If you want to know, what leaky brain syndrome is, you’re not the only one. Many people are becoming aware of leaky brain, but they don’t know anything beyond that. So they read article with such title as, What is leaky brain syndrome: Its’Prevalence in the U.S. Or, What is leaky brain syndrome: Its Main Symptoms. Or What is leaky brain: Its Main Cause. And they may read many other articles on this subject.
They are afraid a leaky brain has become a hidden epidemic that nobody knows about and experts don’t want to talk about. And because they are unable to find solid answers to their questions, they are becoming afraid.
If you are one of these people who has been asking about brain inflammation without receiving the answers you need, you’ve come to the right place. We’re here not only to answer the question but also to give you the information you need to heal this condition.
So…let’s start with your first question:
What is Leaky Brain Syndrome?
Leaky brain syndrome (LBS) occurs as a result of the blood-brain barrier failing to block harmful substances from entering the brain. LBS significantly increases your risk for brain inflammation and oxidative stress. Genetics is a risk factor for this condition. A leaky brain is diagnosed by Computed tomography (CT) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans. Symptoms may include Brain Fog, Headaches, Chronic Fatigue.
The blood-brain barrier is composed of brain capillary endothelial cells that are linked together by what’s called “tight junctions” (occludin and zonulin), similar to the tight junctions lining your intestines. The tight junctions in the blood-brain barrier are semi-permeable, meaning they allow helpful substances through, such as amino acids and nutrients while blocking dangerous substances.
It is a delicate balancing act, but one a healthy blood-brain barrier handles well.
What is the effect on your brain?
When the blood-brain barrier is compromised, all manner of dangerous substances freely make their way through the barrier and right into the brain. Once there, they activate the microglia cells causing inflammation, which leads to many mental and physical problems.
Why is inflammation such a big deal?
Inflammation usually isn’t a big deal. Acute inflammation is the body’s first response to a foreign invader, such as a pathogen or injury. It occurs to trap the invaders so they can be removed from the body to allow healing can take place. After the healing has been sufficiently accomplished, the inflammation recedes.
By contrast, chronic inflammation does not go away. Either the immune response is repeatedly triggered, or it cannot get rid of the foreign invader. In either case, the continual inflammation damages tissue, causing more inflammation and more of an immune response. This leads to health problems, the nature of which depends upon the tissues affected.
What does any of this have to do with the brain? Well, because the brain is the control center of the body, neither acute nor chronic inflammation should ever occur in the brain. The blood-brain barrier is supposed to protect it from any dangerous substances.
But when it becomes leaky, allowing these dangerous substances to enter, chronic neurological inflammation is the result. This causes a variety of disturbing and even dangerous mental and physical health problems.
What is a leaky brain’s effect on mood?
Leaky brain syndrome’s effect on mood includes symptoms of depression, anxiety, and suicidal thinking (the “leaky emotions”).
Mood disorders are a huge mental health issue today. Two of the most common mental illnesses in the United States are anxiety and depression. Let’s look at some statistics from the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
- 40 million U.S. adults suffer from one or more anxiety disorders every year. That is 18.1% of the U.S. population.
- More than 16 million adults suffer from a major depressive disorder (MDD) in a given year. That’s 6.7% of the adult population.
- MDD is the leading cause of disability for those aged 15 to 44.3 in the U.S.
- Almost half of those diagnosed with depression are also diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.
Depression and anxiety can be two of the most crippling mental illnesses, yet there has never been a treatment that offers a 100% cure or relief to everyone who suffers from them.
Interestingly, this brain syndrome effect on mood disorders via neurological inflammation is pretty well established.
A study published in Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology Journal noted a link between a leaky brain and depression. Another study published in the 2017 edition of Neurology Journal showed those with high levels of neurological inflammation showed correspondingly higher levels of depression and anxiety.
the potential effect on your mind
As you might expect, this brain syndrome also has a considerable effect on the mind. According to a study by the University of Cambridge, there is little doubt neurological inflammation plays a large role in cognitive disorders.
What are cognitive disorders?
According to the Mental Health Foundation, “Cognitive disorders are a category of mental health disorders that primarily affect learning, memory, perception, and problem-solving.”
A cognitive disorder can be as “minor” as occasional forgetfulness or brain fog and as major as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Dementia is also a cognitive disorder. So, the memory problems many people consider as just normal age-related issues may actually be caused by leaky brain syndrome and neurological inflammation.
Speaking of Alzheimer’s, a 2015 study published in the Journal of Neuroscience openly refers to neurological inflammation as being a well-known coexisting factor of Alzheimer’s. An estimated 5.5 million people in the U.S. suffer from Alzheimer’s, a progressively incapacitating disease that is fatal. It has no known cure.
If a poorly optimized brain turns out to be the cause of Alzheimer’s, just think of the number of lives that could be saved from this dreadful disease if there is a cure for it. And there are cures for it (as you’ll learn shortly.)
Brain gut hormone axis involved?
Studies show leaky brain syndrome can also cause a slowed metabolism and weight gain. The reasons for how and why this can happen are not that difficult to understand. The brain has always been in charge of the metabolism.
More and more functional medicine patients are becoming familiar with the notorious leaky gut syndrome. If you have leaky gut, chances are you have a leaky brain, too, as similar mechanisms cause it. After all, the gut and the brain are closely connected by virtue of the gut-brain axis.
What is the gut-brain axis?
The gut-brain axis refers to a bidirectional communication system between your gut and your brain. This communication channel involves the central and enteric nervous systems, the gut microbes, and the neural, immune, endocrine, and metabolic networks.
