Do I Have Leaky Gut? Common Signs and Symptoms
If you suffer from chronic intestinal problems – such as IBS or food intolerances – you may be wondering, “Do I have leaky gut?” Also known as intestinal permeability, leaky gut is a condition wherein the intestinal barrier becomes porous, allowing bacteria, food particles, and toxins to enter the bloodstream, causing infection, disease, and chronic inflammation. Our gut is actually the largest immune system organ in our bodies, which means a problem in our intestines can have negative effects on the entire body and its systems.
Do I Have Leaky Gut?
Common signs and symptoms of leaky gut include:
Food sensitivities – Because the immune system of a person with intestinal permeability is constantly under attack, their bodies can become more susceptible to antigens in certain foods (especially gluten and dairy). Food allergies and intolerances are believed to be one of the most common leaky gut symptoms.
Inflammatory bowel disease – In 2012, researchers in Hungary discovered that increased gut permeability is often localized to the colon for people who suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), Crohn’s, and ulcerative colitis.
Nutrient malabsorption – A permeable intestine cannot properly absorb nutrients, so nutrient deficiencies are common in patients with leaky gut. And nutrient deficiencies can cause or contribute to other diseases.
Thyroid problems – The thyroid seems to suffer direct effects from leaky gut syndrome, particularly if a patient suffers from Hashimoto’s. Hashimoto’s is an autoimmune thyroid disorder characterized by low thyroid function (hypothyroidism), impaired metabolism, fatigue, depression, and weight gain.
Autoimmune disease – Intestinal permeability has been linked to autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Type I diabetes, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease. Because a leaky gut causes chronic inflammation, the immune system can become overwhelmed and start attacking the body’s own tissues.
Mood and mind issues – According to a study published in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters, leaky gut has been shown to cause various neurocognitive disorders, including depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD, and autism. This is no surprise as the gut-brain connection has shown that an unhealthy gut can cause mental health problems.
Other signs and symptoms of leaky gut can include:
- Arthritis or joint pain
- Asthma or seasonal allergies
- Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
- Diagnosis of candida overgrowth
- Digestive issues such as chronic diarrhea, gas, bloating, and constipation
- Gastric ulcers
- Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
- Hormonal imbalances such as PMS or PCOS
- Inflammatory skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, eczema, and psoriasis
- Propensity towards weight gain or obesity
- Respiratory infections
While it has not yet been determined whether leaky gut is the cause or result of these conditions, scientific evidence has shown that patients who suffer from leaky gut are more prone to experience these conditions as well. The main causes of leaky gut are typically foods, infections, and toxins. A certified physician can help you make the necessary nutritional and lifestyle changes to support a healthy gut.
For Relief from Leaky Gut Call Anchor Wellness Center
If you have been wondering, “Do I have leaky gut?,” ccall Anchor Wellness Center today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Minni Malhotra, MD, FAARM, ABAARM. Board Certified in Family Medicine as well as Board Certified with the American Board of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine, Dr. Malhotra can discover and treat the underlying cause of your leaky gut and help your restore optimal gut health.