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What is Intestinal Hyperpermeability?

What is Intestinal Hyperpermeability (aka “Leaky Gut”)?

Increased intestinal permeability happens when the intestinal lining starts to pull apart and become more permeable to substances.

So now food, toxins & bacteria start to leak out into the bloodstream from the gut.

These particles are exposed to the immune system, which then starts attacking these “foreign molecules” (food that hasn’t been properly digested).

What causes it?

There can be many causes, and typically there are multiple causes that will lead to this increased permeability.

Some of these include:

  • Excessive alcohol intake

  • Certain medications

    • Ex; NSAIDs, anti-bacterial mediations

  • Proton pump inhibitors

    • Ex; Dexilant, Nexium

  • Chronic stress

  • Diet

    • Lack of fiber, too much sugar & refined carbohydrates

    • Food sensitivities

  • Infections

What are the symptoms?

There are multiple symptoms that could be associated with intestinal hyperpermeability. Some people have multiple symptoms while others experience only one or two.

Some of these include:

  • Skin conditions (eczema, acne, hives)

  • Chronic pain

  • Brain fog

  • Headaches

  • Fatigue

  • Food sensitivities

  • Weight gain

  • Digestive complaints (diarrhea, bloating, etc…)

What’s our treatment approach?

The 4 R’s of gut restoration

1. Remove

  • The first step is to remove all irritants that lead to any gut inflammation in the first place. Everyone has different triggers so you will have to do some work to figure out those triggers.

  • Some common ones include alcohol, fried foods & food additives.

2. Replace

  • Once all triggers are removed, it’s time to replace them with anti-inflammatory and gut-loving food that will begin the gut healing process.

  • Some of these foods include sprouts, bone broth, fermented vegetables, omega 3 fatty acids etc.…

3. Repair

  • To repair the gut, we use specific and individualized herbs and supplements that aid in healing the gut lining.

4. Rebalance

  • The last step is to rebalance your healthy gut microflora with some good bacteria.

Dr. Samantha Allen, ND



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