Gut Health & The Link To Disease

Written by

Deborah Freudenmann BHSc

Gut health is central to our physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. It is connected to everything that happens in our body and therefore also directly linked to the formation of disease.

Intestinal health or gut health could be defined as the optimal digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. Sounds simple right? However, the optimal functioning of our gastrointestinal system depends on many other factors. For example, the bacteria in your gut are an ecosystem as complex as any rainforest. These bacteria must be in balance for you to be healthy.

So, how does the gut function optimally?

Our gut has what we would call a barrier – it’s job in the intestine is to let important nutrients inside whilst keeping everything else out. This makes our gut a highly selective and controlling barrier – like a security checkpoint. This highly selective barrier is a single layer of specialized cells called enterocytes. These enterocytes have a cell membrane shaped into fingerlike projections called villi with hair like cell membrane extensions called microvilli. This increases the number of enterocytes to line the gut – ultimately increases the surface for absorption of nutrients.
And just past that security checkpoint, is an enormous portion of the body’s immune system – imagine a small army – our immune cells are ready to fight any invaders that try to cross the enterocytes highly secure barrier.

In today’s article we are going to discuss increased intestinal permeability or more commonly known as leaky gut. Increased intestinal permeability means that particles and invaders we want to keep out can easily move past our security checkpoint and enter the system. This happens when either the enterocytes are damaged or the complex structures that hold together these cells – tight junctions have been damaged.

What leaks into the body isn’t big pieces of food, but a diverse range of small substances such as incompletely digested proteins, bacteria, infectious organisms, and waste products. All of these substances activate our immune system on the other side – marking them as foreign invaders, recruiting more immune cells and mounting an attack. When continuous substances leak through the gut barrier our body increases in systemic inflammation and sends the immune system into overdrive. Some substances cause generalized inflammation throughout the body and some stimulate targeted attacks – such as the development of food intolerances. Leaky gut causes the intestinal lining to become inflamed and the microvilli to become damaged or altered. The damaged microvilli then cannot produce the necessary enzymes and secretions that are essential for a healthy digestion and the absorption of nutrients.

Damage to the gut lining followed by the invasion of harmful substances leads to systemic inflammation and acts as a trigger for the development of intestinal and systemic diseases. 

10 Causes of Intestinal Permeability  

 

1. Candidiasis

Candida overgrowth may be a result of a high-sugar diet, imbalanced immune system, stress, or even oral contraceptive use. Candida overgrowth can cause inflammation in the gut wall, leading to leaky gut. Good bacteria found in fermented vegetables and probiotic supplementation can help repair damaged tissue in the digestive tract.

2. Dysbiosis

It is important to rebalance an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut known as dysbiosis with good bacteria. This is vital in re-establishing the intestinal barrier and repair of the mucosal lining. Good bacteria and microbes in your gut can help to promote resistance to the colonization of harmful or pathogenic species. Taking a quality probiotic supplement and/or adding fermented foods into the diet is beneficial.

3. Alcohol

Long-term alcohol consumption can result in intestinal mucosal damage, inflammation, dysbiosis and exacerbate leaky gut. During alcohol metabolism a byproduct is produced which increases the formation of harmful pro-inflammatory metabolites which impact tight junction integrity. Limiting or avoiding alcohol is advised. 

4. Stress

The gut brain axis is a two directional relationship that allows the brain to communicate with our gastrointestinal system – coordinating our mental and physical wellbeing. It has been well researched that both physical and emotional stress (increased cortisol levels) can induce intestinal permeability. Furthermore, traumatic incidences have been proven to instantly alter the gut microbiota. Regulating our stress response is important in gut health management and repair!

5. Food allergies and food sensitivities

With intestinal permeability there is an influx of foreign particles into the bloodstream which throws the immune system into overdrive. Resulting in the production of various antibodies, which make the body more susceptible to antigens in certain foods – in particular gluten and dairy. It is important to avoid all foods that cause a reaction within the system to reduce inflammation, degradation of the gastrointestinal membrane lining and subsequent intestinal permeability.

