Leaky gut syndrome symptoms and causes

Leaky gut syndrome symptoms and causes

Leaky gut is also known as intestinal permeability. This is a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes damaged, and this is causing bacteria, toxic waste products and undigested food particles to leak through the intestines and flood the blood stream. These foreign substances that are entering in your blood can cause an autoimmune response in the body, which is including allergic and inflammatory reactions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, food allergies, chronic fatigue, eczema, irritable bowel, migraines and more [1]. When you have leaky gut syndrome, your damaged cells in your intestines are not producing enzymes that are needed for the proper digestion. As a result of this, your body cannot absorb essential nutrients and this can lead to weakened immune system and hormone imbalances.

Leaky gut syndrome Symptoms

Symptoms: There are many signs and symptoms which can indicate that you have leaky gut syndrome, such as

  • Autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn’s, multiple sclerosis, celiac disease, type I diabetes, Hashimoto’s, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis [1]
  • Depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD
  • Arthritis or joint pain
  • Cravings for sugar or carbs
  • Esophageal and colorectal cancer
  • Skin rashes and problems such as rosacea, eczema and acne
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Allergies
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
  • Respiratory infections
  • Poor immune system
  • Propensity towards weight gain or obesity
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
  • Gastric ulcers
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Acute inflammation conditions (multiple organ failure, SIRS and sepsis)

Leaky gut syndrome symptoms and causes

Leaky gut syndrome symptoms and causes

Causes: Diet is the main cause for leaky gut syndrome in the most cases. For many people, certain foods which they consume on daily basis, such as dairy, soy and gluten were treated as foreign invaders and their bodies fight against them [2]. When people have eaten these foods, their bodies went to war which means that their bodies produced antibodies and they have triggered an immune response, which has included joint pain, fatigue, headaches and diarrhea. Also there are some cases when leaky gut syndrome can be caused by some medications, such as steroids, antibiotics, over – the – counter pain relievers, like acetaminophen and aspirin, which can irritate your intestinal lining and they can damage protective muscle layers. This irritation can start or continue the inflammation cycle which could lead to intestinal permeability. Here are some of the underlying causes of leaky gut:

  • Bacterial imbalance: This is also called dysbiosis which means an imbalance between harmful and beneficial species of bacteria in the gut. There are many studies in which are said that the gut microbiota is very important in supporting the epithelial barrier and to prevent autoimmune reactions. It is known fact that at least 10% of all gene transcriptions are found in the intestinal epithelial cells which are related to metabolism, cell proliferation and immunity and they are regulated by the gut microbiota. [3]
  • Toxin overload: In this factor is included the high alcohol and drug consumption. Every single year we come into contact with over 80,000 chemicals and toxins but the worst offenders which can cause leaky gut syndrome are NSAIDS, aspirin, tap water, pesticides and antibiotics. Doctors are recommending buying a high – quality water filter to eliminate fluoride and chlorine and look to natural plant – based herbs which can reduce the inflammation in your body. [4]
  • Chronic stress
  • Poor diet: Here is included the diet that has allergens and inflammatory foods, such as conventional dairy products, synthetic food additives, refined oils, GMOs, added sugar and un – sprouted grains. [2]
  • Genetic predisposition: There are some people who may have more genetic predispositions to develop leaky gut syndrome compared to other people because they are sensitive to environmental factors which can trigger their bodies into initiating autoimmune responses. [5]


[1] Mu Q, Kirby J, Reilly CM, Luo XM. Leaky gut as a danger signal for autoimmune diseases. Frontiers in Immunology. 2017;8:598.

[2] Akagi K, Wilson KA, Katewa SD, et al. Dietary restriction improves intestinal cellular fitness to enhance gut barrier function and lifespan in D. melanogaster. PLOS Genetics. 2018;14(11):e1007777.

[3] Obrenovich MEM. Leaky gut, leaky brain? Microorganisms. 2018;6(4):107.

[4] Anders HJ, Andersen K, Stecher B. The intestinal microbiota, a leaky gut, and abnormal immunity in kidney disease. Kidney International. 2013;83(6):1010-16.

[5] Smyth MC. Intestinal permeability and autoimmune diseases. Bioscience Horizons: The International Journal of Student Research. 2017;10.


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