Hippocrates was quoted saying, " All disease begins in the gut" and today we have mounting evidence showing that many of our modern diseases are in fact rooted in the gut, especially autoimmune diseases, which are affecting more and more people each year. A vast array of chronic inflammatory symptoms ranging from digestive distress, to chronic fatigue, to hormonal imbalances, to joint pain, depression, anxiety, headaches, skin rashes and more are all rooted in the gut.
Studies actually show that over 70% of our immune system resides in the gut and it's also where 80% of our serotonin (the primary neurotransmitter that regulates mood) is manufactured as well.
In fact, I've personally experienced how treating the root cause of my leaky gut significantly lowered my depression and balanced my mood!
What is Leaky Gut or Intestinal Permeability?
The single layer of cells that lines your intestinal track creates a physical barrier between your bloodstream and the outside world. As foods come into your body, they may contain bacteria, viruses, and parasites as well as pesticides.
Your gut lining is your first line of defense against these pathogens and toxins. But the lining of your gut can get damaged by inflammatory foods like gluten, toxins like heavy metals and pesticides, pharmaceuticals like antibiotics and NSAID's, as well as pathogenic infections, bacterial imbalances, and stress.
A damaged gut lining gets holes in it, for lack of a better term, and you develop what's medically named, intestinal permeability, or "leaky gut". This means that pathogens, toxins, and food proteins can now pass through those "leaks" and into your bloodstream where they interact with your immune cells. The immune system "tags" these food proteins and toxins as "dangerous intruders or pathogens" because they are not supposed to be in the bloodstream and begins to attack them.
This immune response leads to the symptoms listed below which is why if you have any of these symptoms, its likely that you have leaky gut. Some experts have estimated that intestinal permeability affects over 70% of our modern population.
9 Signs You Have Leaky Gut:
Leaky Gut - Autoimmunity Connection:
When your gut is leaky and more and more particles are able to escape into your bloodstream, your immune system begins to get into a pattern of high alert which causes it to become overstressed and fire less accurately, sometimes leading to an attack on your own body's tissues or an autoimmune attack. Eventually, this will develop into full-blown autoimmunity if your gut is not repaired.
In addition, your immune system starts making antibodies against the substances that have escaped into your bloodstream. Many of these foreign invaders, especially gluten and dairy, in particular–look very similar to your own body’s cells, causing your immune system to get confused and accidentally attack your tissues. This process of mistaken identity is called molecular mimicry, and is another way that leaky gut can trigger autoimmune disease.
Healing Leaky Gut:
If you want to reverse autoimmunity and heal your gut, I suggest working with a skilled functional medicine practitioner who can help you identify all the root causes of your symptoms and take you step by step through a personalized gut healing protocol.
You and your practitioner will need to identify and remove all the inflammatory dietary and lifestyle items that are contributing to your intestinal permeability like food sensitivities, toxic exposures, and stress. You will also need to identify and treat pathogenic infections in the gut, reinoculate your immune system with beneficial bacteria, and lastly provide your gut with the key nutrients it needs to repair the "leaks and holes" in the lining.
In my practice, I find that 80% or more of my clients have leaky gut at the root of their chronic symptoms. When we focus our approach towards healing the gut by eliminating inflammatory triggers, rebalancing the gut microbiome, and repairing the intestinal lining, people begin to heal, get rid of chronic symptoms, and get their life back!
Are you ready to get rid of your chronic symptoms? If so, I'd love to help you! If you want to learn more about what to expect when working with me- you can schedule a complimentary 15 minute new client session to understand how my root cause approach can help you reclaim your health!
Or check out the gut healing programs I offer on my Work with Me page and read testimonials of others who have worked with me.
In good health,
Billie Shellist, FDN-P
I practice functional nutrition, an approach that allows me to look at your entire health history and help you find the "root causes" of your chronic health complaints.
This cuts out the trial and error process and helps you get real symptom relief and resolution!
Food is medicine and knowledge is power -I hope you enjoy my anti-inflammatory recipes which are gluten, dairy, and soy free as well as very low grain and sugar.
If you'd like to heal from the root cause(s) of your chronic symptoms, try starting with a complimentary 15-minute consultation. Click here to request your free session.