What is leaky gut syndrome and the reason behind it?
Leaky gut syndrome is also known by the name of increased intestinal permeability. It refers to a condition that arises as a result of improper functioning of intestinal tight junctions in the small intestines. The tight junctions in the small intestine refer to a protein that lies in between the epithelial cell linings that makes the gut barrier. Over the cells, a layer of mucus is also present. The tight junction allows only selective transport of the nutrients, and electrolytes into the bloodstream. Alongside it acts as a barrier that protects the toxins, microbes and undigested food particles present in the lumen of intestine from entering the bloodstream. Any damage to these tight junctions leads the substances (toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles) to get into the bloodstream. As a result, an inflammatory and an autoimmune activity start in the body precipitated by reaction with these substances, leading to many disease conditions. These activities are started by our own immune system to counter these substances considering them to be as a foreign, harmful matter . Few conditions and medicines may lead to leaky gut is widely accepted, but the evidence to support that leaky gut may lead to a significant disease condition,s is very little.
There is no specific single cause that can damage the gut barrier thus causing leaky gut syndrome. However, there are many conditions that damage the gut barrier. These majorly include intake of NSAIDS/ antibiotics in excess, high alcohol consumption, radiotherapy, type 1 diabetes, infections (viral, fungal and bacterial), celiac disease, stress and food sensitivities. Other factors include a compromised immunity, chemotherapy medicines and overgrowth of yeast/bacteria in the bowel.
What are the symptoms and conditions that may arise from leaky gut syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome majorly leads to gastric symptoms like bloated abdomen, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, constipation, increased flatulence, skin allergies, joint pains, fatigue, migraine and food allergies. Various medical conditions may arise in a person with leaky gut syndrome. Few of them are rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, eczema, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, multiple sclerosis and chronic fatigue syndrome. But whether leaky gut syndrome causes these conditions or just triggers them is still a question to be answered. Apart from above it is also seen that many individuals having autism have leaky gut syndrome. However it is yet very unclear whether leaky gut syndrome is the cause or an effect of autism.
Homeopathic treatment of leaky gut syndrome
There is a great scope of treating leaky gut syndrome in homeopathy. The homeopathic system treats leaky gut syndrome effectively and in a very safe manner with natural medicines without any side effects. Homeopathic medicines aim to prevent further damage arising from the leaky gut as well as managing the symptoms of the leaky gut in an excellent manner. The homeopathic medicine selection for treating leaky gut syndrome entirely depends on the body system affected and the characteristic symptoms arising therefrom in every individual case. Few homeopathic medicines are given below that though not specific for leaky gut but indicated majorly as per the symptoms and the various conditions arising from leaky gut syndrome. The use of these medicines should be done under the consultation of homeopathic physician and self-medication should be avoided.
Homeopathic medicines for leaky gut treatment
1. Colocynthis – Homeopathic medicine for leaky gut syndrome with marked abdominal cramps
Colocynthis is a highly effective homeopathic medicine for treating abdominal cramps in cases of leaky gut syndrome. Slight eating or drinking worsens the abdominal cramps. The cramps may be better by bending double in most cases. In some cases, hard pressure on the abdomen makes the person better. Apart from cramping, this medicine is also helpful for cutting, gripping pains felt in the abdomen.
2. China Officinalis – Homeopathic medicine for leaky gut syndrome with abdominal bloating
China Officinalis is a wonderful homeopathic medicine for abdominal bloating arising in leaky gut syndrome. It is indicated when the whole abdomen is bloated. Rumbling or moving of flatus is felt in the abdomen. Motion tends to relieve the bloating. Along with bloatedness, there is heaviness and sensation of weight in the stomach after eating. There may be belching of bitter taste or tasting like that of food. China is also indicated when taking tea and fruits worsens the complaints.
3. Lycopodium Clavatum – Homeopathic medicine for leaky gut syndrome with increase of gas/flatulence
Lycopodium Clavatum is a significant homeopathic medicine for cases of leaky gut syndrome when increase of gas/flatulence is a marked symptom. Lycopodium is indicated when – flatulence is felt soon after eating even a small quantity of food. Also when there is a sensation of something moving up and down in the abdomen. The flatus remains incarcerated i.e. obstructed most of the times. A bursting pain in the abdomen may arise from flatus. There are few food substances that tend to worsen the condition including cabbage, beans, and farinaceous substances.
