What causes leaky gut?

Four common causes of leaky gut

Leaky gut is a condition where the lining of the gut becomes permeable (holey) and inflamed. When this happens, the intestinal lining can no longer protect the body, allowing foreign materials (like undigested food particles, bacteria and toxins) to 'leak' into the bloodstream.

You can read our previous blog for more about leaky gut and the common symptoms here

If left untreated, leaky gut can spark allergy-related conditions (such as IBS, eczema, hay fever and asthma), so watch out for these four common causes:

1) Diet

Certain foods may cause inflammation of the gut and increased permeability. Such as:

  • Gluten – gliadin, a protein found in gluten, gives bread the ability to rise during baking but also causes the release of a protein called zonulin, which can break down the seal of the intestinal lining. (5)
  • Alcohol – when the liver breaks down alcohol, it produces a chemical called acetaldehyde, which can increase intestinal permeability. (Acetaldehyde is also responsible for some of those dreaded hangover symptoms many of us are all too familiar with).

2) Stress

We all know that stress is linked to various mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety. But what many people don't know is that stress has also been linked to a range of other health problems, including gut conditions like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), increased gut permeability and leaky gut (1).

3) Candida overgrowth

While candida is benign in its yeast form, it can convert to an invasive type of fungus, which multiplies by growing long ‘branches’ (hyphae) - a condition called candidiasis (or candida overgrowth). These ‘branches’ can then invade the cells in your intestinal lining, sparking inflammation and increase permeability.(2)

4) High antibiotic use

Antibiotics are great for treating bacterial infections and have saved millions of lives. But they can also throw your intestinal bacteria out of balance (dysbiosis), which gives rise to bad bacteria and depletes the number of good bacteria protecting the lining of the gut.

Dysbiosis has been shown to lead to increased inflammation and thinning of the mucosal barrier in the gut, which can lead to the development of leaky gut. (3)

Has leaky gut caused you to have allergy-related symptoms?

At HWA, we perform a natural allergy treatment called Positive Association Technique (PAT), which may help identify and reduce your reactions to various food and environmental substances.

PAT is a non-invasive holistic therapy, which:

  • draws on acupressure and kinesiology techniques
  • aims to re-train your body
  • may reduce your reactions to food and environmental substances that may be causing or exacerbating your allergy symptoms

All PAT practitioners are also Naturopaths, who can help identify the individual source of your leaky gut and recommend herbs, supplements and lifestyle advice to help heal the lining of the gut and get the best long-term results.

This blog is intended as general information only. PAT cannot diagnose or cure allergies – it is intended to decrease reactions and help manage symptoms. It is not intended to raise unrealistic expectations. If symptoms persist, consult your GP.

(1) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18537635

(2) https://www.thecandidadiet.com/leaky-gut-syndrome-and-candida/

(3) http://iai.asm.org/content/79/4/1536

(4) http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0144854

(5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18485912

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