FHN Complementary Medicine Monthly Newsletter July 2004
One of the factors that natural medicine looks at while assessing health is the permeability of the intestinal wall. AKA….leaky gut. Leaky gut can cause symptoms ranging from indigestion, heartburn, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, to allergies, anemia, fatigue, arthritis, eczema, and more serious autoimmune diseases.
In leaky gut the small intestine wall becomes inflamed causing a breach in the “tight junctions” between the cells of the gut wall and damage to the cells ability to passively diffuse nutrients through them. These two kinds of damage can allow for larger molecules to pass through the gut causing a cascade of immune and inflammation responses to occur and (in the case of loss of cellular diffusion) nutrient deficiencies even though you are taking all your supplements and ”eating right” !
As this “cascade “ of inflammation continues we start to see joint pain (arthritis) and muscle pain (myofascitis and fibromyalgia), and even asthma.
So what causes this all to start?
There are two major causes
1. Overgrowth of pathogenic bacteria, parasites, and fungi.
2. Use of NSAIDS, antibiotics, corticol steroids, and hormone therapy.
At Complementary Medicine we use a urine test to assess the degree of permeability. We have you ingest a small molecule sugar and a large molecule sugar. One is normally diffused through the cell and one is usually blocked at the cell junctions. We then measure excretion in the urine to assess gut function.
Treatment can vary depending on the cause ( i.e. bacteria ,etc.) But in general we are going to restore normal gut flora with pro and prebiotics, help gut cellular energy with L-glutamine and butyric acid and supplement with enzymes and natural anti-inflammatories.
Sixty percent of human antibodies are produced in the intestine. It is important for your health that it works correctly.
Drs. Glenn and Julie Smith