There are over 400 cardiovascular risk factors and mediators and guess what? Having a leaky gut (intestinal permeability) is one of them. A leaky gut allows foreign microbes (essentially undigested food) to enter the body through tight junctions in the intestinal membrane. Inflammation and oxidative stress produced by a leaky gut in turn causes autoimmune endothelial dysfunction or vascular disease/atherosclerosis. It’s no wonder, since the endothelial lining of the gut and the vascular endothelial lining both function as selective permeability barriers; when one gets inflamed, so does the other.
Here’s how you can test to see if your gut is the source of inflammation that may be contributing to heart disease!
- Get tested to see if your gut is leaky.
- Check for food sensitivities, a frequent indication of a leaky gut.
- Rule out small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) infection (often associated w/ leaky gut), especially if you have bloating, gas and constipation, diarrhea or both.
- Do a workup for other gut imbalances such as yeast overgrowth, parasites, bacterial toxins, digestive enzyme deficiencies, and other bacteria imbalances that drive inflammation–the endothelial lining of our blood vessels can take the brunt of these insults.
- Check for heavy metals, especially lead.
Inflammation or infection affects the condition of our vascular health. Make sure your gut is not the culprit!