What Is Leaky Gut Syndrome And How To Heal It Naturally?

In this article, we will delve into the intricate world of the gut and explore the causes, symptoms, and most importantly, effective natural strategies to heal leaky gut syndrome. By the end, you’ll have a solid understanding of this condition and the knowledge to take charge of your gut health.

Leaky gut syndrome, also known as intestinal permeability, is a condition where the lining of the intestinal wall becomes compromised, allowing undigested food particles, toxins, and bacteria to leak into the bloodstream. This disruption in the gut barrier function can trigger a cascade of health issues, ranging from digestive discomfort to systemic inflammation and even autoimmune conditions.

Understanding the ins and outs of leaky gut syndrome is crucial for embarking on a successful healing journey. Addressing leaky gut naturally is of paramount importance in restoring gut health and overall well-being. While conventional medicine may focus on symptom management, natural healing strategies target the root causes, promoting lasting relief and preventing further complications.

By adopting a holistic approach that encompasses dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and supportive therapies, you can pave the way for optimal gut function and improved quality of life.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

The gut, also known as the gastrointestinal tract, is a complex system responsible for the digestion and absorption of nutrients, as well as playing a vital role in immune function and overall health (Galland, 2014). It consists of various organs, including the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine, working together to break down food and extract essential nutrients that fuel our bodies.

Causes Of Leaky Gut Syndrome

Leaky gut syndrome, scientifically known as increased intestinal permeability, refers to a condition where the lining of the intestinal wall becomes compromised (Fasano, 2012). This compromised barrier allows substances like undigested food particles, toxins, and bacteria to leak into the bloodstream, triggering an immune response and potential health complications.

The causes of leaky gut syndrome can vary and may include:

  1. Poor Diet: Consuming a diet high in processed foods, refined sugars, and unhealthy fats can contribute to gut inflammation and compromise the intestinal lining (Bischoff et al., 2014).
  2. Chronic Stress: Prolonged stress can disrupt the balance of gut bacteria, increase gut permeability, and weaken the immune system’s response (Konturek et al., 2011).
  3. Dysbiosis: Imbalance in the gut microbiome, characterized by an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and a decrease in beneficial bacteria, can lead to intestinal permeability (Cani, 2018).
  4. Environmental Factors: Exposure to toxins, pollutants, and certain medications like nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can damage the gut lining and contribute to leaky gut syndrome (Lerner et al., 2017).

Role Of The Gut Microbiome In Leaky Gut Syndrome

The gut microbiome, consisting of trillions of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, and fungi, plays a crucial role in maintaining gut health and integrity (Gentile et al., 2020). A balanced and diverse gut microbiome supports a healthy gut lining, strengthens the immune system, and helps regulate inflammation.

Disruption of the gut microbiome, such as an overgrowth of harmful bacteria or a decrease in beneficial bacteria, can contribute to leaky gut syndrome and its associated complications.

In understanding the basics of leaky gut syndrome, including the functions of the gut, its causes, the concept of intestinal permeability, and the role of the gut microbiome, we lay the foundation for exploring effective natural healing strategies.

Symptoms Of Leaky Gut Syndrome

Following are the symptoms of leaky gut syndrome :

Digestive Symptoms

Leaky gut syndrome can manifest in various symptoms, particularly affecting the digestive system. These symptoms may include:

  1. Chronic Diarrhea or Constipation: Fluctuations in bowel movements, characterized by persistent diarrhea or recurring episodes of constipation (Fasano, 2012).
  2. Abdominal Pain and Bloating: Discomfort, cramping, and bloating in the abdominal region due to impaired digestion and gut inflammation (Bischoff et al., 2014).
  3. Food Sensitivities and Intolerances: Increased intestinal permeability can lead to the passage of undigested food particles into the bloodstream, triggering immune responses and causing food sensitivities or intolerances (Galland, 2014).

