What is Leaky Gut?

digestive health gut health holistic nutrition leaky gut Jul 28, 2022
what is leaky gut

Leaky gut is a syndrome in which tiny gaps in your intestinal tract open up as a result of inflammation in your body. Once opened, these gaps leave space for undigested food particles to pass through your intestines into your bloodstream. At this point, your food is now an invader and treated as such, which can give you a variety of symptoms, including: 

  • Brain - Headaches, anxiety, and brain fog
  • Skin - Red bumps on the skin can be acne or rosacea. Other skin conditions can be eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
  • Sinus, mouth, and lungs - allergies, asthma, dry mouth or frequent colds
  • Thyroid - fatigue, hyperactivity, weight gain or loss
  • Joints - stiffness or pain
  • Muscles - pain, weakness, drained, sore
  • Gastro - stomach cramps, gas, bloating, diarrhea, and/or constipation

What is Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut syndrome is a condition that affects the integrity of the gut lining, which usually serves as the barrier of the intestines. Also called “intestinal permeability,” occurs when the gut wall becomes damaged, allowing compounds to enter and become absorbed into the bloodstream. However, when these nutrients enter the bloodstream, your body thinks they are invaders and puts your system on high alert. This, in turn, causes systemic inflammation in your body.

For example, partially digested proteins and fats may seep through the intestinal lining, making their way into the bloodstream, which causes a reaction similar to an allergic response.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

Leaky gut isn’t usually caused by only one factor. Having a leaky gut can often be caused by several factors, including a poor diet low in fiber and high in sugar, smoking, excessive alcohol use, frequent use of specific medications, and genetic predisposition.

Diet can be a significant factor in a leaky gut. So, suppose you want to improve your health and heal your leaky gut. In that case, you’ll want to avoid these potential dietary factors that can inflame leaky gut, including:


Lectins are naturally occurring plant proteins that are perfectly OK to eat when you don’t have inflammation in your digestive system. In addition, when consumed in smaller amounts, your body will not react to eating them. Found in grains, vegetables, and other plant-based foods, lectins are a natural protein found in our food supply.

However, foods that have large amounts of lectins are more problematic for our digestive system. Some lectins and foods that may cause leaky gut include wheat, rice, spelt, and soy.

Dairy Milk

The component of dairy that harms your gut is the protein A1 casein, found in all cow milk dairy products. Also, the pasteurization process destroys vital enzymes, making sugars like lactose very difficult to digest. For this reason, I only recommend buying raw dairy and from A2 cows, goats, sheep, or buffalo.


Grains that contain gluten, which is the protein found in wheat, barley, and triticale, to name a few, may damage your intestinal lining if your body doesn’t tolerate these foods. However, once your gut is healthy, you can likely add back in grains that have been fermented and sprouted.


Added sugar can wreak havoc on your digestive system when eaten in large amounts. In addition, sugar can feed the growth of yeast, candida, and bad bacteria, which further damage your gut. Harmful bacteria create toxins called exotoxins that damage healthy cells and eat a hole into your intestinal wall. Suppose you are trying to heal your digestive tract. In that case, the best choice is to eliminate as much sugar as possible from your diet, especially refined sugars.

Symptoms of Leaky Gut

One of the most significant warning signs that you may have a leaky gut is the presence of multiple food sensitivities. In short, food sensitivity can create discomforts such as painful joints, upset stomach, gas, and bloating. Food sensitivities can also develop symptoms that may not seem related to your digestion, such as foggy brain, dry skin, or eczema. Some potential symptoms linked to leaky gut can include:

The type of allergic responses caused by a leaky gut won’t necessarily create a typical allergic reaction such as breaking out in a rash on part or all of your body but can lead to various other symptoms.

  • Bloating
  • Food sensitivities
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin issues, like rosacea and acne
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight gain

Suppose you have a leaky gut and you’re not taking steps to repair your digestive system. In that case, you can experience an advanced stage of leaky gut known as intestinal permeability. As the name suggests, intestinal permeability is a situation in which you have multiple open junctions in your intestinal tract that can potentially lead to more severe health issues, such as:

Does Leaky Gut Cause Auto-Immune Disease?

According to research published in the Journal of Diabetes, a substantial body of evidence suggests that leaky gut syndrome is related to certain autoimmune diseases, such as type 1 diabetes. Another problem with a leaky gut is that it can cause malabsorption of vital minerals and nutrients, including zinc, iron, and vitamin B12. Over time, this constant malabsorption of vitamins can result in the onset of several types of chronic diseases related to a lack of nutrients for your body’s daily energy consumption.

To find out more and receive personal guidance on restoring your gut health, check out my gut health program or click the link below to book your complimentary consultation with Whole Essentials Nutrition!

Contact me for a FREE 15-Minute Discovery Call to start your journey to good health.

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