Learn More About “Leaky Gut Syndrome”
Our intestines are lined with a semipermeable barrier that “covers a surface of about 400m2,” which “requires approximately 40% of the body’s energy expenditure.”1 The purpose of the intestinal barrier is to allow essential fluids and nutrients through while keeping out harmful foreign substances like food antigens, commensal bacteria, pathogens, and toxins. Indeed, 70-80% of the body's immune system can be found in the gut and gastrointestinal tract!
If the permeability of this lining is compromised, it could allow antigens and other bacteria to pass into the blood stream, while simultaneously making it difficult to retain necessary nutrients. This leads to a condition commonly referred to as “leaky gut syndrome” (see Figure 1). There are a variety of factors that have shown to disrupt the normal function of the gut barrier, including low-fiber, gluten, and processed-food diets, burn injuries, chronic alcohol consumption, and infections.1-2
Figure 1 (Image source: humarian.com)
According to some practitioners, leaky gut syndrome could also be “the cause of a wide range of long-term conditions, including chronic fatigue syndrome and multiple sclerosis (MS).” While there is little evidence to suggest that certain conditions are directly caused by having a leaky gut, some health professionals claim that “leaky gut syndrome,” along with the concomitant loss in nutrients, could be linked to a wider range of health problems, including:
- Food allergies
- Tiredness/chronic fatigue
- Autoimmune disorders like type-1 diabetes and lupus
- Rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis
- Scleroderma, eczema
As of yet, there is no consensus on a cure for intestinal permeability; however, there are various treatment options for those dealing with nutrient loss that accompanies a “leaky gut.” Supplementation with IV nutrition therapy is a popular choice as it can bypass any gastrointestinal problems like leaky gut by delivering nutrients directly to the blood stream. IV nutrition therapy can also be formulated using almost any combination of nutrients to address a patient’s particular deficiencies.
[Blog CTA: If you are experiencing an abnormal occurrence of some of the above symptoms, talk with your doctor about checking for nutrition deficiencies or leaky gut syndrome. You can also learn more about IV nutrition therapy from one of our pharmacists by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.]
- Bischoff, S. C., Barbara, G., Buurman, W., Ockhuizen, T., Schulzke, J.-D., Serino, M., … Wells, J. M. (2014). Intestinal permeability – a new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology, 14, 189. http://doi.org/10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7
- Mu, Q., Kirby, J., Reilly, C. M., & Luo, X. M. (2017). Leaky Gut As a Danger Signal for Autoimmune Diseases. Frontiers in Immunology, 8, 598. http://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00598
- Leaky gut syndrome. NHS. Retrieved June 28, 2018 from https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/leaky-gut-syndrome/