Many health problems are the result of poor gut health; more specifically a leaky gut. Have you heard of a “leaky gut” and if so, what does that mean exactly?

The part of the gut we are talking about is your small intestine. This is the section of the gut that can get “leaky” and it is also the part of your digestive tract where you absorb food.

The gate to your inner fortress

First, we should talk about what a healthy (non-leaky) gut does. When your small intestine is healthy, it acts like a very selective gate. It only lets good things through the gate and keeps the bad things out. Good things are nutrients you get from you food. These nutrients get to pass through the gate and into your blood stream; your inner fortress.

The gate also keeps enemies of your inner fortress out. What does it keep out? Bacteria, yeast, undigested food and other enemies. These enemies can trigger your immune system and lead to inflammation not only in in your digestive tract but your entire body.

Now image this gate is full of holes and falling apart. Does a damaged gate do a good job of keeping the bad out? Of course not; the same is true with your gut.

How does your gut get leaky?

There are numerous causes for a leaky gut; below I have listed just a few:

  • Low stomach acid
  • Low digestive enzymes
  • Overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine (SIBO)
  • Poor gut motility; like constipation
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Food allergies or food sensitivities
  • High blood sugar
  • Chronic inflammation
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Stress
  • Alcohol
  • Chemicals and toxins in your food.
  • Etc

How does a leaky gut cause health problems

The most significant issue with a leaky gut is that it triggers your immune system to overreact. Think of it this way; when you gut is healthyand only allows good things to gain access to your blood stream, your immune system is calm and just lets these nutrient pass by without feeling the need to attack them. When bad things are allowed to pass through your gate, the immune system will attack them. These could be undigested food particles, yeast and bacteria and other enemies to your inner fortress.

Most of your entire immune system is located in and around your gut; so when the gut is leaky, the immune system is working overtime and producing chemicals of inflammation.

The enemies that are permitted to cross the gate not only can lead to inflammation in and around your digestive tract, but your entire body. There are other ways a leaky gut can cause health issues, but the impact it has on your immune system and body inflammation is key. Inflammation compromises the function of all body organs and systems.

How do you fix this

You need to go back to the root causes of a leaky gut. Refer to the list above. Any one of these or combination of these factors can cause your gut to become leaky. You need to discover what is causing your gut to be leaky and fix those problems. This is when the help of functional medicine doctor can be useful.

Your gut can be healed, your gate can be restored and your inner fortress can get back into a normal healthy state again. If not fixed, your body will continue to be subject to the enemies that lead to health problems and disease.

Functional medicine is:

Understanding health problems, knowing how and where to investigate, understanding what to look for, understanding what is found and creating a plan of action to correct the root cause of the health problem.

My wish for you… health, happiness, and a better quality of life!

If you would like more information about functional medicine and integrative medicine or Dr. Sexton go to www.napervilleintegratedwellness.com

Do your own research, inform yourself and ask lots of questions. When collecting information, you MUST consider the source. There is no shortage of false, misleading, outdated, profit-driven and utterly biased information in healthcare today; even from the most respected sources and organizations.

This approach to healthcare is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, mitigate, or prevent any disease. Why? The FDA enforces its position that these words can only be used with drugs. This approach does not use drugs.