Hormones that regulate weight are part of the endocrine network. For example, the hypothalamus in your brain is in charge of balancing calories in and calories out. The hormones leptin and insulin regulate the hypothalamus. They send signals to the hypothalamus, letting it know how much fat you have and how much fat you need to burn or store.
If everything is working correctly, when your calorie intake increases, you will simply burn more calories. In this way, you’ll never become too heavy or too thin. In other words, your brain and hormones balance your weight at your setpoint weight
Neurological Inflammation? Hypothalamus?
But when this syndrome causes neurological inflammation, these signals stop working. The hypothalamus either no longer receives these signals, or cannot read them correctly. The result is that it gives you more fat. Your brain and hormones now work to hold on to extra weight, and it doesn’t matter how little you eat or how hard you work out at the gym.
If you do lose weight by cutting calories, you’ll gain all the weight back as soon as you go off that diet.
Thus, cutting-edge research proves neurological inflammation raises setpoint weight, making it nearly impossible to lose those extra pounds until you heal the inflammation.
A 2016 study in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry boldly declares neurological inflammation to be a likely cause of hormonal dysregulation leading to obesity. That’s not the only study linking neurological inflammation to an elevated setpoint weight and consequent weight gain.
What is a leaky brain’s effect on my physical health?
Studies even show leaky brains affect physical health. Specifically, the neurological inflammation it causes leads to high blood pressure and insulin resistance that increases the risk for disease.
In fact, several studies have demonstrated that neurological inflammation leads to insulin resistance and other symptoms of metabolic syndrome, all of which increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and kidney disease. (Metabolic syndrome has just recently emerged as a valid risk factor for kidney disease.)
But a leaky brain does not just cause symptoms of metabolic syndrome. A review published in the Medical Hypotheses Journal found that a leaky brain may contribute to chronic fatigue syndrome, which causes extreme tiredness.
What is a leaking brain caused by mainly?
Many things contribute to leaky brain syndrome, but probably the main cause is the Standard American Diet.
Regularly eating refined sugars, starchy carbs, and heavily processed foods harm the integrity of the blood-brain barrier, causing it to become “leaky.”
Sugars and refined carbs also cause systemic inflammation, which itself can cause the tight junctions to become more permeable, allowing dangerous substances into the brain’s fragile environment.
Studies show gluten, a protein present in wheat, can make tight junctions more permeable.
What are the additional causes of this syndrome?
Here are a few other causes of a leaky brain:
- Stress: Research indicates acute stress activates inflammatory cells in the body, leading to the permeability of the blood-brain barrier.
- Environmental Toxins: Constant exposure to environmental toxins promotes brain inflammation. These toxins are so common you probably don’t even know you’re being exposed. They are in your household cleaning supplies. They’re in the pesticides and herbicides sprayed on the foods you eat. They are in the air you breathe. You cannot totally escape environmental toxins. The best you can do is try to reduce your exposure to them.
- Chronically Low Levels of Brain-Boosting Nutrients: Most people in the U.S. are deficient in these 4 critical nutrients that protect the blood-brain barrier and help prevent neurological inflammation.
- Folate: This nutrient is essential for proper cognitive function. Unfortunately, most people are deficient in folate either because they cannot absorb it or because they do not get enough through their diets.
- Citicoline: This nutrient is vital to brain health and has brain-boosting properties. However, you would have to eat more than a dozen eggs per day to receive the amount of citicoline your brain needs, which is the reason why most people are deficient in this nutrient. Studies show taking citicoline and folate together is critical for brain health!)
- CoQ10: This nutrient sparks energy production in every cell of your body, particularly your heart and your brain. Not all CoQ10 supplements are created equal, however. You need to make sure you’re selecting a product that is fully bioavailable with a 24-hour timed release so that it gives you around-the-clock protection.
- L-Carnitine: This nutrient sets fire to the energy CoQ10 brings into your cells. Take CoQ10 and L-Carnitine together in the correct dosages.
How do I go about fixing my leaky brain?
To treat leaky brain syndrome, it is essential to understand that chronic inflammatory and oxidative with nitrosative stress is associated with developing a ‘leaky gut’. As per “Leaky brain in neurological and psychiatric disorders: Drivers and consequences” in PubMed, 2018:
The following evidence-based approaches, which address the leaky gut and blood-brain barrier dysfunction, are suggested as potential therapeutic interventions for neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders: melatonin, statins, probiotics containing Bifidobacteria and Lactobacilli, N-acetylcysteine, and prebiotics containing fructo-oligosaccharides and galacto-oligosaccharides.
How can I heal my brain naturally?
- Get a good night’s sleep and take it easy during the day.
- Increase your activity at a pace that is comfortable for you.
- Make a list of the things that may be more difficult for you to recall.
- Avoid drinking, drugs, and coffee.
- Brain-healthy foods should be included in your diet.
- Drink a lot of water to stay hydrated.
What are the next steps?
Now that you are ready to move on, we want to help you break free from the yo-yo dieting rollercoaster by balancing your hormones and lowering your body’s setpoint weight. To do this, you need to take charge of your anti-inflammatory gut-brain axis health asap!
Want to know the exact foods and serving sizes that are scientifically proven by over 1,300 peer-reviewed research studies to soothe brain inflammation, boost metabolism, burn fat, and enjoy virtually effortless weight loss like a naturally thin person?
Download the free SANE metabolism boosting food list, cheat sheet, and “Eat More, Burn More” weight loss program by .