Diet For Leaky Gut Syndrome


The Bottom Line: Keeping Your Gut Healthy

Top 7 Foods for Getting Rid of Leaky Gut | Dr. Josh Axe

Ultimately, the foundation of a healthy body is a balanced diet and lifestyle. This applies to those with leaky gut, too. Make sure you exercise regularly, reduce your alcohol intake, and follow a gut-friendly diet, like an autoimmune diet. It might also be worth taking a probiotic and prebiotic daily, to keep the number of good bacteria in your gut beneficial, and to keep them healthy and fed.

If you’d like to read more about the benefits of keeping a healthy gut, as well as find more information on how you can promote good gut health, select Digestion from the Your health menu above.

Grains And Products Containing Gluten

Wheat, rye, barley, and spelt all contain a protein called gluten. Studies have shown that gluten can increase zonulin levels in some people. This, in turn, can increase intestinal permeability.

It is best to totally avoid gluten if you suffer from leaky gut syndrome, which means also cutting out all the products containing it. These can include many cereals, breads, pasta, and crackers.

Fortunately, there are lots of gluten-free products around these days to make it easier to avoid. If you are keen to continue consuming whole grains, then try soaking or sprouting them before eating, which helps break the gluten down to make it more digestible.

See my article that goes into more detail about going gluten-free and why you might want to try it.

Other Causes Of Leaky Gut

So far weve discussed some of the main culprits of leaky gut. But it doesnt end there.

Below is a list of foods and other factors that can cause inflammation in your body, while harming good bacteria, and promoting unhealthy ones. All factors that can contribute to leaky gut.

  • Processed meats
  • Nutrient deficiencies

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What Are Some Ways I Can Treat Leaky Gut

Theres a wide range of things you can do to help get your gut its strength back. A firm sugar detox along with a low-starch, nutrient-rich diet is a great way to begin. Incorporating key gut-healthy foods into your diet can be very beneficial foods include collagen, apple cider vinegar, probiotics and prebiotics, digestive enzymes, and coconut. These foods are able to promote good bacteria, kill yeast, and strengthen the production of your gut tissue.

What Is A Leaky Gut Diet Plan

7 Signs and Symptoms You Have Leaky Gut

Leaky gut is strongly influenced by your diet and its quality. Poor quality of diet causes intestinal inflammation leading to a leaky gut. People with leaky guts stay cautious about the food theyre taking.

For example, foods containing gluten increase zonulin proteins in the intestine. Zonulin proteins increase the permeability of the gut, worsening leaky gut syndrome. Similarly, NSAIDs also worsen leaky gut syndrome.

Eating a diet with anti-inflammatory properties helps people with leaky gut syndrome. The wisest action to improve your leaky gut is to stop listening to people and follow a diet plan.

Leaky gut diet plans start with low FODMAP diets. Processed foods are excluded from leaky gut diet plans as they can cause inflammation in the gut.

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Testing For Celiac Disease Should Be Done Before Starting A Gluten Free Diet

A gluten-free diet eliminates all food sources that contain wheat, barley, rye . It is the only treatment currently available for celiac disease. It is also used by people who are gluten intolerant .

Gluten has been linked by research to trigger a leaky gut in people with celiac disease . It is not yet proven by research that gluten triggers leaky gut in all people, although the internet may tell you differently .

Studies show that permeability is increased by gluten in people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance . A low gluten diet has been shown to lower inflammation .

What Are The Symptoms Of A Leaky Gut

There are no symptoms associated directly with intestinal permeability. But intestinal permeability usually follows from injury to your intestinal lining, and you may have symptoms from that.For example:

  • A burning feeling of ulceration in your gut.
  • Painful indigestion from the loss of intestinal mucosa.
  • Gas and bloating from fermentation by overgrown bacteria in your gut.
  • Low energy from the reduced ability to draw energy from your food.
  • Gastrointestinal mucositis from radiation therapy.

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Symptoms And Conditions Associated With Leaky Gut

If you suffer from digestive symptoms, brain fog, headaches, depression, joint aches, skin conditions or fatigue, it may be worthwhile trying a modified elimination diet in conjunction with the leaky gut protocol. Consider trying this diet even if you dont go on the entire leaky gut protocol. As a minimum take a good probiotic supplement at the start.

You may feel deprived having to give up some of these foods, but the question you need to ask yourself is-Would I rather be deprived of some of these foods or deprived of my health?

Who Does Intestinal Permeability Affect

Top 10 Foods That Can Cause a Leaky Gut (MUST AVOID)

The known causes of intestinal permeability involve systematic erosion of the intestinal lining. This is not a simple feat. Your intestinal lining has many layers of defense. And while it can be injured temporarily, it is designed to constantly repair and replenish itself. To actually wear it down enough to penetrate the lining requires a significant assault. That usually means a chronic disease, chronic drug use or alcohol abuse or radiation therapy.

The theory of leaky gut syndrome suggests that anything that injures your gut lining can lead to intestinal permeability if the injury is persistent enough. Therefore, common everyday factors such as diet and stress may cumulatively wear down your intestinal lining until it becomes permeable. Scientists arent sure about this, but they do agree that these everyday factors may cause inflammation in your gut lining and uncomfortable GI symptoms for you.

