Leaky gut syndrome is an area of some controversy within the medical world. It is a name given to symptoms affecting the gastrointestinal system, particularly when there is no obvious cause for the discomfort being experienced.
The bowel lining, in leaky gut syndrome, is thought to have been damaged, making it more permeable and allowing substances to pass through into the abdominal cavity rather than remaining in the gastrointestinal system. The substances that can leak out include undigested food, waste matter, microorganisms (of which numerous species naturally inhabit the intestines) and toxins. This material can lead to a wide range of unpleasant symptoms, which could include migraines, chronic fatigue syndrome and skin diseases.
Skin HS, or hidradenitis suppurativa, is a relatively common skin condition that is known to affect at least 1 percent of adults. The actual proportion of affected individuals is thought to be higher than this, up to 4 percent. The condition occurs when the apocrine sweat glands have become clogged, preventing the fluid from moving out of the glands to the hair follicles. It most commonly affects the armpit (axilla) and groin regions, which is where the majority of the apocrine glands are located. Those regions also have large numbers of hair follicles. It has been suggested that leaky gut syndrome could be the cause of hidradenitis suppurativa.
Little is known about the causes of skin HS, which may also be referred to as apocrine cysts or acne inversa. The symptoms will occur at puberty or after, with the majority of cases being diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 40. It does not affect children, because the apocrine glands do not become active until high levels of sex hormones are produced during puberty.
It is thought that leaky gut syndrome occurs as a result of the bowel lining becoming more permeable, and this can occur for a number of different reasons. Gastroenterologists (doctors who specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the digestive system) agree that several common substances can cause the lining of the bowel to become thinner than usual.
Some over-the-counter medications can have this effect, including aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen. Alcohol consumption may also have a similar effect. Usually, these will cause mild inflammation and will not have serious side effects. However, in some people, the use of these substances on a regular basis may lead to the onset of ulcers within the lining of the bowel.
Leaky gut syndrome is, at present, an unproven theory that is not widely accepted in the medical community. It is thought, and indeed advocated, by nutritionists and practitioners of natural health (who are the only groups of people as yet convinced by the theory) that diet is one of the most reliable methods of controlling the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. Diet is also known to have a significant effect on the severity of hidradenitis suppurativa symptoms, with the Paleo diet becoming increasingly popular in recent years.
This encourages a more natural diet, based on what would have been available to eat before the advent of the agricultural industry. A diet that is rich in fruit and vegetables will provide large amounts of vitamins and other antioxidants, which will help to promote the natural healing processes of the body. This can significantly reduce the symptoms of skin HS by enabling the cysts and abscesses to heal. The Paleo diet may also help to encourage the healing of the damaged intestinal lining in leaky gut syndrome. Therefore, although we do not yet know whether the two conditions are in any way linked, changing your diet can improve the symptoms of both. Read more about skin HS holistic cure…