What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?

What Causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Leaky gut syndrome results from damaging the cells of the small intestine so that the spaces between them become larger and allow incompletely digested food molecules and ‘waste' particles to pass through.  Many things can damage these cells, causing or aggravating leaky gut syndrome.  Below are the most common culprits:


  • Antibiotics
  • NSAIDS-non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (e.g., aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen)
  • Birth control pills
  • Steroid drugs
  • Chemotherapeutic agents
  • Antacids


  • A diet high in refined sugar and flour, processed foods, chemical food additives such as artificial colours and flavours, alcohol (yes, that includes beer and wine), soda pop and caffeine act on the body like toxins.  They place a heavy load on the body's immune system, overburden the liver, and irritate the intestinal lining.

Microorganisms & Free Radicals:

  • Various parasites, bacteria, mold and mycotoxins can damage the intestinal lining and can act on undigested food molecules in the gut producing toxic wastes, chemicals, and gas.  These toxic by-products can also damage the intestinal lining and, when they pass into the blood, set off immune responses and increase the body's toxic load.
  • Free Radicals can damage any of the body's tissues and cells, including the intestinal lining.

Nutrient Deficiencies:

  • Zinc and vitamin B-6 are needed to maintain intestinal wall integrity as well as produce hydrochloric acid.
  • Vitamin A is needed to build healthy mucosal linings, including those of the intestines. 
  • The amino acid, l-glutamine, found in protein plays a part in the normal repair process of the intestines. 

Various Diseases and Disorders:

  • Inflammatory conditions of the intestines such as Crohn's Disease, colitis, celiac, and pancreatitis can not only cause increase intestinal permeability, the increased intestinal permeability can in turn aggravate these conditions.
  • HIV/AIDS can also create a leaky gut as can the medications used to manage the disease.
  • Candidiasis
  • Cancers of the gastro-intestinal tract
  • Food Allergies that cause an immune response along the gastro-intestinal tract
  • Liver disorders and poor liver function


  • A high-stress lifestyle or an inability to deal with everyday stresses-reduces blood flow to the gut and increases free radicals
  • Nicotine

How can you heal Leaky Gut Syndrome? Click here to find out.  

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  1. Due to the number of requests for information I receive, I thought users of Stop Leaky Gut would benefit from reading the questions and responses of others who suffer from Leaky Gut Syndrome.  I welcome questions and will endeavor to reply promptly.  I reserve the right to edit questions and to refuse questions and comments containing inappropriate content.  The information provided is intended to be educational in nature only and does not replace medical advice.

    I will also be posting articles or information that would be of interest to my clients.

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