Today I will be discussing the 2nd part of the article Diabetes and Leaky Guts. One of the conditions we commonly see in our office that you may not even be aware of is the Leaky Gut. As I mentioned in Part 1, leaky guts are a common thing in functional medicine. But the problem is some health practitioners don’t discuss Leaky Guts which is why many people aren’t aware that they have leaky guts. Leaky guts are something that has to be dealt with. But before I go into that, I want to talk about just a quick story about leaky guts that happened with a patient that came into our office.
She’s been a patient here in our office for 4 months. When she initially came in, she had a lot of problems, pain, discomfort, and just not feeling good overall. She was taking two blood pressure medications and two different blood sugar medications. And about a month ago, she came in and told me that her doctor had taken her off the blood pressure medication. She was super excited about that because it was just a promising scenario for her that things were improving. Obviously, her blood sugars were decreasing as well. We saw her yesterday and she had informed me that for the last 3-4 weeks, she hasn’t taken any blood sugar medication, and her blood sugars are ranging between 95 and 103. That incredible information is the type of thing that we see every single day in our office
One of the common things that I see in our practice for individuals who are dealing with diabetes has underlying gastrointestinal problems or digestive issues. Now, I don’t mean symptomatically not most of the people that we take care of don’t have digestive symptoms. They don’t have stomach pain, bloating, gas, nausea, diarrhea, or constipation, they don’t have those things. But we do a comprehensive analysis of these individuals and we find that they truly have underlying GI problems. They just are not aware of it. They haven’t been analyzed and looked at appropriately. In regards to the digestive tract, we’ll see individuals who have infection patterns, bacterial overgrowth, parasites, yeast, or dysbiosis. Leaving them vulnerable, the lining of the gut starts to break down, and that breakdown is referred to as leaky gut.
If you’ve never heard of leaky gut, which many people have not, I’m going to explain to you in the easiest way. Where it really stems from and how it can influence your diabetic condition? I’ve seen individuals in my office where the analysis showed two bacterial infections, yeast, and three parasites. That individual had a ton of problems going on in their gut. They had no clue, no symptoms, and no problems, but it was causing other issues in their body. As more problems occur inside the gut area, it starts to create a weakening of the gut lining. On a microscopic level, when you look at the gut lining, they look like these little junctions called gap junctions. These junctions come together and they’re supposed to be tight functioning to reproduce anything coming in and out.
Shoelace and Leaky Guts
So the perfect example I can give you is a shoelace. When it started to get loose on your shoe, your shoes start to fit a little loose and wouldn’t be working as well. The same looseness happens when you start to have a weakening of the gut. The tight junctions start to open up. When they start to open up, they create microscopic holes. Microscopic holes are not going to create bleeding but the larger molecules that should not be going through the gut barrier will start going through. That starts to create a problem inside the bloodstream because on the other side of the gut is the bloodstream. And in the bloodstream is your immune system which will start to react to those sorts of things
So imagine what can start to come through. It could be a large food particle that shouldn’t be coming through because they’re not digested enough. Or it could be infection patterns, like bacteria. Well, when your immune system comes in contact with that, it’s gonna start to create a massive immune reaction and inflammation. Inflammation can start to cause a breakdown to the rest of the body. It can cause a cellular breakdown, increasing the risk of things like insulin resistance, increasing the risk of developing diabetes or can create other problems like autoimmune diseases. One of the common things that we know in science is that autoimmune diseases stem from leaky gut. If you have a condition now like lupus, type one diabetes, celiac disease, ulcerative colitis, or other types of autoimmune diseases, these things can be caused because of a leaky gut.
Cheesecloth and Leaky Guts
Another example ci a cheesecloth. A cheesecloth is supposed to remove large particles and only small stuff could go through. If you cut the cheesecloth, it’s going to reduce your ability to do its job. And it’s another way food sensitivities occur. Food sensitivities occur when the immune system starts attacking foods that it’s not supposed to be attacking. So let’s just say corn comes through. Your immune system sees that and starts attacking it because it’s not supposed to be there. Next thing you know, you have a sensitivity to corn. Now, your immune system doesn’t know the difference between corn, rice, apple, or even beef. So when this protein structure is seen by the immune system, it sees them as the problem and attacks it. Every single time you bring in more corn, the immune system will start attacking it and create more sensitivities and inflammation.
On top of that, these protein structures will also look very similar to the cells of your body. For example, if the cell of your pancreas looks very similar to corn, your immune system will start attacking that pancreas. Next thing you know, you have an autoimmune disease to the pancreas and you develop type one diabetes. Without investigating appropriately, understanding what’s really going on, you missed the big picture. It’s very important when you’re working with someone who says, “Why is this happening? What is causing that symptom? And what tests do I need to run to understand what is causing that symptom? Why the person has the disease process or whatever condition they’re dealing with?” If your only option is your doctor and their only option is saying, “Here, take this drug to try to reduce the symptom,” you are missing the boat.
Car and Your Health
Over time, you will only get worse because it’s not fixing the underlying issue. It’s like taking your car to a mechanic and they just put duct tape on the problem. But that’s essentially what’s happening in your health care as well. So what type of things can we do? Is there a way to test if the person has a leaky gut or underlying GI problems that could be contributing to their overall dysfunction? We can do comprehensive stool tests. We can do an immunological test to see if there are antibodies being created to the gut lining. And as the immune system attacks the gut or other areas as well, does your gut have the proper amounts of good bacteria? Do you have underlying infection patterns that are going on here?
There are tons of tests that can be run. But in many cases, these tests are not being run. The goal in a health care model is not to understand the cause but to understand what they can give you to reduce your symptoms, so you feel better or look good on paper. If antibiotics are a huge contributing factor to leaky gut situations. The more antibiotics you take, the worse it’s going to become. And the more antibiotics you take the lower your immune system is going to be, it suppresses the immune system, it suppresses your good bacteria, leaving you vulnerable for future infections.
You need someone who will run the right type of tests.
So it’s just perpetuating the problem over and over and over again, it makes more sense if you have a major infection, obviously, take the antibiotic. But then once the antibiotic is done, you need to find a practitioner who can help you get your gut healthy, again, to reduce the risk of future issues. So you know, just this one concept, right? There are hundreds of others that could be contributing to disease processes, like diabetes or other diseases. But this one simple analysis here can determine if you have this underlying problem that many of our patients that we see in our practice. I mean, I can’t tell you how often I see someone with a leaky gut that needs to be addressed.
So when someone you know, a loved one, a co-worker, a friend, spouse, sibling, they have this information and it could very well maybe help them in the future, I’m having to go down a path of misery and discomfort as well. And if there’s anything that has any questions that you have, please comment on them as well. Or if there are any other topics that you want me to discuss, that you’re dealing with, you’re not really sure what to do or how to handle it, or you’re just not really sure about the whole concept of what you’ve been told, I can definitely do more articles. If there is something that I can do to help you. Like our page for more!