Leaky Gut Signs: 10 Common Symptoms You Shouldn’t Ignore
You know that moment at the end of the week where you feel like your energy and health is going backwards?
Maybe your joints are aching all over, or you’re breaking out with acne like a hormonal teenager again. Maybe you’ve got debilitating headaches and anxiety that seems to come out of nowhere?!
You might just have something called leaky gut.
Are you surprised to hear that these are symptoms of “leaky gut”, yet none of those problems actually take place in the gut?
This is actually more common than you think, because the gut microbiome is actually the engine of the body….which means it’s connected to all your body systems.
What is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut syndrome is also known as intestinal permeability. It’s when the intestinal lining becomes more permeable than usual, allowing harmful toxins and microbes (bad bacteria, fungus, parasites) to pass through.
Intestinal hyperpermeability happens when your gut lining becomes damaged or weak. Harmful toxins, undigested food particles, parasites, fungus, bacteria, pesticides, and chemicals can enter your bloodstream, causing health problems. These harmful substances then flow through every single system in your body, wreaking havoc.
So how exactly does this happen?
Well, it helps to know a bit about how your digestive system works.
Many different types of gut bacteria live in your microbiome. They help break down certain indigestible compounds, produce essential nutrients, and protect the intestinal lining from pathogens. However, when there is an imbalance in the gut microbiome, harmful bacteria can take over. This triggers an inflammatory response, causing the tight junctions between the intestinal cells to loosen.
One key place this happens is inside your small intestine. Your small intestine is a long, tubular organ located between the stomach and large intestine.
It’s responsible for absorbing nutrients from the food we eat.
The inner lining of the small intestine contains finger-like projections called villi and microvilli. These projections increase the surface area for absorbing nutrients.
When the integrity of the intestinal wall sustains damage, it also damages the villi and microvilli, which leads to problems in absorbing nutrients. This disruption lets undigested food particles and harmful substances enter the bloodstream.
This triggers your immune system to go crazy and launch an intestinal inflammation attack throughout your body. You wind up with a whole bunch of symptoms you might not even realize are related to your gut health.
10 Surprising Leaky Gut Signs
Feeling tired all the time? Leaky gut is responsible for all sorts of energy-depleting disorders, like chronic fatigue syndrome. Because intestinal hyperpermeability triggers chronic inflammation, your body sends constant immune reactions, which expends a significant amount of energy. Additionally, because the small intestine is compromised, nutrients such as iron, magnesium, and B vitamins (which are all crucial for energy production and overall health) are depleted. One other reason leaky gut contributes to feeling constantly exhausted is because your overactive inflammatory response affects the production of certain neurotransmitters and hormones that play a role in regulating energy levels and mood. Long story short? All that inflammation and immune response is just wearing you out.
2. Joint Pain
If you’re feeling like an old creaky door that needs some WD-40, it might just be that leaky gut causing inflammation in your joints.
3. Skin Issues
You might be thinking, “Why do I feel like my face looks like I’m 15 again?” Leaky gut can cause inflammation in your skin and lead to conditions like eczema and acne.
4. Brain Fog
Are you having trouble remembering why you walked into the room? Or do you have a hard time multitasking? Struggling to find a word that’s on the tip of your tongue? Maybe you’ve been driving down the road and passed right by your exit! That leaky gut might be messing with your cognitive abilities and giving you some serious brain fog.
Those pounding headaches that strike at the most inconvenient time, or just won’t go away? Yep, you guessed it – leaky gut strikes again! Why is this? Well, when you are in a perpetual state of inflammation, your body shoots our chemicals designed to try to “burn up” the invaders it wants to destroy and remove. This involves releasing inflammatory chemicals that can activate pain receptors in the brain and surrounding tissues, leading to headaches. Plus, the inflammation of blood vessels can lead to changes in blood flow and pressure, potentially contributing to headaches. It’s also interesting to note that certain substances that leak through the gut barrier can directly affect the nervous system and contribute to headache symptoms. For example, when some food components are leaked into the bloodstream (histamine, gluten, and nitrates, for instance), they may act as triggers for migraines or tension headaches in people who are more susceptible.
6. Autoimmune Disease
Emerging research suggests a significant link between autoimmune disorders and leaky gut syndrome. Leaky gut-related autoimmune disorders can include thyroiditis, Graves disease, type 1 diabetes, lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease, alopecia areata, or vitiligo. If you have any of these, it means your body is attacking itself and it could be that leaky gut is contributing to the development of your autoimmune disorders.
7. Mood Issues
If you’re feeling like a hot mess emotionally, like your moods are whipping up and down (and it’s causing issues with your work, friends, and family), it might be time to consider that leaky gut is messing with you. Fun fact: your mental health doesn’t live entirely in your head. A large percentage of the chemicals that play a role in your mental health actually stem from your gut. For example, the microorganisms that live in your digestive system, including beneficial bacteria and other microbes, are involved in producing neurotransmitters like serotonin (AKA: your “happy hormone”) which regulates mood, happiness, and anxiety. Your gut microbiome also influences the production of dopamine and GABA, which are linked to motivation, pleasure, and relaxation. Plus, the microbiome helps produce short-chain fatty acids that support brain health and may help reduce inflammation, which has been linked to mental health disorders. So with new information, it makes a lot of sense why leaky gut would be intimately involved with mood disorders, doesn’t it?
