Alvin H. Danenberg, DDS March 3, 2016 [printfriendly]
You may not know if you have this problem. It’s not necessary for you to have obvious gut distress to confirm you have a leaky gut. You don’t have to have bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. In fact, most people with leaky gut do not have belly problems, but they have other problems in other parts of their body.
Sometimes, a leaky gut could result in thyroid disease, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, insulin resistance, neurological conditions, and various autoimmune diseases.
Interestingly, some mouth problems could be the result of a leaky gut. It is curious how this could occur.
Specific foods like processed grains and sugars (as well as other foods) could cause a change in the balance of bacteria in your gut. An overgrowth of bad bacteria in the gut could cause inflammation and damage to the gut lining. This lining is only one cell layer thick, and damage could easily cause small holes to develop. Once this happens, toxic substances could leak into the bloodstream, which would cause various inflammatory reactions. Once in the bloodstream, inflammation could damage tissues in all areas of the body.
The processed carbohydrates that damaged the gut are also the food for the bad bacteria that are now overgrowing in the mouth. The bad bacteria in the mouth continue to grow uncontrolled. Bad bacteria in the mouth could cause gum disease and tooth decay. Also, sores in the soft tissues of the mouth could pop up. As more problematic food is eaten, more damage occurs in the gut, and more bad bacteria proliferate in the mouth. The vicious cycle continues.
So, do you have holes in your gut?
While there is a blood test provided by Cyrex Labs (Array 2) that could help determine if you have a leaky gut, that would not be my first suggestion. The simplest solution would be first to remove all the offending foods that could be the source of damage.
An elimination diet is one that removes all the potentially harmful foods. Here is my 30-Day Reset diet, which is an elimination diet that lists all the bad foods to remove as well as those foods that are perfect to eat. I recommend this first step to my patients who need more in-depth exploration of the cause to their problem. At a later date, other functional medicine testing (including the Cyrex Array 2) could be prescribed if necessary.