Leaky gut syndrome is a condition in which small intestine becomes irritated and inflamed, causing undigested microbes, gluten, and toxins to leak into the bloodstream. Although not currently recognized by most Western medical doctors, the ailment is receiving increasing attention from naturopaths and practitioners of holistic and complementary medicine. Physicians believe ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications could be potential triggers of intestinal irritation, and alcohol consumption is often cited as a possible cause of the syndrome too. Some medical conditions have been noted as probable risk factors for leaky gut syndrome, and chemotherapy and radiation treatments are also believed to increase a patient’s risk of the ailment. There are no specific tests that can diagnose this syndrome, and doctors may rely on findings from a physical examination and blood tests. If leaky gut syndrome is suspected, the patient could be advised to try probiotic supplements, and a low-sugar, low-FODMAP, or gluten-free diet may be recommended.
The symptoms described below are some of those patients with leaky gut syndrome could experience.
Chronic Diarrhea Or Constipation
Leaky gut syndrome patients may notice they have chronic diarrhea or constipation. These symptoms can cause significant pain, and they might cause malnutrition and changes in weight. They can also disrupt daily activities, and affected individuals may need to stay home from work or school if symptoms become severe. Since both chronic diarrhea and chronic constipation can have a variety of minor and more serious causes, it is especially important for patients experiencing either of these to see a gastroenterologist for a formal evaluation. The gastroenterologist will ask about the duration and nature of the patient’s symptoms, what remedies the patient has tried, and if anything has led to an improvement. After taking the patient’s health history, the doctor will examine the patient’s abdomen. They will check for any masses or areas of pain, and it may also be necessary to order imaging studies. Patients may be advised to make changes to the amount of fiber in their diets, and medications can be prescribed to reduce the frequency of both diarrhea and constipation. If constipation is severe, affected individuals may need enemas or surgery to remove impacted feces.
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