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What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome? (And How to Tell If It’s Making You Sick)

“Keep Your Poop Where it Belongs?”  

I love this title. It’s the name of chapter 6 in Robb Wolf’s book, “The Paleo Solution.” It’s all about Leaky Gut Syndrome.

Have you read it yet?

Many people skip it because it sounds weird and gross. But it’s actually fascinating information that’s probably saved a lot of lives since the book was published.

I’ve been studying leaky gut for years and the biggest problem I see is that each year more and more people are affected by this mysterious condition… and most of them have no idea it’s making them sick (including the 100,000 or so that have been shocked by taking this Leaky Gut Quiz).

Worse yet, many people think “I Don’t Have That!” because the name implies it’s a condition that only gives you gut problems.

But that’s so far from the ugly truth…

What Is Leaky Gut?

faulty-tight-junction

It is still often referred to as the “Disease Your Doctor Can’t Diagnose,” because for some reason people just can’t wrap their heads around this simple idea.

Leaky gut syndrome allows toxic particles into your body. This is because they are too big and did not go through the proper entry systems. These particles are all kinds of things including food (yes even grass-fed beef), environmental chemicals, and even bacterial waste.

The leaky intestine allows the particles to leak through your digestive tract and into your body – once inside, these foreign particles travel to different areas of your body and trigger an immune response, promoting inflammation and jump-starting the development of chronic disease.

Instead of keeping the bad stuff out, the delicate lining of your intestine is letting all the bad stuff in, and your body is breaking down from the inside out. The real name of this hidden epidemic is: Increased Intestinal Permeability, or “Leaky Gut.”

But that’s not the scariest thing about it.

What Happens to Your Body in Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky gut causes an increase in inflammation and the activation of the immune system. Those particles cause the immune system to begin creating antibody soldiers that are specific to the types of foreign particles that are getting through.

But it doesn’t stop there, the immune system needs to alert the whole body about the flood of toxins that is happening to the gut. And so a local gut problem becomes a system-wide alert when inflammatory chemical messengers end up being circulated by the blood.

Many people have felt this process when they suddenly become intolerant to foods they’ve always eaten like dairy, eggs and even beef.

On top of that, the immune system can miss some foreign invaders or get overrun if your gut is too leaky. This puts the burden on the liver and detoxification system. Remember, the transportation system behind the gut wall is a direct transport right to the liver. And if you start slamming the liver with a bunch of toxins it’s going to start causing issues in the detoxification system.

While this is going on, your body begins to try to turn off the inflammation using hormones and other means. It also has to rush a bunch of nutrients in to help with detoxification and cell repair. Over time, this can create nutrient deficiencies, which will only worsen the health of the body.

As you can see, leaky gut syndrome is a serious digestive tract problem that can burden the immune system, hormone system and detoxification system. The longer and more intense the leaky gut syndrome, the higher your risk of developing chronic disease.

Untreated Leaky Gut Is Making People Really Sick

Over 2000 years ago, Hippocrates became the first person to believe that disease was caused naturally.

He’s also considered the Father of western medicine and the author of the Hippocratic Oath, a sacred doctrine every single practitioner of modern medicine has to swear by before practicing.

And in his most widely shared work, he wrote “All Disease Begins in the Gut…”

But we’ve lost that wisdom over the years…

Now, modern medicine focuses on getting a specific diagnosis and specialized treatment. If someone suffers from anxiety, modern medicine focuses on making drugs for the brain. If someone has arthritis, modern medicine focuses on making drugs for the joints. This shift in medical thought since Hippocrates’ day has caused a serious problem…

But now we’re starting to come back to this wisdom and it’s coming out in the research. Here’s a short list of conditions shown in research papers to be associated with “Leaky Gut:”

  • Infertility
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Lupus
  • Vitiligo
  • Narcolepsy
  • Schizophrenia
  • Autism
  • Depression
  • Huntington’s
  • Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Porphyria

Wondering if your #1 health problem is caused by leaky gut?

You can put just about any condition into Google along with “Intestinal Permeability” and find hours of research papers associating the two.

Here are a few examples (the link will open a Google search in a new window):

It can masquerade as fatigue, anxiety, depression, digestive symptoms, weight problems, and other serious conditions…

Something that’s been found in association with chronic diseases, including asthma, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, irritable bowel, kidney disease, psoriasis, chronic fatigue syndrome, and heart failure…

And because of this, it’s starting to get more and more attention from some of the smartest people in health:

Chris Kresser – NYT Bestselling Author of “Your Personal Paleo Code”

“Many, if not most, autoimmune diseases – including celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease – are characterized by abnormally high levels of zonulin and a permeable gut barrier (leaky gut).”

Dr. Mark Hyman – Eight-time New York Times Bestseller

“Allison was 57 years old and had been suffering from severe, unrelenting eczema for eight years. She ate a high-sugar diet and had a history of frequent vaginal yeast infections.

When I saw her, I checked her gut and found she had a leaky gut – that one-cell thick lining in her intestines was breached and wasn’t working properly. She had developed 24 IgG food allergies, and her stool had no healthy bacteria and an overgrowth of yeast from years of taking antibiotics. She also had very high blood levels of antibodies against yeast.

So I helped her heal her gut…. The result?

Her eczema disappeared for the first time in eight years – and it stayed away!”

So, is leaky gut making you sick? Could this sneaky condition be contributing to the chronic health problems you and your family are suffering from?

How to Tell If You Have a Leaky Gut

The support in the research is becoming more and more clear: if you have a chronic disease, you have an increased likelihood of leaky gut. But that doesn’t mean everyone has it, or that even everyone with a chronic disease has it.

So, you are left with a couple of options:

Option 1: Get tested for it

The first step would be to work with your Doctor to order a leaky gut test. The oldest leaky gut test available is called the “Lactulose-Mannitol test.” As with all medical testing, nothing is perfect and neither is this test. Which is why there is a newer test on the market from Cyrex Labs, called “Array #2.” This test might offer better sensitivity and account for better individual difference in the absorption of food. But again, it’s very new to the market, so it doesn’t have the research studies and years of experience behind it that we wish it did – not to mention they cost lots of money and most doctors don’t even offer them.

Option 2: Take This 3-Min Leaky Gut Risk Assessment

Over the years, it’s been a challenge for many people to find a skilled practitioner willing to explore leaky gut and order the right tests. There’s nothing more frustrating than wanting to know if you have this sneaky problem, and have no way of figuring it out. With that in mind, we spent nearly 8 months working  with a research team to put together a “Leaky Gut Assessment” that will help you get a better idea if you have leaky gut. It’s free and it’s based on massive amounts of research studies and includes the 10 most common leaky gut risk factors indicating your gut could be damaged.

<<< Click here to take the 3-min Leaky Gut Quiz Now >>>

Remember, leaky gut is known as ‘The Disease Your Doctor Can’t Diagnose’ for a reason.

It’s a dangerous and hidden cause of chronic illness that can show up as fatigue, anxiety, depression, digestive symptoms, weight problems, and other serious conditions…

What’s tricky about it is HOW it shows up. Everyone is different. One person can have inflammation in the gut leading to depression and anxiety. Another person will have severe acne.

What’s even worse is that 30% of people with leaky gut don’t even experience digestive problems. I’m on a mission to change chronic diseases in the world… and your gut health is important to me.

Take the leaky gut assessment to find out whether or not you have any of the top 10 risk factors (and find out what to do about it).

Intestine photo licensed under the Creative Commons.

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