What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky gut is a term for gut damage that many North Americans unknowingly have. Processed foods, grains, alcohol, antibiotics, and medication can contribute to the formation of a leaky gut. It occurs when the connections holding the cells together in your intestines (called tight junctions) start to produce more Zonulin and allow gaps between the cells (Simplified Science Behind Gluten). When tight junctions stop holding the cells in your gut together closely, foods you ingest can make their way into your bloodstream. When/if this happens, your body responds with inflammation to fight these foreign food invaders. Your body thinks there’s a bacterial invader or some sort of pathogen because food isn’t supposed to be in blood in large particles. Your body coats these food particles with antibodies in an attempt to protect you from the potential pathogen. This is called a type 3 hypersensitivity reactions (Type III and IV Hypersensitivity Reactions). If this happens frequently and your body doesn’t have time to get rid of the immune complexes, they can start to build up in tissues. This can turn into autoimmunity. Cutting out the foods that cause a leaky gut can usually help heal the gut and eventually reduce sensitivity.

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