What is leaky gut syndrome (gut permeability)?

In alternative medicine, a condition called leaky gut syndrome (or gut permeability) is said to affect the lining of the gut, causing persistent muscle or joint pain, difficulty concentrating, indigestion, gas, mood swings , nervousness, symptoms such as rashes, recurrent bladder or yeast infections, constipation, or anxiety.

However, there is no scientific data to suggest that leaky gut leading to increased gut permeability can lead to symptoms outside the gastrointestinal tract.

Leaky gut syndrome/gut permeability symptoms

In alternative medicine, symptoms are said to include abdominal pain, asthma, chronic joint pain, chronic muscle pain, confusion, gas, indigestion, mood swings, nervousness, frequent colds, recurrent vaginal infections, rashes, diarrhea, recurrent bladder infections, poor memory , shortness of breath, constipation, bloating, anxiety, irritability and fatigue.


The lining of the gut forms a barrier that normally only allows properly digested fats, proteins and starches to pass through and into the bloodstream. It allows substances to pass through in many ways.

Chloride, potassium, magnesium, sodium and free fatty acids diffuse through enterocytes. Amino acids, fatty acids, glucose, minerals, and vitamins also move through cells, but they do so through another mechanism called active transport.

Matter can pass in a third way. The spaces between cells that line the gut are usually sealed. These tight junctions are called desmosomes. When the gut wall is irritated, the junctions loosen, allowing larger molecules that are not needed in the gut to enter the bloodstream. These unwanted substances are considered foreign by the immune system (as they are not normally present in the blood). This triggers an antibody response.

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When the intestinal lining is further damaged, larger substances, such as disease-causing bacteria, undigested food particles, and toxins, pass directly through the damaged cells. Again, the immune system is alerted, and antibodies and substances called cytokines are released. Cytokines alert white blood cells to fight against these particles. This fight produces oxidants that cause inflammation and inflammation throughout the body.

Alternative drug causes of leaky gut syndrome include:

  • chronic stress
  • intestinal infection
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
  • environmental pollutants
  • excess alcohol
  • bad eating habits
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other drugs

Alternative practitioners sometimes link leaky gut syndrome with the following conditions:

  • autoimmune disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn’s disease
  • environmental disease
  • measles
  • acne
  • allergy
  • Inflammatory Arthropathy/Arthritis
  • intestinal infection
  • Pancreatic insufficiency
  • ulcerative colitis
  • Giardia (intestinal parasitic infection)
  • chronic fatigue syndrome
  • eczema
  • psoriasis
  • food allergies and sensitivities
  • liver dysfunction
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • irritable bowel syndrome


Standard tests for leaky gut syndrome are the mannitol and lactulose tests. Both are water-soluble molecules that the human body cannot use. Mannitol is easily absorbed by people with healthy intestinal walls. Lactulose is a larger molecule and is only slightly absorbed.

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In the test, a person drank a solution containing mannitol and lactulose. The urine was collected for six hours, and the amount present in the urine reflected how much of each substance was absorbed by the body. A healthy test showed high levels of mannitol and low levels of lactulose. If you find high levels of both molecules, it indicates leaky gut. If you find low levels of both molecules, it indicates general malabsorption of all nutrients.

VigorTip words

It’s important to remember that there is limited research on leaky gut syndrome. It is also important to note that self-treating the disease and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences. Be sure to consult your doctor if you experience any symptoms or have concerns about your health.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is leaky gut a recognized disease?

    No, leaky gut is not a recognized medical diagnosis, but it is used in alternative health circles. The concept of leaky gut is that the permeability of the gut leads to various health symptoms. While the intestinal lining may be dysfunctional, there is no evidence that this causes disease.

  • What are the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome?

    According to alternative medicine practitioners, leaky gut can cause abdominal pain, asthma, bloating, chronic joint pain, chronic muscle pain, confusion, constipation, diarrhea, frequent colds, irritability, gas, indigestion, memory problems, mood swings, Tension, recurrent vaginal infection, shortness of breath, and rash.

  • How is leaky gut treated?

    Treat a leaky gut with diet and supplements. Recommended dietary approaches to treating leaky gut include eating more fruits and vegetables and avoiding certain foods. If you have leaky gut syndrome, you may need to avoid beans, beans, corn, cruciferous vegetables, bran, fried foods, full-fat dairy, chocolate, pastries, cookies, xylitol, sorbitol Alcohol, brown rice, soda, caffeine and alcohol.

  • What Supplements Can Help Leaky Gut Syndrome?

    Alternative health experts often recommend probiotic supplements to treat leaky gut syndrome. Probiotics are commonly used to help balance gut bacteria and promote gut health.