What is leaky gut?
Our digestive system is incredibly clever. The lining of the intestinal walls helps ensure the efficient transfer of important nutrients into our system, while simultaneously blocking the entry of harmful substances (toxins and bad bacteria) – but only if our gut health is in good shape.
However, if our gut is not in good health, such as when there is an imbalance between good and bad bacteria dysbiosis inflammation occurs in the lining of the intestinal walls and they become permeable, which means our gut barrier ‘leaks’, and the harmful substances can get in. When this happens, our immune system goes into overdrive, and things go from bad to worse.
If left unhealed, this can lead to autoimmune disease conditions and other health issues such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), eczema, psoriasis, depression, anxiety, fatigue, brain fog, mood changes, headaches, muscle pain and diabetes.
What causes leaky gut?
Scientists believe that our gut microflora have a very important role in maintaining the integrity of the gut barrier. Good bacteria help prevent the bad bacteria from ‘taking over’ by competing for nutrients, occupying key attachment sites in the wall lining and by releasing antibacterial substances that only affect bad bacteria.
In addition, a healthy gut balance ensures delivery of nutrients and energy to the cells in the intestinal wall.
So maintaining good gut health, which means ensuring the right balance of good and bad bacteria in the digestive system will help prevent leaky gut and avoid some very serious health problems.
You can learn more about maintaining gut health and avoiding dysbiosis here.