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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Leaky Gut Disease - What It Is And How You Get It

If you've experienced any of the symptoms of Leaky Gut Disease, then the chances are you spend more time thinking about your gut than you want.

Actually most people don't seem to really want to spend too much time thinking about their gut at all. But did you know that it's responsible for 80% of your immunity? It is the major point of entry for foreign antigens, and the only thing that prevents your entire system from being exposed to those potentially harmful substances is the mucosal barrier of your gut. [Search for Leaky Gut Disease ]

Once this barrier becomes damaged you'll experience what's known as Leaky Gut Disease or Syndrome. Although it's not technically a disease - more a nickname for "increased intestinal permeability" - the effects are still very noticeable. You can experience a huge range of illness and symptoms. This could include fatigue, joint pain, anxiety, poor memory, shortness of breath and recurring infections. It can also range anywhere from skin rashes and acne to constipation, irritable bowel and bloating.

So how do you "get" Leaky Gut? Well, among other things, by living in the modern world. One of the primary factors that can lead to Leaky Gut is a poor diet. When a diet is low in fiber, the transit time of food in the digestive system slows down and that allows the toxic by-products of digestion more time to irritate the gut's protective mucosal lining. When the lining is irritated and damaged, it can't perform its "barrier function" and prevent toxins from entering the blood stream. The highly processed foods of the modern diet are notoriously low in fiber as well as the nutrients the body needs for repairs. What's more, these "modern" foods contain high levels of additives, fats, and sugars (all of which can promote inflammation of the gut) and low levels of necessary nutrients such as zinc.

There are more modern culprits, including medicine. Many of the medicines used today can aggravate the symptoms - even medicines you may take for Leaky Gut itself! NSAIDs are known to contribute to damage of the mucosal lining, and birth control drugs can stimulate the growth of fungi which damages the lining. Some cancer treatments can also disrupt the way our digestive system works.

Other things that are known to be contributing factors include immune overload, parasites, bacteria, chronic stress, gastrointestinal disease and excessive alcohol consumption.

All of this may make you think that you just have to live with your condition: The causes of Leaky Gut Disease probably seem unavoidable. And many people feel they can manage their symptoms enough to "get by."

Unfortunately, what begins as a few small complaints can quickly develop into a worsening condition with symptoms that increase as time goes by. The damage to the gut will worsen with time, and so will the ability of the body to manage seemingly small symptoms. If action isn't taken to reverse the damage then it gets harder and harder for the body to make the enzymes it needs to repair itself.

The good news is that Leaky Gut Disease doesn't have to progress - there are a number of things you can do to make it better, but those would make another article. [Search for Leaky Gut Disease ]

About the Author:

Natalie MacBride thinks life is too short not to feel good about it... and not to just plain feel good yourself. For more information and tips to help you do that, pay her a visit at Leaky Gut Disease and Natural Healing with Food.

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