Unexplained food intolerances, allergies, constipation, wind and bloating could end up being one’s constant companion if proactive steps aren’t sought to find out what’s going on? If these are common… “Leaky Gut Syndrome” is its more familiar name.
The digestive tract is an elaborate system that involves organs from the mouth to the anus. One of the system’s components, the small intestine, performs an essential barrier function in keeping the body free from allergy.
The intestine’s membrane acts as a wall separating undigested food and the bloodstream; this function allows the digestive tract organs to properly break down food into smaller, usable molecules, which then are sent through the bloodstream to nourish the body’s tissues.
Some amount of wall permeability is common. In people with a normal, intact gut, up to 20 per cent of undigested protein can pass through the mucous membranes.
But when there is an inflammation in the gastro- intestinal mucosa, the intestinal wall becomes excessively permeable -a condition called leaky gut syndrome. If bits of food have not been properly broken down due to imbalances in the digestive tract, food molecules (macro-molecules), which are usually too large to pass through the intestinal barrier, slip through the gaps in the gut wall and enter the bloodstream.
When this happens, the immune system treats these foreign substances as antigens, setting off an allergic response in which antibodies are secreted in the bloodstream to couple with and immobilise the macromolecules.