I am a big follower of several physician experts in the field of chronic inflammation and the gut. It’s important to know that many of us are walking around with gut inflammation that we are not even aware of. Unfortunately, this often predisposes us to disease.
According to a well-known researcher, Alessio Fasano, all disease begins in the leaky gut, with several factors creating the “perfect storm” for chronic inflammatory disease development including[i]:
- Genetic Vulnerability
- Environmental Triggers
- Altered Microbiome (dysbiosis)
- Intestinal Permeability
- Systemic Immune Response
What this means if you have inherited genes that make you vulnerable, you may or may not develop the disease unless the other factors are present. In fact, our genes only represent around 10% of the risk for the majority of diseases. This is good news, as it means we can prevent disease and that our genes are not our destiny.
There is an activation pathway for leaky gut that has been well studied. Zonulin, a group of proteins, modulates the gut permeability of the gut lining barrier. When activated, it opens and allows things like food particles or gut bacteria to leak out into the circulation.
I learned that I have 2 genes for gluten sensitivity. I have a family history of autoimmune, cardiovascular, and cancer disease. I also was eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) diet for many years. Gluten sensitivity activates zonulin, creating intestinal permeability, also known as a leaky gut. When food particles leak into circulation, immune reactions can occur. Based on where your body has the weakest link, which in my case was my thyroid, disease can result.
To reduce my genetic vulnerability to developing additional autoimmune diseases related to gluten sensitivity, it was critical that I went on a strictly gluten-free diet, which I did over 8 years ago. If I chose to ignore this, my chances of developing other autoimmune diseases would be significantly increased. It was also important to eliminate all gluten-containing cosmetics and skincare products.
I had also tested my gut for bad bugs called pathogens and I had work to do to rebalance my gut. My microbiome where all the bugs live in the intestinal lining, which is only one cell thick, showed overgrowth of some gut bugs as well as some that were not supposed to be there. It also showed that I had significant inflammation, signs of a systemic immune response. I also tested for additional food sensitivities and found quite a few additional foods I was sensitive to. To address the inflammation and gut dysbiosis, I went on a 90-day program eliminating the foods I was sensitive to and rebalanced my gut with natural supplements.
Another thing that I could control aside from having gluten as an environmental trigger, was to eliminate toxins such as silver mercury-containing dental amalgams. As I did have mercury in my system, I had my amalgams replaced with non-toxic materials and did a detoxification program to help eliminate mercury from my system.
So, you can see, that I had all the factors for chronic inflammatory disease. Through rebalancing my body, I was able to reduce markers of inflammation and reduce symptoms.
In the referenced study, the following diseases were reported to specifically be linked to zonulin pathways. Whether you have a predisposition for autoimmune disease (multiple sclerosis, ankylosing spondylitis), heart disease, cancer (glioma, hepatocellular carcinoma), intestinal disease (inflammatory bowel disease, celiac) metabolic disorders (obesity, insulin resistance, diabetes), or neuro-inflammatory disease (autism spectrum, schizophrenia, major depressive disorder), it’s important to know that you can navigate around the perfect storm to rebalance your body.
Even once disease is present, focusing on re-balancing your body has been shown to reduce or even eliminate disease. If you are interested in finding out more about how you can test, not guess with functional lab testing and a holistic healing protocol, get a free discovery call here.
[i] Fasano A. All disease begins in the (leaky) gut: role of zonulin-mediated gut permeability in the pathogenesis of some chronic inflammatory diseases. F1000Res. 2020;9:F1000 Faculty Rev-69. Published 2020 Jan 31. doi:10.12688/f1000research.20510.1
I am a Master’s prepared RN, National Board-Certified Health & Wellness Coach, Board-Certified Functional Wellness Coach, and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner. I help people fix their chronic inflammation & pain with in-home lab testing, client assessments, personalized natural healing protocols, and online coaching to help them move from pain to peace so that they feel better, move better, and live better.