Systemic Symptoms

Leaky gut syndrome can also manifest in systemic symptoms, affecting the body as a whole. These symptoms may include:

  1. Fatigue and Malaise: Chronic fatigue and a general sense of unwellness due to inflammation and compromised nutrient absorption (Lerner et al., 2017).
  2. Joint Pain and Muscle Aches: Inflammatory responses triggered by the passage of toxins and bacteria into the bloodstream can contribute to joint pain and muscle aches (Camilleri, 2019).
  3. Skin Issues: Leaky gut syndrome has been associated with various skin conditions, including acne, eczema, and psoriasis, as systemic inflammation affects the skin’s health (Cani, 2018).

Psychological Symptoms

Leaky gut syndrome has been linked to psychological symptoms, emphasizing the gut-brain connection. These symptoms may include:

  1. Brain Fog and Poor Concentration: Cognitive difficulties, such as difficulty concentrating, memory problems, and a feeling of mental fog (Konturek et al., 2011).
  2. Mood Swings and Anxiety: Imbalances in gut bacteria and increased inflammation can impact neurotransmitter production, potentially contributing to mood swings and heightened anxiety (Gentile et al., 2020).
  3. Depression: Emerging research suggests a potential link between leaky gut syndrome and depressive symptoms, highlighting the importance of gut health in mental well-being (Lerner et al., 2017).

Natural Healing Strategies For Leaky Gut Syndrome

Followings are the natural healing strategies for leaky gut syndrome:

Dietary Changes And Elimination Of Trigger Foods

Adopting an anti-inflammatory diet can play a crucial role in healing leaky gut syndrome (Bischoff et al., 2014). This includes consuming whole, unprocessed foods rich in nutrients and antioxidants. Emphasize fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and whole grains to reduce inflammation and support gut health.

1.    Importance of Removing Processed Foods and Allergens

Eliminating processed foods, refined sugars, and common allergens like gluten and dairy can help alleviate leaky gut symptoms (Galland, 2014). These foods often contribute to inflammation and gut irritation, worsening the condition. Identifying individual food sensitivities and eliminating trigger foods can also promote healing.

2.    Focus on Gut-Healing Foods and Supplements

Incorporating gut-healing foods and supplements can aid in repairing the intestinal lining. Examples include bone broth, which provides collagen and amino acids, and foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon and chia seeds (Cani, 2018).

Additionally, supplements like glutamine, zinc, and quercetin may support gut healing.

Gut Microbiome Restoration

1.    Probiotics and Prebiotics for a Healthy Gut Flora

Introducing probiotics (beneficial bacteria) and prebiotics (fiber that nourishes gut bacteria) can restore balance to the gut microbiome (Gentile et al., 2020). Probiotic supplements and fermented foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi are excellent sources of beneficial bacteria. Prebiotic-rich foods include garlic, onions, and bananas.

2.    Fermented Foods and Their Benefits

Consuming fermented foods can provide a natural source of probiotics and enzymes that promote gut health (Camilleri, 2019). Kombucha, kefir, and tempeh are examples of fermented foods that can help restore gut flora and enhance digestion.

Reducing Stress and Promoting Relaxation

1.    Stress Management Techniques

Reducing stress is essential for healing leaky gut syndrome. Engaging in stress management techniques such as exercise, deep breathing exercises, yoga, or engaging in hobbies can help lower stress levels and improve gut health (Konturek et al., 2011).

2.    Mindfulness and Meditation Practices

Practicing mindfulness and meditation can be beneficial for reducing stress and promoting relaxation (Lerner et al., 2017). These practices help calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and support overall well-being, positively influencing gut health.

Supporting Gut Health with Lifestyle Changes

1.    Regular Exercise and Its Impact on Gut Function

Engaging in regular physical activity promotes healthy digestion and improves gut function (Cani, 2018). Exercise helps reduce inflammation, supports the growth of beneficial gut bacteria, and enhances overall gut health.

2.    Prioritizing Sleep and Its Role in Gut Repair

Adequate sleep is crucial for gut repair and overall health. Poor sleep quality and inadequate sleep duration can negatively affect gut health and contribute to increased intestinal permeability (Bischoff et al., 2014).

