Leaky Gut: Is Your Intestinal Lining Wrecking Your life?

Friday, 06 Dec 2013 12:58 AM

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Leaky gut syndrome is a condition of hyperpermeability of the intestinal lining of the small intestine. Its symptoms include: bloating, flatulence, stomach cramps, stomach pain, aching joints, headaches, allergy-like symptoms, fatigue, and sensitivity to certain foods.
Other digestive system-related diseases share these symptoms and can complicate the identification of leaky gut syndrome. Moreover, there are no specific diagnostic tests to mark leaky gut syndrome. This complicates the timely diagnosis of leaky gut syndrome. Physicians generally resort to symptomatic treatment and advise lifestyle changes.
 
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What is leaky gut syndrome?

When the intestinal lining of the small intestine becomes weak or is damaged, its permeability increases and hampers its function as a barrier between the intestinal space and the blood stream. As a result, toxins, undigested food particles, and other substances pass into the blood stream. Here, they act as foreign particles for the immune system. The elicited immune response results in the aforementioned symptoms. Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome overlap with those of other diseases and may be misdiagnosed while the cause, i.e. weak intestinal lining, remains untreated.

Many theories exist about the causes and treatment for leaky gut syndrome.

Celiac and Crohn’s diseases damage the intestinal lining and cause leaky gut syndrome. Other reasons for this disease include an improper diet, lifestyle-induced stress and an unhealthy lifestyle or daily habits. Prolonged exposure to these weakens the intestinal lining.

Minor symptomatic treatments provide temporary relief. However, if the symptoms continue for long, the physician should examine the patient’s lifestyle, habits, and medical history. This can identify leaky gut syndrome. In the absence of specific diagnostic tests to identify leaky gut syndrome, patient-physician interaction can lead to symptomatic treatment.

Once leaky gut syndrome is identified, medication to counteract the hyperpermeability of the intestinal lining and strengthen it can start. Alongside this, a course of medication to relieve the symptoms is useful. In tandem, lifestyle changes improve the condition.

Choose a healthy lifestyle over symptomatic treatment.

Avoid stress. On the identification of leaky gut syndrome, and even otherwise, meditation, exercise, sports, music, and time spent with family and friends are lifestyle changes that can help one destress. If required, prescription medication can also be used.

Diet plays an important lifestyle role in keeping your intestinal lining healthy. Specific foods containing high glutamine are taken to strengthen the intestinal lining.

Smoking is a poor lifestyle choice that affects the intestinal lining along with other organs. Improve your lifestyle by trying to quit.

Lifestyle changes like the ones mentioned above have shown positive results for patients of the leaky gut syndrome. Besides symptomatic treatment, correlating symptoms with lifestyle issues and timely treatment and prevention can avoid leaky gut syndrome and its unnecessary complications.

Editor's Note: ObamaCare Is About to Strike Are You Prepared?

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