Leaky gut, probiotics, dysbiosis

Ask the Doc: What Causes Leaky Gut?

Ask the Doc: What Causes Leaky Gut?

© 2006 Wellness Clubs of America.com

Can you tell me what causes a “leaky gut” and what can be done to correct it? W.H.

Dear W.H.: Leaky Gut Syndrome is the name that is often used to describe a condition in which the lining of the intestinal tract has been damaged, producing gaps in the barrier that protects the body from microorganisms and waste. Bacteria, fungi, and undigested proteins leak into the bloodstream where they overburden the body’s immune system. Fatigue, headaches, body aches and food allergies often follow. Bloating and gassiness are common. Leaky gut develops when the normal intestinal bacteria are lost due to antibiotic use or consumption of chlorinated water. Constipation also plays a role since toxic wastes cause inflammation and tissue damage if they are not eliminated in a timely manner. Management involves eliminating constipation by increasing water intake and adding fiber to the diet, reducing the numbers of undesirable organisms, and supplementing beneficial bacteria (probiotics) to restore a normal balance and crowd out undesirable organisms. Herbs and other substances that boost the body’s immune system and inhibit the growth of harmful organisms are useful, as is aloe, which sooths the inflamed tissue. -Dr. Peterson

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