Food sensitivities and leaky gut

The result of the adverse response to the foods we eat is referred to as leaky gut syndrome. It has been a focus of alternative medical doctors but, for the most part, ignored by conventional medical doctors.

The result of the adverse response to the foods we eat is referred to as leaky gut syndrome. It has been a focus of alternative medical doctors but, for the most part, ignored by conventional medical doctors.

by Dr. Denise Grobe — 

Leaky gut syndrome and food sensitivities may be the answer to many cause-unknown type illnesses. They may also explain many of the symptoms patients have that confound and confuse some conventional physicians.

Our bodies’ responses to the foods we eat are an integral part of our overall health — they can determine how we feel physically, mentally and emotionally.

The result of the adverse response to the foods we eat is referred to as leaky gut syndrome. It has been a focus of alternative medical doctors but, for the most part, ignored by conventional medical doctors. Leaky gut syndrome can be caused by increased permeability of the intestinal lining, which allows undigested foods, bacteria and toxins to pass into the blood stream. This can trigger an immunological response and/or inflammation in other parts of the body. Increased intestinal permeability can be caused by food allergies, food sensitivities, infections and medications.

Symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome include but are not limited to insomnia, anxiety, migraines, muscle pain, mood swings, hair loss, constipation/diarrhea, brain fatigue, depression, chronic fatigue, PMS, joint pain and acne.

Food sensitivities are another common cause of leaky gut syndrome. They differ from food allergies because of the physiological responses they elicit.

Food allergies cause an immunological response of IgE antibodies. Symptoms occur within a few minutes up to an hour and typically include tingling in the mouth; hives, itching or eczema; swelling of the lips, face, tongue and throat, or other parts of the body; wheezing, nasal congestion or trouble breathing; anaphylaxis; abdominal pain; diarrhea, nausea or vomiting; and dizziness, lightheadedness or fainting.

Food sensitivities cause an immunological response involving IgG antibodies. Symptoms usually occur within eight to 72 hours and can include nasal congestion, diarrhea/constipation, skin rashes, eczema, bloating/gas, stomach pain, muscle pain, joint pain, asthma, acne, fatigue, irritability, depression, anxiety, headaches, sleep disturbances and food cravings.

Prolonged exposure to sensitive foods can cause inflammation in the intestinal lining and cause leaky gut syndrome. Several diagnosed conditions associated with food sensitivities and leaky gut syndrome include fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, eczema and arthritis.

Simple blood and urine tests can be done through your doctor to evaluate intestinal permeability and food sensitivities. Once food sensitivities are identified, food elimination and diet modification are first-line treatments for leaky gut syndrome and its associated symptoms. After the foods causing the inflammation are removed, supplementation to repair the intestinal lining can begin.

 

Denise Grobe, a naturopathic physician at the Center for True Harmony Wellness and Medicine, specializes in women’s medicine. info@trueharmonywellness.com, 480-539-6646 or trueharmonywellness.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 32, Number 2, April/May 2013.

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