Leaky gut

Find out what causes leaky gut—and what you can do about it.

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What is leaky gut?

In a healthy small intestine, gaps between cells open to let nutrients through, but otherwise they remain shut. When someone has leaky gut, these gaps remain open when they shouldn’t—allowing lots of unsavoury substances to pass through.

These substances—which include pathogens, undigested food and bacteria—can then get into the bloodstream, where they cause an immune reaction and inflammation.

The good news is that if you suspect you have leaky gut, there’s a lot you can do to address it.

Why causes leaky gut?

Leaky gut can result from many conditions or behaviours, including:


Small intestine bacterial overgrowth (a.k.a. bacteria the wrong place) can damage the gut, leading to increased permeability.

Food sensitivities.

The inflammatory reaction caused by food sensitivities can make the gaps between cells stay open longer than they should.

Poor diet.

High-fat, low-fibre diets have been associated with increased intestinal permeability.

High alcohol intake.

Alcohol is a known irritant to the gut lining and can damage the ‘seals’ between cells.

Bacterial imbalance.

Inappropriate levels of certain bacteria (known as 'dysbiosis') can lead to inflammation, contributing to leaky gut.

Chronic stress.

Studies show that stress encourages the overgrowth of bacteria and damages the intestinal barrier.


This is really a type of chronic stress, and can be both a cause and a result of leaky gut.

Parasitic infections.

Parasites damage your gut by causing an immune reaction. They also eat the nutrients you need for gut repair.

Excessive use of painkillers.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, more commonly known as painkillers, have been found to damage the gut lining.

Find out how to beat Leaky Gut, talk to our experts.

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3 natural remedies for leaky gut

There are lots of things you can do to address leaky gut. Start with these:


Eat whole foods.

Real, whole foods are free from the additives that can damage the gut lining.

Eat whole foods

Consider cutting out gluten.

This is a key player in the development of leaky gut, whether a person has coeliac disease or not. Most people benefit from eliminating gluten for a period.


Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink.

Unfortunately, boozy drinks are known to irritate the gut lining.

Reduce the amount of alcohol you drink

Associated symptoms of leaky gut

Chronic diarrhoea
Chronic stress
Chronic fatigue
Autoimmune disease
Type-2 diabetes
Liver disease
Poor immunity
Joint pain
Food sensitivities
Brain fog
High alcohol intake
Low fibre diet
Nutritional deficiencies
Mood imbalances

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