Leaky gut symptoms are extremely hard to pin down. Although there is no definitive way to detect leaky gut from symptoms alone, the approach listed here will help.
First I will briefly describe what leaky gut is, and then list some of the symptoms to watch out for.
Leaky gut is a condition where the seal between cells of the intestine, known as tight junctions, allow some things to pass through into the bloodstream. Normally, nutrients are absorbed into the blood through villi. When the gut leaks, other substances besides nutrients, such as partially digested food, bacteria casings etc., can also enter the bloodstream. This triggers the immune system, causing a wide range of symptoms. For more information on this, see the article on this website called Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Leaky Gut Symptoms
The following is a list of some leaky gut symptoms. The problem with listing symptoms, is that there are many of them, they vary from one person to another, and they are not definitive. Just because you have some or all of these, does not mean to say you have a leaky gut.
Another challenge is the list that follows this one: diseases associated with leaky gut syndrome. Are the symptoms caused by the leaky gut directly, or by the other diseases it can cause? Or do some of these diseases actually cause the leaky gut, rather than the other way around? In some cases, such as celiac, leaky gut is clearly caused by the disease. For other diseases, such as Crohn’s, it is unclear which causes which. Never the less, using these symptoms as a guideline, along with proper testing for a leaky gut, may be helpful.
- Abdominal distension
- Abdominal pain
- Cognitive and memory deficits
- Fatigue and malaise
- Fevers of unknown origin
- Food intolerances
- Poor exercise tolerance
- Shortness of breath
- Skin rashes
- Toxic feelings
Diseases Associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome
The following diseases are associated with leaky gut syndrome. This means that studies show that if you have one of the following, you have a higher chance of having a leaky gut than average. This list is probably more helpful than the list of symptoms above. On the other hand, the list above may also help diagnose the diseases listed below.
- AIDS, HIV infection
- Allergies (e.g. wheat allergy, gluten allergy)
- Celiac disease
- Childhood hyperactivity
- Chronic arthritis/pain treated with NSAIDS
- Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
- Diabetes (Type 1)
- Environmental illness
- Hepatic dysfunction
- HIV infection
- Infectious enterocolitis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Irritable bowel syndrome with food intolerance
- Major depression
- Multiple food and chemical sensitivities
- Neoplasia treated with cytotoxic drugs
- Pancreatic insufficiency
- Systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS)
What is is your experience with leaky gut syndrome? Of particular interest: do you have food allergies, especially gluten allergy? Please leave a comment.