There is no single cause of leaky gut syndrome. However, the main contributors are: chronic stress, environmental contaminants, dysbiosis, immune overload, gastrointestinal disease, poor food choices, overuse of alcoholic beverages, presence of pathogenic bacteria, yeasts, parasites, and prolonged use of NSAIDs.

When we have chronic stress, our body can’t tell the difference from rushing to make an appointment, trying to multi-task or when we meet a wild animal that wants to eat us. The body’s response is the same: It stops producing DHEA (an anti-stress, anti-aging adrenal hormone) and slgA (one of the first lines of immune defense) and slows down the digestive process. So take a deep breath, do some meditation, and learn to laugh off the little things that happen in life.

Environmental contaminants are everywhere, and exposure to them breaks down different parts of the body. This puts a strain on our immune system — it can only do so much. As our immune system gets spread thin, our gut gets less attention than it needs.

Dysbiosis is a microbial imbalance inside the body. Candida pushes its way into the lining of the intestines, and breaks down brush borders.

The overuse of alcohol is dangerous. Alcohol has few nutrients and it requires many nutrients to break down, mostly vitamin B, and is made up of toxic chemicals that are either stored in the liver, or in other parts of the body. This puts a strain on the liver, which in turn, compromises the digestive tract.

Poor food choices do not help at all. A diet low in fiber will allow toxins to stay in the digestive system, causing damage as well. A diet high in processed food has little nutritional value, and injures our intestinal tract. It’s important to know that some foods we generally think of as healthy can actually irritate our digestive system, such as milk, eggs, and wheat.