Probiotics For Leaky Gut Syndrome
Probiotics are beneficial for gut health. They help balance out the gut bacteria, reduce inflammation, and decrease an overactive immune response. Research shows that taking probiotics can decrease intestinal permeability or leaky gut. Probiotics can also reduce the symptoms associate with leaky gut, but what exactly is leaky gut?
What is leaky gut?
Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability, is getting a lot of attention lately. However, don’t be surprised if your doctor does not recognize this term. This condition is somewhat new and there’s only limited data about it.
A leaky gut syndrome is a condition where the gut barrier and intestinal wall become damaged and permeable. Undigested food particles, chemical additives, and bacteria can get into the bloodstream via small leaks in the intestinal wall. These unwelcome foreign particles trigger immune responses that cause a wide range of symptoms including foods allergies and sensitivities, digestive problems, and joint pain.
The gut linings have a single layer of cells called gut barrier. The gut barrier separates what's in the gut from the bloodstream. It is held together by a tight junction that controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream. It acts as a gatekeeper that prevents harmful substances and bacteria from getting inside. When the gut is unhealthy, cracks or holes may form. This allows unwanted substances to penetrate and trigger inflammation and dysbiosis and could lead to digestive problems and many more.
Probiotics in the gut play a central role in maintaining a healthy gut. However, factors like medication, stress, chemicals, allergens can disrupt the healthy balance, resulting in a leaky gut. Inflammation breaks open the tight junction. Once unwanted particles get through, the body’s immune system detects them as unwanted and triggers an immune response. Leaky gut could lead to a variety of conditions like IBS, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease. Leaky gut could also lead to other diseases and disorders like asthma, allergies, lupus, obesity, diabetes, and arthritis.
What causes a leaky gut?
Leaky gut has no single cause, but many factors can increase the risk of it, such as:
Stress can negatively affect the gut composition. This reduces the diversity and quantity of the bacteria. Changes in the gut composition increase inflammation and reduce the function of the gut barrier. This could eventually lead to the leaky gut syndrome.
- Poor diet and lifestyle
Poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle can cause imbalances in the gut flora. Processed foods, sugar, low fiber, and excessive alcohol consumption are all linked to leaky gut syndrome. These foods can even kill the good bacteria in the gut.
- Antibiotic therapy
Medications like antibiotics and NSAIDs can negatively affect the gut. While it’s effective in killing harmful bacteria, it also kills the beneficial ones, causing dysbiosis. When there is dysbiosis, harmful bacteria take over, activating the immune response. As a result, inflammation occurs, which breaks open the gut barrier.
Dysbiosis or gut imbalances create a perfect environment for harmful bacteria to flourish. Stomach pain, gas, bloating may happen. Dysbiosis triggers the body’s immune response to overreact resulting in inflammation. Inflammation weakens the gut barrier, resulting in a leaky gut syndrome.