6. Poor diet

Avoid refined carbohydrates, margarine and trans fats, cakes, sweets, pre-packaged, prepared and processed food. Avoiding processed meats such as salami, hot dogs, packaged sauces and artificial sweeteners.
Try to include foods high in B-vitamins and minerals such as almonds, beans, whole grains (if no allergy), dark leafy greens (spinach and kale), and sea vegetables.
Eat antioxidant-rich foods, including fruits (blueberries, cherries, and tomatoes) and vegetables (squash and bell peppers).
Consume fresh garlic and turmeric in the diet as they are both anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.
Eat more lean meats, cold-water fish, fermented tofu (soy, if no allergy), or beans for protein.
Use healthy cooking oils, such as olive oil or coconut oil. Healthy fats from avocado, omega 3 fatty acids from fish such as salmon.
Bone broth is very healing for the gut as it contains collagen and amino acids to help repair damaged cells.

7. Celiac disease

Gluten directly impacts the intestinal integrity through the release of zonulin – a protein that contributes to intestinal permeability. Additionally, gluten contributes to the formation of antibodies – which can cause the secretion of inflammatory mediators which result in tissue damage. 

8. Parasites

When parasites are present within the gastrointestinal system, there is a large competition for nutrients and therefore often a nutritional deficiency. Parasitic infections degrade the protective lining of the gut and contribute to the development of GIT disorders and inflammation.

9. Pharmaceutical drugs

Many pharmaceutical drugs impact our gut health (including the birth control pill), however for example; antibiotics result in an impairment of the gut microbiome as well as cause harmful effects on the intestinal epithelial cells and increase risk of antibiotic-resistant microorganisms.

10. Toxins

Our environment is full of toxins – from our air, food and the daily products we use. All of these toxins need to be removed from our system via Phase 1 and 2 detox pathways. If our detoxification pathways are not functioning optimally the build-up of waste causes inflammation and oxidative stress within the body. Further impacting our gastrointestinal system and progression of intestinal permeability.

  • Become A TRULY HEAL Functional Medicine Health Coach

    Start an exciting career as a functional medicine health coach and help your clients live a healthier and more fulfilled life.

  • The FREE Functional Medicine Training will give you insights into the workings of a TRULYHEAL Health Coach. You will learn that treating the patient and not the disease makes the real difference.

  • Learn how to save thousands of $$ for treatments you can easily do at home. 

  • Watch “TRULY HEAL from CANCER” now completely Free! You have also access to the original version “CANCER is curable NOW”

  • Learn more about PEMF Therapy at the PEMF Expert academy

  • At the O3 academy we will show you how to set up a little home clinic to treat many different maladies like open wounds, infections, cancer or even leaky gut. 

  • At the HYPERTHERMIA academy you can learn how every German clinic uses fever therapy once a week to boost the immune system, increase white blood cell count and detoxifies the body like little else. 

  • Providing You Truly Unique & Effective Vitamin Supplements

  • Leave your comments for! "Gut Health & The Link To Disease"

    2 Responses

    1. Hello Deborah Freudenmann,
      Thank you for such a great video. Very informative. I never had such a clear and synthetized information about leaky gut, autoimune deseases, etc. I´m trying to understand the link between your video and Healing at Home channel. Will we have later a solution to recover the enterocytes from Healing at Home?

      1. Hello Joao, thank you for the comment! It is wonderful to hear that you enjoyed the video and found it informative. With this video there is no specific connection between the Healing at Home channel. However, in terms of recovering the enterocytes yourself this is indeed possible! The buildup of the video was to showcase that leaky gut or intestinal permeability has many causes. Yes, we can supplement with glutamine and N-acetyl glucosamine which improve and repair our intestinal mucosal barrier and tight junction integrity, probiotics to re-establish the micro-biome, curcumin and omega-3 fatty acids to reduce inflammation…just as an example of the most standard approach. However, without establishing and removing the causes for leaky gut – the supplements may help but the issue will continue to progress. I might make another video in future with some more tips on repairing and recovering the enterocytes so stay tuned. Otherwise we offer online consultations and education through our functional medicine health coaching course.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    Related Articles

    Education

    The Gut-Body Connection

    When you think of the “gut” what comes to mind? Most people think of the stomach and other digestive organs. They may think of issues like nausea, constipation, or bloating. Some may even think of “gut instinct” or a “gut reaction.”
    In reality, the gut is so much more than just where you digest your food. The gut is home to your microbiome (the vast ecosystem of microbiotas that help you digest, defend, and protect) and your enteric nervous system (an interconnected neural web that connects your gut to the central nervous system).
    Let’s learn more about the humble gut and see how it interacts with a few key body systems.

