What is Villous Atrophy, and how serious it is?

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Villous atrophy might be an unfamiliar term for an average person, but this is a severe health problem that needs further attention to avoid it. 

It is essential to understand what exactly this condition means and how to prevent it.

The condition appears “when the microscopic cells are lining the small intestinal tract, called ‘villi’ or ‘microvilli,’ became damaged”[1] to the extent that they look atrophied. Before biopsy (rime when it is possible to notice this process) there are major health problems that a person will have. There can be different reasons for it.

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Inflammation

To damage villi, there must be inflammation. The inflammation then leads to the leaky gut syndrome. In the small intestine has cells that are so designed that they can absorb nutrients in the spaces between cells or so-called “tight junctions.” When parts are inflamed, they spread apart, even more. That allows bigger pieces to get in, including food molecules. Immune cells immunocytes also become damaged that are important for immunity as such. Then the body is more prone to different infections, “especially digestive tract infections such as the H Pylori Bacteria, Candida and C-difficile Infections”1 as well as others.

 Villous atrophy symptoms

  • Digestion problems
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome, etc.

 Gluten sensitivity, infections, and other causes

It is the main trigger that causes villous atrophy. Other contributing factors are “untreated parasitic infections, other food sensitivities, and poor eating habits.” Board-certified nutrition specialist Chen Ben Asher notes that the most important thing is to go on a gluten elimination diet. Gluten is in different grains, dairy products, soy, and others.

Gluten in corn

Different corns can contain gluten or become contaminated somewhere in the production or preparation. It requires further attention.

Soy

Soy has also proved to cause “cause extensive damage and atrophy of the villi in the small intestine.”[2] Sometimes, it is not even possible to tell if the cause of atrophy is gluten or soy. There are different research that supports the claim that soy is connected to villous atrophy. One of the examples is from French research that claims that “intolerance to soybean protein may be associated with cow’s milk protein intolerance”[3] that caused villous atrophy. The problem started to disappear after 18 days of suspension of soybeans from the diet.

PROBLEMS WITH DAIRY PRODUCTS

There can also be a problem with enzymes that help to digest food; for example, it is not possible to secrete the enzyme lactase, a person cannot digest lactose and becomes intolerant to milk. A person should avoid processed and “non-foods” as they contribute to inflammation.

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Stopping eating gluten and having a treatment that helps to heal the gut might be only a temporary solution. It is important to find the right solution to each separate cause to avoid villous atrophy. Infections and other problems with the digestive tract might take even six months and more to heal. A professional specialist can help to start with finding the underlying cause, start the right diet and provide other solutions.

 

Reference:

[1] Villous Atrophy. Accessed from: http://www.easy-immune-health.com/villous-atrophy.html#ixzz4WJ5VTttHrel=”nofollow”

[2] Soya Villous Atrophy. Accessed from: https://healthunlocked.com/glutenfreeguerrillas/posts/588550/soya-villous-atrophyrel=”nofollow”

[3] [Acute villous atrophy due to intolerance to soy bean protein] Accessed from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/987760rel=”nofollow”

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San Jose Nutritionist Dietitian

MEET CHEN BEN ASHER 

Chen is a Functional Nutrition expert consultant,  leading authority on weight management, women’s health and gluten sensitivity. She is a clinician, public speaker, educator and Amazon Best Seller author of “What If Gluten Free Is Not Enough – The Balanced Diet”.

Chen uses Functional Nutrition to help you find answers to the root causes of your illness and address the biochemical imbalances that may trigger your health and weight. She uses cutting edge lab testing and design the nutritional program to your specific needs as an individual. Food, supplements, lifestyle changes will have integrated to bring balance

If you are looking for personalized nutritional support, we highly recommended contacting Mor’s Nutrition & More Wellness Center in Cupertino, California today.

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