Blog Post

MTHFR gene mutations and leaky gut syndrome, what you need to know

Does having an MTHFR gene mutation cause you to get leaky gut syndrome?  The short answer is yes it can, but often there are several major factors that ultimately lead to this debilitating disorder.

One of the problems that comes with an active MTHFR gene mutation is a percentage reduction in function of your ability to make active folate, we know that when this happens there can be many symptoms that result, however one of the symptoms of having reduced folate in terms of having a deficiency is that it can cause the shortening of the villi’s height and thinning of the layers of the gastrointestinal tract.  The villi are basically the lining of the intestinal wall so when they lose their height this makes it easier for you to develop the condition called leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability.

The big problem with leaky gut

So just how big of a problem is leaky gut (intestinal permeability)?  It’s extremely bad!  The are many problems associated with leaky gut, but the major thing you need to know about leaky gut is that among non-communicable diseases, leaky gut is the number one leading cause of disease and even death.  One of the big problems with having a leaky gut, apart from the many symptoms it can produce is that leaky gut can lead to autoimmune disease.

So will treating my MTHFR mutations really help prevent leaky gut?  Again the short answer is probably not, this is because there are many other genetic mutations that play a significant role in the development of intestinal permeability as well as a long list of other problems that significantly contribute toward developing a leaky gut.

Genetics Involved in Leaky Gut Syndrome

A number of gene mutations have been found to be associated with specific autoimmune diseases and there is usually more than one involved, this is why we can’t just treat the problem assuming MTHFR is the answer.  Other gene mutations that are known for being involved in leaky gut syndrome include:

  • MTHFR – Folate metabolism problems that lead to nutritional deficiencies
  • HLA – Immune system genes, some of which predisposes you to autoimmune disease from developing a leaky gut
  • DAO – Mutations in DAO increase histamine levels which aggravates the immune system
  • FUT – Reduced ability to hold a good balance of good bacteria in the gut

And any genes involved in methylation and there are many of them.

Other Causes of Leaky Gut

Often when it comes to leaky gut syndrome it takes more than just gene mutations to develop the problem, in fact there are many ways this condition can develop.

What’s the real cause of leaky gut?

Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability or metabolic endotoxemia is largely the result of living in modern society which is mostly toxic, this combined with the above genetic influences and any of the following is enough to cause the development of a leaky gut:

  • Alcohol consumption
  • SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
  • Nutritional imbalances
  • Candida infection
  • Gluten sensitivity
  • Gut bacterial dysbiosis (the imbalance of good and bad microbes in the gut)
  • Food allergy or food intolerance’s
  • High sugar or refined carbohydrate diet
  • Poor digestion such as a lack of effective digestive enzymes
  • Use of medical drugs
  • Intense or chronic stress
  • Gastrointestinal infections such as parasites, food poisoning or gastroenteritis
  • Lectins, saponins & alkaloids that are found in some foods such as grains and legumes
  • Exposure to toxic chemicals
  • Exposure to heavy metals
  • Detoxification problems

How do I know if I have leaky gut syndrome?

A good practitioner will be able to have you tested for leaky gut, this will help you establish if you have leaky gut and give you a measure of how advanced it may or may not be.  There are many symptoms and conditions associated with having intestinal permeability, below are only a some examples you can look for:

Existing autoimmune disease

  • Abdominal pain
  • IBS (irritable bowel syndrome)
  • Food allergies and sensitivities
  • Pancreatitis
  • Aging
  • Heart failure
  • Autism
  • Cirrhosis
  • Coeliac disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Inflammatory joint disease
  • Malabsorption
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Schizophrenia
  • Diabetes
  • Digestive problems

What can I do to fix my leaky gut?

While having a leaky gut can be distressing, it’s important to know that there is a lot that you can do about it and it’s further really important that you treat the problem seriously.  Leaky gut is often caused by a combination of problems and usually there is a genetic component so it’s important that you get help to make sure you are doing everything you can in the right way to solve your specific causes of intestinal permeability.

Having the right practitioner who understands the complexity of genetics and leaky gut could mean the difference between restoring you to good health and or getting a serious disease. If you suspect you have leaky gut or you know you do contact one our professional practitioners for a consultation to get started with a treatment that best suits your needs.

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