Fixing Leaky Gut: Here’s HowWednesday Aug 17, 2022
Are you worried that you have a leaky gut? Odds are, if you have a digestive condition like IBS, IBD, or celiac disease, then you probably do.
But there’s no need to stress! Fortunately, a few simple changes to your diet, supplements, and lifestyle can heal leaky gut and improve your overall gut health.
What Is Leaky Gut?
Also known as “intestinal permeability,” leaky gut occurs when you get holes or cracks in the lining of your gut. But where do the holes and cracks come from?
Dysbiosis or an unbalanced gut is one cause. And that gets accompanied by bad bacteria and any food sensitivities you might have. All three chip away at the lining of your gut and small intestine. Like a dam before it gets flooded, things start with one small hole. Then another, and another. Before you know it, the dam is filled with holes and the water starts flooding in.
Same goes for your gut—the three perpetrators we just talked about break down the lining of your gut little by little, agitating your GI tract and allowing the contents of your gut (i.e. undigested food and bacteria) to pour out into the bloodstream. This elicits an inflammatory response in the body that leads to leaky gut symptoms.
The good news is that fixing leaky gut is pretty simple. And making just a few small adjustments to your diet, supplements, and lifestyle can help you heal leaky gut.
How Long Does It Take To Fix Leaky Gut?
Everyone’s different when it comes to fixing leaky gut. But with a good plan in place for repairing the lining of your gut, you may start to notice improvements in a few weeks time.
What Are the Symptoms of Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut has been linked to many disorders that are affected by your gut microbiome, including:
- Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Celiac disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Multiple sclerosis
As for leaky gut symptoms, common ones include bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, chronic fatigue, joint pain, and even skin issues like acne. That’s just the physical.
You may also experience mental health issues like depression, anxiety, and brain fog.
How to Heal Leaky Gut Naturally
When you sit down and make a plan on how to fix leaky gut, it’s best to attack from all angles. So, the fastest way to heal leaky gut naturally comes from a three-pronged approach: diet, supplements, and new habits.
Since inflammation is at the heart of leaky gut, you should aim to reduce it with your diet. Here are a few eating methods to consider for healing leaky gut:
- Low FODMAP diet —FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols. Eating low FODMAP means limiting your intake of fermentable carbs, which may be agitating your gut.
- Paleo diet — Also known as the “caveman diet,” it eliminates processed foods, dairy, and sugar. You’ll primarily eat lean meat, seafood, eggs, nuts and seeds, and non-starchy vegetables.
- Plant-based diet — Do you know the greatest indicator of a healthy gut? The American Gut Health Project, which is the most comprehensive study to date on your gut (11,000+ people participated in the study) concluded it has to do with the variety of plant foods in your diet. According to the study, 30+ different plant foods each week are optimal for gut health.
- Gluten-free diet — Gluten is proteins found mainly in wheat, barley, and rye. If you suffer from celiac disease, this diet may give you some relief.
- Reducing saturated fat — Opt for more unsaturated fats in your diet instead. This can help improve your cholesterol levels.
- Intermittent fasting: Has been shown to reduce inflammation and increase the amount of good bacteria in your gut.
While your gut is healing, it’s best to avoid processed foods, foods high in added sugar, red meat, and alcohol. These can hinder gut lining repair and increase intestinal permeability.
Supplements can definitely help with fixing leaky gut, and really, just improving your gut health in general. Probiotics have been shown to improve digestive conditions like IBS, IBD, and celiac disease. They help with gut imbalances, boost the amount of good bacteria in your gut, and reduce inflammation. They also are able to heal the links between the cells in the gut lining, closing up the gaps. All of that helps with improving intestinal permeability.
*Gut health tip*: Cut back on non-steroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) like ibuprofen and aspirin. These can agitate your gut lining and cause flare-ups with leaky gut symptoms.
3. New Habits
It’s not just what you put in your body that counts toward fixing leaky gut. There are certain lifestyle changes you can make to help heal leaky gut faster.
- Physical activity — Moderate exercise reduces inflammation. But don’t overdo it—overtraining can make leaky gut worse. Take at least 1 day off per week to recover from strenuous workouts.
- Find ways to relieve stress — Stress doesn’t just mess with your head. There are physical symptoms too, which include ones associated with leaky gut.
- Sleep more — Intestinal permeability goes up when you don’t get enough sleep.
- Don’t smoke — Cigarette smoke isn’t just bad for your gut. It’s bad for your health overall. It can lead to inflammation and increases your risk of developing digestive conditions like IBS, Crohn’s disease, and even many types of cancer.
Summary on Fixing Leaky Gut
Fixing leaky gut doesn’t have to be complicated. With a few simple changes to your diet, supplements, and lifestyle, you can heal your leaky gut and see improved health.
- Choose a diet like low FODMAP, go gluten-free, or try intermittent fasting.
- Use probiotic supplements and limit the use of NSAIDs like ibuprofen and aspirin.
- Create new habits in your life like exercising, getting enough sleep, and finding ways to manage stress.
In combination, all three work to reduce inflammation, increase your gut’s healthy bacteria, and improve intestinal permeability. Before you know it, your leaky gut will be a thing of the past!
Interested in what probiotics can do for your gut health and fixing leaky gut? We analyze the trillions of different microbes in your gut and come up with a custom probiotic solution tailored to your unique gut health needs. Our personalized probiotics are designed to help with leaky gut as well as a variety of other digestive issues!
About the Author
Chad Richardson is a freelance writer from Cincinnati, OH who also enjoys going to the gym and doing his best Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation, scrolling through Netflix trying to find a new binge-worthy show, and catching a game to root on his hometown sports teams.