8. Food Sensitivities
Feeling like you’re “allergic” to everything under the sun? Well, leaky gut might just be letting undigested food particles and other irritants into your bloodstream and triggering food allergies and sensitivities. Because your immune system identifies these leaked substances as foreign invaders, it produces antibodies against them. As a result, your body starts to recognize these specific food particles as harmful, leading to the development of food sensitivities. Over time, repeated exposure to these food particles can exacerbate the immune response and cause an inflammatory reaction whenever those foods are consumed. This cycle of inflammation and immune response can lead to symptoms such as bloating, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other gastrointestinal issues… all of which you likely attribute to being “sensitive”.
9. Hormonal Imbalances
Inflammation is known to affect the function of the endocrine system, which is responsible for producing and regulating hormones. Leaky gut can alter your gut microbiome composition, impacting the metabolism of hormones and how they get processed throughout the body. When leaky gut disrupts your hormone production and metabolism, you can wind up with major hormone imbalances, potentially causing issues like irregular periods, mood swings, weight fluctuations, fertility problems, low libido, inability to orgasm, or crazy cravings.
10. Chronic Diseases
Leaky gut is itself a cause of chronic inflammation, which can lead to a whole bunch of chronic health issues like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
How to Improve Leaky Gut Naturally
If you suspect that you may have a leaky gut, there are several things that you can do to improve the condition and promote better gut health. Here are some of the most effective strategies for addressing a leaky gut:
Change Your Diet
One of the best things you can do to repair a leaky gut is to change your poor diet. This means eliminating processed foods, sugar, and other inflammatory foods from your diet, and focusing on whole, nutrient-dense foods with loads of healthy fats that promote gut health.
There are several supplements that can be helpful for addressing leaky gut, including probiotics, digestive enzymes, and glutamine. These supplements can help to heal the intestinal wall and promote better gut health.
Here are a few I recommend:
- CT-Biotic – A probiotic that provides 1 1 bacterial strains and the beneficial fungus called Saccharomyces boulardii, that are essential for supporting detoxification, digestive function, and immunity
- CT-Zyme – When taken with meals, CT-Zyme acts as a digestive enzyme to assist the body in digesting high-fiber and nutrient-dense foods
- Immune Charge+® Zinc Ionophore – Contains Zinc and quercetin that support the gut’s natural barrier integrity and safeguard the body from outside environmental stressors
- Microb-Manager™ + Ultra Binder – Optimize your microbial environment with Artemisinin, berberine, Boswellia, Andrographis, curcumin and more to promote a healthy inflammatory response
Stress is well-known as a root cause of all inflammation, which means it can be a major contributor to leaky gut. So obviously, it’s important to find ways to reduce stress in your life. Easy ways to trigger your parasympathetic response system (otherwise known as your “rest and digest” function) is to utilize things like meditation, yoga, or other stress-reduction techniques. I highly recommend creating a regular self-care routine, which will help you shed stress daily. It’s also important to get enough high-quality sleep, which is critical to reduce chronic inflammation and allow all your systems the time and space they need to relax, restore, and repair your cells each night.
Get Enough Sleep
Sleep is critical for overall health and well-being, and it’s especially important for gut health. Aim to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep each night, and try to stick to a regular sleep schedule. Use these tips to get the best sleep of your life so you wake up each day refreshed and energized.
Regular exercise promotes better gut health. Exercise helps to reduce inflammation throughout the body, which can help to improve the health of the intestinal lining and reduce leaky gut symptoms.
How to Eliminate Leaky Gut for Good
If you suspect you have leaky gut, take action right away.
Leaky gut syndrome can cause a range of health problems, from digestive issues to skin rashes, joint pain, and mood swings. So it’s vital to address it immediately, as it impacts your entire life!
While many health experts, including medical professionals at the Cleveland Clinic, believe intestinal permeability can be addressed with lifestyle changes and other strategies, it’s best to know what’s going on specifically inside of you.
Working with a functional medicine practitioner is the most effective way to address leaky gut for good.
With a professional by your side, you can achieve the fastest, most permanent solution to leaky gut so you can have more energy, restore your natural youth and radiant vibrancy, and enjoy your life!
Don’t let these symptoms hold you back—there is a solution. And I’ll help you create a custom one just for you.
By taking the right steps together, we can heal your intestinal lining, reduce inflammation, and improve your overall health and wellbeing. Not to mention, save you time, money, and stress because you no longer have to try to figure out what’s going on with you alone.
Together, we can make a real difference in your gut health and start feeling better than ever before.
Let’s see if we’re a good match.
Take Good Care,