Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which the tight junctions in the small intestine (the first part of the GI tract after the stomach) become leaky due to inflammation.
In such cases, food and other substances that are not supposed to cross over from the intestine into the bloodstream can wreak havoc on the body through the blood.
The body reacts to abnormal proteins in the bloodstream by producing antibodies intended to help the body remove them. But those antibodies can react with your own tissues, causing inflammation that destroys that tissue.
Take, for example, celiac disease — a severe sensitivity to the protein gluten, which is found in grain products.
A person with celiac disease produces antibodies for gluten. Those antibodies can then react with thyroid tissue and cause inflammation and autoimmune problems such as Hashimoto’s disease in the thyroid gland.
For many patients, eliminating gluten from the diet markedly improves the symptoms of Hashimoto’s disease.
Once inflammation from leaky gut begins, it can trigger inflammatory problems in nearly every part of the body.
Leaky gut syndrome accompanies almost all gastrointestinal illnesses that are associated with inflammation of the GI tract, such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Other conditions associated with leaky gut include:
• Autoimmune disorders
Every one of those conditions involves inflammation and disruption of a person’s normal gut flora.
In fact, many other common ailments are simply severe manifestations of leaky gut syndrome.
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