What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome?Leaky gut syndrome is when your gut lining has cracks or holes that result in toxins and partially digested food to get through to the tissues and bloodstream outside of the lining. Essentially, a leaky gut, which is also known as increased intestinal permeability, means that substances are going where they were not intended to due to the weak state of your gut lining. No one's gut is perfectly impermeable, of course, because the intestine walls have opening for water and important nutrients to pass through your bloodstream. But when the degree of leaky gut becomes too much, there is reason for concern. Leaky gut syndrome could lead to inflammation and eventually other issues involving the digestive tract. Because bacteria and toxins enter the bloodstream itself when one has a leaky gut, this inflammation can be widespread and affect your body way beyond the digestive system! Leaky gut is a digestive condition, though it hasn't been formally recognized to be a medical diagnosis. Scientists continue to conduct further research on the effects of intestinal permeability and how it can really affect the body, but there is some scientific evidence that suggest a leaky gut may hold a significant link to a variety of medical conditions. Regardless, supporting gut function is important, and if you find yourself experiencing gut issues, it's crucial that you pay close attention to what you eat. In fact, I'm here to tell you that there is a diet to heal leaky gut, and it's definitely not as hard as you may think! As someone who struggled with leaky gut, I have had my share of treatments to tackle the issue. I found that nourishing my body with the right foods, and using these foods as medicine, can end up with excellent results. So now you're wondering, what is the best diet for leaky cut syndrome? Well, I've compiled a list of my leaky gut syndrome diet recommendations that have worked wonderfully for me!
Leaky Gut Diet PlanI’m a massive believer that gut health equals whole health, and I’ll tell anyone who will listen. And here’s a big reason why: after struggling with years with chronic health symptoms that doctors continually misdiagnosed, I eventually took my health into my own hands. After finding out that I had celiac disease, I cut out gluten. But I had done a lot of damage to my gut by then already and ended up with leaky gut. By combining yeast-killing diet with a few natural healthy remedies including collagen, I healed my leaky gut and feel better than ever!
Leaky Gut TreatmentHere’s what I did to kick the yeast out of my system without any drugs. I healed my leaky gut with a leaky gut diet that included an arsenal of weapons stacked with natural remedies that work wonders together.
1. Sugar detoxThe first step in my leaky gut diet is to kill the yeast. And the best way to do that is to starve it with a sugar detox. Cut off its food supply by not eating any processed sugars or starches. I cut out all forms of added sugar, including honey, agave and coconut sugar—all of it. I limited my fruit consumption, too. Although rich in vitamins and minerals and antioxidants and so many good things, fruit is also packed with sugar, so it’s important to keep your diet pretty fruit-free for at least a couple weeks. I had a few berries on my chia pudding or half of a frozen banana in a smoothie, but I made sure not to have more than that in any one day. I also cut out all starches including flour, oats and rice. I even removed starchy vegetables like potatoes, corn, beans, legumes and peas. I eat a pretty low-starch diet in general (because I just feel better without too many grains), but I was pretty darn clear of all forms of starches during the first two weeks.
2. CollagenSupplementing with collagen was part of my daily routine long before this yeast protocol, but collagen was extra helpful during my yeast protocol. Collagen helps to strengthen the production of any new tissues and therefore reestablish the gut lining. Exactly what I needed! I can’t say how much I encourage it as part of regular routine. I’ve been using Further Food Collagen as part of my leaky gut diet, and I highly recommend it!
3. Apple cider vinegarApple cider vinegar is a great weapon when trying to kill the yeast and heal leaky gut. It’s hard for bacteria to grow in an acidic environment, and the acetic acid in the vinegar helps kill any yeast that is already there. Add a tablespoon in a couple ounces of warm water with half of a squeezed lemon. I like to drink it every night before bed!
4. ProbioticsIn addition to actually killing the bad bacteria, it’s important to repopulate the good bacteria with probiotics. Add in probiotic-rich foods like yogurt, kefir and sauerkraut. Kombucha is great too! Fermented foods will be your friend in this leaky gut diet!
5. Digestive enzymesTaking digestive enzyme supplements alleviates some stress on your gut by allowing your gut to focus on healing during the protocol. I noticed a huge difference in my bloating and general gut pain when I took the digestive enzymes. These work so well with my GI discomfort that I have made them a regular part of my diet.