4. Nux Vomica – Homeopathic medicine for constipation is leaky gut syndrome
Nux Vomica is a homeopathic medicine for treating constipation in person with leaky gut syndrome. The characteristic symptom for using Nux Vomica is constipation with constant ineffectual urging for stool. The person needing Nux Vomica tends to go for stool several times a day. Every time he passes a small quantity of stool. The urge to stool renews soon after the last evacuation. An uneasy sensation in the rectum always persists. The stool is always insufficient, unsatisfactory and always a never get done feeling is present. Rumbling and gurgling in the abdomen may assist above features.
5. Aloe Socotrina – Homeopathic medicine for leaky gut syndrome with prominent diarrhea
Aloe Socotrina is a major homeopathic medicine for treating diarrhea arising from leaky gut syndrome. For Aloes to be used these symptoms may be present – sudden urging for stool after eating. The stool is thin and undigested in most cases. Before and during stool ,cramping in the abdomen may be present. Sometimes much flatus passes with stool. The flatus tends to be offensive in nature. In few cases, mucus may pass in the stool. Aloe Socotrina is one of the high ranking homeopathic medicines for irritable bowel syndrome with predominating diarrhea.
6. Graphites Naturalis – Homeopathic medicine for skin complaints in leaky gut syndrome
Graphites Naturalis is a helpful homeopathic medicine for treating skin complaints in leaky gut syndrome. It is indicated in both dry eruptions as well as discharging eruptions. The discharge from the eruptions is mostly sticky and glutinous in nature. It is also indicated for dry rash with itching. Rawness in the bends like the elbow, knee, groins, and behind ears are also indicating points to use Graphites Naturalis. The skin complaints like eczema and psoriasis are treated well with homeopathic medicine Graphites Naturalis.
7. Rhus Tox – Homeopathic medicine for joint pains in leaky gut syndrome
Rhus Tox is an important homeopathic medicine for treating joint pains in leaky gut syndrome. Rhus Tox can be very beneficial in cases of rheumatoid arthritis is linked to leaky gut.for Rhus tox to be used any of the body joints may be involved. Person needing Rhus Tox may get relief in joint pains by warm applications. Massage over the affected joint may also relieve. Another characteristic feature for Rhus tox to be used is that there is marked worsening of the joint pains at rest and relief from motion.
8. Belladonna – Homeopathic medicine for headache/migraine in leaky gut syndrome
Belladonna is a valuable homeopathic medicine for headache/migraine in persons with leaky gut syndrome. For Belladonna to be used the nature of a headache is most times throbbing in nature. Congestion and fullness sensation in the head is also noted. There are few worsening factors for headache when Belladonna is indicated. These include noise, cold air exposure, light and jarring. Pressure and tight binding are the major relieving factors for the headache.
9. Kali Phos – Homeopathic medicine for dealing with tiredness in leaky gut syndrome
Kali Phos offers much help in treating tiredness in leaky gut syndrome, hence of great use in chronic fatigue syndrome. The individuals needing Kali Phos feel very weak, tired and prostrated. The prostration may be present on both mental and physical levels. There may be weight loss and emaciation along with the fatigue. Kali Phos is also very helpful in individuals where extreme stress and worries have been linked with leaky gut syndrome. Such persons may also have some sort of depression with sadness and gloominess.
10. Arsenic Album – Homeopathic medicine for Asthmatic condition from leaky gut syndrome
Homeopathic medicine Arsenic Album is a well indicated for persons having asthma in leaky gut syndrome. For Arsenic Album to be used the symptoms are episodes of difficulty in breathing, constriction in air passages, wheezing, and suffocation. A cough attends above features. There may be expectoration – mainly frothy, yellow or green. Mostly expectoration is scanty and thick. The asthmatic attacks mainly are worse after midnight. The asthmatic spells are attended with fear of lying down due to suffocation. With respiratory troubles, a marked anxiety and restlessness may be present in a high degree.
11. Merc Sol – Homeopathic medicine for watery stool with blood and mucus in leaky gut syndrome
Merc Sol is a top-level homeopathic medicine for a watery stool with blood and mucus. Hence its use can be made in ulcerative colitis in persons having leaky gut syndrome. For Merc sol to be used these symptoms may be present- Along with watery stool containing blood and mucus, there is marked tenesmus of the rectum. The person always has a constant urge for stool. The stool is scanty, watery, and may have undigested food particles. While passing stool a cutting colicky pain may be felt in the abdomen. The stool may also smell sour. Weakness may appear after passing stool. A never get done sensation for stool always remain. A marked chilliness may assist the above-said symptoms.