Leaky Gut Fix #: Reduce Inflammation
Leaky gut syndrome is often driven by and accompanied by significant amounts of inflammation. Therefore, it is important to remove any elements from your diet that can be triggering inflammation. These trigger foods vary from person to person so a personalized approach is necessary here. We recommend working with a qualified practitioner who can help you figure out which foods and dietary choices are causing inflammation for you.
Additionally, with stool testing, individuals may find that they have certain strains of opportunistic bacteria, yeast, fungi, or parasites present. To cut inflammation, these issues must be addressed. Generally, we recommend herbs and botanicals to help eradicate these pests causing inflammation. However, this cant be overlooked as it is pinnacle in any treatment plan.
What About Microbiome Testing For Leaky Gut
Although it is not specifically looking at intestinal permeability, it is taking a birds eye view at the state of your gut health and can possibly pinpoint underlying causes of leaky gut as well as hidden food intolerances that are potentially sustaining leaky gut.
Like the above tests, this can be expensive.
But if you want to get an interesting look at the state of your gut health, then consider a microbiome service like Viome they ship the testing kit to you, so the whole test can be done in the privacy of your own home.
Viome is my favorite microbiome company, since they are able to not only pinpoint imbalances, but also give you plain English advice on which foods to eat and which to avoid based on your unique gut bacterial balance.
After The Starve & Kill Phases Reinoculate Your Gut
This is such an important step, because if we mess up here or simply avoid step 3 altogether then all the hard work weve done up until this point may end up being for nothing.
You see, in order to support healthy candida levels , we need to reinoculate our gut with good bacteria. This ensures the good bacteria, just like bouncers at a club, will be strong enough in numbers to support a healthy balance of the candida population going forward78. Meaning we will have no need to constantly be fighting candida with antifungals.
To reinoculate your gut all you need to do is
1) eat probiotic-rich foods like fermented vegetables several times a week and
2) consider taking a 40-50 billion CFUs probiotic supplement with 10+ different strains, like this probiotic my research team at Essential Stacks and I developed.
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Have The Right Combinations Of Medicines:
In addition to your healthy diet, you should have the right combination of medication and supplements. Various anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, and supplements like probiotics, calcium, vitamin D, and iron may help with leaky gut. It would help if you also had a healthy combination of zinc, l-glutamine, collagen peptides, and probiotics. Zinc is an important element in the metabolism processes, and it is known mainly for its ability to boost and support the immune system. It plays a role in modifying the tight junctions of the linings in the intestine and helping to limit gut permeability.
L-glutamine is an essential amino acid, which also helps repair the intestinal lining in the digestive tract. It can be taken orally as a supplement in small doses to help intestinal permeability, especially after a strenuous exercise. Collagen peptides are available in almost every tissue in the body in the form of protein. They also play an important role in the health of the gut, as they can prevent further breakdown of the intestinal lining. Collagen peptides also have anti-inflammatory properties needed in the gut. We have already mentioned the importance of probiotics. They are well-known for their therapeutic use when it comes to the treatment and management of gastrointestinal issues. Probiotics help improve the guts microbiome, which can positively affect the entire digestive system.
Heres How I Incorporate Coconut Products Into My Daily Life
- I use 1 tablespoon of non-hydrogenated organic coconut oil in my daily shake/juice. Tastes insanely good and as weird as this sounds, gives a lovely mouth feel to the shake. Just make sure you get quality coconut oil that is not rancid and not filled with all kinds of crazy chemicals.
- Now and then I will have half a can of coconut milk in my shake instead of the oil . Probably 2 times a week. This is the taste of island holidays in food form!
- Since my gut is now in good health and able to handle oats these days, I will cook up some gluten-free oats with coconut milk on gym days. Of course, theres a lot of energy in this sort of concoction, so best to pair with commensurate training.
- Coconut oil is my go to cooking oil for many dishes, eg a mild Thai-style chicken & broccoli stir fry.
- You might even enjoy coconut kefir91 fermented coconut milk/yogurt.
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Treating Leaky Gut Syndrome Naturally
There are four easy ways to heal leaky gut symptoms:
1. Remove: Remove foods that are damaging to the gut, including toxic foods or anything that will negatively affect the environment of the gastrointestinal tract.
2. Replace: Replace toxic foods with healthy food. Add essential ingredients for proper digestion .
3. Restore: Restore beneficial bacteria in order to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria.
4. Repair: Repair the gut with essential nutrients, including L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the lining of the gut wall.
The Charles Poliquin L
One of the most popular protocols was pioneered by Charles Poliquin, a world class athletics training authority.
He is obsessed with ensuring high performance athletes can absorb all the nutrients they take in, especially since they can be on such high calorie diets. And his key insight was the importance of addressing intestinal permeability via high doses of L-Glutamine.
