If we assume that the derivation of the word malabsorption includes the French word for bad -mal – then leaky gut syndrome is part of malabsorption. The small intestine acts like a selective sieve, allowing through into the bloodstream only the breakdown products of digestion. Larger proteins, carbohydrates and fats are rejected, permitting only the amino acids and peptides from proteins, single- or double-sugar molecules from carbohydrates and small chains of fatty acids from fats. Anything larger may be recognized by the body as an invading particle and an immune response is set up. In leaky gut syndrome this sieve mechanism fails. Foods that are not fully digested are absorbed and the body sets up an allergic or immune response that will, from that time on if not treated, recognize basic foods as bacteria or viruses and set up an attack.

The cause of a leaky gut varies from any food that may inflame the bowel, a parasitic, fungal or yeast, bacterial or viral agent, the use of antibiotics that diminish the bowel’s natural flora, chemical toxins such as pesticides, preservatives and additives or even stress, which produces adrenaline that cuts down the oxygen supply by reducing blood flow and thereby creating an unhealthy bowel. The absorption of incompletely digested foods is distinctly a malabsorption. Leaky gut may be the cause of many conditions and should be considered in all conditions that are unresponsive to treatment.

Leaky gut syndrome may account for most food allergies that may change within a few days because of new, undigested molecules being absorbed.

See Malabsorption.

See Gut permeability testing.

Start on a good acidophilus supplement until you can see an experienced complementary medical practitioner.