Many arthritis patients are afflicted by some degree with some type of abnormal digestive problem. These may include indigestion, constipation and leaky gut syndrome. In fact, leaky gut syndrome and irritable bowel syndrome often precede the onset of fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Where does leaky gut syndrome come from? It can start when a person has dysbiosis (an intestinal imbalance). Bacteria that is pathogenic takes over the intestine hindering digestion, nutrient absorption and the normal cycle of elimination. The bacteria also causes allergic reactions to food and eroding the membrane of the intestine, which is leaky gut syndrome. Diets that are low in fiber and high in refined sugar are also thought to contribute to causing the syndrome. Other factors that are considered to be involved in getting it are: using antibiotics, drinking alcohol, deficiency of zinc, candidiasis, parasite infections, bad digestion anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen and aspirin.
What happens in a person with leaky gut syndrome is that the glue that keeps the mucous membrane of the intestinal walls together is compromised and gaping holes develop. Bacteria, toxins and semidigested food are able to escape through large openings between the intestinal cell membranes.
When the molecules of partly digested food escape into the bloodstream they trigger the immune system, which perceives them as invaders. Allergic reactions occur and we get inflammation that spreads throughout the body. If a lot of particles and toxins go through the intestinal membranes, the immune system really kicks into gear and will start attacking healthy tissues of nearby joints and organs, heightening the adverse effects of arthritis.
The liver can also become overwhelmed by the toxins leaking into the bloodstream. The liver has a hard time breaking the toxins down and part of the detox process shuts down. Allergic reactions to food, inflammation and intestinal dysfunction seem to start a cycle that continues to repeat itself, causing more and more pain and serious consequences to the arthritis sufferer.
There are therapies that bring relief from this condition that do not rely on drugs. These include fasting, detoxification and changes in diet. This can ease some of the stress placed on the digestive system and start the process of healing. Enzymes, herbs and other nutrients will tone and soothe tissues that are inflamed and help bring the digestive process back to normal. Lastly, finding ways to reduce stress is important to lessen the release of stress hormones, which are a cause of inflammation.