Leaky Gut Syndrome—Is It a Real Thing?

If you’ve experienced digestive issues like bloating, gas, cramps, food sensitivities or aches and pains, you might have leaky gut syndrome. Or you might not have leaky gut syndrome. That’s because leaky gut syndrome is still a bit of a mystery to doctors. But here’s what we do know about it.

Mysterious causes

Leaky gut syndrome is not a diagnosis that is taught in medical school. In the medical world, it basically means that there’s a problem with your gut and that a specific diagnosis still must be made. There’s also no consensus on a cause or a cure. Nevertheless, doctors are certain that it does exist and are working to learn more about it.

One suggested cause of leaky gut syndrome is increased intestinal permeability or hyperpermeability. This happens when some of the tighter junctions in the gut don’t work properly. Since these junctions control what gets to pass through the lining of the small intestine, this could result in substances leaking into the bloodstream. It’s known that people with Chron’s disease and celiac disease experience this phenomenon, but the specific cause of it in these cases is not fully understood.

Some cases of leaky gut syndrome can be linked to specific types of food allergies, radiation therapy or drugs. But outside of this handful of cases, not much is known about other causes.

Symptom of another problem

Leaky gut syndrome may include symptoms that are also shared by other health issues. This is one reason why tests may not be able to uncover the root of the problem associated with leaky gut syndrome. This can be frustrating for both patients and doctors alike, especially when the problem persists for a long period of time with little or no results from tests and treatments.

Treatment for leaky gut syndrome

One of the most important aspects of treatment for leaky gut syndrome is to find a doctor who will listen to your concerns and take them seriously. Unfortunately, this does not always turn out to be what happens, which is what drives many people to look for ways to help the problem on their own.

Alternative medicines for leaky gut syndrome have not been fully researched, but there is anecdotal evidence for some of them. For example, one health tip that is often suggested is taking L-glutamine supplements. These supplements can help strengthen the lining of the small intestine, which makes sense as a treatment considering that the cause of leaky gut syndrome may be tied to intestinal permeability. While it seems logical, doctors caution that there is still not a lot of hard data that shows this is an effective treatment.

If possible, try to see a gastroenterologist trained in nutrition, as diet likely plays a big role in leaky gut syndrome. Another factor may be chronic stress, and alleviating this may help alleviate symptoms of leaky gut syndrome as well.

If you are looking for more health tips on leaky gut syndrome, contact A Gift of Health today.

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