Transient Leaky Gut Syndrome

The word “Transient” means; “Not lasting for a long time, passing in time, not staying in the same place for a long time.

For our purposes, we define “transient leaky gut” as a leaky gut episode that is not chronic and that can manifest for short to moderate periods of time and the clear up only to return again. The key is it is not chronic!
Leaky gut syndrome has been well described in scientific literature as an accompaniment of various intestinal diseases, as well as in those who have suffered from severe trauma or major surgery. It has been recognized that, in these conditions, increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome) results in a poorer outcome for the patient. However, leaky gut syndrome may be an accompaniment of a much wider range of health conditions. For example, researchers have shown that a significant percentage of children with autism have increased intestinal permeability. Likewise, research I have conducted demonstrates that almost three out of four children with attention deficit disorder also have leaky gut syndrome–most without any obvious intestinal symptoms! Other conditions, such as chronic fatigue syndrome, food allergies and air borne allergies, chemical sensitivities and intolerances, arthritic pain in the joints and connective tissue are signs of Leaky Gut.


Nutritionally oriented health-care practitioners can order tests, such as the lactulose-mannitol intestinal permeability test which is the original test that revealed Leaky Gut Syndrome, and the new “Intestinal Permeability Breath Test” to determine if a person has a leaky gut. In addition a Comprehensive Stool Test can be done that can measure areas of intestinal health that can infer leaky gut.
A test that infers something without actually having 1st hand evidence of the condition or state existing has been referred to as an “inference test” in the field of engineering.
Many tests used in alternative health care are just that. Best example being Applies Kinesiology or as it is commonly know as, “muscle testing”.


Leaky gut syndrome results in large quantities of partially digested food molecules, as well as debris from bacteria and yeast organisms, passing directly through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream and lymph. In fact, it has been clearly demonstrated that even living micro-organisms can pass directly through the intestinal wall by the thousands when there is a leaky gut!

It isn’t hard to imagine that leaky gut syndrome can cause a significant amount of stress on the internal workings of the body. The food and microbiological debris that passes through the leaky gut ends up residing temporarily in the blood and lymph, where it puts a great deal of strain on the immune system guarding the intestine, since the immune cells have to process this unwanted debris. Every drop of blood coming from the intestine is then filtered by the liver, which also is placed under great stress. Debris from the leaky gut that enters the intestinal lymph fluid also empties directly into the bloodstream through a duct in the neck. This debris then passes through the right side of the heart and is filtered largely by the lungs. This, in turn, places the lungs under a great deal of stress and may contribute to chronic respiratory problems.
Overall, the syndrome results in over-activation of the immune system surrounding the intestine, within the liver and within the lungs. This may result in higher incidences of allergic or hypersensitivity reactions, and may contribute to the development of autoimmune processes such as arthritis. Over-activation of the immune system also leads to the release of inflammatory molecules that travel throughout the body, potentially contributing to such symptoms as irritability, fatigue, muscle pain and brain fog. In my opinion, there are millions of children and adults who never experience the joy of good health largely because of leaky gut syndrome.

The intestinal cells are very nutritionally demanding, and the lack of a variety of nutrients can result in leaky gut. Essential fatty acids, phospholipids (such as lecithin), the amino acid L-glutamine, vitamins (especially certain B vitamins), antioxidants and micronutrients (especially zinc) are all important factors in maintaining the integrity of the intestine’s leak-proof lining. Thus, the typical North American diet is not the ideal diet for avoiding leaky gut syndrome.

In addition, junk foods and fast foods are loaded with chemicals that cause direct irritation of the intestinal lining. The worst of these are the toxic fats used in deep-frying. Commercial deep-frying often relies on hydrogenated vegetable oils that are loaded with noxious trans fatty acids. As well, the repeated heating of oils to high temperatures results in hundreds of different toxic byproducts that have no place in human diet.

Drugs (such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics), excessive alcohol consumption, food allergies or intolerances and overgrowth of undesirable intestinal microbes are also commonly associated with leaky gut syndrome.


For years we have observed patients who would have symptoms of leaky gut, yet would test negative when doing the leaky gut test. Upon further investigation it was found that these people had leaky gut symptoms for periods of time followed by a remission of symptoms. Further investigation had led us to discover a reoccurring pattern in the stool tests of these patients. They commonly exhibit elevated fecal Iga which is an intestinal antibody. When elevated it shows that the intestinal immune symptom is fighting some foreign invader. Also the total amount SCFA’s (short chain fatty acids) including the main SCFA’s, Butyren will be found low. This pattern in the stool test can now be used to identify those who have ‘Transient Leaky Gut Syndrome”.


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