leaky Gut Syndrome Is a Cause of Multiple Sclerosis
Considerable evidence supports the presence of increased small intestinal permeability or leaky gut syndrome in Multiple Sclerosis.
Research is beginning to show that chronic inflammation from the gut allows for the activation of auto-reactive T cells that destroy cells that make the covering (myelin) of nerve cells.
Many health care workers support the theory that leaky gut syndrome causes autoimmune diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), asthma, and multiple sclerosis (MS).
MS is a debilitating neuro-inflammatory disease that occurs when auto-reactive T cells gain entry into the CNS and destroy myelin producing oligodendrocytes. It appears the T cells can enter the CNS via a leaky blood brain barrier that comes from a leaky gut or chronic inflammation of any sort.
leaky gut syndrome is almost always associated with autoimmune disease and reversing autoimmune disease depends on healing the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. Any other treatment is just symptom suppression.
What is Leaky Gut syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome (sometimes called increased intestinal permeability) is a condition in which undigested proteins are able to enter your blood stream via tiny gaps in your intestinal lining. In other words, large spaces develop between the cells of the gut wall and bacteria, toxins, and food leak in. The body does not recognize them and activates the immune system to search and destroy. The result is inflammation. Leaky gut is the state where the protective gut lining looses its integrity. It is less capable of properly selectively screening out those elements that should be screened out, and allowing those elements in that should be let in. So items that should be screened out gain access in.
The gut wall is normally impermeable to large molecules(ie intact folded proteins) and only when a food protein is broken down into amino acids can the molecules pass through the gut wall. However when the gut wall is damaged larger molecules such as intact food proteins and bacterial products can pass through and set off immune reactions.
These proteins are not meant to be in your blood stream, so your immune system reacts to them as invaders and mounts an attack. The way in which this may lead to diseases like MS and ALS is that the structure of these undigested proteins is similar to the proteins that form the structure of your central nervous system (CNS), specifically the insulative sheath known as myelin.
What Does Leaky Gut Have To Do With Multiple Sclerosis?
The cause of multiple sclerosis has not yet been definitively identified. There are many theories, nearly as many as there are doctors and scientists who investigate this debilitating and disheartening disease.
The basic elements of a dietary model for MS are the escape of intact food proteins through a leaky gut and subsequent activation of the immune system. The immune system is activated against tissue in the central nervous system due to molecular similarities between the food proteins and self-proteins in the CNS. Access to the CNS through the blood-brain barrier (BBB) may be aided by type 1 and type 3 hypersensitivity reactions also precipitated by foods.
Food hypersensitivities reduce the effectiveness of the blood-brain barrier through Type I (activation of basophils and mast cells) and Type III (deposition of immune complexes) reactions. T-cells are activated against CNS proteins (Type IV reaction) by both molecular mimicry of CNS self proteins by food proteins outside the CNS and by exposure of auto reactive T-cells to previously sequestered CNS proteins following passage of immune elements through a damaged blood-brain barrier.
It is an established scientific fact, that, the gastro-intestinal tract is a significant location for immune function. There are concentrations of immune (i.e. lymphoid) tissues throughout the intestines.
The body’s autoimmune response is triggered by food proteins and bacteria which are released from the intestines due to intestinal permeability (also known as “leaky gut syndrome”). Intestinal permeability has various causes such as ingestion of allergenic foods, Candida overgrowth, alcohol consumption, infection, parasites, trauma and usage of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Aspirin.
The gluten and dairy casein or any other allergic food molecules escape through the compromised gut walls and make their way to the brain through blood circulation. The compromised blood brain barrier of MS patients allows these molecules through, which is an abnormal .
The molecules have an opiate-like effect on the brain cells…the last thing someone with MS needs. So what happens is that the person with MS experiences exacerbation of the MS symptoms they already have.
What causes leaky gut?
Leaky Gut Syndrome can be caused by a range of things, and for MS sufferers it is most often be caused by Candida (yeast overgrowth in the gut) which is often due to multiple antibiotics and steroids.
Much of the literature on leaky gut syndrome contends that the main cause of this condition is Candida, a yeast-fungal organism that grows roots through your intestinal tract; roots that go searching for food. These roots compromise the intestinal lining and can cause leaky gut!.
An overgrowth of the yeast fungus Candida albicans in the intestinal tract can lead to a host of problems, including increased food sensitivities and a weakened digestive system. Since Candida toxins can affect the nervous system, causing mood swings, depression, and tingling, an overgrowth can only exacerbate MS, or possibly initiate it.
The ever-present Candida, for example, proliferates when not held in check by the gut’s good bacteria. Candida produces colonies of yeast that take up parasitic residence in the lining of the colon. These little bits of yeast not only decrease the functionality of the affected gut and provide for more illness, they are also absorbed into the blood stream to take up residence in the liver, spleen, kidneys or even the vagina.
What causes Candida overgrowth?
Candida overgrowth is caused by several things: excessive sugar consumption (even natural sugars), antibiotic use (which kill the intestinal bacteria that control Candida), corticosteroid use, and alcoholism (alcohol is a fermented sugar). Addressing a possible yeast imbalance through dietary restriction of sugar and an anti-fungal supplement regime: probiotics, garlic, etc) often improves MS symptoms.
The most obvious solution is to launch a concerted attack on the Candida infection.
The Good News
Fortunately, leaky guts can be healed, and doing so will keep undigested food particles out of your blood stream. An important part of healing your leaky gut syndrome is to avoid foods which contain proteins that are mimics of those in the CNS. Click here to learn about an effective anti-Candida diet plan.