Understanding Leaky Gut

By Dr. Rachel Eva Dew, DNM


LEAKY GUT has become a popular term… but what is it really?

Thought the term ‘leaky gut’ has become popular, it is often misunderstood. Leaky gut syndrome as it has become known as is often diagnosed and treated based on symptoms.

‘Inside our bellies, we have an extensive intestinal lining covering more than 4,000 square feet of surface area. When working properly, it forms a tight barrier that controls what gets absorbed into the bloodstream. An unhealthy gut lining may have large cracks or holes, allowing partially digested food, toxins, and bugs to penetrate the tissues beneath it. This may trigger inflammation and changes in the gut flora (normal bacteria) that could lead to problems within the digestive tract and beyond. The research world is booming today with studies showing that modifications in the intestinal bacteria and inflammation may play a role in the development of several common chronic diseases’. – Harvard Health

Leaky gut is not the same as food allergies and sensitivities, yet they can often be interconnected… one leading to the other. When there are food sensitivities and allergies this causes internal inflammation, which can contribute to leaky gut. When someone has leaky gut, this effects the body’s ability to properly digest and absorb nutrients which can then trigger food sensitivities and allergies.

Leaky gut can cause the following symptoms:

  • Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating.
  • Nutritional deficiencies.
  • Poor immune system.
  • Headaches, brain fog, memory loss.
  • Excessive fatigue.
  • Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea.
  • Cravings for sugar or carbs.
  • Arthritis or joint pain.

The best way to think of ‘leaky gut’ is not to focus on the name or label but on moving your entire gut health towards optimal balance and wellbeing. This can be done through diet, exercise, mindfulness, stress reduction, proper hydration, rebalancing the microbiome and detoxing to name a few.

Healing Leaky Gut –

Here are 5 Simple Steps to Healing Leaky Gut, Rebalancing Your Microbiome & Overall Gut Health… 

  1. Nutritional Shifts
  2. Proper Hydration
  3. Pre-biotics & Probiotics
  4. Reducing Stress
  5. Processing & Releasing Negative Thoughts & Emotions

Remember that you want to strive towards more balance and health in your gut versus become obsessive and hugely restrictive. That will only increase your stress levels which will be counterproductive to all of the other steps you are taking to balance and heal your gut. ALL THINGS IN BALANCE!

Stay tuned for Part 3 in this gut health series!

In Wellness,

Dr. Rachel