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South African Family Practice

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Integrative medicine and leaky gut syndrome

B Brom

Abstract


Leaky gut syndrome, also called increased intestinal permeability, is not a well-established diagnosis in general practice and yet is a well-recognised and common diagnosis within the community of integrative doctors. Perhaps this is because the integrative medical focus is not on the disease, but more on the functional dysregulation behind the disease. While the diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, for example, may satisfy most doctors, integrative doctors would also consider the underlying dysfunction, of which leaky gut may be an important consideration. Leaky gut is regarded as the harbinger of a great deal of ill health and the later development of many chronic diseases, such as food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. The mucosa lining of the intestinal tract is a protective layer between the contents of the intestine and the inside of the body. When dysfunctional, it becomes the entry point of pathogens and micro-toxins. As indicated in previous articles, any area of dysfunction in the body becomes the source and origin of ill health. The gastrointestinal mucosa is the largest interface between the internal body and the external environment and covers more than 400 square metres, hence its importance as a possible source of ill health.

Keywords: leaky gut; functional disturbances




http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/20786204.2010.10873997
AJOL African Journals Online