndrome also occurs relatively frequently in connection with autoimmune diseases. If you belong to one of these risk groups, you should definitely go to the doctor responsible if you have the symptoms mentioned. In addition to the family doctor, a gastroenterologist or internist can be consulted. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, the doctor will consult other doctors. For example, chronic joint or muscle pain must be treated by an orthopedist, while mental disorders such as depression or anxiety must be dealt with as part of psychotherapy.
Treatment and therapy
The treatment of leaky gut syndrome starts with the substance that originally disrupted the permeability of the intestinal wall. These substances should be avoided consistently in the future. In particular, products containing gluten and lectins, such as grain and whole grain products, are eliminated from the menu. Bread, pasta or legumes are prohibited for the time being.
To a limited extent, fas also applies to nightshades such as potatoes, peppers and tomatoes. In addition, certain vegetable oils, dairy products and flour are taboo for the time being. This change has a relatively deep impact on eating habits and is therefore carried out under the professional supervision of a nutritionist.
According to supporters of the hypothesis, switching to a so-called Paleo or Stone Age diet promises lasting success, since the intestinal mucosa can regenerate in this way. Vegetables, game meat, fish or seafood, fruit, eggs, nuts, honey and herbs take the place of grain and dairy products.
In addition to the change in diet, various probiotics and herbal remedies are propagated as supportive treatment measures. Few indications speak to the usefulness of the treatment measures in relation to the intestinal mucosa. Doubters point out that nutritionists and alternative medicine professionals have created a new area of application with the leaky gut hypothesis.
Behind the Leaky Gut Syndrome they suspect a complex marketing strategy for various natural remedies and related products. Since the change in diet in the context of leaky gut syndrome only has to be carried out under the supervision of a nutritionist and the industry has benefited accordingly from these instructions, everyone has doubtsstrengtharguments. At least in the case of planned measures such as changing your diet or fears of loss of intestinal wall permeability, you should consult a conventional doctor.
Outlook & Forecast
The chances of finding help for leaky gut syndrome are not the same everywhere. The problem is that the diagnosis is controversial among medical professionals. The symptoms of leaky gut syndrome are therefore often not taken seriously. There is an incorrect diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome. Many of those affected do not even go to the doctor with their symptoms. In this case, the prospects for an improvement in the symptoms are poor.
Because leaky gut syndrome causes damage to the gut over the long term, it’s a good idea to see a naturopathic practitioner. Because through the permeable intestine, cleavage products, allergens and toxins from the food can pass unhindered into the bloodstream. This leads to inflammation and other secondary diseases.
Since leaky gut syndrome can be clearly diagnosed by various examinations, the prognosis in itself is good. Leaky Gut Syndrome can be treated well with a sensible diet, avoidance of possible triggers and promoters and, if necessary, the administration of medication. The more natural the food is, the better it is for the damaged intestine.
Also important for a good prognosis is the moderation of excessive sport or a reduction of stress factors. The detection of intolerance to food or food components can also improve the prognosis. High-fiber foods are just as important in leaky gut syndrome as pre- and probiotics.
According to the theory, leaky gut syndrome can be prevented. As one of the most important preventive measures, supporters of the hypothesis propagate the right diet, as it can be developed with the support of a nutritionist. In addition, the market is now flooded with various natural remedies that are intended to prevent permeability losses. However, most manufacturers do not guarantee complete prevention, since, according to its supporters, the syndrome can be caused by a variety of different factors.
Follow-up care for leaky gut syndrome is usually relatively difficult because it is a hereditary disease that cannot be completely cured. The affected person is dependent on intensive and comprehensive treatment in order to alleviate all symptoms permanently. In the case of a desire to have children, a genetic examination and counseling should therefore always be carried out so that the syndrome itself does not occur again in the children.
The life expectancy of the person affected may be limited due to the disease. Most symptoms can be alleviated with the help of a proper diet, and in general the sufferer should maintain a healthy lifestyle with a healthy diet. Regular sporting activities can also have a positive effect on the course of the disease.
In many cases, the doctor can provide the patient with a diet plan, which should then be followed. When it comes to children, it is above all the parents who have to pay attention to a correct and, above all, balanced diet. The affected person’s intestines should also be examined regularly by a doctor so that no further damage occurs. A general prognosis about the Life expectancy of the patient cannot usually be made with leaky gut syndrome.
You can do that yourself
Accompanying the conventional medicine treatment of leaky gut syndrome is above all the right one dieta sensible one supporting action that the patient can take themselves.
First of all, the intestines should be treated by means of therapeutic fasting and be completely cleaned. The patient does without solid food for a longer period of time, which must be discussed with the doctor treating you. Subsequently, the structure of the intestine takes place successively and slowly. Depending on the diagnosis, the patient consistently avoids the food or food components that previously triggered the respective symptoms. Both phases – therapeutic fasting and the gradual build-up of the intestinal flora – require a great deal of discipline and perseverance while the symptoms subside rather slowly at the same time. The patient should therefore organize his everyday life as stress-free as possible. Especially during therapeutic fasting, the patient is often tired and sometimes irritable; everyday life should do justice to both.
In addition, a leaky gut syndrome patient can build up the intestinal flora support, in which he is potato and sauerkraut juice. Probiotic yoghurts without coloring and preservatives are also a suitable means of self-help.