1. What is leaky gut all about?
“Leaky gut” is not a medically recognized condition. Scientifically, it is better known as “increased intestinal permeability”. Leaky gut occurs when inflammation causes holes in the lining of the intestinal tract, allowing partially digested food, toxins or parasites to penetrate the tissues and enter our blood.
2. Possible causes?
a. inflammatory foods:
– meat, eggs, dairy products
– processed sugar
– gluten (protein in wheat, rye, barley, spelt)
b. infections (candida [yeast infection] overgrowth)
c. intestinal parasites
d. medications (antibiotics, steroids)
e. toxins (mercury, pesticides, BPA from plastics…)
3. What is inflammation?
It is an immune reaction to a bodily threat. The affected part:
– has an increased blood flow and white blood cells
– becomes reddened, swollen, hot, often painful, which is part of a healing process.
Chronic inflammation is a long-term inflammation lasting years.
4. Is leaky gut dangerous?
We know it is linked to digestion problems:
– celiac disease (gluten intolerance)
– Crohn’s disease
– irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS (cramps, abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation…)
Some studies suggest that leaky gut may be associated with:
– other autoimmune diseases (lupus, type 1 diabetes, multiple sclerosis)
– chronic fatigue syndrome
– fibromyalgia (bone muscle problem)
However, understanding of these connections need further research.
5. How do I know if I might have leaky gut?
Signs and symptoms:
– Digestive issues (bloating, diarrhoea, irritable bowel syndrome)
– Skin issues (eczema, acne)
– Candida overgrowth (yeast infection)
– Autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, celiac disease)
– Chronic fatigue
– Depression, anxiety
– Food allergies, food intolerances (gluten)
6. What is the best way to prevent or reverse leaky gut?
Remove food that is inflammatory. Eat a nutritious, unprocessed plant based diet that is anti-inflammatory.
This will help rebuild the gut lining and bring more balance to the gut flora.
– animal fat and products (incl eggs, fish)
– GMO soy and corn
– gluten (wheat, barley, rye)
– refined sugar
– Healthy fats (avocado, flaxseeds…)
– nuts and seeds (soaked)
– leafy greens, cruciferous veg
– fermented food like miso, kimchi, nut and bean-yoghurt
– probiotics, prebiotics
– sweet potatoes
– brown rice
– chia seeds
The information shared here is for educational purposes only.
These opinions are not given as medical advice and not intended to replace or conflict with your decisions or healthcare providers’ advice.
1. Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 9,
Marcelo Campos, MD. “Leaky gut: What is it, and what does it mean for you?“, Harvard Health Publishing, Sep
2. Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “The Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 9,
Amy Myers, M.D. “11 Signs You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome“, MindBodyGreen.com, January 24, 2019.
Amy Myers, M.D. “How Gluten Wreaks Havoc On Your Gut“, MindBodyGreen.com.
Amy Myers, M.D. “10 Signs You Have Candida Overgrowth & What To Do About It“, MindBodyGreen.com.
3. Christian Nordqvist. “Everything you need to know about inflammation“, Medical News Today, 24 November 2017.
4. Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM. “Celiac Disease“, MedicineNet, Sep 10, 2018.
Marcelo Campos, MD. “Leaky gut: What is it, and what does it mean for you?“, Harvard Health Publishing, Sep 22, 2017.
5. Amy Myers, M.D. “11 Signs You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome“, MindBodyGreen.com, January 24, 2019.
6. Vincent M. Pedre, M.D. “Here’s Exactly What To Eat (And What To Avoid) To Heal Your Gut“, MindBodyGreen.com, November 14, 2017.
Michael Greger M.D. FACLM. “The Effects of Avocados on Inflammation” (Video), NutritionFacts.org, Volume 42,