Ancient healers have long acknowledged that the health of the digestive tract dramatically affects whole-body health. If you study ancient healing systems like Asian medicine (Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic, South American herbalism (e.g., Amazon), European and North American Naturopathic medicine, and the majority of natural healing systems throughout the world, you will see that they acknowledge the important link between digestive health as a core for creating whole-body health. The gut-body link belongs to the larger holistic idea that health and healing are usually prioritized from the inside to the outside of the body. And obviously, the core of your body is the digestive tract!
For many decades holistic and integrative doctors have acknowledged that their clinical experience correlates with the published scientific research on the problem of intestinal permeability, also called "leaky gut" or "' leaky gut syndrome. "These terms refer to an unhealthy or damaged small intestine lining where molecules that are typically excluded from being absorbed can enter the intestinal wall and possibly into the bloodstream. When the small intestine lining becomes damaged or unhealthy, increased permeability can allow the passage of proteins, toxins, and bacteria into the intestinal tissue and blood and lymphatic circulation. This can result in a local intestinal and systemic immune and inflammatory response. A healthy intestine allows the absorption of nutrients and fluids while stopping harmful substances such as bacteria from entering.
Up until recently, a lot of traditional medicine disputed the ancient concept of gut health imbalance and the correlation with digestive and non-digestive illness. As modern scientific research has shown, ancient healers and today's integrative doctors were correct on this matter. The same medical groups that dismissed this concept until recently. For example, Harvard Health Publishing recently published an article recognizing the validity of leaky gut and noted that the majority of doctors would not recognize the term. Additionally, an article in the mainstream medical journal Frontiers in Immunology states, "Disturbance of the epithelial barrier increases intestinal permeability, leading to leaky gut syndrome (LGS)."
Now medical researchers and gastroenterologists at the forefront of gut permeability research have done a total turnaround and recognize the medical reality of "leaky gut." Many experts agree that this problem appears in conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease (e.g., Crohn's disease), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), celiac disease, and damaging effects from nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). However, research also shows that leaky gut increases in various diseases such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cancer, and cardiovascular diseases. Furthermore, recent research has shown that leaky gut is a common occurrence with aging. Furthermore, integrative physicians like myself have found that leaky gut can occur in a less extreme disease state.
Dysbiosis goes hand in hand with a leaky gut. Dysbiosis describes an imbalance of the gut microbiota where there are decreased helpful microbes and an increase of pathogenic microorganisms. It results from the processed American diet, drugs like antibiotics and acid reflux medications, and high-stress levels. Modern medicine acknowledges dysbiosis but does little to address this considerable health problem associated with a leaky gut.
Unfortunately, the typical physician is not familiar with the all-too-common issue of leaky gut. Therefore, the source of your health problems will not be addressed. The good news is that I handle this vital topic frequently and have an upcoming book that comprehensively addresses this subject. I will let you know when it is available.