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how to heal a leaky gut

The Leaky Gut Conundrum

Leaky gut can be one of the most challenging problems for those with gluten sensitivity.  Primarily because the extensive damage caused by years of gluten exposure leaves this vital system in disarray.  Gluten…

  • Disrupts the gut barrier
  • Alters healthy gut bacteria
  • Causes GI inflammation
  • Causes digestive distress
  • Leads to vitamin and mineral deficiencies and Mal-absorption

immune system and gluten

On top of that, the other properties of gluten and grain in general can also cause GI damage and inflammation.  Examples include:

  • Heavy GMO pesticides used in grain production
  • Heavy level of mycotoxins found in grain.  Heavy levels of mold found in grain.
  • Large quantity of oxylates that block mineral absorption
  • Chemicals called ATI’s that hinder digestive enzyme release from the pancreas.

All of these factors contribute to delayed healing and persistent problems with food allergies, infections, and digestion. This big cycle is one of the most frustrating catch 22’s  in healing.

To heal we need a healthy gut to receive nourishment, but because the gut is broken, we cannot get at the nourishment necessary to heal.

 10 Natural Steps to Help Heal a Leaky Gut

So aside from maintaining a TRUE gluten free diet, what do we do to overcome this problem? Here is a list of the top 10 “To do” steps to naturally get your gut and health back on track:

  1.  Consider intermittent fasting or a liquid diet. Fasting can be done in 16 hour or 24 hour time frames. Consider fasting twice per week as it gives the GI tract needed rest from the burden of digestion and food processing.  If you go the liquid diet route, stick to bone broth, meat and vegetable stocks, or fresh vegetable juices.  These liquids can be nutrient dense and are gentle on the damaged gut.
  2. Have your doctor test you for other hidden food allergies. This will allow you to eliminate potential sources of food based inflammation and persistent gut damage.
  3. Have your doctor test you for gut infections. Often times a yeast overgrowth, a bacterial infection, or an imbalance in gut bacteria can contribute to persistent problems.
  4. Avoid difficult to digest foods like dairy, beans and FODMAPS. These foods may be gluten free, but they are naturally harder to digest, and they can slow down your GI recovery.
  5. Be wary of any medications that block stomach acid or reduce pain (NSAIDS). These medications alter your ability to digest and also strip away the GI mucosa important in regulating leaky gut.
  6. Practice deep breathing exercises before eating. The act of deep breathing slows down the part of your nervous system that inhibits digestion, and activates the hormones that aid in digestion.
  7. Move your body. The act of moderate walking (4-5 miles daily) stimulates the nerves that help maintain gut motility. Most people sit at a desk all day working. This sedentary lifestyle can actually contribute to a neurological slow down of your gut function.
  8. Take a high quality probiotic. You will need at least 80 billion CFU’s per day. Probiotics help digest your food and regulate your immune response.  Many probiotics are grown on corn and cause a reaction in gluten sensitive people.  You can get corn free, gluten free probiotics here.
  9. Consider a strong digestive enzyme formulation. Those with gluten sensitivity commonly suffer with enzyme deficiencies, and these important proteins are necessary to break down your food and allow for proper nutrient absorption.
  10. Use a supplemental source of immunoglobulins. These immune proteins are helpful in binding gut pathogens (bacteria, yeast, virus), supporting gut immune function, and supporting gut barrier function.

The use of turmeric, L-glutamine, aloe, and ginger would also be helpful.  If you have battled and recovered from a leaky gut, please leave your feedback below.  Your story might help someone else regain their health and vitality.

Always looking out for you,

Dr. Osborne – The Gluten Free Warrior

Gluten Free Warrior Commentary

comments

31 responses on “10 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Naturally

  1. Athapol Noomhorm says:

    very useful information.
    It is difficult to find food that gluten free in Thailand (land of rice)

    • Karen says:

      There’s no gluten in rice. It is in fact used to make many gluten-free products.

      • Donna says:

        I was told that rice does have gluten, now I’m confused.

        • Ksthy says:

          Rice does not contain gluten however if your body is on high alert to attack gluten ( if you are sensitive to it) your body might see the rice AS gluten and react the same way towards it. Same with other grains until your gut is healed

        • Sandie Webb says:

          I’ve had to go completely grain free now for the past 4 yrs. rice is a grain, so I’d suggest staying away especially if you’re trying to heal something..

        • Biggi says:

          Rice does not have gluten. There is ‘glutinous rice flour’ but contrary to the name it is gluten free. That is the kind of rice flour you would use to thicken things instead of wheat flour if you’re gluten intolerant. Sweet rice flour won’t thicken.

