Seasonal allergies. Brain fog. Skin problems. Hormone imbalances. Digestive issues. Mood swings. Did you know that these are all symptoms of leaky gut?

The gut truly is the gateway to health. It’s where nearly 80% of your immune system lives. Your gut is also where up to 95% of your serotonin (the primary neurotransmitter responsible for your mood) is produced.1 If your gut is healthy, chances are that you are in good health.

However, there’s a condition called ‘leaky gut syndrome’ that can lead to a whole host of health problems and set you on the path to chronic illness. Leaky gut symptoms go far beyond digestive issues. And thanks to our modern environment, leaky gut is much more common than you’d think. In fact, millions of people are struggling with leaky gut syndrome without even knowing it!

What is leaky gut? Before I dive in, feel free to view my video on leaky gut syndrome below:

What is Leaky Gut?

Think of your gut as a drawbridge. Your gut is naturally semi-permeable to let teeny-tiny boats (micronutrients) pass through your intestinal wall and into your bloodstream. It’s how you absorb your food. Certain external factors, including food, infections, toxins, and stress, can break apart the tight junctions in your intestinal wall, leaving the drawbridge open.

Once this happens, you have a leaky gut. When your gut is leaky, much larger boats that were never meant to get through (toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles) can escape into your bloodstream. Your immune system marks these “foreign invaders” as pathogens and attacks them.

The symptoms of leaky gut occur as a result of your body’s immune response to these invaders. I’ll discuss what these symptoms are, what causes leaky gut syndrome, and how to prevent and reverse leaky gut symptoms with the help of Leaky Gut Revive®.

https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/signs-leaky-gut/ Signs You Have a Leaky Gut – Infographic – Amy Myers MD®

9 Leaky Gut Symptoms

Leaky gut syndrome has been linked to hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and hashimoto’s thyroiditis, diabetes, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and rosacea, just to name a few.

A properly functioning digestive system is critical to good health. Problems in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach pain, gas, bloating, or diarrhea; they can be the root cause of many chronic health problems. If your intestinal wall has been compromised, you’ll likely experience these leaky gut symptoms:

  1. Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  2. Food allergies or food intolerances
  3. Brain fog, difficulty concentrating, ADD, or ADHD
  4. Mood imbalances such as depression and anxiety
  5. Skin issues such as acne, rosacea, or eczema
  6. Seasonal allergies or asthma
  7. Hormonal imbalances such as irregular periods, PMS, or PCOS
  8. Diagnosis of an autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, psoriasis, or celiac disease
  9. Diagnosis of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
4 causes of Leaky Gut – Infographic – Amy Myers MD® 4 causes of Leaky Gut - Infographic - Amy Myers MD® https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/signs-leaky-gut/ 4 causes of Leaky Gut – Infographic – Amy Myers MD®

What Causes Leaky Gut?

A poor diet is one of the leading factors of leaky gut syndrome. In fact, gluten is the number one cause of leaky gut. Gluten causes the gut cells to release zonulin, a protein that can break apart the tight junctions in your intestinal lining.2 Other inflammatory foods (such as dairy) or toxic foods (such as sugar and alcohol) are causes of leaky gut syndrome as well.

Infections, toxins, and stress are the other three important factors that can cause leaky gut symptoms. The most common infectious causes are Candida overgrowth, intestinal parasites, and SIBO, or small intestine bacterial overgrowth. Toxins come in the form of medications including NSAIDS (Motrin and Advil), steroids, antibiotics, and acid-reducing drugs.3 Environmental toxins including mercury, pesticides, and BPA from plastics are also causal agents. Finally, stress can also contribute to a leaky gut.

The Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Connection

When your gut remains leaky, more and more particles are able to escape into your bloodstream. Your immune system reacts by sending out wave after wave of inflammation to attack the foreign invaders. This state of high alert causes your immune system to become overstressed and fire less accurately. This can lead your own tissues to get caught in the crosshairs and cause a flood of leaky gut symptoms. Eventually, this will develop into full-blown autoimmunity if your leaky gut syndrome is not addressed.

In addition, your immune system starts making antibodies against the substances that have escaped into your bloodstream. Many of these foreign invaders—gluten and dairy in particular—look very similar to your own body’s cells.4 Under constant pressure, your immune system can get confused and accidentally attack your tissues. This process of mistaken identity is called molecular mimicry. It’s another way that leaky gut syndrome can trigger autoimmune disease.

