Leaky gut syndromes are clinical disorders associated with increased intestinal permeability. They include inflammatory and infectious bowel disease, chronic inflammatory arthritide, cryptogenic skin conditions like acne, psoriasis and dermatitis herpetiformis, many diseases triggered by food allergy or specific food intolerance, including eczema, urticaria, and irritable bowel syndrome, AIDS, chronic fatigue syndrome, chronic hepatitis, chronic pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and pancreatic carcinoma.
Dysbiosis literally means that the ecology of the gut is out of balance, with dysfunctional organisms, such as Candida albicans, in greater abundance than optimal, and with beneficial organisms, like Lactobacillus spp., in lower abundance. Many symptoms of dysbiosis are attributed to "leaky gut", or an increase in intestinal permeability. If otherwise healthy foods do not get properly digested, the undigested food particles may pass inappropriately through a leaky intestine into the blood stream, where they are branded as foreign and undesirable by the body's immune guards. The immune system dispatches proteins to attack these foreign particles. Undigested foods then become part of the overall suppressive load on the immune system. If the intestines are unbalanced (dysbiotic) and leaky, bacteria and parasites can also pass through the defensive intestinal barrier, enter the circulatory system (lymph and blood) and invade the organs, precipitating further immune respnses. Circulating immune complexes can then trigger a variety of so-called autoimmune diseases, such as arthritis and lupus. This has some support in recent medical literature on mucosal immunity and intestinal permeability, but the matter is not accepted by the medical mainstream.
Increased intestinal permeability to food antigens can be thought of as a generic explanation of systemic food allergy. The association of Crohn's GIT disease, for example, with psoriasis, arthropathies, sacroiliitis and ankylosing spondyliltis suggests that increased uptake of food antigens may be a pathogenic mechanism of systemic inflammatory disease. The absorption of antigenic molecules that originate from food and/or gut microbes may initiate and then maintain inflammation in target organs.