Yes, that title leads to all kinds of imagery!
“Leaky gut syndrome” is a hypothetical condition that is believed to cause chronic inflammation throughout the body and may result in a wide range of conditions. Proposed sequelae include chronic fatigue syndrome, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and autism. The proposed mechanism is that the intestinal barrier against minute particles is deficient, and these molecules enter the body and act as messengers or direct triggers of inflammation. Although hypothetical, the theory is gaining widespread acceptance.
Getting into a heated argument with a spouse can cause inflammation that leads to this type of increased gut permeability, according to research published in Psychoneuroendocrinology. Stress and depression can cause inflammation, local gut inflammation can lead to increased leakage of messenger molecules, and these molecules then cause distant inflammation and symptomatology.
“Both marital discord and depression have notable physiological repercussions, as documented in the poorer clinical outcomes for conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to metabolic syndrome and diabetes,” the authors wrote. “This study illustrates novel pathways through which a troubled marriage and a mood disorder history could contribute to each of these high-risk conditions. Accordingly, treatments that address marital distress and/or depression could also benefit both mental and physical health.”