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Lets Talk About What Everyone Can Agree On

Weve all heard the old adage, Eat your fruits and vegetables.

I would suggest we change that to eat your vegetables and fruit. Whether you are a strict vegetarian or a proponent of the Paleo diet, both often polarized camps agree that vegetables are good for you. Vegetables should be the mainstay of your diet! We encourage all of our patients to eat organic, seasonal vegetables with a variety of color.

Sugar is bad! Any foods which are converted to sugar rapidly in the body, such as bread, rice, pasta, and potatoes, have a high glycemic index. Foods with a high glycemic index raise your insulin level, predispose you to diabetes, and accelerate the development of other age-related disorders, such as cardiovascular disease, by promoting cellular inflammation.

Using The Wrong Diagnostic Tests

There is a test available that shows whether an individual has intestinal permeability. It works by measuring levels of two indigestible sugars, mannitol and lactulose, in the urine. Most physicians do not use this test and research shows that it is not very reliable. As we mentioned earlier, there is no evidence that intestinal permeability causes any disease be wary of anyone who claims that it does. Some unscrupulous individuals are even selling these tests to consumers online. Using this test to diagnose leaky gut syndrome would be like ordering a test to look for blood in the stool of someone with IBD and using a positive test result to prove that the bloody stools caused some other mysterious disease that in turn caused the IBD. We already know that bloody stools are a symptom of Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis, just as we know that intestinal permeability is a symptom of some diseases such as Crohns disease and celiac disease.

Proponents of leaky gut syndrome might also misuse tests that look for bacterial, fungal, or viral infections, or tests that measure immune function, to diagnose the disorder, when there is no evidence that the results are in any way related to this baseless syndrome.

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Curcumin For Leaky Gut

Using curcumin for leaky gut was suggested by research to be very beneficial, and it is believed to be a result of curcmin anti-inflammtnatory and antioxidant properties. According to research, oral supplementation with curcumin may improve intestinal barrier function and prevent the development of metabolic diseases .

Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric is well known for its anti inflammatory properties. A known issue with curcumin however, is its low absorption and bioavailability in the body. When choosing curcemin supplements, the preference is organic turmeric extract that is derived using an extraction process that preserves curcumin properties and enhances its absorption in the body.

How To Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome

Diet Plan For leaky gut

One thing we know about healing leaky gut syndrome: one size does not fit all. The treatment of leaky gut syndrome is a process best understood by functional medicine, naturopathic and other holistic health professionals who work closely with their patients to create individual healing plans and support them along the way.

Dr. Blum says, “Leaky gut is NOT a quick fix. It’s approximately a 6-month program, depending on how damaged the gut was at the start and involves transforming my patients? diets and lifestyles, addressing sleep, stress, and food. My patients have to make permanent changes in those things. Your gut is an ecosystem, susceptible to lifestyle habits. You have to balance your ecosystem, and stay with it for you and your gut to stay healthy”.

Holistic healing programs will typically include:

Cleaning up your gut terrain.

The process starts with identifying and removing triggers: toxins and food you may be ingesting that are damaging infections and pathogens that are overwhelming your immune system and preventing healing and alcohol or medications that may be irritating the lining of your gut. An elimination diet may be recommended to pinpoint offending foods. These are then removed from your diet for a time to make way for healing.

Rebooting your gut.

Maintaining a healthy gut for life.

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This Diet Has Been Shown To Decrease Inflammation

The anti-inflammatory diet emphasizes fresh food, healthy oils, and fats, low sugar, more fish than meat, and an abundance of fruits and vegetables. In addition to being a healthy eating plan, it is relatively easy to stick to long term.

Its direct effect on gut permeability has not been studied but the diet includes foods shown to decrease inflammation .

Leaky Gut Diet Meal Ideas

A common step in improving leaky gut symptoms is to make some changes in your diet. Generally, the goal here is to reduce your intake of foods that may be causing inflammation. Switch these foods for healthy, whole foods, and consume a natural diet. Ultimately, shortly after switching your diet to minimize gut inflammation, you may find that your symptoms of leaky gut are improved.

Moreover, here are some leaky gut diet meal ideas that are packed with foods that promote healthy changes in your gut flora.


In the mornings, start your day off right with a smoothie that has been made with dairy alternative milk, chia seeds, and loaded with your favorite fruits.

Some other breakfast ideas are:

  • Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit such as blueberries, kiwi, strawberries, and raspberries
  • Oatmeal made with dairy free alternatives and topped with blueberries or your favorite fruit. If you dont want to use dairy free milk, try using water.
  • Toasted sourdough bread and scrambled eggs


To help keep you full until dinner time, prep a tuna salad that is loaded with greens. Swap your normal salad dressing for a homemade vinaigrette. However, if you fancy a more filling lunch, enjoy a turkey or ham wraps filled with lettuce, and a side of fruit.


