Leaky gut syndrome is an unofficial term used to describe a collection of symptoms that center on damage in the lining of the large intestine. This damage apparently gives undigested food particles and toxins access to the bloodstream by producing minute gaps in the intestinal wall. While there is controversy regarding some of the purported effects of leaky gut syndrome, most doctors believe that unusual permeability in the large intestine can cause real health problems. People who abuse alcohol commonly experience significant changes in their intestinal function. These changes can potentially support the onset of leaky gut syndrome, or worsen its effects once it appears.