Our gut is coated by a wall, which is like a net with small holes in them. These small holes act as filters and enable the passage of certain substances only. It acts as an armor to keep out the bigger, harmful substances from entering your body.
When someone has a ‘leaky gut’, it means that the gut lining is damaged and cannot optimally function as a barrier any longer. The smaller holes become bigger and allow harmful substances like gluten, bad bacteria, and undigested food particles to enter your system and cause considerable damage to health.
Here’s more about some of these problems can develop due to gut dysfunction:
Research suggests that intestinal hyperpermeability can cause the immune system to overproduce various antibodies, which may make some more susceptible to antigens in certain foods (especially gluten and dairy). In studies involving rats and human children, leaky gut and food allergies have been linked. Allergies are believed to be one of the most common symptoms.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Researchers from Hungary uncovered in 2012 that elevated gut permeability is oftentimes localized to the colon in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis. As far back as 1988, scientists suggested that Crohn’s disease may be more of a risk for people with leaky gut.
A small study (observing 12 patients) discovered that zinc supplementation may help resolve the TJ dysfunction in these cases, although more medically reviewed research is required on a larger scale to confirm these results. The good news is that it seems possible to reverse these autoimmune reactions’ problematic immune responses.
One of the autoimmune diseases that leaky gut syndrome may directly affect is Hashimoto’s disease. Also known as “chronic thyroiditis,” this disorder is displayed with hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), impaired metabolism, fatigue, depression, weight gain and a host of other concerns.
Inflammation of the Skin
First described over 70 years ago, the “gut-skin connection theory” describes how increased intestinal hyperpermeability can cause a slew of skin conditions, particularly acne and psoriasis. Creams and drugs with endless lists of (sometimes dangerous) side effects are often prescribed for these skin disorders, yet there has been evidence for several decades that part of the root cause might exist in the gut.