11 Natural Remedies to Heal a Leaky Gut

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leaky gut remedies

Our intestines are far more than a digestive tract. The bacteria that live in them are the heart of our immune system.  Our gut bacteria not only help digest food but also maintain the gut wall and fight off diseases. When gut flora become unbalanced, autoimmune conditions and digestive problems flourish. A leaky gut, when the intestinal wall fails, is often the start of further complications. [1] [2] To date, if you are wondering how to heal a leaky gut, then there is no definitive cure. However, there are leaky gut treatments that are diet and lifestyle based that not only take the pressure off your digestion system but rebalance your gut flora and allow the gut to heal naturally.

natural remedies for a leaky gut

What is a Leaky Gut

The human gut in a healthy individual is constantly maintained and rebuilt by friendly gut bacteria.

The gut bacteria interact with the lining of the gut wall and influence how the wall regenerates. This regeneration is called epithelial cell shedding, and the process is vital to maintaining a healthy gut lining.

The lining of your gut is composed of tiny structures called tight junctions. These junctions allow different nutrients to pass into the bloodstream. They are also responsible for keeping toxic substances, undigested food, and microbes out. The malfunction of these junctions disturbs the normal intestinal function.

The bacteria help regulate how quickly new cells replace old cells. However, in patients with leaky gut, the shedding process happens faster than cells can be replaced, leading to a ‘leaky’ gut barrier.

Due to the role gut bacteria play in maintaining the gut wall, a leaky gut is often closely associated with an imbalance of intestinal gut bacteria (3),(4)

Symptoms of a leaky gut are varied and can often be confused with many other syndromes. They include low energy, food allergies, thyroid disease, joint pain and slow metabolism.

There has also been significant research into the links between a leaky gut, imbalanced gut bacteria and broader autoimmune disease such as eczema, autism, diabetes, psoriasis, arthritis and, asthma[5] [6] (See here for a full analysis of gut bacteria related conditions)

The biggest warning sign of leaky gut is having multiple food sensitivities at the same time. You may experience severe digestive problems and may constantly feel bloated. [7] [8]

Unfortunately, a proper treatment for the condition has not yet been developed. You can only heal a leaky gut at home by dietary and lifestyle changes.

Try out the following home remedies to heal a leaky gut

how to heal a leaky gutHow to heal a Leaky Gut

  1. Go Gluten-free

gluten freeCutting gluten from the diet is among the leaky gut remedies. Why is this so? Gluten is hard to digest and can pierce holes in the gut lining. It may also raise the levels of the hormone zonulin. Higher levels of this hormone increase the opening of tight junctions. [9]

Hence, consuming gluten can allow more toxins to pass through the gut lining. They may also result in inflammation and a raised immune response. For people who have gluten sensitivity along with a leaky gut, the effects may be far more serious.

Try to cut out foods consisting of wheat, barley, and rice from your diet slowly. Some popular foods made from these grains are pizza, cereal, bread, desserts, and even beer.

You should also look out for wheat-derivative products like semolina, couscous, and durum. They can have the same impact as wheat-based foods. Products containing the tiniest amounts of gluten should not be in your leaky gut diet. [10]

  1. Limit Dairy Products

diaryRestricting your dairy-intake may sound hard but it is an essential leaky gut treatment.  The dairy product that you should stop consuming immediately is cow’s milk.

Cow’s milk has an abundance of a protein called ‘A1 Casein’. Studies have shown that this protein is not so good for your gut.

Leaky Gut decreases your ability to digest lactose making lactose intolerance more likely to occur. Lactose intolerance makes Leaky Gut worse

To top it off, the process of pasteurization kills the enzymes in the milk. Your body needs these enzymes to digest the milk properly.

How to heal a leaky gut? Refrain from cow-based dairy completely.

Some dairy products you can have are buffalo mozzarella, goat cheese, and goat’s milk. Probiotic-rich buffalo yogurt works as well. [11] [12]

  1. Replace Your Morning Coffee with Herbal Teas

herbal teaHerbals tea form a major part of any leaky gut treatment plan diet. They improve digestion and help keep other effects of the syndrome at bay. You can start by replacing your daily mug of coffee with a cup of herbal tea. [13]

Some studies have suggested a possible link between caffeine intake and a leaky gut. Coffee has been long known to irritate the gut and also lead to inflammation. This can happen with as little as two cups of coffee. [14]

Cutting out coffee suddenly from the diet is never recommended. Doing so may cause headaches, dizziness and make it hard for you to concentrate.

Instead,  make sure that you do not drink it more than 2 times a day and that you have herbal tea at least once a day. It may not sound easy but this is a very effective home remedy for a leaky gut.

