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Hanna, a Canadian-based nutritionist blogger, lost her mother from health complications when she was only 19. ‘Her death was a wake-up call for me. I began studying nutrition and the benefits of eating right.’ From personal experiences, expert opinion, and years of research, Hanna concluded that, amongst other lifestyle choices, healthy food choices played an important role in people’s health. The leaky gut syndrome— a sickness caused by the increased permeability of the intestines, and many other body system sickness, can, to an extent, be prevented by our decisions to eat healthy diets.

Leaky Guts: Symptoms and Misdiagnosis

The digestive system comprises many organs that work together to break down food, consume nutrients and water, and eliminate waste. To keep potentially dangerous chemicals out of your body, your intestinal lining serves as a buffer between your stomach and bloodstream. The majority of nutrient and water digestion take place in the intestines. Tight junctions or narrow openings in your intestines cause nutrients and water to flow through your bloodstream. Intestinal permeability refers to how quickly liquids slip through the intestinal walls.These close junctions will loosen as a result of certain health problems, potentially causing dangerous substances such as bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles to reach the bloodstream. According to her, a leaky gut causes systemic inflammation and induces an immune response, resulting in a variety of health conditions known as leaky gut syndrome. “When we look into these people who suffer from the very popular IBS—Irritatble Bowel Syndrome—a health complication that affects between 25million and 45million people in the United States, that’s a very strong indication of the leaky gut,” Hanna said.

Increased intestinal permeability is a well-known cause of leaky gut, which arises in conjunction with several chronic diseases such as celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. Certain proteins, such as zonulin and inflammation markers, give some insight into what causes leaky gut. Long-term NSAID—Non Steroidal Anti-inflamatory Drugs, use and a bacterial imbalance in the stomach, known as gut dysbiosis, are two other possible causes.

Histamine intolerance is caused by an excess of histamine in the body. Histamine resistance can be caused by drugs, medical problems, the environment, dietary disorders, and diet. Histamine is used in a variety of foods and beverages. In most cases, the enzymes DAO and HNMT break down swallowed histamine, stopping it from being consumed in the gut and entering the bloodstream. However, certain factors can affect how DAO and HMNT function, as well as how much of both of these enzymes are present in the gut. “We test for histamine intolerance and histamine and low ratio,” She told Top Doctor Magazine.

 “Many of the signs of leaky gut are similar to those of other illnesses. This will make it impossible for physicians to diagnose the disease. Chronic diarrhea, constipation, or bloating, dietary deficits, nausea, headaches, and trouble focusing are also signs of a leaky gut.” She says. Bad nutrition, alcohol intake, parasites, autoimmune diseases, stress, and diabetes are all causes of the leaky gut.Proper testing gives me more information on how the guts are functioning.”

On her adaptation to telemedicine, she said “I went through using my children’s quick course and learnt how to use zoom and any other platforms to stay connected with my patients,” Hanna said. Telehealth is growing to the forefront of medicine as hospitals and medical institutions around the world scramble to find healthy treatment for their patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. Remote treatment will also be delivered to patients in their homes, offices, or assisted living centers as an alternative to in-person appointments with both primary and specialist care, thanks to the advancement of mobile technology. Virtual tele-visits can be used to collaborate with the primary care provider and/or other health therapists to create a team of care.

The Telemedicine Trend

While technology is unavoidable, there are now more opportunities available than ever before. New apps, start-ups, and entrepreneurs are assisting people in making smarter, safe choices by cutting through the noise. “That’s the good thing with technology. We have so many tools to figure out what’s going on in our bodies”  Hanna says. Fooducate and Easy Diet Diary, for example, will do the heavy lifting for you instead of you wasting hours searching through details online or manually recording your dietary intake. These applications allow you to check every object in a grocery store or when eating it to get an ingredient and calorie breakdown. Some applications will also offer you a rundown of  healthy alternatives. For those with a lack of health awareness, applications like Health IQ have a wealth of information on issues like food allergies, childhood health, and portion control. Then there are apps like Paprika, Mealime, and Mealboard, which will assist in planning, shopping, cooking, and even suggesting a range of quick, nutritious meals.

On the Combination of Medicine with Alternative Medicine Practices

On a final note, Hanna says “Eating healthy should be a top priority for each individual. Eating healthy goes a long way in living a good life. Today, we have many wonderful practitioners around the whole world who knows how to evaluate and decide what tests to run, and things to do to ensure that their patients enjoy a healthy life.” She says, ‘I think this is something which I will love to see going hand in hand with the typical academic medicine.” 

Brianna Connors
Brianna Connors