The Ultimate Guide to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast

The Ultimate Guide to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast

Leaky gut… What the heck is a leaky gut?  Even more so, what causes a leaky gut, what are the symptoms, and what should I do to heal leaky gut syndrome FAST?  Many of us have gone through the discomfort, fatigue, and confusion associated with leaky gut. Fortunately, we have worked with some of the brightest minds in functional medicine and dug deep into the research to help you get all the answers.

Now, let’s get on track to healing your leaky gut syndrome fast.   

While many of us hear a lot of hype around terms like leaky gut, intermittent fasting, and the benefits of probiotics, few of us really understand what all the rage is about. Very few of us really understand the theory or science behind these things and, even scarier is that there is a lot of misinformation constantly bombarding us.

So, what does “leaky gut” really mean? If you have a leaky gut, how would you know?  Is there a leaky gut test? Are there foods that cause leaky gut syndrome and what foods should you consume to help heal everything?

By the end of this post, you will understand exactly what leaky gut/intestinal permeability is, the major causes, and the changes you need to start to make TODAY to heal leaky gut syndrome fast.

WHAT IS “LEAKY GUT” AKA INTESTINAL PERMEABILITY?

Leaky gut is a growing term used to describe a situation when the walls in our gastrointestinal system are impaired and allow undesirable and unnecessary particles through the walls into our bloodstream. These particles can be anything from food to toxins.

Instead of acting like a strong border and allowing only the nutrients, vitamins, etc. that we would like passed through the mucosal and epithelial lining of the stomach, AKA the gut walls, allow various molecules, bacteria, food substances, substrates, etc. to pass through the mucosal barrier and into our bloodstream.  

For example, if we consume food that is full of preservatives, food coloring, artificial sweeteners, etc. (check out our post on the dangers of artificial sweeteners) we want those things to just go from our mouth down through our stomach and out the back end.  However, when we have leaky gut, some of those particles pass through the gut walls into our bloodstream.

Because these particles are in our bloodstream, they make their way all throughout our body, including our brain, leading to “brain fog” and sluggishness. The particles can also travel to areas such as our joints leading to increased joint pain. Check out the infographic below for a generalized illustration of what happens to the gut lining in leaky gut syndrome.

This can then cause our immune system to become revved up i.e, producing more white blood cells or “gathering up the troops”  as it sees these foreign particles as harmful invaders. Our body then attacks the “invaders” as an attempt to protect our body.

Doesn’t sound like that big of a deal does it?

However, when this happens chronically, this is when things really get ugly…

Signs and Symptoms of Leaky Gut

It’s OK for the “troops” aka your immune system to get called up and requested for duty.  However, with a leaky gut, this happens over and over on an all-day basis. The “troops” get revved for what appears to be foreign invaders coming into the bloodstream and it seems to never end.  

So, what happens when your immune system is in high gear all the time? 

Fatigue, sluggishness, increased muscle soreness, lack of focus, and irritability.  It happens when we get a cold or flu bug because our body is working extra hard to fight off the foreign invader.  However, with leaky gut, this happens every day. All. Day. Long.

What is the traditional American solution?  Coffee, XYZ hour energy, energy drinks, you name it.  Ever heard someone say, “OMG I can’t function without my coffee.”  We hear it all around us. Maybe this is you? Coffee should be an enjoyable beverage (as long as you can metabolize caffeine unlike me :)) but it shouldn’t be a necessity to function in life.    

Oh, but it gets worst… 

What happens when your immune system is on high alert all the time and is constantly in attack mode?

Say hello to thyroid issues as the immune system confuses thyroid tissue for a foreign invader (thyroid tissue is one of the first things in your body that it gets confused with when it is overburdened, often leading to an autoimmune condition such as Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis). Migraines, increased joint pain as our body attacks our joints, and so on.  

So, how do we treat this?

Well, if you work in traditional healthcare you just prescribe a medication to calm the immune system. If you’re a patient, you take this prescription along with regular coffee or energy drinks, and chalk it up just as genetics, getting older or “life”.

But wait, if you just turn down the immune system, is the leaky gut still there?  How does turning down the immune system fix the root cause of the problem?  

Well, simple,… it doesn’t.  It doesn’t do squat. You can put a bandaid over it for awhile. The underlying problem remains.  