        • Hari says:

          Hi Donna and Karen , Rice has no gluten.
          Thanks

        • Lynne says:

          Brown rice does have gluten. White rice is OK, but watch out for high arsenic content in white rice. Go to a store where ‘clean’ foods are sold. Any rice grown in the South has huge amounts of arsenic and pesticides.

        • charlene says:

          Some rice does have gluten. I am on a specific diet and have got to avoid white rice, and only eat “Whole rice” or brown, black rice, or quinoa as it is natural and hasn’t been processed. I am now avoiding all processed foods as they flair up my gut and stomach, as I am getting over a leaky gut and trying to get over candida.

      • Kristine says:

        Before encouraging gluten-free folks to eat rice, please make sure you do some research. http://www.glutenfreesociety.org/dangers-eating-rice-gluten-free-diet/

        • Tiffany says:

          Brown rice does not have gluten. I am going to paste a portion of a website below and then the website itself.

          In most cases, yes: rice is gluten-free. Plain rice—regardless of whether it’s whole-grain brown rice, polished white rice, long-grained basmati rice, or even exotic black rice—is always considered gluten-free, assuming it’s been protected from gluten cross-contamination in processing and cooking.

          But you need to beware of flavored rice mixes since these can contain gluten ingredients, and often do.

          Surprisingly, the type of rice called glutinous rice, also known as sticky rice or sweet rice, is gluten-free. Despite the name, it doesn’t contain the form of gluten that’s dangerous to those of us with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity; the term “glutinous” simply refers to the fact that glutinous rice gets glue-like or sticky when cooked.

          The website is: https://www.verywell.com/is-rice-gluten-free-562773

          Now, arsenic is a different story. I looked at one of the above sites and it mentions this in the comments section:

          I read once that the rice with the least arsenic, is a brand called Lundberg from California and white jasmine rice is the least arsenic. Never brown rice, since it has the hull still on the outside and holds the most arsenic.

          A Consumer Reports article stated that rice from the USA has higher Arsenic levels than rice that is imported from Thailand, Korea, Philippines and any other number of Asian countries.

          I would like to suggest quinoa as a good rice alternative.

          Good luck!

          • Rebecca Augustine says:

            All grains have gluten proteins. That’s what makes them grains.

            It’s just that the medical community has defined “gluten-free” as anything without barley/rye/wheat/spelt. This is an incomplete definition, at best.

            Some people do fine simply removing those four grains; others do not fully heal until they remove all forms of gluten.

  2. Sandra Sanderford says:

    How is leaky gut determined?

  3. Mare says:

    For those inquiring how to determine if they have leaky gut syndrome (known medically as ‘intestinal hyper-permeability’), the following link from the mindbodygreen website might prove helpful…
    http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-10541/4-tests-to-determine-if-you-have-a-leaky-gut.html
    Peace,
    Mare

  4. Kathy says:

    I’ve had Ulcerative Colitis for 18 years and taking medicine all that time but one year ago I embarked on the AIP ( autoimmune protocol of the Paleo diet) and healed my leaky gut and have gone off all medications. Now I mostly just avoid gluten to maintain this.

  5. Cherie says:

    Thank you so much Dr. Osborne for all the great information you share with us! It is
    life changing!

  6. Cherie says:

    Thank you Dr. Osborne for all the great information you share with us! It’s life changing!

  7. Cynthia Mingus says:

    I have been diagnosed with Scleroderma Crest and both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid. When I stay on eating Paleo way of eating my health improves a lot. When I go off I suffer with all the conditions of the Crest. I have gone to both holistic doctors and medical. And always medical doctors fill me full of prescriptions. My holistic has a lot better to heal my gut. Which helps a lot. Reading this book has given me so much knowledge to know why now I need to completely stay off wheat. I have my throat closing on me, stomach problems,lineaus planus sores all over,my face broken blood vessels,dermatitis,allergies,lung troubles,arthritis in hands , no cartridges in thumbs. Bad sinus allergies,just had both feet operated on because of arthritis. And I am just 62 and this is not acceptable. Doctors for pain put me on meds and it tore my stomach up.
    I know all of this was caused from stress and eating wheat,sugar,dairy.
    My journey now is to record a dairy to stay off those 3 foods that have destroyed my body. But I believe I can heal it.

    • Maria W says:

      Hi Cynthia, what you said in your post is very similar to my story. I had ruptured (actually surgeon said “disintegrated”) silicone breast implants. I think a lot of my symptoms, such as scleroderma crest, lichen planus, are related to that but I do believe gut issues are involved there too. I’d love to hear an update from you. I hope your health has improved since your post. Blessings to you.