His infamous L-Glutamine protocol suggests taking 80g of glutamine a day for 5 days and then tapering off to a long term dose of 10-20g.
During the 5 day megadose phase, Poliquin recommends that you take the L-Glutamine in small sub-doses throughout the day.
For example, 10g , every hour or so.
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Use A Brita Jug Or Other Filtering Device For Your Water
This is definitely not the most important idea on this list for leaky gut!
But it is still worth considering given that the chlorine & fluoride in your tap water120is a toxin and when it enters your body and potentially travels through your overly permeable gut barrier and into your bloodstream it may contribute to chronic systemic inflammation.
Most of all, this idea is so simple and cheap, why wouldnt you add it to your bag of leaky gut tricks!
How Long Does It Take To Reverse Leaky Gut
Your timeline for healing leaky gut is individual to you. Again: its not possible to heal or reverse leaky gut completely. Its definitely possible to improve leaky gut, but because our bodies and microbiomes are all so different, nobody can tell you how long that might take.
It depends on too many factors to list here, and theres not enough evidence to give any definite answers.
However, many serious diseases of the gut, including Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis have been shown to improve in weeks or even days with changes to diet and specific supplements. One study showed that the symptoms of children with Crohns disease improved significantly when they went on a special diet. Interestingly, researchers found that their guts showed far less permeability after the diet too .
IBSwhich is a collection of symptoms rather than a diseasehas strong links to leaky gut. While different studies have produced different conclusions on the exact nature of the connection between leaky gut and IBS symptoms, diarrhoea-predominant IBS especially is often found alongside leaky gut .
We cant say what will work for you individually, but we can look at what research tells us about how long it takes to heal leaky gut. A good amount of studies have looked into this over recent years.
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Struggling To Find A Doctor Who Understands Leaky Gut
Then take a moment to checkout our directory of doctors who have written about leaky gut and are knowledgeable on how to fight it from start to finish.
As with everything on this site, the directory is free to both readers and doctors. So there is no bias in recommendations or sponsored doctors and whatnot!
Systemic Disease Infections And Dysbiosis
Diseases and infections can cause the gut lining to loosen, causing leaky gut, which is why we have to keep our immune system healthy and strong and support the gut in many disease states. Infections can cause an imbalance of the healthy and opportunistic bacteria in the gut, which can result in the overgrowth of bacteria, yeast, fungi, and/or parasites. Its been shown that the pathology of disease can be tied to the degree of intestinal permeability.
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How To Reintroduce Foods The Smart Way
- Order of foods Start with the least potentially reactive foods, eg in week 1 maybe start by adding some soaked and pressure cooked legumes back into your diet.
- Time for each food Wait 2-3 days after eating a new food, until you reintroduce the next food. Thats important, because some foods can take a day or two for any ill effects to be felt. So this means you will typically add just 2 foods back into your diet each week.
- Track with a diary Use a food diary to keep track of what foods youve added back in and how youve felt the hour after eating it, the next day and the day after. ie a food and symptoms tracking journal.
- Review with a health professional Once youve reintroduced everything, take your journal to your doctor or other health professional, and work out which foods can be permanently allowed back into your diet, which ones can be allowed now and then and which ones really shouldnt ever be a part of your diet.
If You Like Spirits Then Make Sure You Drink Them Heavily Diluted
Spirits are not as bad as many think, especially if you drink them like I do i.e. heavily diluted.
For example, I typically order a tall glass with 400ml soda water, a shot of vodka and a fresh wedge of lime. Plus minimal ice. That combination is so diluted you can barely taste the vodka. And thats how you know youve nailed it.
Importantly, I never use pop/soda/soft drinks as a mixer due to the sugar content.
But if I get sick of mixing with soda water, then I will mix with something like kombucha43. This can be pleasantly delicious, especially if you get a little naughty and choose kombucha with natural flavoring in it!
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Which Digestive Enzyme Is Best To Take
Up until recently I struggled to find a specific product that met all 4 points. Unfortunately, the market is just saturated with weak, low quality, allergen-laced digestive enzymes.
So together with my research team at Essential Stacks we decided to create our own high quality digestive enzyme complex, that ticks all 4 points.
And of course it contains all the different enzymes listed in the image above.
As you can imagine this was a monumental challenge. It took months of research and product testing. But after working with our expert team of formulators and the most experienced enzyme manufacturer in the country, we finally got there!
If youre interested you can learn more about our digestive enzyme supplement .
