In the gut there is an epithelial lining (epithelial means a layer of cells that line the surface of your body, organs, skin or blood vessels) that is combined with a mucosal layer on the inside of the gut. This gut lining covers the villi (small finger-like extensions that allow us to absorb nutrients). In a person who has Celiac, they can diagnose it by taking a picture of the gut lining to see if those villi are blunted or damaged. Gluten and other foods we may be sensitive to, can cause damage to the lining and the Villi and/or the mucous layer covering the digestive tract. When these barriers are damaged and inflamed, proteins and other foreign invaders can sneak through the gut lining into the blood. If the proteins we are trying to digest get through before they are properly digested, they are unrecognizable to the body. So even a harmless protein, when not properly broken down, might be seen as a foreign invader that should be attacked. Autoimmune disorders happen when the body begins attacking itself, so there is a lot of research being done trying to understand the benefits of probiotics to help tighten the junctions in the gut and help alter the course of an autoimmune disorder.
Other things can slip through the lining as well, like bacteria and viruses, which the body also needs to attack and removal. Inflammation happens when the body senses a threat. If allergens are present in the blood, for example, histamine might be released and that will carry more blood to the area to let your body begin the healing process, and the excess blood causes inflammation.
Inflammation is part of the healing process. But prolonged continuous inflammation in the gut makes the lining less stable. Imagine a line of balloons that represent your gut lining. If they are deflated, you can easily hold them tightly together, but as they inflate there is less surface area touching on those balloons, making it more likely that a substance might be able to pass through them.
Some of the symptoms of leaky gut include constipation and diarrhea, prolonged inflammation, cramping, foggy brain, mood issues like anxiety and depression, fatigue, bloating and loss of appetite, achy joints, skin rashes, blemishes, food sensitivities, and hormonal imbalances.
The good news is that this is not normal and this does not have to be your life. You can heal your gut, and improve your life with a combination of a proper elimination diet, and the five steps of healing. These steps include removing bad bacteria that can cause dysbiosis, replacing the good guys, re-establishing a healthy environment, repairing the damage to the gut lining, and maintaining those steps by rebalancing and resetting the body. If you need a guide, and a supportive community to help you heal, please schedule a call with Dr. Meyer’s Trust Your Gut course team at; https://calendly.com/drshelleymeyer/5r-exploration-call/
We would love to help you on your healing journey!