For dinner, enjoy grilled fish such as salmon with a side of green salad. Some other meal ideas include:


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The Low Fodmap Diet Is Used To Treat Ibs

F-O-D-M-A-P is an acronym that stands for a group of carbohydrates that can cause diarrhea, stomach pain, and other symptoms in some people.

FODMAPS are found naturally in a wide range of foods, even healthy foods like onions, apples, and garlic. It is hard to predict which foods contain FODMAPS without help or guidance from a health care provider. Yes, there is also an app for that.

So far, most of the research on a low FODMAP diet focuses on helping symptoms, such as diarrhea and gas. One study did show that a low FODMAP diet can improve gut function and reduce leaky gut . In part, this may be due to which bacteria are thriving in the gut .

The diet helps many people with IBS, and further research is warranted to look at the effect of the diet directly on the gut lining .

How Is Intestinal Permeability Measured

The Leaky Gut Diet What to Eat for Leaky Gut Dr. Salamay

There is no standard test to measure intestinal permeability directly in patients, which is one reason why intestinal hyperpermeability is not a current medical diagnosis. However, there are several kinds of tests currently under investigation in clinical research to look for evidence of intestinal permeability in patients. Tests include:

  • Urine test. For this test, you drink a solution containing different kinds of sugars with molecules of different sizes, some of which are not usually absorbed in the intestines. Then analysts measure the sugar levels in your urine to see which ones made it through your gut wall.
  • Blood test. This test analyzes a sample of your blood for evidence of gut bacteria infiltration. Specific antibodies and endotoxins are some of the biomarkers analysts look for.
  • Tissue biopsy. This more invasive test examines a sample of your intestinal tissue in something called an Ussing chamber. The test uses electrical current to measure ion transport across the intestinal barrier. The ion transport measurement is parallel to water transport.
  • Confocal endomicroscopy. This is an enhanced endoscopy exam that allows scientists to look at your intestinal lining in high resolution and magnification. A contrast fluid injected into your vein may show up in your gut if there is a gap in the lining.

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How Can I Take Care Of My Gut

Scientists are continuing to investigate the benefits of various therapeutics for improving the general health and integrity of the gut lining. These therapies may not be able to mitigate a pathological disease, but they may help mitigate the effects of everyday factors such as diet, stress and bacterial overgrowth that can wear on your intestinal lining. They may even help alleviate your general gastrointestinal symptoms. Therapies include:

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Many people have vague gastrointestinal symptoms, and many times the causes are frustratingly elusive. In the absence of straight answers, leaky gut syndrome has emerged in the mainstream as a catch-all diagnosis for general indigestion and possibly many other conditions. But true intestinal hyperpermeability is too specific and too extreme to explain most peoples symptoms.

Most people simply have general gut inflammation the precursor to intestinal permeability. This may be due to a specific disease, or it may be a cumulative effect of poor diet, chronic stress and other common factors. Try reducing these factors. If that doesnt help, seek medical advice. A qualified gastroenterologist can help you sort through the possible causes of your specific symptoms.

The 2 Surprising Causes Of Leaky Gut

Science Based Amy Myers, MD

Amy Myers, M.D. is a functional medicine physician, trained and certified by The Institute of Functional Medicine. Dr. Myers earned her Doctor of Medicine at the LSU Health Science Center, and completed her Emergency Medicine residency at the University of Maryland Medical Center.

Dr. Myers retired from her functional medicine clinic, Austin UltraHealth, where she served thousands of patients, to empower those who were failed by conventional medicine. Shes a 2x New York Times bestselling author, and the founder and CEO of the health & lifestyle e-commerce brand, Amy Myers MD®.

Leaky gut syndrome affects millions of people around the world, and many dont even know they have it. Thats because the causes of leaky gut syndrome are in places you might not expect, such as foods you believe to be healthy.

The good news is, by making simple changes to your diet and using my No. 1 tool to maintain a healthy gut lining, you can prevent and reverse leaky gut syndrome and lower your risk for developing an autoimmune disease and other issues.

I am about to tell you what steps to take to heal your gut and reveal two foods you may not think can cause leaky gut!

Read Also: Best Foods For Healthy Gut

Benefits Of Intermittent Fasting For Gut Health

Intermittent fasting can be a powerful addition to your leaky gut diet.

Our cells and organ systems become complacent when they are not subjected to metabolic challenges.

Sadly, the modern lifestyle is plagued with constantly and excessively eating highly processed, high-carb foods. Its no wonder that inflammatory conditions like obesity, leaky gut, and heart disease are skyrocketing. Especially in many parts of the world where a sedentary lifestyle and a poor diet have become the norm.

Mimicking our ancestors way of eating can help reduce chronic inflammation in your body, including in your gut. Certain intermittent fasting methods may help improve gut barrier integrity and gut microbiome compositions, preventing leaky gut.

Another perhaps more obvious benefit to intermittent fasting is that it gives your gut a break.

Your gut is not designed to be digesting all day every day. So letting the gut rest may be especially important for people with leaky gut. Not having to spend its energy digesting food may help your gut expend its tremendous energy needs on healing itself.

In an animal study, researchers showed that fasting can increase stem cell functions that help regenerate the intestinal lining.

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