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The story behind "leaky gut"

As a Naturopath, a common complaint I see in practice is related to digestive health. The digestive system plays a very important role in our overall wellbeing. It is responsible for breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, detoxification, and removing waste.

A condition called "leaky gut" relates to the lining of the small intestine becoming more permeable (leaky). The small intestine is responsible for absorbing nutrients from foods and passing them into the bloodstream to be utilised throughout the body. When the lining is more permeable, particles that don't normally enter the bloodstrea, are potentially abel to get through, causing increased stress on liver function and an immune response, resulting in a range of symptoms often seen in practice.

Signs and symptoms can include:

- Bloating/abdominal distension, abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhoea/constipation, excessive flatulence;

- Food allergies and intolerances;

- Fatigue;

- Poor concentration/memory;

- Headache;

- Mood disorders, irritability, anxiety;

- Skin conditions, acne, dermatitis, eczema;

- Lowered immune function;

- Nutrient deficiencies;

- Poor detoxification process...

Stress, our diet, medications, immune function, infections and ageing are factors that are thought to increase the permeability of the small intestine.

The aim of naturopathic treatment is to heal damage to the intestinal wall, decreasing inflammation of the digestive system, and supplying the body with adequate nutrients for repair. This may be done through herbal medicine, nutritional supplements and diet and lifestyle changes.

*Remember it is always a good idea to see a healthcare professional for an individual treatment tailored specifically to you.

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