Leaky gut is a term given to the condition where the intestinal walls are hyper-permeable thanks to ‘loose’ epithelial cells of the intestine. This causes the undigested foods to pass into the bloodstream leading to a host of problems. Diagnosing a leaky gut can be difficult because of the variety of ways in which it tends to manifest. It also causes different symptoms which include: abdominal pain, anxiety, ADD, bloating, joint aches, malnutrition, memory problems, diarrhea, eczema, and so on. How long it will take to heal a leaky gut can depend on many factors such as the patient’s age as well as her/his ability to adhere to a strict diet, lifestyle changes etc. A natural leaky gut treatment plan along with allowed food list, supplements and lifestyle changes is the best way to treat this condition.
1. Adopt a leaky gut diet plan
Leaky gut diet is aggravated thanks to sugary foods which destroy and damage the intestinal cell walls. Sugar and refined foods have no nutritional value whatsoever so it is best to cut out these foods. This is the healthiest choice you will make. Here are some foods to eliminate completely:
- Soda, diet pop
- Refined white flours
- Junk food with hydrogenated saturated fats, high sodium foods like chips, crackers etc
- Allergens like wheat, dairy, eggs, soy, corn, tree nuts.
2. Foods allowed
Here is a list of food groups that nourish the cells of the intestine to heal the gut:
- Whole grains– (Avoid bran which can be irritating to some leaky gut syndrome patients.) You can opt for oat bran instead.
- Vegetables and fruits (organic)
- Good quality protein- avoid eggs and fish if you are allergic. Go for lean organic chicken, turkey etc.
- Fiber-Quality soluble fiber ensures that bulk is formed in the colon to throw all the toxic, accumulated waste out of the body.
3. Take small bites and chew your food well
Chewing every morsel thoroughly and keeping the spoon or fork down between bites will allow your gut some time to stimulate natural digestive enzymes. This ensures that the food is broken down properly.
4. Take a digestive enzyme
A digestive enzyme helps breakdown the food in its smallest molecular form. This way, even if it leaks into the gut, it does not create an autoimmune response. People with ulcers must stay away from enzymes containing Hydrochloric acid and those with pancreatic disorders should avoid enzymes with proteases.
5. Take a high quality probiotic pill
A bacterial imbalance in the intestines is often responsible for leak y gut syndrome. Many patients also have high amount of yeast which leads to Candida and other infections. These bad/harmful/unfriendly bacteria and microbes feed on the food causing leakage into the blood stream. Taking a probiotic can eliminate bad bacteria and replenish the good flora in the gut.
6. Avoid cold beverages
Cold beverages including water, ice cold milk, juices etc dilute the digestive juices and prolong digestion. The food accumulates in the intestines allowing harmful bacteria to feed on it increasing leakage in bloodstream.
7. Drink fresh lemon juice
Squeeze fresh lemon juice in a glass of water and drink this mixture after each meal. This will improve digestion and produce stomach acid and enzymes that are favorable for digestion. Lemon juice is especially recommended for people eating proteins and for those who produce very little stomach acid naturally.
8. Avoid certain OTC drugs
Many drugs including NSAIDs like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen etc are known to destroy the gut’s natural healthy flora. This leads to imbalance of good and bad bacteria and offers less protection to the natural lining of the intestine.
9. Avoid overeating
Eat 4-6 smaller meals instead of 3 large meals. This way, you allow your gut the time to naturally digest the food. Overeating can slow down digestion and also stress your liver providing food for intestinal bacteria in the process. So stop eating when stressed.
Take milk thistle, green tea extracts and turmeric extracts to detoxify from time to time. These supplements and herbs are also anti-inflammatory. Soluble and insoluble fiber can also support detoxification and act as a natural broom to sweep out toxins from the body.
11. Take apple cider vinegar
Patients with low stomach acid can benefit from daily consumption of organic apple cider vinegar.
12. Leaky gut treatment supplements
Supplements are beneficial in repairing intestinal lining. Many supplements also support the natural digestive processes, reduce stress and prevent unhealthy food cravings. Leaky gut treatment supplements are particularly beneficial to people who smoke or abuse alcohol, are under stress and those whose diet is filled with white refined flour and sugar. Here are some of the supplements to take:
- As stated above, take a high quality digestive enzyme and a probiotic supplement.
- L-glutamine is very important too. It is found naturally in the intestine and is necessary to promote intestinal healing. People who crave alcohol or refined flour and sugar can benefit from taking L-glutamine. Take 750-1000 mg per day.
- Butyric acid– Animals studies have shown that Butyric acid in the form of calcium and magnesium butyrate can regulate immune system and have an anti-inflammatory action on the gut. Take about 600 mg per day.
- Take a supplement with slippery elm, DGL licorice, marshmallow root extracts and bioflavonoids. These are anti-inflammatory and help in healing of the intestinal cells.
- Essential fatty acids– Supplements with Omega 3 essential fatty acids such as krill oil, cod liver oil or fish oil as well as flax seed oil can heal the lining of the gut and prevent inflammation. They also support immune system. You need at least 3 grams of fish oil per day.
- Quercetin-400-800 mg/day of Quercetin can help.
- Take a liquid multi-vitamin/multi mineral formula-People with leaky gut syndrome are often deficient in vitamins and minerals. A multi-vitamin/multi mineral formula can restore nutrient balance and build healthy mucosal lining while replenishing digestive juices. You need at least 1000-2000 mg of vitamin C per day, 5000 IU of Vitamin D per day and 30-90mg of zinc picolinate per day.
13. Anti-inflammatory herbs
Alder bark, amla or gooseberry, cayenne, gotu kola, meadowsweet, myrrh, yarrow, boswellia, Lady’s Mantle, Goldenrod, Holy basil or Tulsi, pine, plantain, sarsaparilla, calendula are anti-inflammatory in nature. You can also take Borage seed oil, evening primrose oil and black currant oil.
14. Anti-microbial herbs
Black walnut tincture, Barberry, eucalyptus, Goldenseal, Neem, Thuja, White Mulberry leaf, Wormwood, rosemary, sage and prickly ash are antimicrobial and antibacterial.
Try these 14 ways to heal a leaky gut fast and soon you will see signs that it is healing.