You may have a leaky gut if you experience digestive issues, skin conditions, bone, and joint pain, a mood disorder, or an auto-immune disease. When these things occur, we often think of outside factors that could be impacting our bodies, like cold weather. This isn’t always the case though, and sometimes what is causing the problem is actually coming from within. We interviewed Dr. Vikki Petersen, certified clinical nutritionist, chiropractor, and certified functional medicine practitioner, on what could be causing a leaky gut. Keep reading for more!
Here Are the Top Five Signs You May Have a Leaky Gut
A leaky gut is a condition where your small intestine is not efficiently acting as a barrier to toxins, infectious or inflammatory organisms, and partially digested food. A single layer of cells makes up the lining of your small intestine. That lining, when healthy, brilliantly decides who and what may pass through it into your bloodstream. It should be contained due to its tendency to create ill health. When the integrity of that lining is compromised, ill health will result. What are some common signs of having a leaky gut? Here are 5 signs to look out for according to Dr. Vikki Petersen.
1) Auto-Immune Disease
Autoimmune disease is where your immune system mistakes a part of your body as something foreign that should be attacked. Considering 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut, it has been well established that a leaky gut is a common initiator of autoimmune disease due to the influx of substances (chemicals, toxins, infectious organisms) that are putting undue stress upon your immune system.
2) Digestive Issues
As mentioned above, a healthy small intestine ensures that food is part of proper digestion. It also ensures it is absorbed while simultaneously preventing any migration of substances that should not enter your bloodstream. A leaky gut is not able to perform the above functions and can cause a variety of digestive complaints including bloating, gas, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, acid reflux, and more.
3) Skin Conditions
Skin health reflects gut health. Skin conditions frequently have their root cause in poor gut health, especially leaky gut. In my clinic we have excellent success treating eczema, psoriasis, rashes, and acne through, predominantly, regaining optimal gut function and healing a leaky gut.
Often body aches are due to systemic inflammation. Inflammation occurs when the immune system reacts to some of the “substances” we’ve been discussing. And recall 80% of your immune system is in your gut. A leaky gut also contributes to systemic inflammation.
5) Mood Disorder
It seems like a “stretch”, but in fact, hormonal balance and cognitive health tie into gut health. It truly would not be an exaggeration to state that good health is impossible with an unhealthy digestive system (leaky gut). Hormonal balance ties into the health of the good bacteria in your gut, your ability to absorb healthy nutrients from a nutritious diet, and controlling inflammation.