Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome, which means “permeable intestine”, refers to a disruption of the mucosal barrier in the small intestine. This allows toxins, bacteria, fungi and undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream, which can lead to systemic inflammation and immunological reactions. The health consequences of increased intestinal permeability are manifold and can affect all organ systems of the body. In patients with leaky gut syndrome, it is often the case that the symptoms are treated but the underlying problem is not addressed.

Symptoms of Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Some of these include food intolerances, skin problems, fatigue, autoimmune diseases, immune disorders, heart disease and joint disease. The general tendency to inflammation can increase and upset the immune system. The increased permeability increases the body’s toxin load, which further weakens the organism and intensifies the symptoms.

Causes of Leaky Gut

The causes of leaky gut syndrome can be varied and can be both physical and psychological.

The following causes can be associated with leaky gut:

  • Chronic stress and psychological trauma
  • Environmental pollution, e.g. heavy metals, pesticides and herbicides
  • Intestinal infections with harmful bacteria, fungi and parasites
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Unhealthy diet and food intolerances
  • Micronutrient deficiencies
  • Certain medications
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Hidden chronic inflammation (silent inflammation)

Leaky Gut Syndrome Test

The test for leaky gut syndrome can be carried out in different ways. The following leaky gut syndrome tests are widely used in medicine:

  • Lactulose mannitol test. The patient drinks the lactulose-mannitol solution. In the case of a leaky gut, the substances can be detected in a urine test.
  • Zonulin test. The zonulin level in the blood can be elevated in leaky gut
  • Intestinal Fatty Acid Binding Protein (I-FABP). I-FABP is an intestine-specific molecule and can be detected in the blood if the intestinal mucosa is damaged.
  • Alpha-1-antitrypsin test. This substance is produced in the liver and is detected in a stool examination if a leaky gut is present.
  • Secretory IgA. Secretory immunoglobulin A may be reduced in leaky gut syndrome.
  • A low concentration of β-defensins in the stool is an indication of a leaky gut.
  • The doctor should have a lot of knowledge and experience when selecting leaky gut syndrome tests and evaluating them correctly.

Treatment of Leaky Gut

At the heart of leaky gut treatment is professional intestinal rehabilitation, with all the necessary measures to strengthen the intestines and heal the permeability. This also includes adapting the diet and avoiding foods that trigger allergies and intolerances. Nutrition, dietary supplements and infusion therapies can be used to compensate for physical deficiencies in vitamins, minerals and trace elements.

Anti-inflammatory measures and detoxification can provide additional support and further promote the healing of leaky gut.

In order to contain the physical inflammation, the search for silent inflammation (hidden inflammation) is important and should be carried out on an interdisciplinary basis with experienced colleagues from different disciplines.

Dr. med. Karsten Ostermann M.A.

Leaky gut syndrome is widespread nowadays. The various causes should be clarified and taken into account during treatment.

Dr. Karsten Ostermann

Further information

The information listed contains relevant topics and serves to improve understanding.