We know from the research of Dr. Alessio Fasano that leaky gut is a necessary precondition for developing an autoimmune disease.5

And, once you have an autoimmune disease, leaving your leaky gut untreated can cause your condition to progress. This places you at greater risk of developing another autoimmune disease.

Find out if you have a leaky gut with this free quiz!

How Do You Treat a Leaky Gut?

If you’re wondering how to heal leaky gut and prevent leaky gut symptoms, I suggest everyone begin by following the 4R approach:

Remove

Remove all inflammatory foods that can contribute to leaky gut such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, and eggs. You’ll also need to ditch toxic foods including sugar, caffeine, and alcohol. Finally, eliminate any gut infections you have, whether caused by Candida overgrowth, SIBO or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, or parasites.

Replace

Replace the bad with the good. Adding leaky gut supplements such as digestive enzymes to your regimen will help support optimal digestion and nutrient absorption, as well as assist your body’s intestinal repair and inflammation responses.

Reinoculate

Restore the beneficial bacteria in your gut with high-quality, high-potency probiotics to re-establish a healthy microbiome. I recommend 100 billion CFUs (colony forming units) while dealing with a leaky gut. Transition to 30 billion CFUs as a maintenance dose.

Repair

Provide your gut with the essential nutrients it needs to repair itself. My most comprehensive weapon against leaky gut is Leaky Gut Revive®. This leaky gut supplement contains powerful, gut-repairing ingredients such as L-glutamine, aloe, licorice, arabinogalactan, slippery elm, and marshmallow root. With these ingredients, Leaky Gut Revive® nourishes and soothes your gut cells, restores your gut’s natural mucosal lining, and maximizes gut-mending fatty acid production. Another one of my favorite leaky gut supplements is collagen which is rich in amino acids that quite literally “seal the leaks” or perforations in your gut by repairing damaged cells and building new tissue.

Repairing your leaky gut is the first step in restoring your health. Be sure to review my article on common mistakes people make in their leaky gut treatment. By overcoming leaky gut, you can reverse your symptoms, reduce your risk for a number of chronic illnesses, and start living your best life!

Leaky Gut Revive container

Leaky Gut Signs & Symptoms FAQs

https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/signs-leaky-gut/

What is leaky gut?

Leaky gut syndrome is when the tight junctions that hold your intestinal wall together become loose. While it’s naturally semi-permeable, certain factors can punch large holes in your intestinal wall, allowing toxins, microbes, and undigested food particles to escape into your bloodstream.


https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/signs-leaky-gut/

What are the most common leaky gut symptoms?

Digestive issues such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, or IBS, food allergies or intolerances, brain fog or mood imbalances, and autoimmunity are all leaky gut syndrome symptoms.


https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/signs-leaky-gut/

What are the main causes of leaky gut syndrome?

The high prevalence of leaky gut is a direct result of our modern lifestyle. The toxic and inflammatory foods we eat, medications, infections, and chemicals our bodies are exposed to and the chronic stress many of us are under every day are the cause of leaky gut.


https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/signs-leaky-gut/

What foods should you avoid if you have leaky gut syndrome?

Gluten is the number one culprit in leaky gut. Other inflammatory foods such as dairy, grains, pseudo-grains, nightshades, and eggs along with toxic foods such as sugar, alcohol, and GMOs are key contributors to leaky gut and leaky gut symptoms.


https://www.amymyersmd.com/article/signs-leaky-gut/

How do I know if my leaky gut is repaired?

Once you’ve followed a protocol to repair your gut, your leaky gut symptoms (or lack of them!) are the strongest indication of whether or not your gut is healthy. You might notice your digestive issues disappear, food sensitivities go away, skin issues clear up, or autoimmune labs improve.


Article Sources

  1. That Gut Feeling. . American Psychological Association. .
  2. Zonulin, Regulation of Tight Junctionsm and Autoimmune Disease. . NCBI. .
  3. Toxins in Drug Discovery and Pharmacology. . NCBI. .
  4. Molecular Mimicry As A Mechanism for Food Immune Reactivities and Autoimmunity. . NCBI. .
  5. Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases. . NCBI. .