Leaky Gut

Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome is a major cause of dysfunction and disease in our society today. For this reason, it’s important to understand its root cause and how to treat it. So, what is Leaky Gut Syndrome? And is it a cause of disease or a symptom?

Leaky gut is also known as escalated intestinal permeability. It is a digestive condition where bacteria and toxins leak through the intestinal walls.  

Scientists and health experts are often divided on the implications of leaky gut syndrome. For example, a study published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology  discusses the theory that increased permeability is a symptom of chronic diseases such as Celiac disease and type 1 diabetes. 

On the other hand, some studies show that gastrointestinal permeability is often present before the onset of chronic diseases associated with leaky gut syndrome.  

What Causes Leaky Gut? 

Our bodies usually have an extensive intestinal lining that covers more than 4000 square feet. When this lining is working optimally, it can form an ideal barrier that can help control what gets absorbed into the bloodstream.  

However, there are instances when this lining can become unhealthy. It may have cracks or even holes that allow penetration of partially digested food and toxins into the tissues around it. This might lead to inflammation and change the gut flora which may lead to digestive problems.

With leaky gut, the cells of your intestines will not produce enzymes for proper digestion. This can make your body fail to absorb essential nutrients. The result is a weakened immune system and hormonal imbalance. 

What Are the Symptoms of a Leaky Gut? 

The following are symptoms and signs of a leaky gut: 

  • Headaches, memory loss, brain fog 
  • Excessive Fatigue 
  • Nutritional deficiencies. 
  • Poor immune system 
  • Skin complications such as eczema, acne, and rosacea 
  • Anxiety and depression 

Risk Factors 

Several factors may increase the risk of developing leaky gut. These include: 

  1. Excessive sugar intake: If your diet is high in sugar, this may cause damage to the intestinal wall. This may lead to a leaky gut. 
  1. Excessive intake of alcohol:  Too much alcohol may increase intestinal permeability, leading to a leaky gut.  
  1. Nutritional deficiencies: Deficiencies in vitamin D, A and zinc can increase intestinal permeability causing a leaky gut.
  1. Stress: Stress is a common risk factor leading to a leaky gut.
  1. Yeast overgrowth: It is worth noting that your gut usually has some yeast growing in it. However, if there is an overgrowth of yeast you are likely to experience a leaky gut. 

Acupuncture for Leaky Gut?  

It’s important to promote a healthy gut to reduce the risk of leaky gut syndrome. This calls for lifestyle changes such as limiting the use of NSAIDs, eating high fibre foods, eating foods with probiotics, and limiting your intake of sugar and alcohol. 

Navel Acupuncture

You can also explore acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). TCM addresses the root cause of a disease by aiming to balance of Qi (energy/life force) and organ function.  Your acupuncture practitioner places needles on specific acupoints that correspond to relevant energy channels. With leaky gut syndrome, acupuncture treatment focuses on addressing imbalances in the kidneys, liver, and spleen. 

Call Centre of Balance Hamilton on 07 846 7956 to book an initial exam. Your practitioner will advise you on dietary and lifestyle changes that may help leaky gut, as well as giving you a treatment plan.

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Odenwald, M. A., & Turner, J. R. (2013). Intestinal permeability defects: is it time to treat? Clinical Gastroenterology and hepatology, 11(9), 1075-1083. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3758766/  

Meddings, J. B., Jarand, J., Urbanski, S. J., Hardin, J., & Gall, D. G. (1999). Increased gastrointestinal permeability is an early lesion in the spontaneously diabetic BB rat. American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology, 276(4), G951-G957. Retrieved from https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10198339/