  1. Consume More Organic Meats

organic meatHow to heal the leaky gut and have delicious foods at the same time? Eat more free-range meats and wild-caught fish.

Meats and fish, in particular, are loaded with Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids can help with the inflammation caused by foods, microbes, and toxins.

Make sure that the meats you buy are grass-fed and organic. Doing this will also help you avoid antibiotic and steroid farmed animal products. [15]

Another advantage is that organic meats do not have an omega imbalance – common in commercial meats. What is omega imbalance? It is the dangerous overload of Omega 6 present in the meat.

Organic meats and fish may be expensive but are good for your gut and for your taste buds.

  1. Do Breathing Exercises Before and After Every Meal

breathingStrange as it may seem, this is a very effective leaky gut remedy. It can help you relax your body at meal times and lead to better digestion.

The exercises do not even need to be hard. A simple breathe-in/breathe-out exercise can relax and reduce stress on the body. It is easier for the body to focus on the digestion in a relaxed state.

Eat slower and chew more during the meal. This will aid digestion. Faster eating puts pressure on the digestive system.

Make sure you breathe in deeply after having the food as well for best effects.

  1. Avoid Processed Vegetable Oils

processed oilProcessed vegetable oils have been linked to chronic inflammation and other health conditions. They offer little benefit and should be excluded in a leaky gut treatment plan.

Do not use canola oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, and cottonseed oil. Instead, use avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil to cook your meals.

This is not only one of the top remedies for a leaky gut but of other abnormalities like a hiatal hernia.

  1. Give Your Body the Rest it Needs

restIf you want to know how to heal a leaky gut, then getting sufficient rest is a good place to start.

If you overwork and get very little sleep, you are preventing natural healing mechanisms in your body from functioning.  Sleep deprivation has been linked to slower digestion, metabolism, and low energy levels.

Lack of sleep has been linked to imbalanced gut bacteria which is often the root cause of leaky gut syndrome. (16)

Make time for sleeping at least 6 hours if not 8-9 hours. Try to go to sleep at the same hour every night so that your circadian rhythm is not disturbed.

This is among the best home remedies for a leaky gut. It will also speed up your recovery from the syndrome’s effects.

  1. Cut the Stress Out Of Your Life

stressStudies showed that gut bacteria could activate the immune and central nervous systems.

It is believed that gut microorganisms are capable of producing and delivering neuro-active substances into the bloodstream.

Stress is never good for the health but it can itself have a physical knock-on effect on our gut bacteria.

If you want to want your gut flora to get back to work and repair your leaking gut walls, try to de-stress. It is an essential leaky gut remedy.

  1. Consume More Gut Friendly-foods

gutA healthy diet is the most obvious of leaky gut remedies. Dietary changes are necessary if you want to manage intestinal hyperpermeability.

Foods such as bone broth should be top of the menu as it helps in healing damaged cell walls. It is abundant in collagen, glycine, and amino acids proline. These can be helpful when it comes to almost all intestinal issues.

In a similar way, fermented vegetables such as kimchi and kvass are for the gut and related issues. They contain acids that can help balance the intestinal pH and probiotics to fortify the gut. [17]

How to heal leaky gut? Consume more probiotics. Raw cultured dairy contains both SCFA’s and probiotics. These can strengthen the gut and quicken the process of recovery.

Yogurt, pastured kefir, raw cheese, and butter are some of the best options. [18]

Avoid processed meats, junk food, and unhealthy food, in general, can affect your gut health.

  1. Avoid Sugars

sugarFructose is a sugar and natural sweetener found in various fruit and some vegetables. These sugars are normally digested by enzymes made by the cells that line the intestines.

If the intestinal walls are damaged, the fructose is not absorbed through the intestinal lining and instead it is fermented causing bloating, bowel movement, headaches, and fatigue.

The fermentation also exacerbates the damage to the intestinal walls, worsening your condition.

Part of any leaky gut treatment should also be to cut out sugars from your diet completely.

  1. Stay Hydrated

hydrationWater is essential for every bodily function including the process of healing. Fulfilling the daily need of water is among the best home remedies for a leaky gut. You cannot stay dehydrated if you want to manage the syndrome.

Lack of water can slow down the digestion and sometimes cause more intestinal issues. It is better to consume at least eight glasses of water on a daily basis.

Make it a habit to have a glass of water first thing in the morning before any food. Your body and skin will thank you.

Do’s

  • Get tested for a leaky gut and possible autoimmune disease.
  • You can also take a probiotic supplement.
  • Consume foods that are easier to digest such as coconut and coconut products.

Don’ts

  • Do not take enzyme supplements without consulting your doctor.
  • Abstain from alcohol as it is not gut-friendly

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