So, now, instead of just having a leaky gut, you have a leaky gut with a compromised immunse system.  Awesome!!

Enough of that though.  Let’s just summarize a few key points. What are the most common signs and symptoms of leaky gut? [1]  Check out this list below:

  • Frequent fatigue (especially when not having caffeine)
  • Gas or bloating
  • Belching after meals
  • Frequent diarrhea
  • Joint Pain
  • Food allergies, sensitivities, or intolerances
  • Brain fog and/or frequent difficulty concentrating 
  • Presence of autoimmune disease such as RA, Hashimoto’s, lupus, or Celiac disease. 
  • Acne or eczema (check out our post on Dairy and Acne)
  • Mood swings and shifts, depression, anxiety
  • Seasonal allergies
  • Hormonal imbalances, irregular and painful periods, PMS

How Common is Leaky Gut?

The prevalence of leaky gut syndrome or intestinal permeability is unknown since it is not yet a medically recognized diagnosis. (Don’t worry, things will change. The research is being done as we speak).  Since it is not medically recognized, exact statistics on prevalence are not tracked and are still unknown.  

Despite many people noting improvements or the resolution of chronic illness and emerging research on the gut-brain axis and gut-liver axis, the role and benefit of treating the gut microbiota and leaky gut in cancer, and so on with the treatment of a leaky gut, westernized medicine commonly views leaky gut as a mythical thing and fails to understand or recognize the benefit to treating the gut microbiota. [2,3,4]

Have you ever heard any of the following:

“Joint pain is a result of aging, sorry!”

“Every mom is fatigued, it’s just a part of life.”

“Gut issues are standard for endurance athletes who train hard, I wouldn’t worry about it.”

“Oh your mom has eczema, headaches, and constipation? Then it’s only natural for you to experience the same.”

Sound familiar?

At the root of most chronic health symptoms, autoimmune conditions, and aggravating skin issues is intestinal permeability, or “leaky gut”. 

Leaky gut is INCREDIBLY common but rarely diagnosed let alone treated.  

The most fascinating part is working with people with symptoms like these and hearing how their symptoms completely resolved when they changed their lifestyle and healed their gut.  

The bad news: As already discussed, leaky gut syndrome is an incredibly common condition that is not fully recognized by Westernized medicine. 

The good news: It is possible to heal leaky gut syndrome fast if you’re focused and persistent. Don’t forget that last part- focused and persistent. Birthdays, weddings, office treats, holidays, etc. can all make it very hard to stay on track. Persistence is key.

Why Leaky Gut Isn’t Going Away Anytime Soon

The lifestyle of western society of living in a hyperclean but incredibly toxic world with overuse of antibiotics creates a perfect storm for low diversity in our guts. Adding to this is the constant and ever-increasing stress on our nervous systems in all different forms from work, kids, athletics, and increasing expectations in all different areas of life.

Societies’ constant focus on behaviors such as destroying germs through constant cleaning and use of antibacterial gels or anti-bacterial hand soap can contribute to decreased diversity of bacteria in our gut thus further weakening our gut. This, combined with regular exposure to toxins from harmful household cleaning chemicals, beauty products (Yes, I said beauty products. Have you checked your shampoo or face cleanser for EDTA or parabens? Check out this article on 10 Toxic Beauty Ingredients to Avoid by the Huffington post which just skims the surface of some of the harmful chemicals in our beauty products then search the EWG Skin Deep Database to compare and find better products). Exposure to chemicals in our daily products and preservatives in our food creates the perfect storm for killing off healthy microorganisms in our gut that we were meant to live in harmony with. Not to mention, the constant overload of toxins really stresses our immune system.

We forget that there are trillions of microbes of bacteria living in our guts and on our skin that we were meant to co-exist with as they help protect us, breakdown our food, and encourage the proper release of hormones. 

Adding to the many things that destroy our gut, westernized medicine is famous for throwing prescriptions at symptoms instead of getting to the root of a health issue. Symptoms are frequently treated with NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), antibiotics, proton-pump inhibitors (used for indigestion and reflux). Additionally, these medications (which are handed out like candy) are some of the most well-known contributors to intestinal permeability.

As you can see, this makes it difficult to fix major gut issues.

