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"Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation

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"Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation

Posted by Maria Bliss [4.275] on July 07, 2004 at 04:23:15:

Altered Immunity & Leaky Gut Syndrome

by Zoltan P. Rona MD, MSc

The leaky gut syndrome is the name given to a very common health disorder in which the basic organic defect (lesion) is an intestinal lining which is more permeable (porous) than normal. The abnormally large spaces present between the cells of the gut wall allow the entry of toxic material into the bloodstream that would, in healthier circumstances, be repelled and eliminated. The gut becomes leaky in the sense that bacteria, fungi, parasites and their toxins, undigested protein, fat and waste normally not absorbed into the bloodstream in the healthy state, pass through a damaged, hyperpermeable, porous or "leaky" gut. This can be verified by special gut permeability urine tests, microscopic examination of the lining of the intestinal wall as well as the bloodstream with phase contrast or darkfield microscopy of living whole blood.

Why is The Leaky Gut Syndrome Important?

The leaky gut syndrome is almost always associated with autoimmune disease and reversing autoimmune disease depends on healing the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Any other treatment is just symptom suppression. An autoimmune disease is defined as one in which the immune system makes antibodies against its own tissues. Diseases in this category include lupus, alopecia areata, rheumatoid arthritis, polymyalgia rheumatica, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, Sjogren's syndrome, vitiligo, thyroiditis, vasculitis, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, urticaria (hives), diabetes and Raynaud's disease. Physicians are increasingly recognizing the importance of the gastrointestinal tract in the development of allergic or autoimmune disease. Understanding the leaky gut phenomenon not only helps us see why allergies and autoimmune diseases develop but also helps us with safe and effective therapies to bring the body back into balance.

Due to the enlarged spaces between the cells of the gut wall, larger than usual protein molecules are absorbed before they have a chance to be completely broken down as occurs when the intestinal lining is intact. The immune system starts making antibodies against these larger molecules because it recognizes them as foreign, invading substances. The immune system starts treating them as if they had to be destroyed. Antibodies are made against these proteins derived from previously harmless foods.

Human tissues have antigenic sites very similar to those on foods, bacteria, parasites, candida or fungi. The antibodies created by the leaky gut phenomenon against these antigens can get into various tissues and trigger an inflammatory reaction when the corresponding food is consumed or the microbe is encountered. Autoantibodies are thus created and inflammation becomes chronic. If this inflammation occurs in a joint, autoimmune arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) develops. If it occurs in the brain, myalgic encephalomyelitis (a.k.a. chronic fatigue syndrome) may be the result. If it occurs in the blood vessels, vasculitis (inflammation of the blood vessels) is the resulting autoimmune problem. If the antibodies end up attacking the lining of the gut itself, the result may be colitis or Crohn's disease. If it occurs in the lungs, asthma is triggered on a delayed basis every time the individual consumes the food which triggered the production of the antibodies in the first place. It is easy to see that practically any organ or body tissue can become affected by food allergies created by the leaky gut. Symptoms, especially those seen in conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome, can be multiple and severely debilitating.

The inflammation that causes the leaky gut syndrome also damages the protective coating of antibodies of the IgA family normally present in a healthy gut. Since IgA helps us ward off infections, with leaky gut problems we become less resistant to viruses, bacteria, parasites and candida. These microbes are then able to invade the bloodstream and colonize almost any body tissue or organ. When this occurs in the gums, periodontal disease results. If it happens in the jaw, tooth extraction or root canals might be necessary to cure the infection.

In addition to the creation of food allergies by the leaky gut, the bloodstream is invaded by bacteria, fungi and parasites that, in the healthy state, would not penetrate the protective barrier of the gut. These microbes and their toxins, if present in large enough amounts, can overwhelm the liver's ability to detoxify. This results in symptoms such as confusion, memory loss, brain fog or facial swelling when the individual is exposed to a perfume or to cigarette smoke that he or she had no adverse reactions to prior to the development of the leaky gut syndrome.

Leaky gut syndrome also creates a long list of mineral deficiencies because the various carrier proteins present in the gastrointestinal tract that are needed to transport minerals from the intestine to the blood are damaged by the inflammation process. For example, magnesium deficiency (low red blood cell magnesium) is quite a common finding in conditions like fibromyalgia despite a high magnesium intake through the diet and supplementation. If the carrier protein for magnesium is damaged, magnesium deficiency develops as a result of malabsorption. Muscle pain and spasms can occur as a result. Similarly, zinc deficiency due to malabsorption can result in hair loss or baldness as occurs in alopecia areata. Copper deficiency can occur in an identical way leading to high blood cholesterol levels and osteoarthritis. Further, bone problems develop as a result of the malabsorption of calcium, boron, silicon and manganese.



Re: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation

Posted by Maz [1200.624] on July 07, 2004 at 10:25:04:

In Reply to: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation posted by Maria Bliss [4.275] on July 07, 2004 at 04:23:15:

Hi Miss Bliss,

This is probably the best summary I have read about LGS. Unfortunately, it doesnt tell us what we can do. For example, in terms of deficiencies caused by the LGS like magnesium etc. no matter how much you supplement it won't do any good.

Thanks.

Maz

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Re: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation

Posted by Sapphire [422.532] on July 07, 2004 at 12:20:17:

In Reply to: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation posted by Maria Bliss [4.275] on July 07, 2004 at 04:23:15:

Excellent article, thanks, Maria!

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Re: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation (Archive.)

Posted by Walt Stoll [9.8] on July 08, 2004 at 06:41:54:

In Reply to: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation posted by Maria Bliss [4.275] on July 07, 2004 at 04:23:15:

Thanks, Maria.

Walt

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Re: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation

Posted by W [1235.1097] on July 08, 2004 at 10:20:51:

In Reply to: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation posted by Maria Bliss [4.275] on July 07, 2004 at 04:23:15:

Thank you very much for that wonderful explanation. I've printed it out for serveral people. I know 2 people with sarcoidosis (sp?) who would find this interesting.

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Re: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation

Posted by coldjam [266.376] on July 08, 2004 at 12:26:55:

In Reply to: "Leaky Gut Syndrome" = Brief Explanation posted by Maria Bliss [4.275] on July 07, 2004 at 04:23:15:

Good Explanation. I will share it with those who want to know outside this board.Thanks!

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