Do I have a Leaky Gut?
What is it?
Why Do I Need to Do Something About It?
What Can I Do to Heal It?
What is the gut?
The gut is a tube or hose from the mouth to the anus, otherwise known as the digestive tract. Food enters from one end, the lining of the tube absorbs the useable substances, and the waste products leave from the other end. It encompasses the mouth, esophagus, pyloric sphincter, stomach, duodenum, small intestine, ileocecal valve, large intestine (bowel) and anus.
What is the goal of digestion?
Our body is made up of trillions of microscopic cells which need to be fed minuscule molecules of nutrients and substances in order to function. The goal of digestion is to break food down into single units of protein called amino acids; single units of starch called saccharides and single units of fat called lipids and to extract all of the vitamins, minerals and fats (essential fatty acids) from it and deliver them to every cell in the body via the blood.
How does the digestive system work?
We have mechanical and chemical processes to break food down. Chewing starts the process of grinding the food and amalase enzymes in the saliva break starch down. The food ball (bolus) is squeezed down the esophagus to the stomach. The stomach churns the food vigorously breaking it up. Hydrochloric acid and other digestive juices dissolve it into a form suitable for chemical digestion. Blood vessels against the small intestinal walls absorb nutrients, amino acids (from protein), saccharides (from starch) and lipids (from fat) through mucosal cells lining the walls. The nutrient-rich blood flows throughout the body feeding it on a cellular level.
Leaky Gut is a condition where tiny holes erode the intestinal walls.