The Link Between Leaky Gut and Cancer
Do you suffer from seasonal allergies? What about digestive issues or mood swings? Any skin problems or hormonal imbalances? If you deal with any of these health conditions, there is a very good chance you may have leaky gut syndrome.
Gut health is so important when it comes to preventing chronic illness and even deadly diseases like cancer. And yet modern medicine still does not recognize leaky gut as a medical condition, though millions of people suffer from it.
Your gut health is one of the greatest determinants of your overall health. And that’s because nearly 80% of your immune system lives in your gut! Your gut is also where 95% of your serotonin is produced. Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for your mood.
The bottom line is, if your gut is healthy, you’re healthy. If your gut isn’t healthy, you’re not healthy.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Quick biology class recap:
When you eat food, it lands in your stomach where digestive juices help to break the foods down into proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The food then continues to travel into the small and large intestines. Your intestines are semi-permeable because this is how your body eventually absorbs the nutrients you’ve eaten and passes those nutrients into your bloodstream for delivery.
But when a person has leaky gut, the teeny-tiny holes that let the nutrients through become very large. You no longer have a semi-permeable lining but a VERY permeable lining. Now those teeny-tiny holes are big holes that allow bigger, harmful things into your bloodstream like toxins, microbes and undigested food. These pass into your bloodstream, and your immune system sees them as “foreign invaders” and instantly mounts an inflammatory attack. But this inflammation never ends, as your gut lining remains open for weeks, months and even years.
Leaky Gut Linked with Some Cancers
Having a leaky gut may result in an increased risk of developing certain cancers, some studies are now finding. One particular study found that without a specific hormone receptor called guanylyl cyclase C, the intestinal wall can weaken. This receptor has also been identified as a tumor suppressor.
With leaky gut syndrome, toxins have easy access to your bloodstream and then your cells. Once inside your cells, they can cause genetic mutations that researchers now understand may lead to the development of cancerous cells. And sadly, studies are also now revealing that certain traditional cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy, may lead to an increase in gut permeability. What a vicious cycle!
Symptoms of Leaky Gut
Leaky gut has been linked to the following:
- Hormonal imbalances (irregular periods, PCOS)
- Joint pain
- Autoimmune disease such as arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis
- Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue
- Digestive issues (gas, bloating, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS))
- Food allergies or food intolerances
- Brain fog or an inability to focus
- ADD and ADHD
- Seasonal allergies or asthma
If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, I encourage you to get checked out for leaky gut before it develops into a far more serious health issue. You may have to find a functional doctor in your area to test you. He or she will likely use an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay test (ELISA) to test the levels of zonulin in your blood. Zonulin is a biomarker that is fairly accurate in determining how permeable your intestinal lining is. Higher than normal levels of zonulin is an indicator of a leaky gut. Optimal levels of zonulin are 22.3 to 161.1 ng/mL.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
There are four main things that cause leaky gut:
A Poor Diet
Eating processed foods, gluten and other high inflammatory foods cause contribute to the intestinal lining breaking down.Top of Form
So many people are walking around with a Candida overgrowth, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) and parasites!
Medications, BPA, pesticides and more can contribute to the development of leaky gut syndrome.
Chronic stress is a silent killer. First, it causes you to make bad lifestyle choices, like stuffing your face full of processed foods. But stress in and of itself can cause systemic inflammation.
Healing from Leaky Gut
To heal from leaky gut it is highly recommended that you remove all inflammatory foods from your diet such as corn, soy, dairy and gluten. And of course, STOP eating toxic foods laden with high fructose corn syrup, trans fats, and chemicals you can’t pronounce!
Clear up gut infections. I recommend you work with a functional or holistic medicine doctor who can test you for Candida and parasites and treat you for whatever might be lurking in your gut.
And finally, take a reputable L-glutamine supplement that will help your intestinal lining repair and eat prebiotic and probiotic foods to get more good bacteria in your gut.
If you do these things, you can expect dramatic improvements in your health!