Cause of Leaky Gut
While still a very gray area in the field of medicine, most doctors would agree that ‘leaky gut’ is a manifestation of a compromised digestive system. Our intestinal lining serves as an intelligent barrier. It acts like a filter that only allows certain substances to pass through while keeping out undesirable elements. But with leaky gut, which is also called as increased intestinal permeability, the filter is torn or damaged, which results to bigger holes. This permits more things to pass through that normally could not.
When this happens, the barrier function of the digestive lining becomes compromised. Viruses, bacteria, toxic waste and even undigested food particles can leak from the intestine to the bloodstream via the digestive lining. They are transported in all parts of the body, and trigger an immune system reaction. And the end result? It’s inflammation in different parts of the body, which leads to a wide range of symptoms such as food allergies, joint pains, rashes, cramps, bloating and flushing. Nutrient absorption may also be affected due to damage of the villi- the part responsible for absorbing nutrients. When left ignored, severe health problems will arise, including Irritable Bowel Syndrome, GRD (gastroesophagheal reflux disease), Celiac disease chronic fatigue, autoimmune conditions and many more.
Leaky Gut and Your Sugar Intake
There is an increasing research focusing on the addictive effect of sugar on the brain’s neurotransmission function. According to numerous studies, daily intake of sugar can change the dopamine receptors, affecting energy metabolism, pleasure sensation, appetite, food cravings and aggression.
Artificial sweeteners, including artificial coloring and preservatives, are far worse than sugar. Even additives such as aspartic acid, monosodium glutamate and aspartame have an impact on the brain development and can even lead to death of brain cells. These substances are known as neurotoxins. They stimulate the brain nerve cells, overloading the neural system, which ends to feeling nervous, anxious and loss of focus.
Leaky Gut and Your Brain
Your gut has a profound influence on your brain. And for the same reason, if you are experiencing leaky gut or intestinal permeability, you are very likely to have leaky brain. To better understand the ‘Gut-Brain Connection’, it is important to know what ‘leaky brain’ is.
The brain holds our memories, protects our ability to communicate and move and controls our autonomic function such as breathing, heartbeat, temperature. Therefore, it is very important to protect the brain. In fact, the brain is the most protected organ of the body. It is housed inside a thick bone, floating in a special fluid and filled with highly specialized blood vessels. Cells of these blood vessels form a barrier known as ‘blood brain barrier’ that only allows very small molecules to pass through.
The Blood Brain Barrier (BBB) is similar to intestinal barrier where large food particles cannot pass through out on the interstitial fluid and blood stream. Only certain cells and substances providing nourishment to the brain are permitted to pass the barrier. However, when the protective blood brain barrier has been compromised and particles that generally kept out are able to pass through the walls of the brain blood vessels, leaky brain occurs .
The above mentioned ‘particles’ are recognized as foreign invaders by our immune system. By nature, our immune system will attack these ‘invaders’, causing a systemic inflammation. It will also have an effect on our blood-brain barrier. When the particles pass through the Blood Brain Barrier, it causes inflammation of brain tissue and the result is a disturbance in the normal internal cellular communication. This leads to what they call ‘brain fog’ where a person experiences difficulty in concentration, memory loss and lethargy.
If you think that you suffer from leaky gut, make sure you consult a healthcare professional. Never diagnose yourself based on the signs or symptoms of leaky gut because only your doctor can determine if you are suffering from it or not.