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Do you wonder why your seasonal allergies and digestive issues are becoming worse with time? It could be because you have a leaky gut. While many other factors play a role here, you may develop a number of health problems due to a leaky gut syndrome. Many people think that they will experience digestive issues when they have a leaky gut, but the truth is that the condition can lead to a host of other health problems. Therefore, it is important to learn about the signs of leaky gut, so you could take necessary steps to bring things under control.
What Is a Leaky Gut?
Also called intestinal permeability, leaky gut syndrome means that the lining of your small intestine is damaged and cannot keep toxic waste products, food particles, and bacteria from entering your bloodstream. You may develop an autoimmune disease when foreign substances enter your bloodstream. You may develop allergic reactions and experience problems like irritable bowel, migraines, food allergies, chronic fatigue, rheumatoid arthritis, and eczema. Things get worse over time when damaged cells in your intestines fail to produce the enzymes essential for proper digestion of food. You may develop nutritional deficiencies that lead to a weakened immune system and make you vulnerable to all sorts of infections.
Signs That You Have a Leaky Gut
As mentioned already, increased intestinal permeability can lead to chronic fatigue syndrome, allergies, autoimmune diseases, and even depression, it is important to get familiar with important signs of a leaky gut to seek medical attention in a timely manner. Here are some of the most common signs you may have if you are suffering from the leaky gut syndrome.
1. Food Sensitivities
If you have food sensitivities, it could indicate a problem with your gut. Your body will be producing loads of antibodies because of foreign substances that enter your bloodstream due to intestinal hyperpermeability. It sends your immune system into an overdrive and makes you more susceptible to antigens found in some foods, such as dairy and gluten. Many studies have found a direct link between food allergies and leaky gut. It means that if you have severe food allergies and you cannot seem to pinpoint the cause, it could be because you have the leaky gut syndrome.
2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease
You are likely to have a leaky gut if you have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) refers to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis – these diseases affect the gut, but ulcerative colitis largely affects the colon. Studies have found that people with ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome are more likely to have gut permeability. When you have a leaky gut, you will also be at an increased risk for Crohn’s disease.
3. Autoimmune Disease
If you have an autoimmune disease, chances are you also have a leaky gut. The syndrome is usually associated with autoimmune diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, alopecia, lupus, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, ulcerative colitis, thyroiditis, vitiligo, Sjogren’s syndrome, and Raynaud’s syndrome. It is important to keep in mind that if you have these diseases, you need to work with your doctor to find a treatment for the lining of the GI tract because other treatment approaches are going to treat symptoms alone. By learning about the signs of a leaky gut, you can seek timely medical attention and find a way to reverse or at least alleviate these problematic immune responses.
4. Thyroid Problems
You may develop several thyroid related problems if you have a leaky gut. Many people develop chronic thyroiditis because of a leaky gut. Also called Hashimoto’s disease, chronic thyroiditis can lead to impaired metabolism, low thyroid function, depression, fatigue, weight gain, and a number of other problems.
5. Digestive Issues
You are likely to experience several digestive problems when you have increased intestinal permeability. You will develop several nutritional deficiencies because of a leaky gut– the most common are magnesium and vitamin B12 deficiencies. Your body will also fail to produce enough digestive enzymes, which will directly affect digestion of food. To prevent possible deficiencies, many healthcare providers prescribe a whole-food multivitamin. Be sure to take it if your doctor has prescribed one.
6. Skin Problems
Leaky gut syndrome may also be the underlying cause of inflammatory skin conditions. Many studies have identified the gut-skin connection and confirmed that intestinal permeability can cause a variety of skin conditions. You are more likely to deal with issues such as psoriasis and acne. Using drugs and creams to correct these skin conditions is a failed strategy because you need to fix the underlying cause that might exist in your gut.
7. Mood Disorders
Many people with leaky gut syndrome experience mood issues and other neurocognitive disorders. The intestinal hyper-permeability may trigger an inflammatory response that increases the release of cytokines and many other pro-inflammatory chemicals that put you at an increased risk of developing clinical depression. If you have depression along with other signs of a leaky gut, you should talk to your doctor to manage your condition properly.
8. Neurocognitive Disorders
Some studies suggest that leaky gut syndrome may have a role to play in the onset of autism. Experts believe that serious problems in the gut microbiome in the first year of life could increase the risk of autism. Modern science has also confirmed the fact that there is a relationship between autism and leaky gut because the inflammation can directly affect the neurochemical compound production and absorption.