Leaky gut syndrome is a gastrointestinal problem that may be the source of stomach distress as well as other types of symptoms. Though the exact cause is not known, a number of factors occur in combination with leaky gut syndrome. Patients may have difficulty getting an accurate diagnosis of this condition, though tests are available that measure the permeability of the intestinal wall.
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome is a disease condition that is not officially recognized by the medical community. However, those who practice alternative medicine believe it is the cause of a number of symptoms that often remain undiagnosed for many years. Leaky gut syndrome is caused by inflammation in the intestines which causes the cellular structures to stretch further apart. This open structure allows food particles and toxins to flow into the abdomen, which then causes an autoimmune reaction in the body.
Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Medical science has not yet determined the exact cause for leaky gut syndrome. Certain substances are linked with the symptoms, such as NSAIDs medications, chemotherapy drugs, or alcohol. Radiation can cause leaky gut syndrome, as well as some food allergies. Underlying conditions such as celiac disease or Crohn’s disease can cause leaky gut syndrome. High-stress levels may also be at fault for the disorder. Patients with leaky gut syndrome may experience bloating, cramping, gas, joint pain, and food sensitivities. It has also been associated with chronic fatigue syndrome, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Unfortunately, the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome are similar to a number of other disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, and a number of food allergy reactions. In order to determine whether leaky gut syndrome is the problem, your physician will do a complete medical history and physical examination. The physician will list any medications the patient is taking that may be contributing to the problem.
The excretion and absorption of these sugars can be determined by a lactulose/mannitol urine test.
Dietary changes are generally prescribed for patients diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome. An anti-inflammatory diet that includes whole-grain, high-fiber foods, fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, olive oil, omega-3 fatty acid foods like salmon and decreased amounts of animal protein and saturated fats is advised for this condition. L-glutamine supplements are often given to strengthen the lining of the intestine. Avoid tobacco and alcohol, and learn to manage stress with meditation, exercise, and sufficient sleep.
With good dietary management and avoidance of problematic substances, the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome can be controlled or completely eliminated. The success of treatment depends on the patient’s ability to refrain from undesirable foods and the ability to manage stress, as well as other medical conditions.
Many traditional physicians are not trained in the treatment of leaky gut syndrome. Patients with undiagnosed intestinal problems may need to find alternative medicine practitioners to get an accurate diagnosis and a satisfactory treatment regime.