by: Dr. Craig A. Maxwell
Leaky gut syndrome (LGS) is not widely recognized by the medical community. Unfortunately, this little-known syndrome is a very common cause of poor health.
A large part of healing leaky gut involves understanding what it is and how it affects your body.
What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome, also called increased intestinal permeability or increased gut permeability, is a result of damage to the intestinal walls. This causes the lining of the intestines to be more porous than they should be, allowing undigested food particles and waste products to leak into the bloodstream, thereby triggering an immune response in various areas of the body.
What Causes Increased Intestinal Permeability?
Intestinal permeability is not natural though it is estimated that hundreds of thousands of children and adults suffer from the effects of a porous intestinal lining.
The most common causes of gut permeability are:
- Overuse of NSAID Pain Relievers
- Excessive Antibiotic Use
- Steroid Pain Relievers
- Birth Control Pills
- Intestinal Parasite Infection
- Excessive Alcohol Consumption
- Poor Diet
- Refined Flour
- Refined Sugar
- Food Dyes
- Preservatives, Additives
- Artificial Colors and Flavor
Symptoms of Gut Permeability
Leaky gut syndrome can be difficult to diagnose because of all the unusual symptoms associated with it. Leaky gut presents differently for each person.
And many doctors still don’t believe that it exists!
The most common symptoms associated with leaky gut syndrome are:
- Autoimmune Disease
- Eczema and Psoriasis
- Joint Pain
- Brain Fog
- Food Allergies
- Learning Difficulties
- Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
- Chronic Stomach Pain
In a person with leaky gut syndrome, toxins and waste products re-entering the body through the intestinal wall trigger the immune system to react and attack. This leads to chronic inflammation, which can cause the above symptoms and more.
Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome Naturally
There are four essential steps to healing leaky gut syndrome naturally. You must first eliminate the cause(s), second, make some lifestyle changes, third, make some dietary changes, and fourth, add some healing supplements. These steps can help you heal leaky gut syndrome, eliminate the symptoms you’ve been experiencing and help you experience lasting relief.
1.) Narrowing Down the Cause
The first step to effectively dealing with leaky gut syndrome is identifying and eliminating the possible causes. For my patients, I recommend Doctor’s Data Comprehensive Stool Analysis x 3 DD Kit. This test evaluates for parasitic infection, leaky gut syndrome, and candida overgrowth while measuring dysbiotic (bad) bacteria, digestive enzymes, digestion capability, intestinal IgA levels, and even identification and counts of all probiotic levels! In those with leaky gut syndrome, intestinal IgA levels will be abnormal. In my experience, those with leaky gut syndrome most often have candida overgrowth (over 95%) as the main contributing factor. This is most often due to diet and lifestyle choices which allow it to overgrow in the GI tract.
2.) Making Lifestyle Changes
Since leaky gut syndrome is often caused or worsened by smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, these are two lifestyle changes you need to make in order to heal. Also, if you depend on NSAID pain relievers to cope with chronic pain and inflammation, you can turn to boswellia as a healing alternative. Boswellia is a natural herb that offers pain relief without the gastrointestinal side effects associated with over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen.
If you are taking antacids daily for chronic acid reflux, this will make your leaky gut worse. Instead, try chewable DGL, apple cider vinegar [A1] (with the mother), and a quality probiotic formula. Birth control pills can be replaced with other another birth control method such as condoms or a diaphragm.
3.) Making Dietary Changes
Another crucial step in treating leaky gut syndrome is eating a healthy diet. This means cutting the junk (fast food/processed food) that’s causing increased intestinal permeability (and probably yeast overgrowth as well). Nutrient-dense foods such as organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, grains, and healthy fats are essential to healing your gut.
For my patients with leaky gut syndrome, I recommend eating lots of soups and stews that are easy on your digestion. Beef, chicken, and vegetable broth flavored with cayenne pepper and turmeric can do wonders for healing your ravaged gut. Cayenne pepper helps improve your digestion while turmeric helps strengthen your intestinal walls. Both are strong, natural inflammation fighters as well!
Oftentimes, gluten and lactose intolerance can worsen the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome. Cutting them from your diet for a period of one month can let you know if these two common food allergies are a problem for you.
4.) Adding Healing Supplements
What Is The Best Combination Of Natural Supplements To Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome?
I regularly see patients in my office with leaky gut syndrome, as I have for many years. Many have already done their research and are pretty sure that’s what they have. And they are usually right! So often, during the course of their research, they begin eating better and are making the necessary lifestyle changes. They’re on the right track, but aren’t seeing the results they had hoped for. They need some help. Does that sound like you? If so, you’re certainly not alone!
That’s where my 4-part, natural supplement plan comes in.
So, you’re working on your diet and lifestyle changes. This will likely go a long way toward healing your leaky gut syndrome. But along with these changes, here’s my 4-part, natural supplement plan to boost the GI immune system, normalize intestinal IgA levels, eradicate intestinal candida yeast overgrowth (found in 95% of those with LGS), reduce GI inflammation, and restore balance to the GI tract:
1.) Foundation Vitamins and Minerals
Nutritional deficiencies are very common in those with leaky gut syndrome. Nearly 100% of the patients I see with LGS are deficient in one or more vitamins and minerals (the most common deficiencies I see are magnesium, Vitamin D3, and B12). So even if you eat a healthy diet, I believe a high quality multivitamin and mineral supplement should be part of a healing and health maintenance plan. For my patients, I have recommended Diamond Nutritionals’ Foundation Vitamin Formula for many years with much success. This professional grade vitamin and mineral formula is easily absorbed, which is especially important in those with LGS.
The dose is 3 tablets once a day, with or without food.
2.) Ultra Probiotic Formula
For patients with leaky gut syndrome, I always recommend a specific dose and balance of a professional grade probiotic supplement. Over the years, I have found that a positive balance of healthy gut bacteria helps improve digestion, fights infection, reduces GI inflammation and helps helps heal LGS. 70% of your immune system is located in your gut and your immune system will get a real boost from the right probiotic supplement.
For my patients, I recommend Diamond Nutritionals’ Ultra Probiotic Formula. Unlike other probiotics, which may only contain 1 or 2 active cultures in a low-dose capsule, each packet of Ultra Probiotic Formula contains 225 billion CFUs (colony-forming units) complete with six unique probiotic strains to populate your gut fast to boost your immune system and relieve gastrointestinal discomfort.
The recommended dose is 1 packet a day in water or juice for 8 weeks. I then recommend Probiotic Formula, one capsule a day for maintenance.
3.) Bowel Support Formula
Diamond Nutritionals’ Bowel Support Formula contains a proprietary blend of natural ingredients and is designed to flush toxins and waste, while strengthening intestinal walls. It is also an antioxidant and contains healthy dietary fiber which acts as a prebiotic to assist the growth of probiotics.
The recommended dose is 2 capsules twice a day with a glass of pure, cold water.
4.) Candi-Calm Formula
As over 95% of my patients with leaky gut syndrome have candida yeast overgrowth as the major culprit (due to the dietary and lifestyle choices outlined above which allow it to overgrow in the GI tract), I frequently recommend Diamond Nutrititionals’ Candi-Calm Formula. This product contains a natural blend of herbs which I have found to eradicate candida overgrowth in my patients.
The recommended dose is 2 capsules three times a day with food for 8 weeks.
Having treated many patients with leaky gut syndrome over the years, I have found it to be fairly easy to treat IF a patient is willing to make some dietary and lifestyle changes….along with taking the proper dose and balance of recommended supplementation.
If you follow the above recommended suggestions, I believe you will be successful as well.
My staff and I wish you the best of health!