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What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Written by Isabella Boston

Physicians don’t know enough about the gut, which is our biggest immune system organ.(“Leaky Gut Syndrome: What Is It? - WebMD”)

Leaky Gut Syndrome[A],[B] is a fast-growing phenomenon and is not taught in medical school. According to gastroenterologists, it’s a very gray area and much is still to be known.

In a healthy individual, the stomach and small intestines contain digestive enzymes which break down the nutrients in food and drink into smaller molecules that the body can use for growth, energy, and repair.

The intestinal walls have tight openings which allow water and nutrients to pass through into the bloodstream while also preventing harmful substances inside, this is known as intestinal permeability (IP).

It is theorized that when a person suffers from a “leaky gut”, the walls of the digestive system are damaged with gaps, allowing bacteria and toxins to pass into the bloodstream. There is an increase in permeability of the intestinal lining, which could also play a role in Crohn’s and celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), as well as food allergies and sensitivities.

Because many doctors and healthcare providers do not recognize leaky gut syndrome (LGS) as a diagnosable condition, further research into this area is needed to help them better understand the implications and mechanisms in humans.

Risk factors:

  • Poor diet – Eating unsprouted grains, sugar, dairy products, and genetically-modified foods (GMO.)

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Chronic stress – Stress can weaken your immune system and inhibit your body’s ability to eliminate harmful viruses and bacteria resulting in inflammation and leaky gut.

  • Dysbiosis – Good bacteria is needed to protect the intestinal wall, support immune function, and aid in digestion. However, with leaky gut, there is an imbalance of helpful and harmful bacteria in your gastrointestinal tract.

  • Overload of toxins – We consume and absorb thousands of toxins daily. The main culprits are pesticides, aspirin, antibiotics, and contaminated water.

Signs You May Have Leaky Gut Syndrome:

  • Bloating, diarrhea, and gas.

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

  • Hormonal imbalances – Such as Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) and Premenstrual Syndrome (PCOS).

  • Autoimmune diseases – Such as lupus, Rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, psoriasis, or celiac disease.

  • Chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.

  • Mental health issues- Such as anxiety, depression, and attention deficit disorder.

  • Skin conditions – Such as eczema, acne, and rosacea.

  • Food allergies and intolerances.

  • A poor or weak immune system.

  • Arthritis or joint pain.

  • Widespread inflammation.

  • Problems with eyes - Such as chronic corneal ulcers of unknown origins.

Foods to eat:

  • Fruits like bananas, coconut, lemons, limes, pineapples, oranges, and strawberries.

  • Vegetables such as beetroots, spinach, mushrooms, potatoes, and yams.

  • Sprouted seeds such as sunflower, chia, and flax.

  • Gluten-free grains like brown rice, amaranth, and gluten-free oats.

  • Fatty fish such as salmon, tuna, and other omega-3 rich fish.

  • Soups and beverages such as vegetable broth, teas, coconut milk, and nut-based milk and products.

  • Raw nuts such as almonds and walnuts.

A medical review done in 2017[C] suggests that there is a link between the gut and the brain, also known as the gut-brain axis[D]. It is believed that having a leaky gut may have adverse effects on your mental health; however, more research is needed.

Not much is known about leaky gut syndrome, but taking the proper self-care steps to promote overall digestive health can help to protect you from this mysterious disorder.

Author Bio

Isabella Boston

Isabella Boston is a multi-talented writer and the founder of Bella’s Attic Studio. She has several years of experience in content writing, copywriting, and social media strategies. She is a diarist and the author of Passion of Flames. Isabella has special interests in fashion and beauty, health and wellness, and natural healing as it pertains the body, mind, and soul. When she is not writing, Isabella enjoys playing the violin, learning new languages, and reading books of substance.

Sources [A] MediLexicon International. (n.d.). Leaky gut syndrome: What it is, symptoms, and treatments. Medical News Today. Retrieved March 25, 2023, from [B] 11 symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. What is Leaky Gut Syndrome? Cause, Symptoms & Diet Plan. (n.d.). Retrieved March 25, 2023, from [C] Clapp, M., Aurora, N., Herrera, L., Bhatia, M., Wilen, E., & Wakefield, S. (2017, September 15). Gut Microbiota's effect on Mental Health: The gut-brain axis. Clinics and practice. Retrieved March 25, 2023, from [D] Nature Publishing Group. (n.d.). Nature news. Retrieved March 25, 2023, from


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