An Everyday Story About Traditional Healthcare is Causing Leaky Gut Syndrome

While traditional western medicine certainly does have its benefits, many times these days, this thought processs does more harm than good or at minimum, causes a variety of unnecessary issues due to ignorance.  Here is an example…

Joint replacements are incredibly common. One step many surgeons take with joint replacements is antibiotic prophylaxis.  This consists of taking antibiotics prior to medical or dental procedures to reduce the risk of infection making its way to the newly implanted joint prosthesis.  If infection happens, the prosthesis then needs to be removed, the joint is irrigated, infection is treated, then another surgery is needed for replacement of the hardware.  Needless to say, its understandable why many would like to avoid the chance of this happening.    

So, to avoid the risk of infection, many, many, many patients, even those seeing surgeons at a world-renowned hospital are told to take antibiotics every time they go to the dentist, for life, to prevent the risk of infection. Yes, they’re recommended to take antibiotics twice a year for the rest of their life. 

However, what does the research say?

A joint statment by the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons and American Dental Association in 2003 states, “The risk/benefit and cost/effectiveness ratios fail to justify the administration of routine antibiotic prophylaxis for patients with total joint replacements.”[5] 

This statement was further updated with research in 2016 and continues to support the original statemant that the use of routine antibiotic prophylaxis for any patient that is not diabetic or immunocompromised is “rarely” recommended.[5]  

So, when my father as well as my mother in law were told they had to take antibiotics for life we questioned the doctors office and a nurse said, “Yes, we recommend antibiotics before every dental procedure for life to avoid the risk of infection.”

Let’s take a step back and look at the big picture.  You fixed your knee, but now you’re dropping an atomic bomb on your gut every 6 months and blowing your microbiome to shreds.  Now, knowing that research has proven that 6 months after antibiotic exposure, the intestinal bacteria still hasn’t been fully replenished or returned to normal, what happens when you repeatedly do this twice a year for life?[6]

So, if we have joint statements by the two governing bodies involved with guiding the proper use of probiotics since 2003 yet they continue to be over used, even at some of the best medical institutions in the world, it is hard to believe the leaky gut epidemic is going to change any time soon.  

Why should we be so concerned about developing a leaky gut? Because in a scenario like the one above, all we need to do is throw a little stress and junk food in the mix and you have yourself, chronic symptoms such as fatigue, acne, and achy joints. Then, a few years later, after several years of chronic stress on the immune system, an autoimmune condition (i.e. a preventable disease in which the body attacks itself such as Hashimoto’s, MS, Celiac Disease, Crohn’s Disease, etc.) dictated by your specific set of genes, then comes to surface. Remember, autoimmune conditions are often preventable if we don’t put our immune system through chronic stressors.

In the words of Hippocrates “All Disease Begins in The Gut.” Until we make the health of our gut a top priority, leaky gut, rampant autoimmune conditions, and the need for immune-suppressing drugs like Humira will continue to plague us.  

WHAT CAUSES LEAKY GUT?

A variety of factors may contribute to leaky gut syndrome. The top contributors to increased intestinal permeability include diet (i.e. processed foods, food additives, preservatives, etc), stress (mental, physical, and environmental), low vitamin D levels, drugs and alcohol, infection, and burn injury.  [same as #1]  Below, we’ll dive in and take a closer look at the major contributing factors to leaky gut so you can know exactly what things to monitor.

Foods that Cause Leaky Gut Syndrome 

In terms of diet, food additives, artificial dyes/coloring, binding agents such as sunflower lecithin, and artificial sweeteners are all common contributing factors. Not sure if you’re consuming any of these items? Take a closer look at some of the food labels in your cabinet and you will likely be surprised.   

