If you’ve heard that autoimmune diseases have no cure, then your doctor may not know about leaky gut. Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, describes a gut lining that is worn down and leaky. As a result, large molecules can pass through the gut lining and enter the bloodstream.
Normally the gut lining serves as a protective barrier between you and the outside world. The gut lining, your immune system, and friendly bacteria work together in harmony to survey everything that comes into your body through the gastrointestinal tract. This surveillance team makes sure that the immune system is healthy, that bad stuff is kept out of the body, and good stuff gets into the body.
Every day we eat things that can harm the body: junk food, pesticides, chemicals, plastics, heavy metals, bacteria, fungus, and parasites. A healthy gut lining helps to keep these things out while letting in pure, healthful, water, protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins,and minerals.
When leaky gut sets in, the gut lining has been damaged. Suddenly chemicals, bacteria, and other things can get into the body and cause harm. This puts the immune system on “red alert.” Sometimes the immune system becomes hypervigilant, like a father who’s overly concerned that his daughter will sneak out of the house for a party. The immune system can overreact to even harmless things. It may attack a person’s own body, such as joints, the thyroid gland, the gastrointestinal tract, or nervous system.
Leaky gut is believed to be a major factor in the development of autoimmune disease . Because the gut barrier is critical for healthy immune function, damage to the gut lining can be the first step in immune system malfunction. Leaky gut can make the immune system confused, unsure who is a bad guy and who is a good guy. This leads to a misplaced attack on the person’s own body, instead of on foreign molecules.
There are tests that can tell you if you have leaky gut. This is very important information that you need to know about your body. If you have an autoimmune condition, your doctor should talk with you about leaky gut. You can ask your doctor to order the test for you or you can order it yourself and share your results with your doctor.
While leaky gut can lead to serious illness, there are many treatments that can heal leaky gut. Dietary changes and nutritional supplements can calm down inflammation, soothe the irritated tissue, and seal up holes in the leaky gut. Once leaky gut is improved, the immune system calms down and starts to behave again. Many symptoms get better and lab results return to normal. The immune system remembers its original purpose: to protect the body from foreign invaders, instead of mistakenly attacking itself.