  8. Teryl says:

    Thank you very much for all your information. It is very helpful.
    I have just recently learned about histamine allergy and have felt I need to add to my protocol since some foods I was eating gluten and dairy free have histamines. Avocado, citrus, fermented foods. I had thought Kombucha, Sauerkraut were all good in probiotics so I would appreciate your thoughts on histamine allergy.
    Thank you!

  9. kay says:

    its very healthy to eat gluten free. i used to have a bowel movement once in 5-7days before i went gluten free, but now, after going gluten free, i have one daily and i no longer feel bloated and constipated. i would say i am a bit new to the gluten free diet. i started it like 4 months ago but didn’t eliminate it completely until like 3 weeks ago and i feel a drastic change. it was triggered by pregnancy. I Lost 7kg already. i however started a gradual introduction of dairy back into my diet. i am also lactose intolerant. i started with a milk thats casein and lactose free but contains all the normal nutrients in a normal milk. Its made from coconut and rice. am so excited at what God is helping me with as regards my health. though i occasionally still feel the mood disorder caused by gluten, its a whole lot better. Thank God for people that share their experience on the internet and allowed people like me to learn from it. I feel a lot better than i have felt in the last 4 years. i eat everything natural and organic now. no processed foods, no sugar, only milk thats lactose and casein free , low glycemic food and no gluten. plenty of vegetables(broccoli,carrot, kale, green peas, runner beans, bell peppers (red, white, green, orange), tomatoes, spinach, cucumber, onions(red and white), cabbage, sweet potatoes,spring onions, avocados, chilli, cauliflower, Brussels sprout ) and i also use lots of garlic, ginger, i use basilica, coriander, turmeric,oregano, parsley, mint. i eat eggs, oranges, lemon, banana, red grapes, grapes, berries. i make bone broth too and i peel my red beans, blend with chilli , onion, garlic and bell pepper and steam with little olive oil. it tastes fabulous that way. i blend my raw coconut with water and add it to my rice when its almost completely cooked. i incorporated lots of fish such as salmon and mackerel ignored to increase my fish oil intake. I add my fish to soups and cook along with the soup in order to get the best out of it. poultry is something i also eat. its actually a lot of fun and i can say now that i really enjoy cooking.

  10. Ellie says:

    Hi, I have had leaky gut for a 30 years, it has caused me severe illnesses.I have s3vere yeast overgrowth. I want to heal it. Is it necessary to eliminate all grains, sugars, fructose, dairies, and glutten products? Can I consume fermented foods such as kumbucha, kefir, sourkraut, apple cider vinega, etc? There is so much controversy at what is or not to be eaten during this healing period. Please reply, thank you, ellie

    • Ellie,
      I would encourage you to follow the 30 day protocol in No Grain No Pain
      It is very effective for leaky gut issues. Once you get through it, check back in with us and report your results.
      All the best,
      Dr. O

    • Jennifer says:

      Hi Ellie,
      I’m responding to you but to everyone in a scense. I started out by going gluten free having been diagnosed with Celiac. After yrs of research and non stop issues I finally realized that Candida ( systemic overgrowth) was the culprit!! They have been scientifically studied and found to do the same damage to the villi in the gut as what is believed to be gluten damage. They have also been identified as “ the cause” of Leaky Gut! Theres a ridiculous amount of info on the internet and can be horribly confusing! I am living proof that after properly treating the Candida the gut heals and you can again enjoy the foods you love. Everything in moderation and no doubt I maintain a low to no gluten, dairy free diet. In general to maintain a healthy gut you should always eat organically and keep so many other aspects of life in check! Stress and a western diet filked with so many harmful additives and foods that in general your body doesnt like can add to inflammation and create many health issues. The answer is definitely yes to your question about foods to avoid.. but the reason is generally because they feed the candida whom then turn into a different form of fungus that penetrate the gut wall and make their way into your blood stream.. the body begins the autoimmune response and you find yourself in a fury of mounting health issues. Everything from hormonal imbalances to food sensitivities and beyond! They are pesky little bugs and if not dealt with and maintained at the level they are meant to be in your gut will leave you sick and frustrated. I dont work for anyone but will suggest checking out candelim.com.. and definitely look for research studies that relate to Candida and leaky gut!!

  11. Z says:

    Hello, I have started a programme following a soup diet, I have been gluten free since 26th December 2016, and sugar free since the 1st Jan. I have only been having soups but realised I was adding yeast extract in the flavouring. I’m a little frustrated in that last time I did this my stomach felt much lighter within a week or so. Is there a pattern in healing? If you do it properly does it take more time? Like bloating is a sign of healing, after a week or two I should see some results?

    Thanks

  12. nima says:

    hi
    thanks for useful information.my daughter is 5 years old and 14.5 kg. the ttg was 700 two years ago. does she have to in gluten free?

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