Leaky Gut



Through the 25+ years that I have been in practice, I have always encouraged patients to include healthy eating habits in their lifestyle. To their credit, a lot of those patients took steps to improve their eating habits. However, that also means that a lot of them didn’t make changes. Whether they took steps to change or not, I still noticed a lot of issues for these patients that were related to their gut health. More specifically, damage to their gut caused through the years by their diet, stress, medications taken, even something as simple as mouthwash.

So, what do these issues look like? Patients have reported symptoms such as gas or bloating after eating. Brain fog is a common complaint as well. Anxiety, depression that doesn’t respond to treatment. Unrelenting skin issues or acne can be traced to gut issues as well. Joint pain/inflammation that doesn’t clear no matter how many times I adjusted them. Food sensitivities or allergies are a sign of gut issues. All these symptoms can be traced to gut health, specifically something called Leaky Gut Syndrome.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?


You’ve heard it said, “You are what you eat!” I’d like to give you something else to consider… “you are what you absorb!” In other words, it doesn’t matter much if you are eating a healthy diet if you are not absorbing it. Leaky gut syndrome is exactly what the name implies. Your gut leaks instead of absorbing. Some estimates have leaky gut syndrome occurring in 8 out of 10 people. That correlates with what I see in practice as well.


So, what is leaky gut. Simply put, in your small intestines, instead of having normal tight junction between the cells along the intestinal wall, there are openings referred to as faulty tight junctions.

As you can see in the above picture, when you have faulty tight junctions, instead of food being totally absorbed into intestinal wall to be passed through to the blood stream as nutrients, food particles, viruses, bacteria, toxins can pass straight through to the blood stream.

When this happens, your immune system recognizes those particles as invaders and mounts an attack against them. This is one of the main reasons people develop food allergies. Toxins released through the faulty tight junctions tend to migrate to the skin and are expelled there in what we call acne. Bacteria and viruses leaking through keep your immune system constantly fighting which in the long term weakens it.

I could continue to list out the symptoms with each particle, but the point is, most folks, remember 8 out of 10, have a leaky gut and therefore it needs to be addressed. Part of addressing a problem must include discussion on what caused the problem. Let’s talk causes of leaky gut.


What causes Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Causes of leaky gut are many and, unfortunately, most are related to things we do in our everyday lives. I say unfortunately because these causes are things that we have chosen to do for the most part. They are lifestyle choices, habits, if you will. In my opinion, the only challenging part of healing a leaky gut is changing the habits that have caused it. Improving your diet, lowering or even eliminating alcohol consumption, controlling your reaction to stress all will help heal a leaky gut.

Some of the common causes of leaky gut are:

  • Medications
  • Stress
  • Antibiotics
  • Poor sleep
  • Birth control
  • Mouthwash
  • Antacids
  • Parasites
  • Glyphosate
  • Viruses
  • Phytates
  • Processed foods
  • Acetaminophen
  • Sugar


You may at this point be throwing your hands up in the air and be thinking, “Well, great, I can check off most of those boxes!” and you’re right. However, don’t let that stop you from tackling this! Remember 8 out of 10 folks have it so it’s very common, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be repaired.

Symptoms of Leaky Gut

So far, we’ve talked a lot about what leaky gut is and the details of the condition, but where the rubber meets the road is what you may feel if you have leaky gut. In other words, what are the symptoms someone may experience if they have it.

Because we are so biochemically unique and the causes of it are so wide ranging, the symptoms can be wide ranging as well. It basically boils down to what is leaking through the gut. Here is a brief list of some of the more common symptoms:

  • Gas
  • Anxiety
  • Bloating
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Skin Issues
  • Brain fog
  • Acne

Most auto-immune disorders would benefit from healing a leaky gut. Food allergies or sensitivities that developed over time should also be considered symptoms of a leaky gut. Any time I have a patient that tells me their symptoms have no known cause or if they have tried many different approaches to fixing their symptoms and still haven’t been able to resolve them, I immediately think they have a leaky gut.

Fixing Leaky Gut

Like I said before, fixing your leaky gut is simple, but you may not find it to be easy. It’s simple because there are 4 steps to fixing it. It’s not easy because it will take breaking some old habits and establishing some new ones.

The four steps are:

  • Remove
  • Replace
  • Repair
  • Rebalance

See! Simple, right?!

So, the question is, are you willing to take these steps? The steps to heal your gut are simple. It’s not complicated to take a few supplements in the morning and change your lifestyle habits. How easy it is to change your lifestyle habits depends on your level of commitment. Is your health worth the effort it will take you to heal your gut?

If you would like to dive deeper into this topic, schedule a gut review consultation in our office.


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3:00 pm-6:00 pm


9:00 am-12:00 pm

3:00 pm-6:00 pm