Research has shown what doctors see every day in their offices—the most common causes of a leaky gut. According to bestselling author Don Colbert, M.D., the causes he sees most regularly are:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Acid-blocking medications.
- Genetically modified foods.
- Chlorine in drinking water.
- Intestinal infections.
"These substances usually cause the gut wall to begin to leak," writes Colbert in Dr. Colbert's Healthy Gut Zone. "Once that happens, many of the typical foods we eat may make the situation worse. Consuming foods that you are unknowingly sensitive to causes even more inflammation in the gut. As a direct result, the bad bacteria in the gut often increase exponentially, and that reduces the good bacteria. In other words, we can say that many times leaky gut is due to chronic inflammation. If the root cause is not addressed, it is unlikely that your medical conditions can improve."
Because of the leaky gut, inflammation is typically rampant. The body reacts to foods that individuals are not allergic to because the leaky gut leads to increased food sensitivities that lead to inflammation that eventually lead to sickness and disease.
"If you don't heal the gut, all the inflammation and gut-related issues begin to affect your brain negatively," explains Colbert. "For decades we have medicated rather than fix the real issues. It has been the normal procedure in doctors' offices across the country and around the world, but we are finding that every major disease is usually connected back to the gut. And when the gut wall is compromised, the entire body is at risk."
Readers of Dr. Colbert's Healthy Gut Zone will learn that when someone is sick, obese or diagnosed with a disease, his or her gut is usually not healthy. "Only rarely will you find a healthy gut in an unhealthy person. Instead, the gut is a reflection of what's going on in the rest of the body," states Colbert.
"The gut wall is made of cells that have little villi (tiny, fingerlike projections) on one side (the side that touches the food you eat), and on the other side, it has blood vessels that feed directly into your bloodstream," continues Dr. Colbert. "The villi play a vital role in the absorption of amino acids, fatty acids, nutrients and sugars from what you eat. Everything is broken down to minute simple sugars, fatty acids and amino acids before absorption into the body is allowed. Whole proteins from food are naturally blocked until sufficiently broken down.
"But when damage happens in the gut, some of the little villi are flattened or broken off. The disruption of the villi allows the junctions between the gut wall cells to open; whole proteins and other molecules can then pass through, causing inflammation, sickness and then disease.
"Many healthy cells are damaged and eventually destroyed. When this happens, the microvilli are not able to do their job, which prevents your body from absorbing all the nutrients that you need. This may lead to all sorts of problems, such as a weakened immune system, inflammation or nutritional deficiencies."
Don Colbert, M.D., was a board-certified family practice doctor for more than 25 years in Orlando, Florida, and most recently in Dallas, Texas. He is also board certified in antiaging medicine through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and has received extensive training in nutritional and preventative medicine. He is the author of three New York Times bestselling books, including Let Food Be Your Medicine, The Seven Pillars of Health and Dr. Colbert's "I Can Do This" Diet along with bestsellers Toxic Relief, the Bible Cure series, Living in Divine Health and Stress Less. He has sold more than 10 million books and treated more than 50,000 patients in his years of practicing medicine.
Dr. Colbert's Healthy Gut Zone is published by Siloam, an imprint of Charisma House.
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