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systemic inflammation & leaky gut


Leaky Gut Syndrome

Image by Orem

Most people tend to use the words “swelling” and “inflammation” synonymously. In a similar vein, many people believe that inflammation and infection are the same thing. Neither of these is correct.

INFLAMMATION is a group of chemicals that makes up part of your body’s normal immune system response, as well as having a propensity to attract fluid (swelling) to it. The group of chemicals that make up inflammation have funny sounding names like prostaglandins, leukotrienes, thromboxanes, cytokines, chemokines, certain enzymes, kinnins, histamines, eicosanoids, substance P, as well as dozens of others.

In normal amounts, these chemicals play a critical role in immune system response and tissue healing. However, when there is too much of these chemicals coursing through your body, sooner or later there will be big problems to deal with. If you simply review the medical literature, you will find that inflammation is at the root of …

  • Disc Injuries, Slipped Disc, Disc Herniation, and Disc Rupture (HERE)
  • Heart Disease and virtually all forms of Cardiovascular Problems (HERE)
  • Skin conditions including Eczema and Psoriasis (HERE)
  • Most Autoimmune Conditions (HERE)
  • Arthritis & Fibromyalgia (HERE & HERE)
  • Asthma (HERE)
  • ADD, ADHD, Depression, and various forms of Dementia (HERE & HERE)
  • Neurological Conditions (HERE)
  • Female Issues (HERE, HERE & HERE)
  • Cancer  (HERE)
  • Diabetes, Insulin Resistance, Hypoglycemia, and other Blood Sugar Regulation Problems (HERE)
  • Obesity (HERE)
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease / Leaky Gut Syndrome (HERE & HERE)

The last on the list may be the most important. This is because 80% of your Immune System is found in your gut (digestive tract — HERE). This means that problems that disrupt gut health can dramatically affect your whole body’s overall health.

When the gut becomes inflamed, the “tight junctions” between the cells become lose. This means that partially digested food particles or undigested food particles, waste products, microbes, or molecules that are supposed to be too large to fit through the openings, are absorbed (or reabsorbed) into the bloodstream. Unfortunately, the body does not like this, and reacts against these particles by creating immune system responses (antibodies) against them.

Be aware that you will probably never hear your doctor talk about Leaky Gut Syndrome. And if you go to sites like Pubmed or other medical research databases, they will, at least in older studies, have little to say on the subject. However, if you research “Increased Intestinal Permeability” a new paradigm begins to take shape —- particularly concerning Autoimmune Diseases which affect at least 60 million, and possibly as many as 100 million Americans or more. Let us look at just one of these studies.

In an October 2006 issue of the prestigious British Medical Journal, a team of doctors published a paper called, Alterations in Intestinal Permeability. Some of the things that came out of this paper included… The goal of this review is…. most importantly [to determine] the relevance of abnormal [intestinal] permeability to disease. In this context, we will also present an emerging paradigm regarding the genesis of autoimmune diseases and describe the data that supports this from the perspective of both human disease and animal models….. Increased intestinal permeability is observed in association with several autoimmune diseases. It is observed prior to disease and appears to be involved in disease pathogenesis. For decades a variety of pathological states have been associated with abnormal permeability….. However, in several autoimmune conditions it appears that increased permeability is a constant and early feature of the disease process.” Oh, one other conclusion of this study; “epithelial permeability of the gastrointestinal tract can be evaluated in a site specific manner. What does this mean? There is actually a brand new blood test that can be run to determine whether or not you have Increased Intestinal Permeability / Leaky Gut Syndrome.  

If you want to understand how Leaky Gut Syndrome is intimately related to almost every disease process known to man, visit THIS POST.

To learn more, visit some of my websites:

  • ENDOGUT:  ENDOGUT is my best post for learning about the relationship between the Endocrine (Hormonal) Systems, the Immune System, and Gut Health.
  • DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA: Fibromyalgia is being heavily linked to both AUTOIMMUNITY & LEAKY GUT SYNDROME. Interestingly enough, the anti-inflammatory medications that are most commonly prescribed for Fibromyalgia have been linked to Leaky Gut!  For more information, visit DESTROY FIBROMYALGIA.
  • THYROID EPIDEMIC:  One in ten Americans has a Thyroid Problem.  It has been estimated that over 90% of these problems are Autoimmune (Hashimoto’s or Graves — HERE).  If your doctor does not understand the link between Gut Health, Autoimmunity, Leaky Gut Syndrome, and Thyroid Disease………
  • BRAIN-BASED THERAPY, MISSOURI:  Find out more about the neurological links to numerous Metabolic Diseases.  Visit BBTMO.

Is our medical community truly concerned with gut health?  Are you joking me?  True ‘Gut Health’ is so far removed from the average doctor’s thought process, that most are completely unaware of this entire issue.  They prescribe millions upon millions of acid blockers that cause HYPO-CHLORHYDRIA.  The average child is given multiple prescriptions of antibiotics —– every single year.  This is DESTROYING NORMAL GUT FLORA, and causing overgrowths of inflammation-causing “bad bacteria” —- a process referred to as DYSBIOSIS.  In fact, I am not sure if I could think of a more detrimental combination than lots of antibiotics (kill off your good bacteria and let the bad bacteria begin to get a foot hold) and lots of sugar and starch (this is the food of choice for these bad bacteria).

If you want to understand this issue a little bit better, you need to check out the transcript of the talk I delivered to the Rotary Club last month —– THE NUMBER ONE HEALTH PROBLEM FACING AMERICANS TODAY.  If there is one thing that I can promise you, if you read it, you will be shocked!

There are so many things that you can do to avoid Inflammation, but they almost all come down to you and what you are willing to do to change your life (HERE).  What do you do when the medications no longer work?  And those of you suffering already know that there are no good medications to deal with Leaky Gut Syndrome!  CORTICO-STEROIDS are incredibly powerful, but have an array of side effects that is equally powerful.  NSAIDS are bad for your heart, liver, and kidneys (remember the Vioxx debacle?).  Even low doses of the so-called “safe” anti-inflammatory medications such as Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen are known to multiply your chances of Kidney Failure (see Risk of Kidney Failure Associated With the Use of Acetaminophen, Aspirin, and Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs from the December 1994 issue of NEJM).  It’s time to take responsibility for your health.  I’m sorry, but your doctor is not going to make you healthy.  That is up to you.


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