During digestion, food passes from your stomach to your small intestine, which breaks down the food even further so it can be transported into your bloodstream. The small intestine acts like a firewall of a computer, allowing only what is essential to pass into your body while preventing larger particles getting through. It also acts as a barrier stopping toxins and disease-causing bacteria from entering the blood.
Leaky gut syndrome develops when large pieces of undigested food leak through into your bloodstream because the villi and microvilli in the small intestines have become compromised. This may be due to a number of reasons including high-stress levels, dysbiosis (microbial imbalances within the body), environmental contaminants, too much alcohol or poor food choices. These large food particles are treated by the body as foreign objects and get attacked. So, you end up creating antibodies against the food particles, causing an immune system reaction and creating intolerances.
Untreated, not only may you become more susceptible to illnesses and gastrointestinal symptoms, but the condition can also bring about more chronic problems. And, your digestive tract constitutes for 70 percent of your immune system, it’s no wonder that a whole host of conditions is related to leaky gut, such as irritable bowel syndrome, acne, psoriasis, dermatitis and eczema, allergies, coeliac disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, and bronchitis.
Also, 95 percent of your serotonin is created and located within the gastrointestinal tract. Known as the happy hormone, serotonin is actually a neurotransmitter that influences your mood, appetite and sleep patterns. So, if you have a leaky gut, you may well be suffering from low moods, lack of sleep, and depression. If this is all sounds familiar, get yourself tested. A practitioner can advise nutrition and supplementation to repair the villi and microvilli in your small intestine.