5 Top Signs You May Have Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky Gut Syndrome is a lesser known digestive disorder, and medical doctors are skeptical of its existence, but it is often the root cause of many illnesses.  Leaky gut is not taught in medical school, so traditional doctors are usually not familiar.  The good news is that times are changing and Leaky Gut Syndrome is beginning to be recognized in the medical community.  Linda A. Lee, MD, a gastroenterologist and Director of the Johns Hopkins Integrative Medicine and Digestive Center says “We don’t know a lot but we know that it exists.”  Below I will discuss the 5 top signs you may have Leaky Gut Syndrome and how to address it and rid your symptoms.

Because there is no standard to diagnosis Leaky Gut, there are no treatments or specific therapies to address it.  Most medical doctors prescribe drugs like Prevacid or antacids.

What Is Leaky Gut?

The lining of our gut serves as a barrier function.  This barrier has tiny holes that allow nutrients and certain other substances that are small enleaky-gut-juncturesough to fit through. Larger particles are kept out. These tiny holes or ‘tight junctions’ are what keeps the contents of your intestines from the blood stream.  These tight junctions keep out the toxins, large undigested food particles, and bacteria. When these small holes become larger it is called “increased intestinal permeability” or Leaky Gut Syndrome, and now larger substances can pass through and into the blood stream.

When your tight junctures become not so tight, it’s like the floodgates have been opened from your intestines to your bloodstream.  Particles that never should be in your blood stream have now gotten through.  Your body responds with inflammation throughout your whole body, leading to the onset of a variety of diseases.

5 Top Signs Of Leaky Gut

  1. Joint Pain

  2. Headaches

  3. Weight Gain

  4. Bloating

  5. Fatigue

Removing The Triggers

  • The first thing you need to do is cut refined sugar out of your diet.  Refined sugar contributes to inflammation.  Inflammation damages the gut lining leading to wider juncture openings.
  • Try going dairy free for a week and see if your symptoms get better.
  • One of the most important things you can do is to take wheat out of your diet. Wheat is highly inflammatory and has been shown in studies to open the tight junctures of your gut lining.  Changing Habits offers a 6 week No Wheat Program 
  • Remove alcohol


How To Heal

Eating fermented foods is a great way to start the healing process.

Take L-glutamine to heal the gut lining.  Studies show L-glutamine heals the gut lining.

Drink bone broth.  Bone broth contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon sulphur and other beneficial minerals that reduce inflammation and your body can readily absorb.

Take a high quality Vitamin D supplement that contains vitamin K.  Vitamin D deficiency is common in people with Leaky gut, celiac and IBS and supplementing has been shown to ease symptoms.


I love to hear from my readers!  Please comment and I’ll get right back to you!

14 Comments Add yours
  1. Great article, Linda.

    Like you, I believe our health centres around gut health and I’m a huge proponent of fermented foods. Also, we’ve just recently been turned onto bone-broth (grandma had a few tricks up her sleeve, didn’t she?). – so I found it interesting that you mention this in your post.

    I think that in general, our GPs lack extensive knowledge about nutrition and are really just given a glossed-over version of nutritional basics in med-school. My mother fought with IBS throughout her 20s-40s and was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in her 50s (the former typically being a precursor for the latter). When our daughter was born, she was reacting with rashes and irritability to what we discovered to be wheat gluten (through a process of elimination / trial and error on our part).

    To simplify, we removed gluten from our diet as a family and it was the best decision we made – that was 5 years ago. It’s a bit of mindset shift, but nothing more – really, it’s served as a great ‘filter’ because many restaurants etc. don’t have healthy GF options, so we focus on whole foods as a general rule.

    I’m curious – do you feel there is a link between leaky guy syndrome and IBS / Celiac? Keep up the great work!

    1. Hi Mike! Loved your response and glad you are very versed in this subject. I have removed gluten from my diet and it was the best decision I ever made for my health. Good question about the link between Leaky Gut and IBS/Celiac. Experts feel there is a link, but do not know why. In some earlier posts, I spoke about the link between Vitamin D deficiency and all of these digestive disorders including Celiac. We do need to heal our gut it’s so important for our future health! Thanks for your comment!

  2. Hi there,

    Great article, I started a challenge on Monday to not drink sugar for the next 2 weeks. No fizzy pop or juices, I’m doing ok apart from really missing my latte’s big time. It’s amazing how much refined sugar there is in drinks these days.

    1. Stan, there really is so much sugar in drinks. It’s where most people get their sugar from during the day and it’s directly linked to obesity. Glad you’re going through the challenge! Once you stop, it’s easier to maintain! Thanks for the comment!

    1. Hi Dan,
      Great question! Diverticulitis is a bit different as the diverticula are inflamed and cause pain. Addressing leaky gut involves a different healing approach. Thanks for the comment!

  3. Hi, this is good info. I can relate to this due to having two hernia operations over the last couple of years. I’m not sure if it’s related but I was told that as you get older your lining gets thinner. Maybe this could also have an impact with leaky gut. Definitely agree with you that weight gain and bloating are triggers. I was told by my surgeon to lose weight or it could re-occur. Interesting trigger-removers, I wasn’t aware of these but I am now! Can you expand a bit more on the 7-day program, what’s involved?

    1. Hi Craig,
      The seven day program is very helpful in getting the foundation of eating foods that are healing to your gut established. I work with you to find out what to include, what to exclude and supply recipes and coaching. It’s pretty good! If you’d like to join, just sign up through the link and we can start when you’re ready!

  4. Hi Linda, love this post on leaky gut. I read a lot and love natural foods and health. I know how important a healthy gut is. Having leaky gut can lead to all sorts of problems. Keep up the good work!

  5. I enjoyed this post on leaky gut syndrome, I bet something can do damage in ways a sufferer may not even decipher. Cutting off the sugar is what every sane adult should be able to do and I think eating fermented food will help the guts. I have heard people talk about Yorghourt as a good bacteria, dont know exactly how true. Thanks for this informative post. Cheers

    1. Hi Koko, yes yogurt is very good as long as the right kind is purchased. The sugary kinds with candy mixins are awful and mostly what parents give to their kids. Thanks for the comment!

  6. Hi Linda,

    I have never heard of Leaky Gut Syndrome before. Thanks for sharing. Could you imagine the havoc being wreaked inside our bodies if such a syndrome goes undetected. Especially if your doctor is himself/herself unaware of the existence of this syndrome. I’ve used Aloe Vera juice for some time as a general cleanser and maintainer of good gut health. Have you ever come across any information on Aloe Vera for this purpose?

    1. Thanks Kevon! More and more is being studied about the gut and the necessity of keeping it healthy. Aloe Vera is very healing to the gut and I will definitely write a post about that very soon.

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