What is Leaky Gut Syndrome? Is It Even Real?
“Leaky gut syndrome” is used to describe several symptoms — including stomach pain, chronic fatigue, irregular bowel movements, skin disorders, and more — when a clear-cut cause of these symptoms can’t be found. Put simply, medical experts often identify leaky gut as the cause of gastrointestinal issues and other bodily symptoms when they can’t pinpoint a more specific cause within the incredibly complex large intestine.
So what is a leaky gut? A leaky gut is the damaged or extra-permeable intestinal lining. It is thought that a leaky gut allows food allergens and other toxins to be are carried by the blood to the liver and eventually affect systems throughout the body. Thus, many medical professionals believe that leaky gut can cause a number of bodily issues, including joint aggravation, skin disorders, bowel issues, and even “brain fog” or hyperactivity.
Board Certified Immunologist Dr. Dean Mitchell M.D. Discusses Common Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome
What causes leaky gut syndrome?
The hyperpermeability characteristic of leaky gut syndrome can be caused by other gastrointestinal conditions such as celiac disease and Crohn’s disease. Leaky gut syndrome has also been linked to radiation exposure, food allergies, and certain medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics. Many medical professionals believe stress to be another leading cause of leaky gut syndrome.
What are some signs of leaky gut syndrome?
Leaky gut can manifest itself through a number of symptoms, including indigestion and heartburn, chronic fatigue, food sensitivity, persistent “brain fog,” changes in skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis, or acne, seasonal allergies, and more. If you believe you may be suffering from leaky gut syndrome, we recommend scheduling an appointment at (212) 397-0157 for a detailed examination from our medical experts.
A lot of people have heard about leaky gut syndrome but are not sure what it means or if it is even a real medical condition. Board-certified immunologist Dr. Dean Mitchell M.D. who practices holistic medicine in NYC discusses what it means to have leaky gut and the common causes of it.
Many people think of a leaky faucet when they think of leaky gut syndrome but it’s not quite the case. Leaky gut has to do with a few different medical disorders where the body’s immune system goes out of balance.
The classic and most common cause of leaky gut has to do with gluten. Gluten sensitivity and celiac disease are well-known causes of leaky gut syndrome. It was discovered when patients with celiac disease ate wheat and Dr. Alessio Fasano noticed that the proteins from the wheat caused the gut to open up allowing proteins to leak out which caused digestive symptoms as well as other issues like rashes, respiratory problems, and arthritis.
Another cause of leaky gut that we see frequently at our medical practice in NYC is from candida or yeast overgrowth. This is typically caused by overuse of antibiotics, a diet high in sugar or carbohydrates or the use of acid blockers. Any of these can change the balance of good and bad bacteria in the gut and intestines which leads to yeast overgrowth. The yeast overgrowth creates openings between the cells in the intestines and stomach. These openings lead to other medical conditions like skin rashes, sinus issues or vaginitis.
The last digestive symptom and cause of leaky gut is small bacterial overgrowth. In the past, this was thought to be irritable bowel syndrome. Today, using a simple breath test we can determine if you have too much bacteria in the gut that needs to be reduced in order to alleviate your symptoms.
How is leaky gut treated?
Treatment for leaky gut begins with trying to find a clear cause such as diet or medication intake. At Mitchell Medical Group, we evaluate lifestyle factors such as environment, genetics, and lifestyle choices to find potential causes and areas for improvement. Instead of jumping to prescribe medication, we look to find ways to change a patient’s lifestyle in order to treat leaky gut syndrome at the source, not just at a symptomatic level.
To schedule an appointment with our medical team and learn more about our leaky guy syndrome treatments, contact our office at (212) 397-0157 today!
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