There is increasing evidence that the COVID-19 infection can disrupt the integrity of the intestinal gut barrier.
The intestinal gut barrier lines the walls of our intestines and allows beneficial nutrients to be absorbed into the bloodstream. At the same time, it prevents unhealthy bugs and toxins from being absorbed.
Like other infections that occur in the bowel, COVID-19 is thought to damage the gut barrier by reducing the amount and diversity of protective beneficial bacteria. These “good bugs” are important for digestion, detoxification, the production of serotonin for the brain, and maintaining the integrity of the immune system.
Commonly referred to as “leaky gut syndrome”, this protective intestinal barrier becomes too permeable and allows toxins to leak into the bloodstream which can be distributed to the rest of the body. A leaky gut can also make one prone to food allergies, abdominal bloating, and brain fog.
This combination of reduced healthy bacteria and a “leaky gut” which allows toxins to freely leak into the bloodstream, causes an overactive immune response. As a result, a biochemical cascade occurs and causes huge amounts of inflammation throughout the body.
This inflammatory “storm” overwhelms the body and can promote multiple organ injuries affecting mainly the lung, but also the heart, the lining of the arteries, the brain, the kidneys, the pancreas, and the liver.
In milder cases, this inflammatory process can cause muscle pain, a worsening of arthritis symptoms, and bowel pain which is sometimes diagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Restoring the health of the gut and healing Leaky Gut Syndrome is an essential part of the holistic approach to maintaining a healthy immune system.