Saturday, February 19, 2011
The small bowl is where all nutrients are absorbed into the body. Under
normal circumstances, the lining of the small bowel is almost leak
proof and only allows fully digested food molecules to pass through
into the blood stream. Unfortunately, this lining is only one cell
layer thick and it is often susceptible to inflammation when digestion
processes are not working properly. With inflammation in the small
bowel, it can create gaps between the intestinal cells that allow large
molecules to pass through into the bloodstream. When large molecules,
such as undigested proteins “leak” across the intestinal lining it
causes the immune system to react to these “foreign” molecules. This
process is often called “leaky gut syndrome” or increased intestinal
permeability. Leaky gut syndrome results in a great deal of stress upon
the immune system, the liver, the brain and virtually every system of
People with leaky gut often experience symptoms of
fatigue, frequent colds and flu, irritability, hyperactivity,
headaches, muscle or joint pain, joint stiffness, poor concentration,
food hypersensitivities, skin rashes or eczema and environmental
intolerances. Patients repeatedly comment on how good they are when
they restore health and decreases inflammation in their gut. It is
amazing how much more energy they feel when their immune system is not
busy reacting to their meals and snacks.
inflammation causes the body to release cortisol, a natural
anti-inflammatory hormone. Cortisol is also the hormone released during
chronic stress. Unfortunately, the chronic release of this hormone has
some negative consequences including weight gain around the waist,
elevated blood pressure, insulin resistance, and fatigue. Intestinal
inflammation affects not only the intestines but the entire body.
Naturopathic treatments to improve small bowel health:
L-glutamine is the most abundant amino acid in the body and is often
used for gastrointestinal support and repair. Glutamine enhances the
mass and strength of the intestine’s protective mucosal lining.
: helps restore proper gut function, promotes regularity.
• Anti-inflammatory herbs
• Avoiding processed foods
to reduce inflammation.
Naturopath Dr. Lee specializes in gastrointestinal health. For more
information, please visit www.seattlenaturopathiccenter.com or email