Contact Us: 251-626-1234

9113 Merritt Lane, Daphne, AL 36526

Our Blog

What is A Leaky Gut?

Do you feel tired all of the time, even when you’ve just woken up? Many of us chalk it up to our busy schedules; however, what if this symptom was something deeper and an indication of something out of order within your body? While chronic fatigue is one symptom of leaky gut syndrome, there are several others that can not only leave you feeling unwell but can lead to multiple harmful diseases.

The Role of the Digestive Tract

Most of us know that the digestive tract works to break down food and absorb nutrients, but few of us realize that it actually protects the body from harmful substances. It acts as a natural barrier controlling what items can enter the bloodstream and therefore reach the organs. The intestines contain small gaps in their wall to allow water and nutrients to flow through while also working to block those substances that can cause harm.

What is Leaky Gut?

When these usually tight junctions become loose, the digestive tract becomes more permeable. This allows for bacteria and toxins to pass or “leak” into the bloodstream causing leaky gut, or what is also known as increased intestinal permeability. When this occurs, the body may experience widespread inflammation or a reaction from the immune system resulting in many negative side effects.


So, apart from extreme fatigue, what are some of the other symptoms of leaky gut syndrome? These may include:

  • Bloating and digestive issues
  • Skin problems
  • Food sensitivities

Some also believe that this increased intestinal permeability may be the cause of other major issues like migraines, thyroid abnormalities, mood swings, autism, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis.


While the cause of this condition remains somewhat of a mystery, there is a known protein that controls intestinal permeability called zonulin. When this protein is activated in people who are genetically more susceptible, increased intestinal permeability may occur. Two factors that initiate the release of zonulin are bacteria found in the intestines, as well as gluten which can be found in wheat and other grains.

There are also other factors that are believed to cause leaky gut syndrome, including:

  • NSAIDs or Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs – these medications, like aspirin and ibuprofen, are believed to increase the chances of this condition with long-term use.
  • Excessive alcohol intake
  • Excessive sugar intake – especially the sweetener fructose which can harm the barrier function of the intestinal wall.
  • Stress – Chronic stress can lead to several gastrointestinal disorders, including increased permeability.
  • Yeast overgrowth 
  • Inflammation
  • Poor intestinal health – specifically, an imbalance or disruption between good and bad bacteria

Diseases Linked to Leaky Gut

As mentioned, there are several diseases that are believed to be associated with this condition. These include:

  • Celiac Disease – a severe gluten sensitivity
  • Crohn’s Disease – a chronic digestive disorder
  • Irritable Bowel Disease – a digestive disorder leading to diarrhea and constipation
  • Food Allergies – often a result of a lack of intestinal barrier function
  • Diabetes – Specifically type 1 diabetes

Steps to Improve Gut Health

If you or someone you know are experiencing symptoms of a leaky gut, it’s time to take action. Important steps to start incorporating include:

  • Taking a probiotic – these are beneficial bacteria that can improve gastrointestinal health
  • Eating fermented foods – these also contain probiotics and include food items like yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, and kefir
  • Limit your refined carbohydrates – bad bacteria loves sugar causing greater harm to the intestinal barrier
  • Eat a high fiber diet – This includes items like fruits, vegetables, and even legumes which all support good GI bacteria
  • Limit NSAIDS – taking these medications over a long period of time can cause this condition

Get Help Today!

Now that you know what leaky gut syndrome is, it’s time to get the help and support you need. At The Gut Authority in Pensacola, Florida, we seek to educate and support our clients in lifestyle changes needed to tackle this harmful condition. It is our desire to see everyone we work with not only survive but to thrive. Please call. 

Call Now Button