According to both TCM (traditional Chinese medicine) and Western medicine, the gastrointestinal tract plays a key role in health. Long-term health is rooted in the balance of Stomach and Spleen Qi.
Dysfunctions in the digestive system are often the root cause of several chronic diseases. One such relatively common dysfunction is leaky gut syndrome.
As you can tell from the name, this is a condition where your intestinal walls become permeable. Leaky gut makes it easier for substances such as bacteria and toxins and even undigested food particles to leave the intestinal walls into the tissues beneath and even to the bloodstream.
The signs of a leaky gut include:
- Digestive upsets such as bloating, constipation, and flatulence
- Poor immune function
- Cravings for carbohydrates or sugars
- Joint pain
- Skin rashes
- Nutritional deficiencies
It is worth noting that leaky gut has been associated with several chronic diseases such as Type 1 Diabetes, Celiac disease, and irritable bowel syndrome.
Possible Causes of a Leaky Gut
1. Alcohol and Painkillers
Excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of developin leaky gut syndrome.
According to a study appearing in the American Journal of Pathology, alcohol irritates the bowel lining. As a result, it can damage the seals between the cells and allow particles to pass via the gaps and into the bloodstream.
Research shows that painkillers such as aspirin and ibuprofen can also contribute to an unhealthy gut lining. These irritants often cause inflammation of a particular bowel area. Over an extended period, they can lead to a leaky gut.
2. Lack of Sufficient Fibre in Your Diet
Is your diet rich in fibre? Fibre is known to help in preventing constipation. If your food is rich in fibre, you can be sure that you will have a smooth digestion process. Fibre enables probiotics or essential bacteria to live in your gut and help regulate digestion. You will then be able to keep candida yeast and other harmful bacteria at bay, which prevents leaky gut. Therefore, it is necessary to consume a diet rich in fibre to prevent this leaky gut.
One of the causes of leaky gut disease is gluten. This is because gluten usually increases Zonulin, which is essentially a protein that makes your gut membrane perforated. Therefore, higher levels of this protein can increase intestinal permeability.
It is normal to have stress. However, if you are experiencing chronic stress, then there is a problem. A study published in the Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology notes that stress can take a toll on your gut health. Stress can weaken the immune system. This may lead to inflammation of your gut. This is because your body will have a decreased ability to defend itself against harmful bacteria and even viruses.
The factors mentioned above can contribute to a leaky gut. It would help if you avoided them so that you have a healthy gut. This can enhance the proper digestion of food and even make you fit in the long run. Knowing the causes mentioned above will help you remain healthy for longer.
If you are experiencing discomfort and complications due to a leaky gut, you should consider lifestyle changes. This may include regular exercise, eating a healthy diet, and feeding your gut microbiome with probiotic foods. According to scientific studies, Traditional Chinese Medicine plays an important role in promoting gut health and gut microbiota.
For more on the Leaky Gut Syndrome and how traditional Chinese medicine can help, reach out to us at Centre of Balance Hamilton today on 07 846 7956. Book an initial exam with one of our practitioners who will go through your current health issues and symptoms as well as your full health history. They will give you recommendations and a treatment plan tailored to your individual needs.
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Ferrier, L., Bérard, F., Debrauwer, L., Chabo, C., Langella, P., Buéno, L., & Fioramonti, J. (2006). Impairment of the intestinal barrier by ethanol involves enteric microflora and mast cell activation in rodents. The American journal of pathology, 168(4), 1148-1154. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16565490/
Bjarnason, I., & Takeuchi, K. (2009). Intestinal permeability in the pathogenesis of NSAID-induced enteropathy. Journal of gastroenterology, 44(19), 23-29. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19148789/
Konturek, P. C., Brzozowski, T., & Konturek, S. J. (2011). Stress and the gut: pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. J Physiol Pharmacol, 62(6), 591-9. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22314561/
Zhang, R., Gao, X., Bai, H., & Ning, K. (2020). Traditional Chinese Medicine and gut microbiome: Their respective and concert effects on healthcare. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 11. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7188910/