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Medications That Cause Leaky Gut and SIBO

Leaky gut syndrome, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a condition characterized by the lining of the intestine becoming compromised, allowing harmful substances to leak into the bloodstream. While diet and stress are common factors associated with leaky gut, some medications have also been implicated in contributing to this condition. In this article, we will explore some medications that can cause leaky gut and discuss ways to mitigate their effects.

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Hi Folks I’ve got a couple of important things I want to share with you today when it comes to healing a leaky gut. I’m Dr Hagmeyer and today we are talking about

  1. Inflammation and a Leaky gut
  2. Some of the overlooked factors outside of diet that cause a leaky gut
    and finally I’m going to talk to you about the medications that cause leaky gut.

Two Very Important Things To Always Remember About Your Gut.

  1. 80-90% of your immune system lies in the gut, so any problem related to the immune system should focus on restoring gut health.80% of your immune system is located in your digestive tract
  2. the Gut has a barrier- and when this barrier is eroded and broken down, we have lots of inflammation and we have proteins from the foods we eat seeping into our bloodstream antagonizing our immune systems.
  3. You will see some “health” coaches talking about healing a leaky gut in 30 days. Folks this doesn’t happen while you gut may feel better in 30 days, you cant clean up 20 or 30 years of insult in 30 days. Just can’t happen- so don’t waste your money with anyone who claims they have a 30 day leaky gut program.

Now… while diet plays a role in leaky gut, so do many other factors that often get overlooked things like blood sugar imbalances, chronic stress, inflammation, hormonal imbalances , infection, heavy metals, environmental toxicity, and if you don’t address all of these- your not giving your body the fair chance at healing.

The latest research as it relates to chronic health problems, published in NEJM, National institute of Health, pub med all of these are pretty clear in showing the connection between a leaky gut and chronic disease. When I say chronic disease- I’m talking about things like depression, diabetes, anxiety, heart problems, cancer, thyroid problems, skin conditions, autoimmune disease, fibromyalgia, neuropathy and any disease that doesn’t kill you today but kills you over your lifetime and makes you miserable in the meantime.

These are all tied into a leaky gut some how some way- and yet if you were to ask your doctor if he or she thinks you have a leaky gut- they would look at you cross eyed. Some will even think you crazy!
So when your done watching this video go to google… type leaky gut and whatever condition you can think.

So for example type leaky gut and acne, leaky gut and thyroid disease, leaky gut and fatigue, leaky gut and depression, leaky gut and Tylenol and at the end don’t forget to type pub med or NIH, NEJM and there you will be able to see the research (scholarly articles) Print up those articles for your doctor if you like.

Why do I tell you all of this? Here’s why… If your doctor doesn’t know about this… its very likely the medications he or she has you on, will continue to be a perpetual cause of why you are sick in the first place and not getting better and perhaps if your doctor is aware of this he or she may change the medication he/she has you on. It’s worth a shot.

If you don’t look at the BIG picture, if you don’t start addressing all of the causes behind a leaky gut, your chronic health problem… is only going to continue to cause more sickness and disease in your body down the road.

Medications do such a great job at treating those symptoms and hiding them, that we often forget what our problem is in the first place.

So its important that we don’t lose focus on what the main objective of health is and that’s to restore function back to the body so the body can health itself. If you have a leaky gut, its great that you feel better in 30,60,90 days, but you need to get retested.

In addition to following a leaky gut diet and correcting those other causes behind a leaky gut, being aware of which medications could be making your leaky gut worse are also critical.

This goes a long way to managing inflammatory and autoimmune conditions such as Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism and many other chronic health problems.

