Very commonly I see patients with significant emotional and cognitive problems that last for years. Either long standing problem with focus and concentration or decreasing memory could be the signs of “Leaky Brain” or increased permeability of the blood brain barrier. It is a highly suspected problem especially in people whose symptoms developed later in life.
Our brain is one of the most protected organs in the entire body and also, it is one of the most important one. The blood that brings nutrients to the brain goes through a protective barrier, called blood brain barrier.
This brain barrier ensures that only substances that can provide some type of functional asset to the brain are allowed through and that the brain will be compromised by invasive substances.
Leaky brain syndrome occurs when this blood brain barrier fails to keep out certain substances. This means that harmful substances are able to carry through the walls and find their way into the brain which can change the way that we function every day.
Quite often leaky brain syndrome is related to leaky gut syndrome. Both conditions are caused by the inflammation. The same factors that cause inflammation in the gastro-intestinal tract, like food sensitivity or imbalance of bacteria, may cause the inflammatory processes in the entire body and cause weakness of blood brain barrier. Once this barrier becomes compromised the brain can fall victim to damage from environmental toxins, like heavy metals, bacteria and more. In extreme cases with leaky brain symptoms one can start to experience major neurological or psychiatric conditions like ADD/ADHD, autism, chronic pain, depression and other mental illnesses.
As it’s fairly common to have leaky brain and leaky gut syndrome at the same time, and it is usually a good idea to focus on the treatment of both conditions at once. A specific diet and life style modification leading to decrease exposure to toxic factors must be implemented in the treatment of Leaky Brain syndrome. We often recommend supplement with omega-3 oil, anti-inflammatory botanicals and neurotransmitter support medication.
Feel free to call our office to schedule evaluation and receive adequate functional medicine treatment for your symptoms. To find a certified functional medicine practitioner in your area go to www.functionalmedicine.org