Gut Health and Hormone Imbalance
Leaky Gut & Food Sensitivities
If you have food sensitivities then you likely have leaky gut and vice versa. They are one of the same.
What is Leaky Gut?
Also known as intestinal permeability. It is when the tight junctions of the small intestine wall have become loose allowing bacteria, viruses, antigens, toxins, immune complexes and/or large food particles to leak into the bloodstream. Chronic stress, slow metabolism, alcohol abuse and frequent antibiotic/NSAID use are common culprits. Funny enough, what usually is a byproduct of leaky gut tends to cause it or make it worse as well. These are things like parasites, pathogenic bacteria, SIBO, dysbiosis, food allergies/sensitivities, intestinal inflammation, low stomach acid, maldigestion/malabsorption, blood sugar issues, little enzyme production etc.
The intestinal mucosal barrier is not designed to allow foreign invaders in. It’s a physical barrier that is suppose to protect us from the outside environment. It also has these finger like projections called villi and microvilli. These are responsible for absorbing our nutrients. In theory, nothing should be getting through this barrier except for food broken down into really small micronutrient size.
The mucosal barrier also contains a chemical layer that produces secretory IgA to protect us against foreign invaders. This is more commonly known as your gut immunity. This is why leaky gut comes with a compromised immune system along with poor absorption of vital nutrients.
We help our clients boost secretory IgA, tighten their intestinal lining, restore metabolic function and increase stomach acid levels. Four key components to a strong healthy gut.
What does Leaky Gut look like?
Abdominal Weight Gain
Undigested food in stool
Sinus infections or nasal congestion
What does this have to do with Food Sensitivities?
If the intestinal barrier is disrupted and loose, then large food particles are able to get into the blood stream which can cause an immune reaction. Your immune system will start creating antibodies and tag food particles in order to attack them in the future. This is how food sensitivities begin.
If you are consistently eating that particular food, your immune system is going to be on hyperdrive causing more inflammation and worsening leaky gut. This inflammation will then shrink and damage the villi and microvilli which we call a blunted brush border. Eventually, your villi and microvilli will no longer be able to wave freely and absorb nutrients because they are so damaged.
The saying “You are what you absorb and digest, not what you eat!” could not be more true here.
Keep in mind food sensitivities are very different from food allergies. A food sensitivity reaction is usually more mild and produces IgG antibodies whereas a food allergy reaction produces IgE antibodies. Both are harmful to your health but in different ways. Allergies tend to provoke an immediate reaction whereas sensitivities provoke a delayed reaction for up to 3-4 days.
Food sensitivity reactions look different on everyone. However, the most common reactions we tend to see are; skin issues, digestive issues, headaches/migraines and muscle/joint pain.
I don’t recommend any food sensitivity testing in my practice as they are not accurate, they do not get to the root cause and they honestly do more harm than good. However, there are specific markers on the GI Map stool test to assess leaky gut which I use frequently. Occasionally, we do small elimination diets with some clients but more importantly, we work on restoring metabolic health so food sensitivities don’t exist in the first place.
If any of this resonates with you, book your 1:1 membership today so we can restore your digestive function, keep pathogens out and get rid of those annoying reactions to food!