What is a Leaky Gut?

What is a Leaky Gut?

Medical professionals do not see a leaky gut as a proper condition, but it has become a popular topic among health circles.

When referring to leaky gut, people are typically talking about permeability in the intestine, whereby toxins can leak through your intestinal wall. Although not recognised as a proper condition, more evidence shows that a leaky gut is a thing.

The Basics

All our guts are semi-permeable, so our intestines can absorb water and nutrients from what we eat and drink into our bloodstreams. However, for some, their guts permeability is increased, meaning they don’t just allow nutrients and water through. They also enable toxins and bacteria around. Put simply, they leak.

If toxins and bacteria enter the bloodstream, it can cause inflammation which may show as various diseases. Some other suggested symptoms are bloating, fatigue, skin issues, food sensitivities and digestive issues.


This is where things get a bit murky. As we mentioned earlier, leaky gut isn’t a medical diagnosis, and some medical professionals don’t believe it exists. So although there is mounting evidence to show it does exist in medical terms, the gut is still a bit of a mystery. Still, its importance to health seems to be more recognised.

Although nobody knows what causes leaky gut, the below are thought to be factors:

  • Poor gut health
  • Inflammation
  • Stress
  • Excess sugar intake
  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Some drugs

Disease and leaky gut

There is currently a lot of opinion on certain diseases being connected with the permeability of the intestine. While nothing is certain yet, the below diseases seem as though they may have a possible connection.

  • Celiac Disease – a disease whereby the person is highly sensitive to gluten.
  • Crohn’s Disease – a digestive disorder associated with inflammation of the intestinal tract.
  • IBS – a digestive condition where the patient often suffers from constipation and diarrhoea.
  • Diabetes (specifically Type 1) – an autoimmune reaction where the body destroys the cells that create insulin.
  • Food Allergies – any allergy to certain food types. Common ones include milk, eggs, nuts, shellfish and wheat.

What next?

Well, research into leaky gut will continue, and hopefully, the mystery will become clearer in the future. Also, research on the gut will continue and hopefully deliver further information about its importance to our health.

For now, the best thing to do is keep your gut healthy. Eating a good diet, exercising and living a healthy lifestyle will help keep your gut healthy.

If you want to learn about your gut health, why not look at our range of gut tests, find your gut score, and receive personalised recommendations on improving your gut health?

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