Academic Editor: Arthur J. Chu
Disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and celiac disease (CeD) result in intestinal hyperpermeability or ‘leaky’ gut. The increased permeability of the intestinal barrier allows microbial metabolites, toxins, and pathogens to infiltrate the bloodstream and extraintestinal tissues, causing systemic inflammation. Despite differences in aetiology and pathophysiology, IBD and CeD share several extraintestinal manifestations such as neuroinflammation, neurological and psychiatric manifestations, and sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL). This narrative review focuses on the association between intestinal hyperpermeability with the brain and inner ear diseases. We postulate that the microbial metabolites and pathogens released from the gut increase the permeability of natural barriers, such as the blood-brain barrier (BBB) and blood-labyrinth barrier (BLB). The barrier breakdown allows the spreading of inflammatory processes to the brain and inner ear, leading to disease.