Leaky gut syndrome is one of the newest discoveries in the medical field. While research is still fresh and ongoing, many believe that the syndrome could be the cause of constant fatigue, malnutrition, and possibly even diabetes. This guide will clearly detail leaky gut syndrome, the possible cures, and what can be done to prevent it!
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome is a new term for the cause of a wide range of ailments including: cramps, nutritional deficiencies, bloating, and joint pain. Researchers are discovering that many of these ailments may be arising due to a “leaky gut,” as opposed to being standalone symptoms. This term describes the phenomenon where digestive lining becomes compromised, and instead of filtering food and nutrients safely through the body, it “leaks” harmful waste into the blood stream. Over time, this can lead to nutritional deficiencies and general discomfort.
While fatigue, stomach irritation, and joint pain can arise for a number of reasons, researchers are studying whether patients share a similar leaky gut. Researchers are also concerned that this syndrome could lead to diabetes or other serious ailments. Unfortunately, research is still in its infancy, but many trends are pointing to this being a real, and very serious, phenomenon.
What Are the Causes?
Although there are no definite causes of leaky gut syndrome, there are several hypotheses. Some researchers believe that the syndrome can arise from chronic stress, an unhealthy and sugar-loaded diet, plus an overuse of certain painkillers such as aspirin. Over time, each one of these influences can cause the digestive lining to weaken which then leads to micro-holes within the tract. Other possible influences include: excessive alcohol consumption, a consistently disrupted sleep schedule, certain preservatives, and gluten for those with Celiac’s disease.
How is it Diagnosed?
One of the best ways to diagnose leaky gut syndrome is with an Intestinal Permeability Test. This test will check if a person’s gut processes the two molecules mannitol and lactulose. This is done by checking the patient’s urine six hours after consuming the molecules. If the test shows low levels of these molecules, then a person may have intestinal absorption problems. However, if both of the molecules are found in abundance, then it may point towards a leaky gut.
Can It Be Cured?
As research is still ongoing, there are no pills or overnight solutions for leaky gut syndrome. However, researchers believe that it can be greatly minimized and possibly even stopped completely through diet and lifestyle changes. While these changes may help, it does depend on each individual and their genetic makeup, lifestyle choices, and various other factors such as age.
Prevention and Treatment
Many of the hypothesized treatments for leaky gut syndrome can also act as prevention. In fact, these tips should also be utilized to live a generally healthy lifestyle. The first and most important step is to have regular checkups with a doctor to ensure that one is not at risk for Celiac’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or other ailments that can mimic leaky gut syndrome.
The simplest and most effective way to avoid leaky gut syndrome is by utilizing a healthy diet. Avoiding sugary and preservative-filled sodas and candy can help to keep the stomach lining healthy, and minimizing the use of pain medication can also help. Avoiding excessive consumption of alcohol and caffeine can also help the stomach to function normally. To further help, one can replace their usual drinks with water to stay hydrated while keeping the gut happy.
Regular exercise can also help to increase the body’s immune system, and this may help to prevent or slow down leaky gut syndrome. Avoiding excessive carbs may help the stomach as can consuming more leafy greens and fruits. Sticking to a regular sleep schedule and using meditation to avoid stress can also help the body to heal itself properly.
The Future of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut syndrome is still in scientific infancy, but its full discovery could solve a number of common ailments. As research continues, there are hopes that it could lead to new treatments for insomnia, nutritional deficiencies, and possibly even the prevention of Crohn’s disease and diabetes. Until a definite cause and cure are found, it’s in everyone’s best interest to utilize a healthy diet and lifestyle.