    Read More »
    Education

    4 Holistic Treatments We Recommend to Overcome Illness

    Truly Heal has always had a mission to help others make real change and transformation in their lives. We know how debilitating chronic disease can be, which is why we have spent years traveling the world, searching and testing the world's best therapies, medical systems, and holistic treatments that get to the root of illness.
    Thankfully, our travels have led us to discover some amazing therapies that offer real results. We studied with doctors, visited clinics, and learned from specialists about the vast variety of therapies.

    Read More »
    Education

    A Functional Look At Parasitic Infections

    Parasitic infections are very common across all countries in the world. Amoebiasis, hookworm infection, ascariasis, and trichuriasis are among the most common parasitic infections affecting humans. Though the risk of mortality due to these infections is relatively low, complications are not uncommon. Malabsorption, impaired work productivity, bloating and gut dysfunction, blood loss, and reduced growth rate are just a few of the health concerns linked to parasitic infections….

    Read More »
    Education

    Healthy Hydration: The Importance of Water

    With over 60% of our body made up of water, staying hydrated with clean, fresh H20 is a high priority! Still, many people don’t drink the recommended amount of water (or have a healthy source of water) each day. Unfortunately, many water sources contain hidden toxins that can be detrimental to our health. Here we’ll dive deeper into the importance of water, key factors to consider, and how we can make smarter choices when it comes to staying healthy and hydrated.

    Read More »
    Education

    Red And Near-Infrared Light – A Must Have Therapy

    Do you suffer from hair loss? Accelerated ageing? Weight loss issues? Neurological diseases? Depression and/or anxiety? Autoimmune diseases? Delayed healing? Reduced joint function or pain? Lack of energy? Thyroid issues? Poor sleep? Among others?
    Chances are you have one or more of the conditions listed in this article. In fact, I can almost guarantee it.
    This article is about a powerful therapy that beneficially impacts all of the above, known as red and near infrared light therapy….

    Read More »
    Education

    Sunshine, Sunscreen, and Skin Health: What You Need to Know

    Sadly, sunscreen may not be the healthy solution to sun exposure we thought it was. While it can protect you from damaging rays, many sunscreen brands contain toxins that pose plenty of other health risks, often outweighing the benefits.

    In this article, we’ll review the basics of skin health and sunshine to expose some of the unhealthy toxins that you might find in your sunscreen – and their damaging effects. Then, we’ll learn about some healthy alternatives so you can enjoy your time in the sun while keeping your skin safe!

    Read More »

    UNLOCK ALL HIDDEN content

    Trulyheal Course DVD

    Create your FREE account now to access all locked content and receive our weekly newsletter

    You will get instant access to the documentary “TRULY HEAL from CANCER” and our Functional Medicine Training Videos

    You can unsubscribe at any time.

    By signing up to the TRULY HEAL academy you confirm to have read and accepted the disclaimer

    Already have an Account?

    Sign in with Social Media

    Register your FREE account

    • Type your password.

    contact us

    Contact us with your preferred method. Calls are redirected to Qld Australia.  
    If we are not answering leave a message so we can call you back.

    TRULY HEAL Pty. Ltd.

    Sunshine Coast Noosaville Qld 4566 Australia

    INTERNET:  www.trulyheal.com       
    EMAIL:   contact@trulyheal.com 
       
    TOOL FREE CALL

    Australia   1 800 719 673
    USA & Canada    1 800 810 4796
     
    Calls are redirected to Australia. Please leave a message so we can call you back.   

    SKYPE:  deborah-freudenmann
    WHATSAPP    +61 499651419
     

    ABN:   32 621 367 557
    ACN:   621 367 557