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Common Conditions Related to Leaky Gut

  • Chronic constipation, diarrhea, or gas
  • Weak immune system
  • Headaches
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Skin rashes and problems such as acne or eczema
  • Brain fog, memory loss
  • Arthritis or joint pain
  • “Leaky gut can be caused by damage from autoimmune reactions, such as gluten (gliadin) intolerance which destroys the mucosal layer, opens up tight junctions, and increases permeability.
  • It can also be damaged by bacterial toxins related to Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), which contributes to intestinal barrier inflammation.
  • Leaky gut can be caused by food sensitivities with the immune system activity in which white blood cells mount attack on undigested food particles.
  • Stress – chronic and acute – will also contribute to a general lack of healthy gut balance.”

When things go wrong with our digestive system, the tight junctions loosen up and maldigested and toxic particles escape through the space between the villi …then we have damaged blunted brush border of the villi as it become hyperpermeable. 

The villi shrink-get damaged-and stop being able to do their “job” as the filter and defense team.  The blunted brush border can’t absorb the nutrients as the surface area is decreased from the damage.  The nutrient deficiencies, including minerals and amino acids, contribute to fatigue as well as excess toxins in the bloodstream, as we discussed already, overloading the liver and creating liver congestion. 

Is the immune system reacting to unwanted particles (antigens with antibodies) escaping through the cells or in between the villi? An immune response will be the result of a damaged mucosal wall lining.  Remember the role of SIgA?  Chronic stress will raise SIgA then if ongoing then decreases the SIgA levels- leading to a depressed immune system and defense line up- leading to leaky gut, toxic overload, liver dysfunction, food sensitivities and inflammation in the body! 

We can test the gut wall lining with the BH 110 intestinal permeability test.  We can find out a lot of the physical condition of your gut wall lining including clues to symptoms as:

  1. Digestion and assimilation
  2. Immunity and infections
  3. Food sensitivities assumed
  4. Dysbiosis and leaky gut
  5. Villous atrophy? 
  6. Crypt hyperplasia?

We need more data to form an impression to solve your METABOLIC CHAOS and help us zero in on the HEALING opportunity for each individual client.  As collect more data and more clues, we know understand even more how important healthy gut function relates to healthy immune function.  Malabsorption is critical as is leaky gut and dysbiosis.   Even if you are eating a healthy nutrient dense diet, you can still be malnourished if you have chronic stress and leaky gut.  This is an investigation process and a new journey- patience, education and motivated to make the adjustments we will go into later on the DRESS for Health Success program.

Your symptoms of digestion, fatigue, recovery and focus correlate to the labs and gut function.  A permeable gut can bring contribute to excess toxins and burden create extra stress on the liver’s job load as well as detoxification processes.  Then you top it off with not sleeping until late then we miss the “liver time” while we are sleeping around 1am to 3am (liver detox). All the body systems are connected, including (liver, gut and the brain) and each of the lifestyle factors are impacted – it’s a domino effect for sure including your exercise, focus and more symptoms we can see on the METABOLIC CHAOS scorecard.

Now that we understand how the gut health impacts the immune system and how auto-immunity starts off.  Anything “chronic” is not a positive result on the body!

Let’s review the leaky gut test… as we don’t want to have damage to our microvilli!  Remember the gut wall lining is one cell thick.

Intestinal villi (singular: villus) are small, finger-like projections that extend into the lumen of the small intestine. Each villus is approximately 0.5–1.6 mm in length (in humans), and has many microvilli projecting from the enterocytes of its epithelium which collectively form the striated or brush border. Each of these microvilli are much smaller than a single villus. The intestinal villi are much smaller than any of the circular folds in the intestine.

Villi increase the internal surface area of the intestinal walls making available a greater surface area for absorption. An increased absorptive area is useful because digested nutrients (including monosaccharide and amino acids) pass into the semipermeable villi through diffusion, which is effective only at short distances. In other words, increased surface area (in contact with the fluid in the lumen) decreases the average distance travelled by nutrient molecules, so effectiveness of diffusion increases. The villi are connected to the blood vessels so the circulating blood then carries these nutrients away.

The GI system has been called the second brain with a large semiautonomous nervous system, the largest outside of the brain. But, it could not perform its job without the constant communication and actions of the single layer of intelligent VECTOR – Digestion Diagram – Abdominal Tissue – Medical and Educintestinal epithelial cells that line the gut. Epithelial cells are one of four basic types of animal cells (the others are nervous, muscle and connective.) They line all cavities and structural surfaces. In the intestine the internal lining of the gut is one cell thick with a thin layer of connective tissue below it, called lamina propia. This single cell layer performs a remarkable amount of critical functions including very elaborate communication with friendly microbes, as well as immune T cells, B cells and macrophages.

With the trillions of microbes in thousands of interacting communities residing very close to the intestinal epithelium, these cells are masters of maintaining order. They build and support the barrier that separates the microbes from the body, communicate constantly with the friendly and dangerous microbes, and actually create the immune tissue lying below with signals between microbes and immune cells.

The BH IP test: Lactulose-Mannitol Urine Test

  • Leaky Gut can be assessed through the Lactulose/Mannitol test.
  • The two different sized sugar molecules are excreted in the urine which reflects absorption from the gut and is a reliable representation of gut permeability.
  • The smaller molecule (mannitol) freely crosses the gut barrier and is a general measure of small intestinal surface area.  These smaller molecules readily diffuse through (TRANSCELLULAR UPTAKE) the epithelial cell lining of the villi.
  • The larger molecule (lactulose) is thought to only cross through the small intestine if pores are enlarged or cells are damaged.  These larger molecules as lactulose are normally excluded by these cells and cannot pass through the tight junctions between the cells (PARACELLULAR UPTAKE). 

Ideally…food particles that are too big if they get through will stress the liver.  Antigen (bug poop, bacteria, yeast) and immune complexes (antigen connected to immune particle) should not come through the tight junctions.

MANNITOL should go through the cell in a healthy cell ( transcellular uptake).

An immune activation is going to be going on if leaky gut.  Clinical correlation is needed to figure out the WHY things are happening in the gut as with leaky gut – permeable gut wall lining when the mucosal barrier is damaged or dysfunctional.

LACTULOSE shouldn’t get absorbed and should be excreted.  If showing up in the urine, resembles immune complexes or large antigens that should not get through into the urine unless the tight junctions are LOOSE. 

Our nutrient absorption is compromised with damage to our mucosal barrier as we are missing the strong defense team or army of our structural lining.

  • Elevated levels of LACTULOSE and MANNITOL indicates general increased permeability and “leaky gut”.
  • Low or in range LACTULOSE is a non-clue without high correlation.  The big molecule we don’t want passing though.
  • Low mannitol indicates DECREASED ABSORPTION of small molecule that may indicate villous atrophy and nutrient malabsorption. 
  • Elevated LACTULOSE:MANNITOL ratio indicates a disruption in normal absorption of nutrients – identifying a healing opportunity!   

Do you have a leaky gut and are antigenic molecules moving through the mucosal barrier? 

Nutrient absorption is key!

I always tell my clients- its not just what you eat but how you eat and when you eat – including your ability to breakdown and absorb nutrients!

You don’t know unless you test and apply clinical correlation with all of the data and clues collected!

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