The Story of Leaky Gut
Updated: Jan 22, 2018
Throughout my practice in the past several years I have seen an increasing number of cases with digestive concerns. Symptoms may be as vague and general as gas/bloating, feeling of fatigue and low energy to more severe symptoms such as constipation/diarrhea and abdominal pain or discomfort.
I believe digestive concerns are serious and require attention as soon as possible. The role of our digestion and absorption of food is paramount to our health and wellbeing; therefore we need an optimally functioning digestive system to prevent other illnesses.
A number of factors contribute to poor digestion and development of irritable bowels or IBS.
As indicated in the figure below, food intolerance, alcohol, stress, anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, candida over growth and fatty acid deficiencies can disrupt the gut lining. This disruption leads to improper absorption of food.
Food is seen as an invader by our immune system and certain Immunoglobulins called IgG are released. These antibodies form complexes with the food antigen and these complexes get deposited in the digestive tract, joints and muscles causing inflammatory process.
Inflammation in the gut results in nutrient and waste to leak from the gut which worsens absorption and more IgG antibodies are produced in response to more food. Hence the individual may experience further food intolerance and sensitivities and worsening of their condition.
Inflammatory process is the underlying cause for diseased tissue. Healing can’t occur until the offending agents are identified and inflammation has been addressed. The inflammatory process as the result of food intolerance can also lead to weight gain.
As shown in the diagram below the inflammatory process causes water to enter cells and result in water retention. It also results in release of Ghrelin, the appetite-stimulating hormone and exorphins (small protein fragments or peptides with similar activity to morphine) which stimulate food craving and result in overeating therefore weight gain.
There is a considerable emotional implication in this entire process since an individual dealing with food sensitivities is more prone to effects of stress on their digestive system, suffer from the symptoms and sometimes feel embarrassed. Not being able to identify the cause and having to deal with the symptoms can result in sadness, lack of energy and worsening of the condition.
The goal of my treatment is:
1) Help identify underlying food sensitivities using blood tests.
2) Detoxification through food elimination and herbal treatments.
3) Reduce Inflammation through proper nutrition, herbal and homeopathic treatment.
4) Replenish the Gut natural micro-flora to further reduce inflammatory process in the body and create a healthy environment for food digestion and absorption.
5) Re-introduce healthy eating habits for the individual to enjoy life again.
6) Identify stressors and modification of the body’s response.
If you have any questions or concerns about your digestive health or would like to book an appointment, please contact me.
Yours In health,
Dr. Tannaz Mokhtari ND.