How To Heal A Leaky Gut
Medically reviewed byAnkush Bansal, MD
Last Updated: May 25, 2021References
This article was medically reviewed by Ankush Bansal, MD. Dr. Bansal is a board certified Internal Medicine Physician in Florida. He received his medical degree from Creighton University School of Medicine and completed his residency in internal medicine at Christiana Care Health Services in 2007. He is licensed in 19 states and is a fellow of the American College of Physicians and senior fellow of the Society of Hospital Medicine.There are 15 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 11,088 times.
Leaky gut syndrome is a proposed autoimmune condition that some health professionals believe is the root cause for many GI issues in addition to conditions like chronic fatigue or MS.XTrustworthy SourceNational Health Service Public healthcare system of the UKGo to source Although leaky gut syndrome is not a widely recognized diagnosis, it is thought that a porous or leaky GI tract causes a wide range of symptoms. These can include: chronic digestive pain or upset, bloating, depression, chronic fatigue, and skin allergies or rashes. While it is unclear exactly what causes this syndrome, it may be possible to reduce your symptoms by making changes to your diet and lifestyle.
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How Do You Get Rid Of Leaky Gut
Now that weve been talked about leaky gut symptoms, causes and opinions, lets talk about how to test for and repair leaky gut.
How do you test for leaky gut?
Several leaky gut syndrome tests are available that can help confirm a diagnosis and point you in the right treatment direction. Tests are helpful for identifying specific sensitivities and uncovering which types of toxins or deficiencies are contributing to your symptoms. Leaky gut tests include:
- Zonulin or Lactulose Tests
- Organic Acid Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies Tests
- Lactulose Mannitol Test
What leaky gut treatments are available?
After years of research and patient care, I developed a four-step process for helping to heal leaky gut. I cover this process in my article entitled the Leaky Gut Diet and Treatment Plan. If youre concerned that you or a loved one may have leaky gut symptoms, I encourage you to read the detailed instructions, food suggestions and recommended leaky gut supplements listed in this article.
The basic steps to healing leaky gut are as follows:
Two of the most common questions people ask are: What can I eat if I have leaky gut syndrome? And what should I NOT eat when I have leaky gut?
What If You Dont Like The Taste Of Bone Broth
Then try some flavorless collagen protein powder.
You see, heres the cool thing for those of us that dont want to be sipping on bone broth all the time
it turns out you can actually enjoy the secret ingredient in bone broth in powder form. And most interestingly of all, recent studies are showing it can be much more effective than food due to higher absorption rates of the amino acids in collagen6.
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Why The Carnivore Diet Improves Gut Health
A well-formulated, nutrient-dense carnivore diet removes many toxins and inflammatory foods found in the standard American diet. At the same time, it maximizes healing by providing your body with the most nutrient-dense food in existence.
Think about it. Your cells are starving for proper nutrients, and an inflamed gut is harder for them to get the nutrients they need.
This is why high-fat, low-carbketo diets have been used successfully for patients with inflammatory conditions. Lift the toxicity burden, feed your cells, and youll see a dramatic decrease in inflammation.
In particular, organ meats are jam-packed with both fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins, which have been shown to be critical to gut health.
Just a few weeks on a vitamin A-deficient diet is enough to cause changes within your gut bacteria that impair the intestinal barrier. Vitamin D deficiency could also compromise the barrier, which may be why its associated with inflammatory bowel disease.
Eating organ meats can quickly and completely reverse these deficiencies. For example, just 3.5 ounces of beef liver provides 4,968 µg of vitamin A, easily meeting the recommended daily intake. And carnivore foods like pastured lard and salmon roe are a fantastic source of vitamin D.
Some amino acids also play key roles in gut health. Glutamine, found in eggs and beef, regulates tight junctions and prevents permeability to toxins.
Goodbye, leaky gut!
Create A Diet You Can Follow:
You should create a healthy diet based on the recommended foods while staying away from the kinds of foods you need to avoid. Start by creating a healthy menu with the sole purpose of improving your digestive health. Your diet should focus on incorporating the kinds of food that support the growth of healthy gut bacteria while getting rid of foods that are notorious for triggering uncomfortable digestive symptoms.
A healthy gut diet should be rich in vegetables, fruits, and lean protein, as they are a great source of healthy gut bacteria. It is also essential to ensure that your diet is always gluten-free while adjusting or making modifications to accommodate particular food allergies, special dietary needs, and other underlying conditions. Some of the changes you make to your diet may only be temporary, aimed at addressing increased nutritional needs, for example, during pregnancy or allowing your body to heal after a surgery or illness. However, if you need to make drastic long-term changes to your diet, it is important to first speak with your doctor or nutritionist. Doing this will help ensure that your diet does not end up depriving your body of certain essential nutrients it needs. Your leaky gut diet can be very nutritious and satisfying as long as it is not too restrictive. If you end up cutting out entire food groups from your diet, you may find your body deficient in essential nutrients as well as motivation.
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