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Orange County, CA

Leaky Gut Treatment in La Mesa, 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 molecules that the body uses for energy, growth, and maintenance.

The intestines also play an essential part 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 larger, allowing food particles, bacteria, and toxins to go 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 normal immune function. LGS can involve imbalances in gut microbiota.

According to a 2016 article, imbalances in the gut microbiota can activate the body's immune response. This results in 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 physicians to diagnos.

Leaky gut might 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

Experts do not yet know precisely what causes leaky gut syndrome. However, various risk factors can disrupt 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

Because 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 might help people to improve their gut health. This, therefore, may reduce leaky gut symptoms.

The following dietary suggestions might help to improve gut health:

  • consuming more probiotics to boost beneficial gut bacteria
  • eating 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 on a regular basis
  • getting enough 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 Mesa, California, please visit our website at or give us a call at (760) 274-2377.

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