Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut occurs when you have increased permeability or inflammation of the mucosa or lining of the small intestine.
There are a variety of factors that can contribute to leaky gut, including foods (especially gluten), pathogenic microorganisms in the intestinal tract (bacteria, yeast, parasites), and certain medications (i.e. ibuprofen). This increased mucosal permeability can lead to a wide range of inflammatory/autoimmune disorders and digestive symptoms. It is important to realize that you may have a problem caused from a leaky gut without having any significant digestive complaints.
Here at the Care Group, PC we have helped hundreds of patients with many different disorders with our Leaky Gut Protocol.
I’m Dr. Gerard Guillory, President and Founder of The Care Group, PC—an integrative, functional medicine practice in Aurora, Colorado. As a board-certified internal medicine specialist, I have been practicing since 1985.
My introduction to “leaky gut syndrome” was through my study of patients with irritable bowel syndrome (or IBS). I became interested in IBS many years ago, wrote a book about IBS in 1989, and published 3 updated editions since then. The most recent book is titled “IBS: A Doctor’s Plan for Chronic Digestive Troubles.” One of the key points that I have discovered over my years of treating patients with IBS is that “leaky gut syndrome”—a diagnosis I was never taught in medical school—almost always contributes to their symptoms.
I have since created a protocol to heal “leaky gut syndrome.” Its success in patients with IBS prompted me to explore the role of leaky gut in other conditions. What I have found is this: when we use functional medicine approaches to heal a leaky gut, we are able to create dramatic improvements not only in people who have IBS but also in those with allergies, autoimmune conditions, chronic pain, and other forms of chronic disease. I see this repeatedly in my practice, and thousands of studies have now been published in the medical literature that confirm my experience. Before we go any further into leaky gut, let’s take a step back to introduce what I mean by “functional medicine.”
Functional medicine is an approach to medicine that strives to find the root cause of the problem, considers how all of the organ systems interrelate, and uses natural treatments whenever possible.
Functional medicine is different than conventional medicine. I call conventional medicine the “disease-drug” model. In conventional medicine, the diagnosis determines the drug. In functional medicine, while an accurate diagnosis is still important, we aim to uncover why the diagnosis is there. Conventional medicine is the medicine of “what,” whereas functional medicine is the medicine of “why.” In addition, when conventional medicine looks at each organ system separately, functional medicine looks at how all systems work in concert together.