Leaky Gut Syndrome
The intact intestinal lining is the main barrier between the environment and our immunity.
Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) means just what it sounds like. The lining of the intestinal tract is no longer perfectly protecting our inner body from the foreign substances in the outside world. Remember, inside your intestinal tract is still outside your body. Just like inside your mouth is still outside your body--you have to go through the lining of your mouth to get inside your body. Things from the outside world travel through the tube from mouth to anus. The function of the lining of that tube is to break those substances down into particles that are so simple that, when absorbed, they can no longer be identified by our immune system as having come from something outside our body.
Your immune system sees the world in black and white: if it is YOU it is not supposed to attack it and, if it is NOT YOU, it IS supposed to attack it. The only way we have, to take things from the outside world and make them into our own tissue (without our immune system going crazy), is for the intestinal lining to do its job VERY well.
Leakage of imperfectly digested proteins (peptides), through an incompetent intestinal lining, is now known to be the most common cause of all environmental sensitivities. We now know that many chronic conditions, previously listed as "cause unknown" are caused by immunological reactions to these peptides which, in turn, turn those antibodies against similar peptides that make up our various tissues. Peptides are the simplest things that our immune system CAN determine to have come from something other than ourselves. This is called "Clinical Ecological Tissue Specific Sensitivities" (CETSS). Theron Randolph, MD, was the first expert in this area.
The most common cause for LGS is the fact that the intestinal lining replaces itself, on the average, every 14 hours. Every cell that makes up the lining is digested or sloughed off, and a new one grown in its place, that often. That is why the intestinal tract uses more blood, when it is RESTING, than any other organ system--when IT is resting. The first organ system to lose its blood supply, during a fight or flight stress reaction, is the intestinal tract. If you have been storing up stress response for a long time, your intestinal tract will be chronically starved for blood and the lining will start to function imperfectly. This makes your colonic ecology MUCH more susceptible to the growth of disease-causing organisms, like Candida and other parasites (present in the environment all around all of us 24 hours a day), which then damage the lining even further. The REASONS for the incompetent lining, AND diagnosing any parasitic overgrowth already present, are important. The allopathic paradigm is not the least bit interested in looking for these causes. The most money can be made by treating the symptoms that result from this process.
This tends to make the effects of environmental pollutants more dangerous as well. Since humans have not had enough time to EVOLVE a way to DIGEST chemicals that have been invented by man, the main way they get into us is by "leakage" (passive absorption). A leaky gut allows a larger percent to get into the individual than a healthy gut would.
Of course, my book goes into much greater detail about how to understand all this in a more comprehensive and practical way. It also details the resources anyone would need to get into this in more depth.
READ HEALTH AT THE CROSSROADS BY DEAN BLACK, PHD, TO FIND OUT WHY THIS IS NOT THE "STANDARD OF PRACTICE" IN THE USA. CALL (800) 333-4290 FOR A COPY.