Regular consumption of processed foods, a diet deficient in fiber, food additives, GMO’s, non-organic crops which are often high in pesticides or other chemicals such as glyphosate (aka roundup),  and a diet high in saturated fats have all been found to be contributors to Leaky gut.[7]

While it may make sense to many that artificial chemicals, food dyes, and non-caloric artificial sweeteners may disrupt our microbiome, others have doubt and question these claims.  Fortunately, a substantial amount of research has been published recently showing their harmful effects. A few examples of the findings include:

  • Arificial sweeteners have been found to change the gut microbome leading to altered glucose homeostasis (the balance between insulin and blood sugar/glucose).[8]
  • Common food preservatives such as sodium benzoate, potassium sorbate, and sorbic acid negatively impact protein digestion at amounts  significantly lower than approved levels for acceptable daily intake. [9]
  • One’s diet and especially artificial sweeteners may contribute to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. [10]
  • Food preservatives and colorings may contribute to hyperactivity in children and their removal should be a standard component of treatment. [11,12]

Stress and Leaky Gut

Today, the average person is more stressed than ever. High school and college students deal with higher levels of academic and sport-related stress secondary to increasing expectations, all in addition to social stress from things like social media. As adults, we’re working longer hours and more weekends than ever, then pulled in 10 different directions managing professional responsibilities, working out, home chores, kids, a social life, health, aging parents, and so on.  

One major problem is that too many of us consider operating at high speed in a cluster of chaos simply “life”. Rarely do we stop and consider, is it really possible to constantly have the gas pedal down to the floor and not cause issues with our immune system?

When we think of stress, we most often think about psychological stress i.e. high pressure from work, loss of a loved one, dealing with temperamental children, marriage struggles, and so on.  However, stress comes in many forms and varieties including social, environmental, physical, time-related, situational-related, and anticipatory forms. Just rushing and working at a high pace day in and day out is extremely stressful. Now, lets take a closer look at what is all included with “stress”.

Exercise Stress

In addition to many of us not appreciating the amount of stress we have in our lives, few of us acknowledge or realize that working out, laborious jobs, and strenuous home chores like moving mulch may be causing significant stress on the body.  Although, in moderation, and with the right recovery, the stress of physical activity on the body is one of the healthiest things for us. However, we need to still appreciate that it is a form of stress that taxes our body and its immune system.

I know, many may doubt that just rushing around exercising and working at a high pace could cause issues with the bacteria in our gut. But…

Several research studies have shown the detrimental effects of stress on active individuals.  One study, in particular, found a clear connection between physical and emotional stress during exercise and changes in the microbiome.  Furthermore, they found stress can change levels of the bacteria Turicibacter spp and Ruminococcus gnavus, which play a role in digestion and immune function.[13] 

Long story short, we have to listen to our body and provide periods of rest and recovery. A few tips with handling exercise related stress:

  • In between seasons or sports, athletes of all ages should take a complete week off.
  • If you’re an adult and don’t have “seasons”, plan for a complete week off every 3 months. When you schedule your recovery week (and remember its just as important as your regular training) it is easier to incorporate into your routine.
  • If you run a marathon, take 1 week of off all exercise, focus on recovery techniques like massage, physical therapy exercises, and using a vibrating foam roller (Yes, I said vibrating. If you don’t have a vibrating foam roller, get one now. I promise you it will change your life and this is the brand I use), then in your second week, return to exercise with focus on cross-training and stability exercises for the week before you return to running. Two weeks of recovery is needed for marathons and tough events like century rides, ironmans, etc.
  • As a runner, cycle your mileage and follow the concept of “two up, one down” in terms of decreasing your mileage once every 3 weeks to allow for recovery. Always run the same distance and pace? Alternate run variations such as a slow-long, short-fast, hill, interval, or tempo run into your workout.
  • If you’re sick, avoid exercise altogether or if you must, avoid going outside in extreme temperatures and decreased both the volume and intensity of your training.
  • Cycle your strengthening exercise throughout the year so the same muscles/tissues are not always being stressed the same way. If you normally do 1 set of 10 on all exercises, try decreasing the weight for 3 months and doing 3 sets of 20 for 3 months. If you regularly do high reps, increase the weight and do 4 sets of 6-8 reps for 3 months.

Food Stress

While we talked about things like preservatives and additives in food just a few paragraphs earlier, this section has to do with how we consume our food. I’m talking chewing, eating too fast, or eating at the wrong time. Many of us don’t think about food as a cause of “stress”.  However, ask yourself these questions:  

  1. Is what you’re putting in our body easy to digest?
  2. Are you eating at a time you’re ready to digest it or slamming it down as you rush between work or other activities?
  3. Are you taking your time to chew, mash, and prepare the food for your stomach to break down and absorb?

