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Orange County, CA

Leaky gut Treatment in La Jolla, CA

A picture of Dr. Mark Stengler

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

The gastrointestinal (GI) tract is a tube of connected organs that runs from the mouth to the rectum. The organs of the GI tract include:

  • the esophagus
  • the stomach
  • the small and large intestines

Digestive enzymes in the stomach and small intestine break down nutrients in food and drink into smaller particles that the body uses for energy, growth, and maintenance.

The intestines also play a vital role in protecting the body from harmful bacteria and toxins.

Tight openings in the intestinal walls allow water and nutrients to enter into the bloodstream while keeping harmful substances inside. In LGS, these openings become wider, allowing food particles, bacteria, and toxins to enter directly into the bloodstream.

The intestines are also home to a wide variety of bacteria called gut microbiota. These bacteria help digestion, protect the intestinal wall and support regular immune function. LGS may include imbalances in gut microbiota.

According to a 2016 article, imbalances in the gut microbiota can activate the body's immune response. This leads to gut inflammation and increased intestinal permeability (IP). IP describes how easily substances can leak out of the intestines and into the bloodstream.


Leaky gut shares a lot of its symptoms with other health problems. This can make the disorder difficult for doctors to diagnose.

Leaky gut may cause or contribute to the following symptoms:

  • chronic diarrhea, constipation, or bloating
  • nutritional deficiencies
  • fatigue
  • headaches
  • confusion
  • difficulty concentrating
  • skin problems, such as acne, rashes, or eczema
  • joint pain
  • widespread inflammation

Causes and Risk Factors

Professionals do not yet know exactly what causes leaky gut syndrome. However, several risk factors can interfere with the gut microbiota and contribute to increased IP. Examples include:

  • bad nutrition
  • alcohol consumption
  • infections
  • autoimmune disorders, such as lupus
  • diabetes
  • stress

Treatment and Improving Gut Health

Since a lot of doctors do not consider leaky gut to be a legitimate medical condition, there is no standard treatment.

Nevertheless, certain dietary and lifestyle adjustments may help individuals to improve their gut health. This, in turn, may reduce leaky gut symptoms.

The following dietary suggestions might help to improve gut health:

  • eating more probiotics to increase beneficial gut bacteria
  • consuming foods abundant in prebiotic fiber, such as vegetables and whole grains
  • consuming less meat, dairy, and eggs
  • avoiding added sugar and artificial sweeteners

The following lifestyle changes can improve digestion and support a healthy gut:

  • exercising regularly
  • getting plenty of sleep every night
  • reducing stress
  • avoiding unnecessary use of antibiotics
  • quitting smoking

For further information about Dr. Stengler’s practice and his clinic in La Jolla, California, please visit our website at or give us a call at (760) 274-2377

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