Leaky gut, or increased intestinal permeability, is a term that gets a lot of attention on health blogs and advertisements these days. Many Americans are curious about increased intestinal permeability and believe it to be a contributing factor to their health issues. Leaky gut is a functional intestinal disorder at the site of nutrient absorption, known as the brush border, in the proximal small intestine.
The causes of leaky gut are numerous, including but not limited to the following:
- intestinal infections
- small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- food allergies and sensitivities
- non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) usage
- low stomach acid
- high intake of sugar or alcohol
The symptoms of leaky gut are also wide-ranging and are often related to other conditions such as:
- irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Celiac disease
- small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
- gastrointestinal (GI) infections
In some clinical settings, leaky gut is not considered a disease on its own but is often investigated as an underlying cause of other illnesses. Leaky gut has been implicated in many chronic diseases, including cancer, autism, and autoimmune diseases.
There is no one clear-cut treatment for leaky gut. However, there are many effective ways to evaluate for this condition using various diagnostic markers and remedies. Contact your doctor to learn more about the diagnosis and treatment of this condition.
Click here for a breakdown of the science and citations behind Leaky Gut.