The digestion of food can really stress our bodies out.  If we don’t chew our food (chewing cues our body to release digestive juices as well as breaks down the food to smaller pieces so it is more easily digested and absorbed), eat processed or raw, hard to digest foods, or eat at a time when we’re stressed or rushing, then we will cause a lot of strain and irritation on our gut which will contribute to leaky gut.  

Several dietary habits have been shown to contribute to leaky gut.  An impressive study which was performed by a group of researchers from around the world including Luxemburg, France, the University of Michigan, and Washington University, found that a low fiber diet triggered expansion of “mucus-degrading bacteria” leading to a thinner, compromised intestinal barrier that was more susceptible to pathogens which may cause colitis.[14]

Similarly, researchers in Australia found a diet high in saturated fats may decrease the abundance of the beneficial probiotic Lactobacillus while also increasing Oscillibacter.  Together, this was “correlated with significantly increased permability” in the colon.[15]

In the end remember, it’s not “we are what we eat”, it is, “We are what we absorb.” We can eat really healthy food but if our gut isn’t able to break it down and absorb it then it’s not going to do us any good![16]

Psychological Stress

The addition of psychological stress can turn some food from being fuel for the body to an irritant.  Here is how…

Throughout the day our body’s sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems are flowing back and forth.  The sympathetic nervous system is the “fight or flight” part of us that readies the body to handle stressful situations.  It decreases blood flow to our organs and increases blood flow to our limbs in an effort to allow us to be more ready to fight, flee, or take on whatever stressful challenge is presenting itself.  

Our parasympathetic nervous system is active when we’re in a more relaxed or calm mode often referred to as “rest and digest”.  It allows blood to readily circulate throughout the organs, it encourages repair of tissues, and restores our energy supplies in various capacities throughout the body.

Now, what happens when we’re rushing between classes, clients, patients, meetings, errands, etc. and decide we’re going to throw down some grub as fast as we can, and keep on moving? Well, the body is in a stressed state so its not going to get the digestive juices flowing.  Therefore, our food won’t digest properly, isn’t properly absorbed, then we don’t recover as well. The end result? we feel fatigued, cover it up with caffeine, then rinse and repeat.

What happens when you’ve done this time and time again, beating up the gut and then you slam down processed or low-quality food?

This is just an insult to injury.  It beats up an already weakened gut, causing an already porous epithelial (gut) lining to become even more beat up and porous, and then next thing you know you’re in a constant cycle of fatigue or sluggishness and think that this is simply “life” because you’re getting older.  If you’re lucky, you figure out this isn’t “life”. Its not normal. And you realize its time to turn things around before you stress your immune system to the point of developing an autoimmune condition! 

The Reseach on Psychological Stress   

Frequent and constant stress changes digestion as well signaling between the gut microbiota and the central nervous system. In fact, leaky gut has been suggested as a possible contributing factor to disorders such as depression in which low-grade inflammation is often observed.[17]   

Many of us highly undervalue how much stress we really encounter on a daily basis.  There are 4 major classifications of stress that we commonly encounter including time stress, anticipatory stress, situational stress, and encounter stress. Personally, my type A personality leads me to be prone to lots of time stress as I often have an overly ambitious checklist of things to do each day and I have to pump the breaks sometimes to stop stressing over how little time I have to get everything done.  Check out Albrecht’s Four Types of Stress if you would like to learn more about the 4 major types of stress and strategies for managing them. 

While this post isn’t about managing psychological stress, it is one of the largest contributing factors to leaky gut.  Here are a few tips on where to start with managing psychological stress:

  1. Meditate. We personally use and recommend the Headspace app which has every kind of guided meditation you could imagine. I use it nightly before bed. 
  2. Learn stress management techniques based on the type of stress you encounter most often.  Check out how to manage the 4 major stressors on Mindtools.com here
  3. Read more about the harms of chronic stress and common techniques, herbs, and supplements to help treat chronic stress in Dr. Mark Hyman’s blog post Stress Tips: Calm Your Mind, Heal Your Body
  4. Listen or read the book The Tapping Solution: A revolutionary System for Stress-Free Living to learn time-efficient techniques you can easily incorporate into your day for managing stress. Not sure if it could work for you?  Read a few of the 884, 4 and 5-star reviews on Amazon.  

