Autoimmune Disease

The Connection Between Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease

Connection between leaky gut and autoimmune disease

While they seem more prevalent today, the issue of autoimmunity has been around for decades.

As a matter of fact, the very first forms of autoimmune disease formulated around the early twentieth century but were considered a rarity.

It wasn’t until the 1950’s when Dr. Henry G. Kunkel of the Rockefeller Hospital began studying patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis.

During this time, the cause of these conditions was unknown and scientists regularly debated whether it was possible for the immune system to turn against itself.

Kunkel eventually discovered that people with these conditions presented certain antibodies in their blood and observed how these antibodies reacted with other antigens from blood samples.

Results revealed that complexes caused inflammation that accumulated in different areas of the body including the kidneys (in lupus patients) and muscles (in rheumatoid arthritis patients)¹.

While only two autoimmune diseases were more well-known back then, today there are over 80 types of autoimmune conditions that impact about 4% of the world’s population and 23.5 million Americans.

With the increase in the types of autoimmunity plus the amount of people affected by it, more research has been conducted into the 21st century on other possible factors that lead to abnormalities within the immune system.

Results have shown that environmental changes, genetics, and bacterial infections all combine to play a role in its development.

With that being said, one specific bacterial infection stands out as a common occurrence in various autoimmune patients: leaky gut syndrome.

What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut, also known as hyper-permeability, is inflammation that takes place within the inner intestine causing cells within it to form abnormally large spaces in between them and the gut walls.

This allows toxic substances such as heavy metals, bacteria, and other environmental toxins to “leak” through and enter the bloodstream rather than being destroyed by the immune system.

Usually, gut permeability can be diagnosed through a process of urine samples and microscopic examinations of the intestinal walls.

This bacterial infection has several causes from food allergies, long term medication usage, and parasitic infections.

Leaky Gut’s Link to Autoimmunity

In most cases of autoimmune disease, leaky gut is almost always a contributing factor to the patient’s symptoms.

This bacterial inflammation is so prevalent in the disease that treatment for most autoimmune conditions include a form of healing the gastrointestinal tract.

Chronic inflammation caused by certain foods, drugs or parasites create spaces between cells of the gut wall, thus leading to the absorption of protein molecules before they have a chance of being broken down.

This causes confusion to the immune system, which recognizes the large molecules as foreign, causing antibodies to be released and attack healthy cells and tissue.

In addition to inflammation, leaky gut can also cause nutritional deficiencies; another significant factor that leads to autoimmune disease.

Some early symptoms of an autoimmune disorder may occur within the digestive system such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or abdominal pain.

Autoimmune Disorders Caused by Leaky Gut

Since gut permeability is a huge factor in the cause of autoimmune disease, it’s possible for all forms of autoimmunity to start from it.

However, autoimmune diseases that affect the gastrointestinal tract have a higher possibility of leaky gut being the main cause while other diseases may combine other factors.

Diseases mainly caused by leaky gut include:

  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Other autoimmune disorders caused by leaky gut and other factors include:

Treating Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease at LifeWorks

At LifeWorks Wellness Center, many autoimmune patients are placed on a gut program that includes intravenous therapies such as

These noninvasive treatments have proven to be extremely effective in decreasing autoimmune symptoms, improving energy levels, and increasing one’s quality of life.

If you or someone that you know are currently suffering from a form of autoimmunity or other chronic conditions, please call to schedule an appointment with one of our practitioners at 727-466-6789.

Learn how to overcome autoimmune conditions naturally. Receive this free email series to learn how to reverse autoimmune conditions naturally!

Helpful Autoimmune Disease Resources