Causes of Leaky Gut Syndrome

Causes of Leaky Gut

There is no one cause of leaky gut, also known as LGS (leaky gut syndrome) or intestinal permeability.

However, LGS is a growing problem in the modern world and it's important to identify as many causal factors as possible.

Since it is a relatively modern disorder, the habits and diets of modern cultures are certainly suspect.

Here are some behaviors, conditions and dietary habits that are implicated in the development of leaky gut.

Causes of Leaky Gut - Candida

Candida is bodily yeast. It is always present in the human body, but sometimes an imbalance occurs. The yeast then grow in numbers so great they cause inflammation and infections. Candida overgrowth can result in inflammation of the intestinal wall. A chronically inflamed intestine can become a perforated one. When this happens, the gut becomes "leaky."

Wheat and Dairy Foods

The proteins in wheat and dairy (gluten and casein, respectively) may or may not be causal factors in LGS.

It's something of a chicken-egg dilemma - sensitivity to wheat and dairy goes hand-in-hand with LGS, but whether that is because the proteins have leaked out of an already-leaky gut or because the proteins have played a role in making the gut leaky is hard to say.

However, gluten and casein do exacerbate LGS and can not be ruled out as causal factors.


White sugar is everywhere in the modern world. It is used in frozen foods, packaged foods, and even salt. Its effect on the body is primarily inflammatory, which includes the intestinal tract.

Sugar exhausts the immune system. For the body to metabolize sugar, it has to use many important vitamins, particularly the B vitamins. B vitamins are a vital component of the immune system, and in fact, healthy gut flora actually manufacture some B vitamins. Sugar sabotages this delicately balanced process.

Sugar also feeds candida, which is often linked with LGS. Eating too much sugar contributes to the yeast's overgrowth.

Refined Grains

White flour has a similar effect on the body as white sugar. Without the bran and germ of the grain, the refined flour (no matter how artificially "enriched" it is) has little fiber, and is converted by the body almost immediately into glucose, a type of sugar.

The intestines need fiber to function properly. So the over-consumption of white flour products leads to a lack of fiber and the debilitating effects of white sugar.

Sugary Beverages

Colas are extremely caustic and acidic, and full of corn syrup. Corn syrup is detrimental to anyone trying to overcome candida. Yeast thrives on corn syrup.

Disease-Causing Microbes

Other causes of leaky gut may be bacteria that cause disease is another chicken-egg situation. There may be pathogenic (disease-causing) bacteria present because the LGS has created an imbalance, or the pathogenic bacteria may be present due to other factors, causing the imbalance and LGS. Either way, pathogenic bacteria can burrow into the intestinal walls, causing inflammation and perforation.


Intestinal parasites can not be ruled out either. Generally microscopic, these parasitic bugs can cause leaky gut syndrome or LGS-like symptoms.


One of the main thought causes of leaky gut may be over-use of antibiotics. Antibiotics are the opposite of probiotics. They kill off both good and bad bacteria, giving problematic microbes like yeast the upper hand.

Further Reading - Leaky Gut Syndrome:

General overview of this condition

Treatment through diet

The link between candida overgrowth and LGS

Symptoms of LGS

Natural Cures for LGS

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