Many of Us Have Been Here Before

Here is an example: A 34 year old ambitious marathon runner works full-time as a medical professional, runs a side business, and tries his best to be a good father to an infant, and a good husband to a wife who also works full time. 

To get workouts in, his sleep is limited to 6 hours as he gets up at 4:45 AM to workout before sprinting to work, then sprints through work so he can get to daycare in time. Once home, he rushes home to help with dinner, home chores, and then puts the little one to bed before starting work on the side business. Around  9:30 its time to wrap up work, make smoothies for the next day’s breakfast and lunch, then hustle to bed by 10 or 10:30.

For this individual, the weekends aren’t restful either as he hammers long runs, take care of home projects, and catches up on work on the side business.  

Does this lifestyle sound familiar to you?  I’m sure it resonates with many. It sure sounds familiar to me because it is my life. This story is me!

Because of this lifestyle, I developed a significant case of leaky gut and thus have battled, learned a lot, and have made some lifestyle changes to get things back on track. Its been a tough change but we can’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results!

Vitamin D Levels and Leaky Gut

Ok, enough talk about stress. Let’s dig into a few other things that may contribute to leaky gut including one of the most common for everyone, Vitamin D. Even if you like to work outside or live in a sunny climate, you should have your vitamin D levels checked. Here is why it is important…

How Vitamin D Contributes to Leaky Gut Syndrome

Powerful research has shown Vitamin D to be protective of the gut lining and has actually been coined an “intestinal permeability protector”.  Through stimulating expression of “tight-junction proteins” (ZO-1 and claudin-1), vitamin D helps keep the walls of the gut lining the way they were meant to be-tight junctions that only allow small, select items being able to pass through.[18] 

On the opposite end of the spectrum, further research has proven that a diet deficient in vitamin D leads to the up-regulation of claudin-2, a protein that loosens the tight junctions of the intestine thus making the gut epithelium more porous and leaky. This is similar to what is seen in other gastrointestinal diseases such as Crohn’s disease.  So, a diet deficient in vitamin D may contribute to leaky gut through a lack of proper stimulation of tight junction proteins. [7,9,18]

How to Get More Vitamin D

To increase your vitamin Vitamin D intake, consider increasing your natural exposure to sunlight by being outdoors in moderation as well as supplementing with a professional-grade vitamin.  If you’re considering a high quality vitamin D supplement, we highly recommend purchasing from brands that are lab tested for purity such as Pure Encapsulations, Klaire Labs, Designs for health, and Thorne Research. Our favorite for vitamin D is from Thorne Research since it goes through the most stringent last testing for purity, NSF Certified for Sport Certification.  They offer several different dosages including a 5,000 IU vitamin D and 10,000 IU vitamin D version.  

While it is suggested to take 5-10,000 IU of Vitamin D daily to help heal and maintain a strong gut, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a vitamin D supplement.  Your doctor may want to do a blood test to establish a baseline of what your current levels are as well as to monitor your levels of vitamin D after supplementing to make sure your dosage is appropriate.[19]  

Is There a Leaky Gut Test to Confirm a Diagnosis?

There is no single gold standard test that has been identified as the best test to determine a diagnosis of increased intestinal permeability.  However, several high-quality tests that are currently available and will more than likely be able to help find an accurate diagnosis. 

Some of the tests to consider include:

  1. Gut Zoomer by Vibrant Wellness 
    1. Tests intestinal permeability plus health of the microbiome including bacterial balance and presence of fungus, parsites, viruses, yeast, and worm species.
  2. Wheat Zoomer by Vibrant Wellness 
    1. Tests intestinal permeability as well as gluten allergy and sensitivity.
  3. GI Effects by Genova Diagnostics 
  4. Biohm Gut Test by BIOHM
    1. Places a “grade” on your microbiome diversity and provides analysis of the amount of (or lack of) healthy bacterial and fungal strains. Furthermore, dietary, lifestyle, and supplement recommendations to improve the health of your microbiome and get things on track to where they should be are included as well.  
  5. Lactulose breath test with both hydrogen AND methane testing

If you’re interested in having any of these tests done, contact a functional medicine physician or dietitian in your area.  You may search for a functionally trained dietitian through the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy directory and a functional medicine physician through the Institute of Functional Medicine directory.

Can Leaky Gut Contribute to Autoimmune Disease?

