Leaky Gut Syndrome: 8 Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

Some inflammatory problems and even mood swings can be related to leaky gut syndrome, so getting a proper diagnosis is a good idea.
Leaky Gut Syndrome: 8 Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore
José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli

Written and verified by the doctor José Gerardo Rosciano Paganelli.

Last update: 15 December, 2022

Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that develops when there are open spaces between cells in the membrane that covers the intestinal lining.

There’s a certain amount of permeability in any healthy body in order to absorb nutrients. However, in this case, there is inflammation that triggers uncomfortable symptoms. That’s because bacteria, metabolic waste, and food remains accumulate and move through the blood stream to the rest of the body.

As a result, this compromises vital organs. Most of the time, it confuses the immune system, which begins attacking its own body. That’s why it’s so important to know what the signs are if you suspect this illness.

Early detection is important for treatment. Therefore, today we’d like to mention the key signs.

Symptoms of leaky gut syndrome

A woman with stomach pain.

The following are the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome.

1. Digestive difficulties

Changes in your gut flora, along with poor digestion of food, causes certain digestive difficulties that may point to this syndrome.

While dozens of different gastrointestinal conditions can cause some of the symptoms, it’s important to consider this one as well.

People with leaky gut syndrome tend to experience:

  • Abdominal distension
  • Accumulation of intestinal gases
  • Diarrhea
  • Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  • Pain and a full feeling in the stomach

Take a look at this article as well: 4 Natural Teas for People With Digestive Problems

2. Seasonal allergies

Seasonal allergies, along with asthma or chronic sinusitis, are more common in people with weakened intestines due to leaky gut syndrome. Imbalances in the immune system produce these reactions and stop creating enough antibodies to attack the allergens and infectious agents.

3. Inflammatory conditions

A woman holding her abdomen.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the intestines.

If left untreated, leaky gut syndrome increases considerably your risk of chronic inflammatory diseases and conditions. It generates serious imbalances in your body’s inflammatory processes. And when combined with toxins, this affects your cells and causes illness.

Leaky gut syndrome is a risk factor for:

4. Hormonal imbalances

Your intestines do more than participate in digestion. While we know them as a key organ in proper digestion, they also play a role in regulating certain hormones.

That’s why if you have leaky gut syndrome, you may have hormonal imbalances that end up causing issues like PMS and polycystic ovarian syndrome.

We recommend reading: 8 Symptoms of a Hormonal Imbalance You May Be Unaware Of

5. Skin problems

When leaky gut syndrome affects intestinal bacteria, it’s common for there to also be skin problems.

Rashes and breakouts like those caused by acne and eczema are symptoms that are created by toxins that find their way into your blood when they aren’t digested and removed from your body by your digestive system. In this case, the skin issues are harder to treat since the intestinal problems must be fixed in order to remove the waste and lower inflammation.

6. Anxiety and depression

It may seem strange to you to hear that your intestines are related to your mood. But there’s a real link.

You may overlook it, but it has a lot to do with your emotional wellbeing. It’s in this part of the body where more than half of your serotonin comes from, serotonin being the chemical substance associated with happiness.

Imbalances caused by leaky gut syndrome affect the production of this element and that’s why anxiety and depression tend to appear.

7. Food intolerances

A woman with abdominal pain.
Patients with gluten intolerance experience gastrointestinal symptoms after eating foods such as wheat, oats, and barley.

When your bowel is compromised by leaky gut syndrome, certain components of food, such as lactose or gluten, trigger serious intolerances that affect your quality of life.

The syndrome makes it harder to break down these components, and when inflammation is triggered by your immune system, it causes digestive difficulties and autoimmune attacks.

8. Bad breath

Halitosis in people with leaky gut syndrome comes from the bacterial imbalances produced in the system. When there is trouble breaking down food and toxins build up, bad breath is produced, the kind that does not respond well to mouthwashes or external hygiene products.

Do you identify with any of the above symptoms? Do you suspect this condition? If so, see your doctor if you are having health problems.

If you are indeed diagnosed with leaky gut syndrome, keep in mind that a good part of the treatment consists of modifying your eating habits.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Brom, B. (2010). Integrative medicine and leaky gut syndrome. South African Family Practice.
  • tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20786204.2010.10873997

  • Qinghui Mu, Jay Kirby, Christopher M. Reilly, Xin M. LuoLeaky Gut As a Danger Signal for Autoimmune Diseases. (2017).
  • frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fimmu.2017.00598/full
  • NHS. “Leaky gut syndrome”. Page last reviewed: 09/03/2018.
  • nhs.uk/conditions/leaky-gut-syndrome/
    • Farshchi MK, Azad FJ, Salari R, Mirsadraee M, Anushiravani M. A Viewpoint on the Leaky Gut Syndrome to Treat Allergic Asthma: A Novel Opinion. (2017).

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.