Medications That Cause Leaky Gut

Progression of Leaky Guy


These are the very medications that asthmatics take, people who have chronic pain, people with inflammatory bowel disease like Crohns, UC, people who have skin condition like dermatitis, people who have chronic headaches or any time there is unchecked inflammation. Steroid drugs such as Prednisone suppress the immune system and dampen inflammation.Steroids can also interfere with the synthesis of intestinal mucus, weaken the gut lining, and alter the gut microbiome. Close monitoring and discussions with your doctor are essential when utilizing steroids for prolonged periods.Many people take these medication for a long time, and the longer you take these the longer they will disrupt adrenal function. These medications raise your cortisol levels and in high doses breaks down the gut lining. This is how chronic stress/anxiety contributes to leaky gut as well. It raises cortisol levels. It is for this reason people who are taking steroids should have a quantitative serum IgA level checked. If these are suppressed, then your immune system is also being shut down.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs):

NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and aspirin have been shown to increase intestinal permeability aka Leaky gut within 24 hours of use and long-term use can contribute to a leaky gut condition. Kind of makes you wonder about the aspirin a day thing? To prevent heart attacks? No surprise than when you take enough of them because you have chronic headaches, chronic joint pain, muscle pain, etc- you get stomach pain- and GI bleeds. Hopefully you can start seeing that connection there.


Antibiotics are sometimes needed to treating bacterial infections, but they can also disrupt the delicate balance of gut bacteria. Broad-spectrum antibiotics, in particular, can indiscriminately target both harmful and beneficial bacteria in the gut. This disruption can lead to an imbalance in the gut microbiota, potentially increasing the risk of leaky gut. It is crucial to use antibiotics judiciously becauseAntibiotics wipe out the beneficial gut flora, and this is another major contributor which can lead to leaky gut.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are often prescribed to manage conditions such as acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) by reducing stomach acid production. While PPIs can provide symptom relief, prolonged use can disrupt the gut environment. Research suggests that long-term use of PPIs may negatively impact gut flora diversity, reduce the production of short-chain fatty acids (SCFAs) necessary for gut health, and compromise the gut barrier function.

Chemotherapy drugs:

Chemotherapy drugs breakdown everything so this is no surprise that they also lead to leaky gut. Oral Contraceptives aka “The Pill”-to date researchers believe that oral contraceptives can lead to leaky gut in a number of ways.   First, oral estrogen is known to negativey impact gut flora.

Estrogen is one of two main hormones found in birth control pills. When a woman is prescribed oral contraceptives, she is usually given a combination of the synthetic versions of two key female sex hormones: estrogen (estradiol) and progestin. The two hormones work together to hinder ovulation, thereby preventing conception.

In addition, they make cervical mucus inhospitable to sperm, and change the uterine lining so that an embryo would be unable to implant should breakthrough ovulation occur and fertilization happen.  Studies have found that the estrogen, can increase intestinal permeability. They can affect the tight junction proteins that hold cells of the intestinal lining together, leading to increased permeability and the leakage of unwanted substances into the bloodstream.

Hormones in oral contraceptives can influence the composition and diversity of the gut microbiome, the community of microorganisms residing in the digestive tract. Imbalances in the gut microbiome have been associated with increased intestinal permeability and inflammation, potentially contributing to leaky gut and lastly, Oral contraceptives can modulate the immune system and affect inflammatory pathways. Chronic inflammation in the gut can compromise the integrity of the intestinal lining and contribute to leaky gut.

Final thoughts About Medications That Cause Leaky Gut

While certain medications may contribute to leaky gut syndrome, it’s important to remember that each person’s response to these medications can vary. By being aware of the potential risks and implementing measures to promote gut health, individuals can take proactive steps to mitigate the impact of these medications on their digestive system. Always consult with your healthcare provider for personalized advice and guidance based on your specific health needs.

With all of this being said, All of these drugs have their purpose and you should not put yourself or a child in danger by avoiding a lifesaving drug in order to prevent leaky gut.

However, if they are necessary, you will want to consider following their use with a leaky gut protocol to Restore and Rebuild the intestinal lining and prevent a further deterioration of your health.  So there you have it, 4 of the most common medications that cause leaky gut.

If you think you have a leaky gut its important that you work with a doctor who is going to look at the whole picture- lots of people are selling leaky gut programs and selling lots of vitamins and probiotics. Work with someone who is going to properly test you, look at the moving parts as to why you have a leaky gut and then retest you so that you really corrected your problem.

Most “leaky guts” take 12-36 months to heal because of the many players that are at the root cause- its not a quick 30 day program like you might see some people talking about on the internet. It’s not impossible to heal something the size of a tennis court in 30 days!

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