Why You Need a Healthy Gut
Functional medicine can help you to obtain optimal mental and physical health through an alternative or holistic approach to disease that treats the cause instead of the symptom. Functional medicine can be used to effectively treat leaky gut syndrome and to heal the allergic reactions that a leaky gut can cause.
Many people who suffer from allergies feel frustrated because they have a variety of unpleasant symptoms. However, when they get checked out by a doctor, they’re told that everything looks fine and that their allergies have no apparent cause. Some of these patients are over 65 and have never had allergies before. Now they are experiencing food sensitivity, food intolerance and other allergic reactions. What gives? Chances are a leaky gut is causing excess inflammation that leads to these symptoms.
What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
The gut is where most people experience the negative effects of high stress that pervades modern life. The gut is also affected by medications, the balance of bacteria in your intestines and by what you eat and drink. A healthy gut has a tight lining that protects your bloodstream from toxic particles in the intestines by preventing them from leaking out. If the intestinal lining breaks down, tiny holes appear through which intestinal toxins, food particles and bacteria can easily pass through and enter your bloodstream.
What Causes a Leaky Gut?
Besides stress and bacterial imbalances, sugar, anti-inflammatory medications like ibuprofen, processed foods, antibiotics, steroids, aspirin, GMOs, food additives and alcohol can all damage the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and cause a leaky gut. Experts believe that almost everyone now suffers from leaky gut syndrome, even if it’s just a mild case.
Common Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome
Symptoms depend on the degree of leakage. If leakage is minimal, the symptoms will generally be confined to the GI tract and can include gas, cramps, diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation and bloating. Extensive leakage can produce a wide variety of symptoms such as rashes, asthma, headaches, migraines, eczema, respiratory problems, fatigue, food allergies, joint pain, sugar and carbohydrate cravings, psoriasis, weight gain, nutritional deficiencies, acne, hormonal imbalances, lupus, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and even cancer. Non-physical symptoms like depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, brain fog, autism and memory loss can also occur.
What’s the Relationship Between a Leaky Gut and Allergies?
As toxins in the gut invade the body, the immune system attacks them aggressively. Although a healthy immune response is a good thing under normal circumstances, a gut that’s constantly leaking can keep the immune system in a constant state of arousal and attack. Every time the immune system is activated, it causes inflammation. Chronic inflammation is a leading cause of chronic health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
The Role of Dysbiosis in Allergies and Leaky Gut
The typical American diet is deficient in vegetables, vitamin D and omega 3 fatty acids; there’s also an obesity epidemic going on. All of that negatively affects the bacterial balance in the gut and can cause dysbiosis, a state of imbalance between good and bad bacteria. Balancing these bacteria is essential for gut health. A deficiency of good bacteria or too many harmful bacteria has already been shown by researchers to be related to asthma, nasal polyps, food allergies, chronic sinusitis and eczema.
How Is Leaky Gut Syndrome Treated?
Functional medicine is nothing new, but mainstream medicine is only now beginning to recognize it as a valid treatment for allergies and leaky gut syndrome. Intestinal cells regenerate every few days, so if dietary irritants that are identified by GI testing are removed, the gut can quickly heal itself. Removing these irritants for even a short time can provide remarkably fast relief. The goal of functional medicine is to remove the cause of the symptoms instead of suppressing the symptoms with medications that only make the problem worse.
You don’t have to live with allergies and a leaky gut. Allergy testing and GI testing can help your doctor to design and implement an effective treatment plan that’s easy to follow and doesn’t involve expensive or toxic medications. To learn more about healing allergies and a leaky gut with functional medicine, visit Asthma & Allergy Physicians of Rhode Island.