Leaky gut and inflammation; a healthy gut is the best antidepressant!
In leaky gut, the intestinal wall has become damaged and very small holes fall into the intestinal wall causing it to leak. The result is a cascade of interacting reactions, eventually damaging the intestinal mucosa and causing increased intestinal permeability. One speaks of a “leaky gut” or “Leaky Gut Syndrome” in this case.
Causes of leaky gut
Possible causes of leaky gut include:
- infections (inflammations) in the stomach and intestines
- from frequent use of NSAID medications
- food allergies such as those to grains
- toxic substances
Characteristics of a leaky gut
Immune reactions initiated by the antibodies of foods described above usually go undetected because any symptoms may occur up to 72 hours after eating a particular food. Therefore, it is very difficult for people to associate their headaches, rheumatic complaints, migraines, heart palpitations, skin problems, sleep problems, obesity or other complaints with eating a particular food.
The body is thus constantly burdened with foods against which it has developed a defense. This is an extra burden on the liver and the adrenal gland can become depleted and in some cases autoimmune diseases can even develop. Well-known examples of autoimmune diseases include Celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, Type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis. This also applies to the disease ME/CFS. At the brain level, poorly digested nutrients (especially gluten and casein) and toxins in the blood can disrupt neurotransmitters, as in ADHD, dyslexia and psychosis. They can also cause acne, eczema and other skin problems. The immune system can become disrupted and overloaded in this way, resulting in more inflammatory activity in the body.
People with this problem benefit greatly from healing a leaky gut.
Reduced absorption of food as well as vitamins and minerals
An important role in leaky gut syndrome have the “villi. These lie on the surface of the intestinal wall in the form of a finger-like structure. This structure increases the surface area of the intestine and therefore the absorption capacity. Normally, the surface area of the intestine forms as much as 4 soccer fields. With damage, however, the total surface area of the intestine becomes much smaller, allowing much less nutrition to be properly absorbed and thus quickly causing a deficiency of essential substances such as vitamins and minerals. These uptake particles are called villi and have various functions, such as releasing enzymes for digesting food and absorbing digested food and transporting it into the bloodstream. In addition, they also form the barrier through which toxins, bacteria and fungi are blocked. If the villi are damaged then we speak of increased permeability, or leaky gut. Food particles then pass through the intestinal wall, the immune system responds by producing antibodies. This in turn can lead to a variety of complaints such as rheumatism, migraines, digestive complaints, depression, etc..
If you suffer from leaky gut, the symptoms you have as a result can be very different. This is all because the immune system, your immune system that is, reacts to the substances that pass through your intestinal wall into the bloodstream. The immune system sees these substances as threatening and then starts producing antibodies in response. Liver function can also deteriorate due to a leaky gut. You may also notice that it has an effect on your brain. This can be because unwanted substances are produced, or because a leaky gut makes inflammatory substances that ultimately affect the functioning of your brain as well. Hence the link to ADHD, for example.
Demonstration of leaky gut
Testing can tell if you have a lot of intolerances, i.e., you make a lot of antibodies against certain foods (such as gluten). We can also use special markers to see where the bowel is permeable in the colon or small intestine.
Curing a leaky gut,
Curing a leaky gut has two main pillars. First of all, one should adjust the diet where you take out the triggers of the immune system, in addition, some supplements are needed that can help heal the intestinal wall. In this, of course, you will get help from me. Just keep in mind that it takes time for your gut to heal!
The diet associated with leaky gut is quite invasive for many people. For example, if you can no longer eat grains, then you can no longer eat bread, crackers and pasta. Fortunately, elimination is usually only temporary.