Rashes could be a symptom of leaky gut syndrome

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The intestinal lining of a human has around 1,200 square metres of surface area. It should act as a barrier to control what goes into the bloodstream. While everyone’s guts are semi-permeable, some people could have cracks or holes in this lining – allowing bits of food, toxins and bacteria to pass through.

This is referred to as “leaky gut syndrome” – although this term has not been formally accepted by the medical community as the cause of these issues.

But it is known that any undigested foods, toxins, and bacteria that are able to seep into the tissues underneath and trigger inflammation and changes inside the gut flora, causing issues with the digestive system.

Michelle Geraghty-Corns, founder of digestion health experts Eternal Being, spoke exclusively with Express.co.uk to explain more.

“Individuals with leaky gut syndrome can experience chronic diarrhoea, constipation which lasts for a week, or even excessive gas or bloating,” she said.

“If you notice your body is suddenly reacting to foods you used to eat with no problems, this could be a sign you have a leaky gut.”

Symptoms of this that might not seem obvious include rashes and dry skin.

Ms Geraghty-Corns said: “Facing bloating, abdominal pain, skin reactions (such as rashes, dry skin), headaches, fatigue, and brain fog after eating certain foods could be a clue you have gaps in your intestinal wall.”

She explained: “The bacteria seeping into the bloodstream inflames the body, often causing patients to experience eczema, psoriasis, and acne and auto-immune responses too.

“If you are struggling with any chronic skin conditions, it is worth considering the possibility of a leaky gut.”

Mood disorders such as anxiety and depression are also thought to be linked to the gut, Ms Geraghty-Corns warned.

“If you find yourself struggling with anxiety, this could be the sign you need to get to understand your gut health,” she said.

“The gut houses a large percentage of the body’s serotonin, a neurotransmitter which plays a role in mood regulation.

“When the gut is inflamed, it can lead to a disruption in serotonin production, which, in turn, can lead to mood disorders.”

Other more obvious tell-tale signs that could help identify a leaky gut include digestive issues, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), ulcerative colitis, or Crohn’s disease.

“Chronic digestive issues are rooted in inflammation, which is often caused by a leaky gut. When the intestinal wall is inflamed, it can lead to a host of digestive problems.” Ms Geraghty-Corns added.

“If you are experiencing a digestive issue such as IBS, one of the most common routes which patients take is to eliminate food groups to reduce their symptoms, when in fact the issue could be deeper.”

She advised: “There are a few different ways you can test for a leaky gut, so I would recommend anyone experiencing these symptoms to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner.

“Leaky gut syndrome is a complex condition which can be difficult to treat, but with the help of a professional you can begin to improve your gut health and quality of life.”

The Cleveland Clinic refers to leaky gut syndrome as “hypothetical” at this point.

“Leaky gut syndrome is a hypothetical condition that’s not currently recognized as a medical diagnosis,” it says. “It’s based on the concept of increased intestinal permeability, which occurs in some gastrointestinal diseases.”

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