Leaky Gut: Understanding, Symptoms, Healing, and Expert Insights

As I finished up Dr. Gundry's recent book, Gut Check: Unleash the Power of Your Microbiome to Reverse Disease and Transform Your Mental, Physical, and Emotional Health, I feel beyond compelled to share everything I learned!

First off, I've said it multiple times, like on this podcast, but I truly believe our gut is our first brain.... and it just so happens Dr. Gundry couldn't agree more!

In Gut Check, Dr. Steven Gundry reveals the emerging science proving that Hippocrates was right – all disease begins in the gut. When our microbiomes are out of balance, it affects our immune systems, our hormone levels, our mental health, our longevity, and our risk of developing autoimmunity, heart, and neurodegenerative disease, as well as arthritis, diabetes, and cancer. Yet, not all hope is lost: he ALSO believes that all disease can also be healed in the gut if we choose to treat our microbes right. 

So one of the main points throughout the book is that due to our modern day diets and lifestyles (lack of nutrient-dense real foods, stress, antibiotics (both overly prescribed and consumed through our foods), glyphosate, gluten, and lectins) almost everyone who is sick, may have leaky gut. 

"Leaky gut is now an epidemic, affecting more people than we’ve ever before imagined." - Dr. Steven Gundry

So what is Leaky Gut?

The gut's delicate lining, only one cell layer thick, becomes compromised due to factors like I just mentioned. The erosion of this lining allows harmful substances to pass through, triggering inflammation and contributing to diverse health problems.

In a healthy gut, this barrier is selective, allowing essential nutrients to pass through while preventing the entry of harmful substances such as bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles.

“We all have some degree of leaky gut.” The condition is believed to be more common in women over 40, in part due to fluctuating hormones.” - Marcelo Campos, MD, a clinical professor at Tufts University School of Medicine

 “As we age, our gut becomes challenged, and the healthy ratio of good bacteria to bad bacteria is imperiled.” - Gynecologist and women’s health expert Anna Cabeca, DO, author of MenuPause

Symptoms of Leaky Gut: Beyond the Obvious:

Commonly associated symptoms of leaky gut, such as chronic bloating, gas, and food sensitivities, often take center stage. However, a deeper exploration reveals subtle indicators like fatigue, difficulty concentrating, joint pain, and skin rashes. These symptoms, as Dr. Gundry notes, can be interconnected and indicative of compromised gut health.

“Roughly 80% of patients who come in complaining of fatigue, brain fog and digestive issues have some level of what we call leaky gut syndrome.” - ​​Vincent Pedre, MD


Evidence-Based Strategies for Healing:

  1. _ Eat more plants: A diverse, fiber-rich diet supports gut health, with prebiotic fiber acting as a game-changer. Aim for 30 different plant foods weekly to promote microbiome health.
  2. _ Up your probiotic intake: Probiotics stimulate mucus production, fortifying the gut barrier. They play a crucial role in reseeding the gut with beneficial bacteria.
  3. _ Cut out gluten and sugar: Eliminating these common culprits helps restore balance, reducing gut sensitivity and inflammation.
  4. _ Avoid unnecessary medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers and antibiotics can harm the gut lining. Natural supplements and spices like turmeric offer alternative pain relief.
  5. _ Practice intermittent fasting: Allowing the gut to rest between meals can alleviate symptoms and support healing.
  6. _ Dial down stress: Stress weakens the gut lining, contributing to leakiness. Relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, and even the aroma of coffee can help reduce stress markers.
  7. _ Add fermented foods to your diet: Fermented foods introduce a diverse range of beneficial microorganisms to the gut. A diverse microbiome is associated with better overall health, as different species of bacteria contribute to various functions within the digestive system. Common probiotic strains found in fermented foods include Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium. 


Conclusion: Leaky gut, though not universally recognized in conventional medicine, is gaining traction as a significant contributor to diverse health issues. Armed with insights from experts like Dr. Gundry and supported by scientific research, individuals can take proactive steps to heal their guts, alleviate symptoms, and enhance their overall well-being.


Who is  Dr. Steven Gundry

Dr. Steven Gundry is a highly regarded cardiologist, accomplished surgeon, inventive medical device creator, and bestselling author. With a career spanning four decades and encompassing thousands of heart surgeries, Dr. Gundry has shifted his focus to the transformative power of diet in reversing and preventing various ailments.

As the Director and Founder of the International Heart & Lung Institute and the Center for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, CA, Dr. Gundry guides patients on embracing a healthier lifestyle through his remarkably uncomplicated dietary recommendations. His expertise extends to empowering individuals to take charge of their weight, overall health, and energy levels.

A New York Times best-selling author, Dr. Gundry penned "The Plant Paradox," and his latest work, "The Longevity Paradox," explores strategies for leading long and healthy lives while combatting the effects of aging. Complementing his literary contributions, he hosts "The Dr. Gundry Podcast," where he equips listeners with essential tools and knowledge to enhance vitality, navigate misleading "health foods," and maintain a well-balanced gut.



Gut Check: Unleash the Power of Your Microbiome to Reverse Disease and Transform Your Mental, Physical, and Emotional Health
Volume 7 of The Plant Paradox

Aleman RS, Moncada M, Aryana KJ. Leaky Gut and the Ingredients That Help Treat It: A Review. Molecules. 2023 Jan 7;28(2):619. doi: 10.3390/molecules28020619. PMID: 36677677; PMCID: PMC9862683.

Harkins P, Burke E, Swales C, Silman A. 'All disease begins in the gut'-the role of the intestinal microbiome in ankylosing spondylitis. Rheumatol Adv Pract. 2021 Sep 11;5(3):rkab063. doi: 10.1093/rap/rkab063. PMID: 34557624; PMCID: PMC8452999.

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