Food Sensitivity and Leaky Gut

Information on your gut

The father of modern medicine Hippocrates said “ All disease begins in the Gut ” and research is now proving he was absolutely right.

‘’How did I develop food sensitivities?’’ is one of the questions I get asked often in clinic from clients. It can often seem difficult to comprehend that the foods we’ve been eating on a regular or daily basis could be triggering and exacerbating inflammation and immune response in our bodies.

Many clients will say something along the lines of ‘’ I’ve had milk/wheat/potatoes etc. every day of my life, how is it that I’m only showing symptoms in the last few years? ‘’ The answer is that an increasing proportion of the population have developed a condition known as ‘increased intestinal permeability’ or as it’s more commonly known ‘leaky gut’.

Leaky gut is a term which describes a breakdown of the lining of the digestive tract. Epithelial cells are cells that line your intestines and act as a barrier between what’s passing through your digestive tract and your bloodstream. In a fully healthy person epithelial cells should be tightly packed to each other with what are known as ‘tight junctions’ between them.

These epithelial cells work to absorb the small micronutrients from digested food that is needed to fuel the body. The tight junctions form a defensive barrier to prevent absorption of larger molecules/proteins and harmful substances into the bloodstream. The body has developed this very clever system to protect us from exposure to different threats and ensure proper absorption of nutrients.

Leaky Gut

The integrity of our gut lining is being increasingly challenged in the modern world by a range of stressors that damage our GI epithelial cells and tight junctions and increase the ‘leakiness’’ of our gut. These stressors include pain killers, antibiotics, poor diet, prolonged stress, nutritional deficiency and yeast and bacterial overgrowth. When these tight junctions between the cells break down, the gaps become larger and permeable to large undigested food compounds, toxins, bacteria, yeasts and other potential infections.

When these undigested proteins and toxins pass through the gut and into the bloodstream, it significantly increases the burden of detoxification on the liver. It reaches a point where the liver can no longer cope, so the undigested proteins, pathogens and toxins begin to accumulate in your body.

The immune system reacts to this and launches an antibody-mediated attack against them resulting in food sensitivity when those foods are eaten. This immune response increases inflammation in the body and exacerbates pre-existing inflammatory conditions.

Each of us are unique so different people can have different sensitivites and here at Freedom Spinal Health, we work with you to determine which foods are a challenge for your body and design a targeted and personalised nutrition and lifestyle intervention to reduce the burden of toxicity on your body and restore the integrity of your digestive tract.



Recommended reading:

  • Grain Brain by Dr. David Perlmutter
  • Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis
  • The Autoimmune Solution by Dr. Amy Myers