top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrian Dooreck MD

Leaky Gut Syndrome. Is This For Real?

Updated: Jul 25, 2023


Healthy foods help your gut diversity, health, microbiome, gastrointestinal gi system for you and the gastroenterology doctor
Is a "leaky" gut a proven medical diagnosis?

What is “Leaky Gut Syndrome"?


“leaky gut” is also called "increased intestinal permeability."


If the mucosal barrier that lines your intestines or gut becomes "damaged,"—it has been proposed you have a “leaky gut” or "increased intestinal permeability."


"I hope to add real value to social media and share what my patients ask me about." — Dr. Dooreck


Gut Health ➕ Patient Advocacy with Navigation ➕ Life Balance

 

If you were looking for information about Private Healthcare Navigation and Patient Advocacy from Executive Health Navigation


Having served as doctors for over a decade, we help Family Offices, Private Individuals, Registered Investment Advisors, High-Net-Worth Advisors, and C-Suites navigate the healthcare system for their select clients/families, providing privacy and discretion.


Private Healthcare Navigation and Patient Advocacy when YOU need it most


 

Thus this “leaky” or pore-filled intestinal lining allows large food particles, toxins, and germs to pass into the tissues beneath it and the blood. This may trigger inflammation and changes in the gut flora (normal bacteria). This can then also cause inflammation throughout your body.


What is the mucosal barrier in your intestines?


The mucosal barrier is a layer of cells in your intestines. It is essential for life and serves to both help and protect you. Your intestinal lining covers more than 4,000 square feet of surface area.


Your intestinal lining covers more than 4,000 square feet of surface area.

The mucosal barrier allows essential small nutrients to pass through. When functionally usually, it also blocks large food molecules, toxins, and germs from getting into your body and blood.


What damages the mucosal barrier in your intestines?

The theory is that the cells that make up this barrier are damaged from poor dietary choices, excessive use of antibiotics, or even painkillers.


Is “Leaky Gut Syndrome" an actual medical condition?


“Leaky Gut Syndrome” is not recognized by conventional medicine now. It is still considered a hypothetical condition. There is no billable medical code for this "diagnosis."


However, some clinical symptoms are labeled as being caused by a "leaky gut.” The symptoms are real. However, the cause is not necessarily a “leaky gut."


The symptoms are real. However, the cause is not necessarily a “leaky gut."

Who gets a "leaky gut"?


To be clear. We all do. We all have some degree of a "leaky gut." It does not mean you have “Leaky Gut Syndrome." Let me explain.


The normal intestinal mucosal barrier is not entirely impenetrable (impossible to pass through or enter). That is normal. It is not supposed to be impenetrable.


Diet plays a role. A diet low in fiber, high in sugar, and saturated fats will increase your average permeability. Heavy alcohol. Stress. It also seems to harm a healthy mucosal lining.


Increased intestinal permeability plays a role in certain gastrointestinal conditions such as celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, and irritable bowel syndrome. The biggest question is whether or not a leaky gut may cause problems elsewhere in the body.


Some studies show that a leaky gut may be associated with other autoimmune diseases. Yet there are no clinical studies in humans clearly showing this.


What are the reported symptoms and diseases of “Leaky Gut Syndrome"?


Reported symptoms and associated diseases of a “leaky gut" are broad and nonspecific. Some examples are the following.


  • Boating

  • Gas

  • Abdominal pain

  • Recurrent vaginal infections

  • Asthma

  • Mood swings

  • Migraines

  • Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Food allergies

  • Lupus

  • Type 1 diabetes

  • Multiple sclerosis

  • Chronic fatigue syndrome

  • Fibromyalgia

  • Arthritis

  • Allergies

  • Acne

  • Obesity

  • Mental illness


Remember having any, some, or all of the above symptoms does not mean you have a "leaky gut." Nor does it mean you need to label yourself as having “Leaky Gut Syndrome" or the commonly used term "Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)." If the symptoms are concerning to you—speak to a Gastroenterologist.


Nor does it mean you need to label yourself has having “Leaky Gut Syndrome" or the commonly used term "Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)."

Are you sure “Leaky Gut Syndrome" is not real?


People already predisposed to Crohn’s disease or Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and type 1 diabetes, Celiac disease—all autoimmune diseases, may have a higher than average “intestinal permeability.”


What is unclear is whether this "intestinal permeability" is related to symptoms or some of the medical conditions listed above.


How can I check if my intestines are absorbing nutrients correctly?


If you are concerned about a "leaky gut," you may want to test to see if your intestines absorb the small nutrients correctly and block the large food particles and germs that could cause inflammation.


The first thing to know is that testing is both costly and time-consuming. More importantly, it will not change the clinical management and treatment. Thus, there is no point in getting it done. The same applies to the home testing kits found on the internet.


I am convinced I have “Leaky Gut Syndrome." What can I do?


The advice goes back to the basics. Your diet. Exercise. Water. Focus on a healthy microbiome. (You can see my earlier posts, "Your Microbiome and You")


  • Eat plenty of fiber

  • Eat fermented foods like kefir

  • Eat nutritious, unprocessed foods

  • Probiotics

  • Stay hydrated with lots of water


Diet. Exercise. Water. Focus on a healthy microbiome.

Personally


I eat a high-fiber, mostly plant-based 🌱 diet, no red meat, drink 4 liters of water a day, exercise, and am focused on keeping nutrition simple. I am sharing what works for me and what I routinely recommend to my patients.


"Balance. Portion control. Keep nutrition simple. Eat Smart. Eat Healthy. 🌱 🌾 🌿"

Gut Health ➕ Patient Advocacy with Navigation ➕ Life Balance


If you were looking for information about Private Healthcare Navigation and Patient Advocacy from Executive Health Navigation


Connect with Dr. Dooreck on LinkedIn, where he focuses his sharing on Health, Diet, Nutrition, Exercise, Lifestyle, and Balance.


 

gastroenterology | colonoscopy doctor | colonoscopy and gastroenterology services | gastro doctor | gi doctor | gastrointestinal diagnostic centers | public health

24 views

Recent Posts

See All

Комментарии


bottom of page