Leaky Gut – Intestinal Permeability

Leaky gut – also known as intestinal permeability – can be caused by imbalances in gut flora, stress and or poor digestion.

A normal, healthy gut lining allows certain molecules to pass across into the bloodstream, and prevents others from entering, including endotoxins – broken down particles of your gut bacteria that make up your gut microbiome. 

A damaged intestinal lining can open up slightly, allowing larger particles such as incompletely digested foods, yeasts or bacteria to enter the bloodstream. The immune system interprets these as foreign and produces antibodies against them, leading to irritation, inflammation and reactions to some foods.

The presence of leaky gut can be confirmed with a simple Leaky Gut Test.


  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Indigestion
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue
  • Allergies
  • Mood swings
  • Skin problems
  • Joint pains
  • Headaches
  • Poor memory
  • Recurrent infections due to poor immunity

Contributory factors

Candida infection: a Candida infection is the result of an overgrowth of the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans in the gut. This can have a whole host of causes including poor dietary habits, compromised levels of friendly bacteria in the gut and poor immunity.

Common symptoms are as above plus a craving for sweet foods and difficulty losing weight.

Candida secures itself to the gut by rooting itself through the gut wall. This breach of the gut lining is what then leads to the development of leaky gut.

A Candida infection can be identified by a simple Stool Test. Smart Nutrition’s specialist dietary advice and supplements can then eliminate the Candida and restore healthy gut function.

Intestinal parasites: intestinal parasites can damage the gut lining when they latch onto it to secure themselves in the digestive system. Commonly picked up on holiday, these little pests can be detected by the Gut Pathogen Profile. Natural supplements and herbs can gently remove the unwanted guests and repair the damage they have done.

Coeliac disease: Coeliac disease is an allergy to the protein gluten found in wheat, barley, rye and oats. The presence of gluten in the digestive system stimulates an immune response that destroys the gut lining.

Symptoms vary widely from none at all to severe digestive discomfort, diarrhea, weight loss and weakness.

Coeliac disease can be confirmed by a simple Coeliac Disease Blood Test. Smart Nutrition can also help you to repair your gut lining and to adjust to living on a gluten free diet.

Lactose intolerance: lactose intolerance is another immune response in the gut that can lead to increased intestinal permeability.

Please contact us for more details about this test.

Insufficient digestive enzymes and/or stomach acid: if food is not properly digested when it reaches the delicate absorption part of the gut, it can easily damage the gut lining.

A Comprehensive Digestive Stool Test can determine the efficiency of your digestive process.

Smart Nutrition can also use these results to design a protocol that will improve your digestion and help to repair the damage to the gut.

Chronic stress: stress suppresses the immune system and causes inflammation.

A healthy immune system can easily block out typical pathogens, but a weak one may be overrun. When the immune system is overactive for an extended period of time, leaky gut can develop.

Additionally, the first organ system to lose its blood supply during a stress reaction is the intestinal tract, so regular stress starves the intestinal tract of blood and compromises the function of its lining. This makes the gut more susceptible to an invasion by disease causing organisms such as Candida and parasites … which then cause further permeability problems.

If stress may be a contributing factor in your condition, an Adrenal Stress Test can help pinpoint precise imbalances. Smart Nutrition can target these with dietary and lifestyle changes.

Frequent use of alcohol, painkillers (especially aspirin), steroids or the contraceptive pill: these substances can all increase intestinal permeability.

If you regularly use alcohol or pharmaceuticals, a Leaky Gut Test will give you a useful indication of the extent of any effects. Smart Nutrition can also help you to address any underlying health problems that may be contributing to your need to use these substances.

Chemotherapy: chemotherapy kills cancer cells but also damages our own body cells – particularly those in the gut. Increased intestinal permeability is therefore one of the many side effects of chemotherapy.

If you’re recuperating from treatment, Smart Nutrition can design specialist protocols to support you through your recovery.

Useful Links

Please do not return samples to the laboratories that may arrive after Wednesday 27th March and up to and including Monday 2nd April.

The laboratories are closed from the 28th March – 2nd April for the Easter Holiday.