The case for leaky gut being a major contributing factor in the development of autoimmune disease is becoming stronger and stronger.  Recent research has shown that in individuals with a genetic predisposition for autoimmune conditions, leaky gut syndrome may allow environmental pathogens to enter the bloodstream and trigger “the initiation and development of autoimmune disease.”[20]

Additional research also shows that a leaky gut has been found in a number of autoimmune conditions including MS, type 1 diabetes, lupus, and inflammatory bowel disease. Furthermore, it was found that the intestinal lining of mice with lupus was improved with the addition of Lactobacillus probiotics.[21]

The Core Principle to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast

To heal leaky gut syndrome fast we can boil it down to 3 things: 

  1. Work with a qualified practitioner to identify the root cause of your leaky gut (Stress, processed food, etc).
  2. Make lifestyle changes to remove gut-irritating causative factors. (Find a functionally trained registered dietitian here). 
  3. Combine gut-healing foods, supplements, meditation, and lifestyle changes to supercharge your gut healing.  (This is the 5R program to repair your intestinal lining. Stay tuned as we will be writing more about this shortly.)

Healing leaky gut is possible and will happen with focus, discipline, and proper guidance.  The challenge to healing your leaky gut fast is identifying the primary root cause for each individual. 

The best first step is to schedule a consult with a functionally trained dietitian or physician. He or she will assist you in identifying the root cause and come up with an individualized plan that can help you heal leaky gut syndrome for good. Checkout the Integrative and Functional Nutrition Academy directory to find a great dietitian or the Institute of Functional Medicine directory to find a great physician

Digging down and determining the root cause takes time, testing, and a lot of self-reflection, so be patient with yourself. It can be challenging to determine if, how, or why you’re living in a way that may cause leaky gut syndrome. Lifestyle changes are tough but we know, if you’re taking the time to sit down and read this article, that you’re the type of person that has it in them to make the changes necessary to heal your leaky gut fast.

Keep focused, we know you can do it! If you’re interested in learning more about this topic and how you can improve your nutrition, subscribe to our blog now and receive your free copy of our 4 Top Secrets to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast. Also, stay tuned as we release our upcoming posts on the 5 best leaky gut supplements and best herbs to heal a leaky gut as we continue our fight against leaky gut syndrome!

References:

  1. https://www.amymyersmd.com/2019/02/9-signs-you-have-leaky-gut/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30646475
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30527903
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6467288/
  5. http://www.ada.org/~/media/ADA/Member%20Center/FIles/dentaleditorial.ashx
  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30349083
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440529/
  8. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29159583
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28554639
  10. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031938416301640
  11. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2394588/
  12. https://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/health/research/06hyper.html
  13. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27924137
  14. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5131798/
  15. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3311621/
  16. Axe, J. Eat Dirt: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Root Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It. Harper Wave. 2016. 
  17. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26528128
  18. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17962355
  19. Gundry, S. The Plant Paradox. Harper Wave. 2017.
  20. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28588585
  21. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30081517
  22. The Ultimate Health Podcast. March 28, 2016. Dr. Josh Axe – Eat Dirt. Leaky Gut is the Root of ALl Diseases. Soil-Based Organisms.
  23. Natural MD Radio. June 7, 2016. 30 How to Heal Leaky Gut.
  24. Fat-Burning Man. September 29, 2016. Dr. Amy Myers: The Thyroid Connection, Leaky Gut & How to Choose your Vices.   
  25. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15327539

About The Author

Michael Bogden

Michael is a residency and fellowship trained sports physical therapist. A life long advocate for exercise and nutrition, he unexpectedly ran into issues with fatigue and recovery which significantly hindered his training. After working closely with his wife, Kylene, a dietitian trained in functional nutrition, he learned an entirely new approach to eating and living a more holistic lifestyle. This dramatic life change lead to remarkable improvement in his overall energy and performance. In 2017, with the help of a Functional Sports Nutrition approach, he improved his half marathon PR by 5 minutes. These improvements inspired him to create the FWDfuel blog with Kylene in order to spread the word so that others could experience the same success.

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America’s Functional Sports Nutrition Expert

Kylene Bogden Sports Nutrition Dietitian

Kylene Bogden Sports Nutrition Dietitian

Kylene Bogden, RDN

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