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Conditions - Gastrointestinal - Leaky gut syndrome

Patrick Massey M.D. PhD, ALT-MED Medical and Physical Therapy, Elk Grove Village, IL and serving the Chicago area
The diagnosis of leaky gut syndrome is controversial.  If you were to take 10 physicians and ask them if leaky gut thinking syndrome is real, probably they would all say it is not.  However, leaky gut syndrome is described in my medical textbook (1985) and the earliest American medical research on this topic dates back to 1929…not that controversial. 
There are hundreds of research articles in the traditional medical literature connecting leaky gut syndrome and many diseases including heart disease, autoimmune disease, irritable bowel disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. When the leaky gut syndrome is properly treated, symptoms associated with chronic fatigue, irritable bowel and autoimmune disease improved dramatically.
Leaky gut syndrome occurs when the tight cell to cell junctions in the intestine wall breakdown.  This allows toxins and other compounds to seep into the body resulting in leaky gut syndrome.  Leaky gut syndrome often occurs in conjunction with pathogenic bacteria and yeast overgrowth, accelerating toxin accumulation in the body. 
Contributors to leaky gut syndrome are the following:
  • diet
  • dairy
  • sugars
  • unfiltered tap water
  • antibiotics
  • steroids
  • chemotherapy
  • most non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication and aspirin
  • insomnia
  • stress
  • lack of exercise
Why do most doctors not believe in the diagnosis of leaky gut syndrome?  My opinion is that most physicians do not appreciate the complexity and the importance of the intestines…not only involved in digestion and absorption of food but also have an important role in overall health.
  • Outside of the bone marrow, the greatest concentration of immune tissue (white blood cells) is in the intestines.  This immune tissue plays a major role in regulating how the entire immune system works.
  • Outside of the central nervous system, the highest concentration of nerve tissue in the body is in the intestines.  Nerve function in the intestines has a direct affect on how the brain functions.  Brain function also has a direct effect on the nerve tissue in the bowels.

  •  We are now starting to discover how important would bacteria are for overall health.  Good bacteria help to regulate immune function, reduce the risk of chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease.  Good bacteria also prevent overgrowth by pathogenic bacteria.  Good bacteria also produce vitamins that are necessary for our health as well as detoxify heavy metals such as mercury. 

  • We know that pathogenic bacteria and pathogenic yeast can produce very toxic compounds that can adversely affect immune system as well as the heart, endocrine system and nervous system.  Compounds isolated from pathogenic bacteria and yeast has shown to have a number of negative effects that can result in chronic fatigue, chronic inflammation and increase risk of autoimmune disease.
Leaky gut syndrome is associated with many medical conditions including autoimmune disease, irritable bowel, chronic fatigue syndrome, eczema, psoriasis, chronic pain, etc.
Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome

abdominal pain poor memory
Insomnia recurrent vaginal infections
Bloating Skin rashes
Flatulence Hair loss
Anxiety Food allergies
Fevers of unknown origin Constipation and diarrhea
Gluten intolerance Liver dysfunction
Migraines Changes in memory and cognition
Multiple chemical sensitivities Constant hunger pain
Autoimmune disease Chronic fatigue
Inability to lose weight Muscle pain and joint pain
Dr. Massey tailors the therapy for the individual patient.  Therapy may change as the patient improves, but it all starts with a simple urine test (first used in 1929) measuring if the intestines are “leaky.” Changes in diet and lifestyle, adding supplemental vitamins, minerals, herbs, probiotics and even acupuncture can result in lasting improvements.

Dr. Massey and ALT - MED Medical and Physical Therapy approach to Leaky Gut Syndrome:
  • diagnosis of condition with urine test
  • diet and nutrition evaluation and recommendations
  • vitamin and supplement evaluation and recommendations
  • herbal supplement recommendations
  • follow-up on monthly basis until symptoms have resolved - usually 3-6 months
Video on Leaky Gut Syndrome by Patrick Massey MD, PhD – click here

After experiencing sciatic pain on the left side, I had surgery to solve the problem. Shortly thereafter, I began to have sciatic pain down the other side. I assumed that surgery was necessary again. After beginning the (ALT-MED) program and doing the exercises for a couple of months, the pain was gone. I have been pain free for over six months.

- Joann Hensley
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Tuesday July 23, 2024