Establishing a consistent sleep schedule and adopting good sleep hygiene practices can support gut healing.By implementing these natural healing strategies, individuals can take proactive steps towards healing their leaky gut syndrome and promoting overall gut health.

Additional Natural Remedies And Therapies

Herbal Remedies for Leaky Gut

1.    Aloe Vera and Its Soothing Properties

Aloe vera is known for its soothing properties and has been used traditionally to support gut health (Camilleri, 2019). It contains compounds that may help reduce inflammation and promote healing of the intestinal lining.

Consuming aloe vera juice or gel under the guidance of a healthcare professional may provide relief for individuals with leaky gut syndrome.

2.    Slippery Elm and Its Mucilage Benefits

Slippery elm is a herb that contains mucilage, a substance that becomes gel-like when mixed with water. It can help coat and soothe the intestinal lining, providing a protective barrier (Gentile et al., 2020).

Slippery elm supplements or teas may be beneficial for individuals with leaky gut, but it is important to consult with a healthcare professional before using any herbal remedies.

Gut-Healing Supplements

1.    L-Glutamine for Intestinal Lining Repair

L-glutamine is an amino acid that plays a vital role in repairing and maintaining the integrity of the intestinal lining (Cani, 2018). Supplementing with L-glutamine may help strengthen the gut barrier and reduce intestinal permeability.

However, it is essential to consult with a healthcare professional for proper dosage and guidance.

2.    Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Inflammation Reduction

Omega-3 fatty acids, found in fatty fish, flaxseeds, and walnuts, have anti-inflammatory properties that can benefit individuals with leaky gut syndrome (Galland, 2014).

Incorporating omega-3 supplements or increasing dietary intake of omega-3-rich foods may help reduce inflammation in the gut and support healing.

There are a number of other supplements that can used such as cuccumin, probiotics, bone broth that have shown to reduce inflammation. Consulting wih your functional medicine practitoner will be the best way to determine which products are going to be right for the individual.


Leaky gut syndrome is a condition characterized by increased intestinal permeability, which can lead to various health issues (Bischoff et al., 2014). It can affect digestion, nutrient absorption, and contribute to systemic inflammation. The gut plays a crucial role in overall health, making it essential to address leaky gut for optimal well-being.

Naturopathic healing approaches provide a holistic and sustainable way to address leaky gut syndrome. By implementing dietary changes, restoring the gut microbiome, reducing stress, and making lifestyle adjustments, individuals can promote gut healing and reduce symptoms associated with leaky gut (Galland, 2014).

By understanding the underlying causes of leaky gut syndrome and implementing natural healing strategies, individuals can take proactive steps toward restoring gut health and promoting overall well-being.

How we can help?

The functional medicine approach to working with IBS is looking at the underlying cause. . If you are having IBS reach out to us at the https://dublincfm.com/contact/ and schedule a 15 minute discovery call to see if we can help.


Bischoff, S. C., Barbara, G., Buurman, W., Ockhuizen, T., Schulzke, J.-D., Serino, M., Tilg, H., Watson, A., & Wells, J. M. (2014). Intestinal permeability—A new target for disease prevention and therapy. BMC Gastroenterology, 14(1), 189. doi: 10.1186/s12876-014-0189-7

Konturek, P. C., Brzozowski, T., & Konturek, S. J. (2011). Stress and the gut: Pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 62(6), 591–599.

Lerner, A., Neidhöfer, S., & Matthias, T. (2017). The gut microbiome feelings of the brain: A perspective for non-microbiologists. Microorganisms, 5(4), 66. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms5040066

Camilleri, M. (2019). Leaky gut: Mechanisms, measurement and clinical implications in humans. Gut, 68(8), 1516–1526. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-318427

Galland, L. (2014). The gut microbiome and the brain. Journal of Medicinal Food, 17(12), 1261–1272. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2014.7000

Konturek, P. C., Brzozowski, T., & Konturek, S. J. (2011). Stress and the gut: Pathophysiology, clinical consequences, diagnostic approach and treatment options. Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 62(6), 591–599.

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