6. PrebioticsOf course we are adding in good bacteria with our probiotics, but it’s also important that we feed those good bacteria to grow, establish and populate. We do that with prebiotics: food for the probiotics. There are tons of examples of prebiotics like jicama, dandelion greens, garlic and onions, but the easiest one I chose to use: resistant starches. Resistant starches serve as a natural prebiotic because they cannot be broken down by our own intestinal cells (hence the name), so they are instead digested by the healthy bacterial cells. The simplest (and cheapest) option of a resistant starch is potato starch. Raw potato starch is different than traditional starches. It contains 8 grams of resistant starch per tablespoon and nearly no “usable” starch (none that actually feeds bad bacteria and spikes blood sugar). Start with about half of a tablespoon dissolved in a couple ounces of water every night, and slowly work your way up to a full tablespoon. Taking this at night is said to help you sleep, but the most important thing I noticed: it helped me start my day clear (if you know what I mean).
7. CoconutJust like collagen, coconut was nothing new for me to introduce, but coconut helps to pack an added punch during this leaky gut diet. They contain lauric acid, which the body converts to monolaurin, which it then uses to fight pathogens. Because of this, coconuts are natural antimicrobial powerhouses and helpful in this yeast-slaying process. Cook your foods in coconut oil, put coconut milk in your coffee and add a spoonful of coconut oil to your tea.
Leaky Gut SymptomsLots of things can cause leaky gut like antibiotics, hormone treatments, stress and eating a high sugar or processed food diet. Other factors that are likely to contribute to leaky gut syndrome include things like too much alcohol intake or not getting the proper amount of nutrients on a daily basis. Simply having poor gut health can affect your gut's permeability! And, because of our diets and the disgusting amounts of sugar and refined carbohydrates loaded into everything we eat, most of us have leaky gut to one degree or another. You can go to the doctor and pay some good money to get a blood test for IgA, IgG and IgM candida antibodies or do a stool or urine sample test to confirm. But I’ve battled this for years, and never once did a doctor think to test for these. So I’ve learned on my own how to heal leaky gut through a leaky gut diet. A yeast overgrowth can cause any and all of the following symptoms: 1. Skin infections, such as eczema, rosacea, acne or dermatitis 2. Headaches and migraines 3. Digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation or IBS 4. Chronic fatigue, which is general exhaustion or any form of adrenal fatigue 5. Hormonal imbalances and side effects like anxiety or depression (Seventy percent of our serotonin is produced in the gut, so a disturbance of our flora can lead to a disturbance of our happy levels.) 6. Autoimmune diseases 7. Diabetes, both type 1 (autoimmune) and type 2 8. ADD or ADHD 9. Frequent infections, such as ear infections, UTIs or vaginal yeast infections 10.Food allergy, intolerance, or sensitivity. Oftentimes, we develop food sensitivities simply because a leaky gut allows those food particles into our bloodstream and they then cause inflammation in places they shouldn’t be. 11. Thyroid conditions like Hashimoto’s Disease 12. Joint pain and arthritis It sounds crazy, right? But in a way it makes sense. With so much of our immune system and neurotransmitter production residing in our gut, it makes sense that a disturbance of its function can cause a variety of effects.
What is Yeast Overgrowth and How is it Related to Leaky Gut?Hippocrates said years and years (and years) ago that “all disease begins in the gut” and we’re finding more and more just how right he was. Your gut (specifically GALT, gut-associated lymphoid tissue) houses 70 percent of your immune system and of course the intestinal cells that break down food. It’s where nutrients are absorbed and toxins are (supposed to be) removed. Your gut is composed of about a tennis court worth of lining all scrunched together to soak up as many nutrients as possible. Very simply, a yeast overgrowth happens when your body’s bad bacteria outnumbers its good. Candida, the most common fungus present in your mouth and gut, can be productive in small amounts, but when it is overgrown, it breaks through your intestinal wall and leaks into the bloodstream. When this happens, toxins that are supposed to be eliminated by the gut circle back into your system. This spillage of toxins into the blood is called leaky gut, and it is the root of many of our health problems.
Leaky Gut: General Recommendations
So, while leaky guy can be a concerning condition to experience, know that one way to treat it is by eating right. A balanced diet, with emphasis on helpful enzymes, probiotics (and prebiotics!) and less sugar, can help you get through each day better and better. Taking care of your body, starting with the proper leaky gut diet plan, goes a long way. So that’s it. No doctor bills. No scary drugs or unpronounceable medications. Just real, whole foods and some supplements. Just 7 natural sources helped my body in its amazing ability to fight for health on its own. You want to help your body kill yeast and avoid gluten. Reduce the amount of sugar you eat, and increase your intake of helpful natural substances like collagen and strong antimicrobial foods like coconut! Any foods that are gut-healthy are also great to implement into your diet, especially foods that are high in fiber. I hope these tips help you if you’re battling leaky gut. Cheers to a happy gut and an even happier you! Further Food Collagen can help heal leaky gut. Learn more here.
Update: Hey everyone, thanks for all the comments and questions. I've got lots of answers and details (including the actual products I used) on my original blog post: http://molliemason.space/how-