The gastrointestinal barrier controls and permits the absorption of helpful substances into the bloodstream while keeping out those that are harmful. In healthy people, the barrier is tightly regulated, allowing only important nutrients to pass through the gut and protecting the body from harmful substances such as toxins, undigested food and pathogens. Think of it as your internal skin. Since the gut is constantly exposed to food, microbes and chemicals, the GI tract must continuously defend against unwanted substances that, if allowed entry into the body, can cause a vicious cycle of inflammation. The constant exposure to foreign substances can cause the walls of the intestines to become vulnerable to deterioration and permeability, a condition commonly referred to as leaky gut syndrome.
A leaky gut, or intestinal permeability, is the gateway to autoimmunity. When there is a constant influx of toxigenic agents, these tight junctions can degrade, creating entry points for pathogens to pass through the barrier. The cells of the immune system, which include B cells and T cells, recognize these as foreign or “non-self” entities and work to remove them from the body. However, many of these foreign molecules resemble the body’s own proteins and tissues. This causes a cross-reaction in which specific T cells are not able to distinguish between non-self and self molecules.
To restore gut-immune health, it is important to remove inflammatory triggers and then incorporate lifestyle interventions. Poor dietary choices, chronic stress, negative emotions, antibiotics, and use of NSAIDs are some of the most common culprits of poor gut-immune health. To reverse the autoimmune cascade and promote long-term wellbeing, lifestyle and supplementation interventions are a must. Healing the gut and repairing the gut barrier can ultimately lead to improved health and quality of life. A critical part of healing the gut includes managing inflammation. Inflammation is the way the body handles harmful organisms and irritants and protects the body from their harmful effects. Unchecked, long-term inflammation can have a detrimental effect on the body. We have specific protocols to help to bring down inflammation and aid in repairing the damaged mucosal lining of the intestinal tract.
Ask about our GI Repair and Restoration Program.