Although leaky gut syndrome, also called Intestinal Permeability, is common, it is rarely tested by doctors and some doctors have maintained it does not even exist! That stance is changing, as more and more chronic diseases and syndromes are connected with having a "leaky gut."
Normally, the lining of the small and large intestines provide a semi-permeable barrier which prevents toxins, large molecules of food, bacteria, and yeast from passing through the barrier and entering the bloodstream where they cause mild to sever health problems. This lining has three extremely important jobs: (1) to absorb and transport nutrients from our food across the intestinal wall; (2) to provide a protective barrier and prevent toxins, bacteria, yeast, viruses, large molecules, and particles of undigested food from passing into the bloodstream; and (3) to be an important part of our immmune system, fighting off negative bacteria and viruses before they can invade our body and make ius sick.
The intestinal lining is supposed to have small spaces or "junctions" between the cells. These spaces can open and close, allowing larger or smaller molecules to pass as appropriate. However, when these spaces become destroyed by inflammation, ulcerations or breaks between the cells, the spaces become too large. This allows toxins and large molecule to "leak" from the intestines into the bloodstream.
Once the intestinal lining becomes too permeable, our body loses its ability to absorb nutrients properly leading to malnutrition and several mineral deficiencies, such as magnesium and copper. Toxins, negative bacteria, yeast, and large protein molecules enter the bloodstream and cause the body to attack them as "foreign invaders", setting off a series of autoimmune problems. The gut immune system also is no longer able to protect us from negative bacteria and viruses.
Anothere result of a damaged gut lining is that the pathways in the gut that are supposed to detoxify the body become copromised and afail to detoxify the many chemicals we are exposed to every day. The liver then becomes overburdened, and it too is then unable to detoxify the chemicals and eliminate them safely from our bodies. The toxins then recirculate through our body continuing to cause damage. Eventually, one could develop Multiple Chemical Sensitivity and become ill around even minute amounts of chemicals of every day modern life (fragrances, cleaning fluids, building materials, car interiors, etc.).
Some disease and conditions known to be associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome are:
If we have been treated with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin and ibuprofen (Advil), steroid drugs, or Antibiotics , or if we have been trequently exposed to environmental toxins or alcohol, we could have leaky gut syndrome.
The underlying cause of leaky gut syndrome is a shortage of the amino acid glutamine, which is actually a form of glutamic acid, one of the three amino acids that make u glutathione. Glutamine is the promary nutrient for the cells that line our small intestine. If we don't get enough glutamine fro any of the reasons discussed above, the mucus lining of our small intestine thins out and becomes permeable.
A low glutamine level in the small intestine means a low glutathione level everywhere in our body, since one of the essential building blocks of glutathione is in very short supply. Which means, low glutamine leads to leaky gut syndrome and places an increased load on the liver creating a higher demand for glutathione. An increased need for glutathione robs the small intestine of glutamine, therefore, making the leaky gut syndrome worse.
Heavy Metals Poisoning:
Just as we are constantly surrounded by a variety of chemical toxins, we are constantly exposed to microscopic bits of metals such as aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead, mercury, and nickel. As mentioned previously, these heavy metals can cause serious illness and long-term damage to our health. In many cases, heavy metals interfere with our body's normal production of the many enzymes it uses to regulate our metabolism, and also inerfere with our ability to absorb and use important minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Heavy metals often affect the brain, leading to symptoms such as depression, memory loss, anxiety, and learning disabilities. These symptoms are ofen mistaken for emotional or mental problems.
Once heavy metal poisoning has been diagnosed, treatmets that increase glutathione production i our body and restore electrolyte balance can be very helful, benefiting many so-called mental illness and physical ailments.
Common sources of heavy metal poisoning:
- Aluminium - foil; cans, deorderants, buffered aspirin;
some antacids: aluminum utensils and cookware, baking
- Arsenic - insecticides; herbicides; paints; some ceramics
- Lead - chips or dust from lead-based paints; leaded gaso-
line; solder; inks and dyes; pottery glazes; batteries
- Mercury - silver Amalgam dental fillings; paints; fungi
cides; fabric softeners; floor waxes and polishes; photo
film; some plastics; latex house paints before 1990;
- Nickel - metalalloys in costume jewelry; cigarette smoke.
Note: All these metals have many industrial uses and are often found in the soil, air, and water of industrialized areas, and may enter the food chain and your tap water.
Glutathione is our body's primary defense against toxic metals. As glutathione circulates in our body, it binds to metals, particularly lead, lead, mercury, and arscenic, and lets them be safely excreted from the body. Because glutathione circulates not just in the blood but in spaces between the cells where heavy metals are stored, it can help to chelate them into the blood and then our of the body.
Of course, the antioxidant effect of glutathione helps prevent cellular damage from the heavy metals. Adding vitamin C cal also help chelate heavy metals and prevent free radical damage. As mentione in the section onautism, both Zeolite and good electrolyte-forming mineral supplements can also help detoxify the body from these "poisons."