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What is Leaky Gut? And What Causes It?

Updated: Aug 10, 2021

In this interview, Holli Bassin and Dawn Mc Gee discuss leaky gut.

What is Leaky Gut?

Intestinal permeability refers to how easily substances pass through the intestinal wall. When the tight junctions of intestinal walls become loose, the gut becomes more permeable, which may allow bacteria and toxins to pass from the gut into the bloodstream. This phenomenon is commonly referred to as “leaky gut.”

The integrity of your Intestinal barrier, which is just a thin mucus membrane between your gut or digestive tract and your blood stream is compromised or broken down. Tight junctions are leaky and inflamed. What happens is that the contents of your intestines can enter your blood stream. And then this causes the immune system to react because it thinks there’s a foreign invader in your blood stream.

What causes Intestinal Permeability?

  1. Dietary factors, such as refined sugar, high starch diet, gluten in grains, casein in dairy, alcohol, can contribute to intestinal permeability.

  2. Medications – Antibiotics, NSAIDS, PPI’s, birth control pills, blood pressure medications lisinopril can also cause Intestinal permeability.

  3. Lifestyle factors, such as excessive stress or smoking tobacco, can weaken your intestinal barrier.

  4. Other conditions such as dysbiosis, SIBO, Yeast overgrowth / Candida, candida albicans, parasites, low stomach acid, can be causes as well.

How do you know you have leaky gut?

Symptoms of leaky gut are classified into three groups:

  1. Digestive – Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBS (gas bloating, constipation, reflux), and food sensitivities.

  2. Systemic – Depression, anxiety, migraine, headaches, muscle pain, chronic fatigue, anxiety, mood swings, brain fog, and micronutrient deficiencies.

  3. Autoimmune: Celiac disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, asthma, and Hashimotos thyroiditis.

To determine the root causes of the condition so you can come up with a plan or protocol to reverse this condition, you need to seek testing.

What can you do about it?

If you've been diagnosed with leaky gut, or believe that you may have leaky gut, there are a number of actions you can start taking today that might help improve your condition.

Connecting with a health coach to discuss your medical history, and symptoms is a fantastic starting point. I offer complimentary discovery sessions to start our conversations and share how I can support you in discovering the root cause of your disease.

Reducing gluten in your diet can be helpful, as can constantly work on healing the gut. You can also take curcumin or meriva instead of NSAIDS to reduce inflammation.

If you're interested in taking supplements, I recommend:

Bone broth, aloe vera extract, slippery elm, marshmallow root, chamomile, okra, cat’s claw, zinc or carnosine, These should be taken on an empty stomach to repair the gut lining.

This post was originally published in 2019. It's been updated and republished.

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