Healing Your Gut Series: What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome And How It May Apply To You!
By Josh Gitalis (bio below)
If you or your child suffers from allergy-driven conditions like eczema, psoriasis, asthma or allergies, you are likely well aware of the difficulty in treating these conditions. The first line therapies consist of various forms of steroids, and they only bring temporary relief. These conditions manifest from the inside out, so it is no wonder that these treatments are ineffective over the long-term.
Eczema, psoriasis and allergies have one important factor in common and it originates in the digestive tract. It has been found that people with these conditions have something called leaky gut syndrome.
Common features that can cause or contribute to leaky gut syndrome are:
- Antibiotic usage
- Formula feeding
- Diets high in refined grains, sugar, and processed foods
- Heavy metals
- Chronic stress
Leaky gut syndrome is when the small intestine has been damaged and thus allows large particles into the blood stream. To understand this better, consider a screen door. The screen is there to let the fresh air in and keep the larger bugs out. If the screen door gets damaged however, the bugs can get into the home undetected. The small intestine works in a very similar way. It is known as a “semi-permeable membrane” meaning that some things are allowed through, like small food particles, vitamins and minerals, while others are kept out, like pathogens and larger food particles.
When the small intestine barrier is compromised, undigested food particles can “sneak” into the blood stream. Our immune system spots these “invaders” and attacks them as if they were a foreign body.
Here’s the kicker: you’ve heard of the phrase “you are what you eat”, right? Well, it’s true; you literally are what you eat and sometimes the food you eat looks like the tissues it makes. Thus, when the immune system goes and attacks the undigested food particles in your blood, it also attacks your own body. This is known as molecular mimicry. Once this process has commenced, an autoimmune process ensues which manifests into conditions like eczema, psoriasis and allergies.
Do you have #eczema? You may have leaky gut too! @eczemacompany @joshgitalis #healingyourgutseries
Dr. Allesio Fassano, one of the world’s leading researchers on leaky gut syndrome, notes in a landmark paper, “The autoimmune process can be arrested if the interplay between genes and environmental triggers is prevented by re-establishing intestinal barrier function.” This is good news for those with eczema, psoriasis, allergies or any other autoimmune disease. It means that once the gut is healed, there is the possibility of realizing complete resolution of symptoms.
As you can see, the digestive tract is a key player in the manifestation of eczema, psoriasis, and allergy symptoms. Optimal digestion must be obtained through diet, therapeutic nutrition, and targeted supplementation to realize complete resolution of symptoms.
Josh Gitalis, Clinical Nutritionist, is a recognized expert in the fields of clinical detoxification and therapeutic supplementation. He runs a Toronto-based, private practice, with a worldwide client base. As a leader in his field, Josh teaches Clinical Nutrition for several natural health colleges and is the first Canadian nutritionist to be accepted into the Institute of Functional Medicine where he is currently pursuing his certification as an Institute of Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner (IFMCP). Josh is a noted expert for various media outlets including CTV News and CityTV. Connect with Josh on Facebook, Twitter or his Website.