Hippocrates, the “Father of Western Medicine,” spoke these words over 2,000 years ago: “All disease begins in the gut.” (For more detailed information on the importance of gut health, read this.) Yet, because of the increased in the use of processed foods and antibiotics, among other things, a condition called Leaky Gut has become prevalent in our society. So, here are 5 steps to restore leaky gut.
What is Leaky Gut?
Certainly, some diseases, like genetic diseases, don’t start in the gut, but for just about everything else, the gut is where it all begins.
The reason for this is the different gut bacteria residing in our digestive tracts, as well as the integrity of the gut lining. According to numerous studies, the lining of the small intestine can become porous and unwanted bacterial products called endotoxins can sometimes “leak” through the lining and enter the bloodstream. This is called intestinal permeability or leaky gut. For many years, the traditional medical community did not recognize this disease, but now it is known to them as Hyperpermeable Intestines.
When this happens, our immune system thinks these molecules are foreign invaders and mounts an attack against them, resulting in a chronic inflammatory response.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
- What you eat
- Processed food
- Cow’s dairy
- Unsprouted grains
- GMO foods
- Not enough probiotics and fiber
- Hydrogenated oils
- Prescription drugs, especially OTC pain relievers, birth control pills, antibiotics, and steroids (these cause bacterial imbalance by killing the natural good bacteria in your gut)
- Chronic stress
- Yeast (or candida)
- Lack of zinc
According to research published in the International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology 2006, leaky gut may cause Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, rheumatoid arthritis, autism, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, MS, lupus, depression, and anxiety.
8 Signs You May Have Leaky Gut
- Food sensitives or allergies (especially gluten and dairy)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBS, Crohn’s, bloating, gas, chronic diarrhea, or constipation)
- Autoimmune disease (rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, lupus, MS)
- Thyroid problems (Hashimoto’s Disease, Graves Disease, hypothyroid, hyperthyroid)
- Adrenal fatigue, candida, or a slow metabolism
- Malabsorption (of vitamin B12 and magnesium, among others)
- Inflammatory skin conditions (acne, psoriasis, eczema)
- Mood issues (anxiety, depression) and autism
5 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut
As you can see, many of our modern diseases have their root in leaky gut. We’ve seen that eating the wrong types of foods (typically called a Standard American Diet, or SAD) can lead to a leaky gut. We have been promised health and healing through the finished work of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:24). So, the best way to restore health to our bodies is to cooperate with God’s ways of health, rather than living cross purpose to them.
Here is your roadmap to restore your health:
Step 1: Change What You Eat
The number one way to restore your gut is to change what you eat. You must allow your digestive system to rest. Food doesn’t restore health to the body, the body does that itself, which is how God designed it. Give your body the building blocks it needs to repair itself. Eat foods that are easy to digest.
Many people with severe leaky gut find that starting with a “fast” of bone broth, cooked vegetables, and raw, local honey for a few days will give their bodies a head start toward health restoration.
The Leaky Gut Eating Plan consists of these five categories:
- Simple carbohydrates: vegetables, fruits, and raw, local honey
- Easily digestible fats: ghee, coconut oil, and egg yolks
- Easily digestible protein: fish, chicken, and beef
- Bone broth
- Probiotic rich foods
Step 2: Add Probiotics
Eat 1 cup of cultured dairy products per day, like goat’s milk or coconut milk kefir, amasi (from A2 cows), and sheep-milk yogurt that are rich in probiotics. Here is my recipe for Coconut Milk Kefir. It’s very easy to make. I add it to my Super Restoring Smoothie.
Take 50-100 billion units daily of a probiotic supplement. Probiotics can help re-colonize the gut with healthy bacteria. Long term, this is the most important supplement anyone can take. If you’re eating a large amount of probiotic rich foods every day (like sauerkraut, kavas, and coconut kefir), then you don’t need to, but most people do.
Step 3: Nutritional Supplementation and Digestive Enzymes
According to Dr. Joshua Axe, author of Eat Dirt!, these four supplements should be consumed by those wanting to restore their gut to health.
- Digestive Enzymes (2 before each meal). These enzymes will improve nutrient absorption and help break down food particles. For acute leaky gut conditions, digestive enzymes are the most important supplements you can take. I recommend Essentialzymes-4.
- Aloe Vera Juice (1/2 cup 3x daily). Aloe Vera is healthful for the digestive system, is supportive of the immune system, and detoxifies the body.
- Fish oil (1000 mg daily). Fish oil contains the essential fatty acids EPA/DHA which reduce inflammation. I recommend OmegaGize3 Fish oil (1000 mg daily). Fish oil contains the essential fatty acids EPA/DHA which reduce inflammation.
- L-glutamine powder (5 grams 2x daily). Glutamine is an amino acid that helps repair the digestive tract, especially important for people with chronic diarrhea. Leaky Gut Support is a terrific supplement that I use daily in my Super Restoring Smoothie. It contains L-glutamine, zinc, copper, licorice root powder, and other supportive, health-restoring ingredients.
Step 4: Use Essential Oils
- Ginger Essential Oil (Supports digestion). Take 2 drops internally in a glass of water.
- Peppermint Essential Oil (Supports gastrointestinal system comfort. • Promotes healthy bowel function. • Enhances healthy gut function. • Maintains efficiency of the digestive tract. • Supports normal digestion. • May support performance during exercise). Take 2 drops internally in a glass of water.
- DiGize™ Essential Oil (blend) Add 2 drops DiGize™ and 1 drop Peppermint to water for a stimulating beverage.
- Lemon Essential Oil (helps soothe digestion)
- Spearmint Essential Oil (Gallbladder stimulant • Recommended for indigestion and bloating)
- Mix 3 drops of essential oils with coconut oil and rub over the abdomen 2x daily.
Step 5: Claim Your Healing in Christ
Finally, put on the Word of God in your mind. As a believer, this is actually the first step. We are to put off the thoughts from the world and put on the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16, Colossians 3:9). What thoughts are we to put off? Thoughts of sickness, hopelessness, despair. Thoughts that we will never get better. Thoughts that we’re not worth it, we’re undeserving. All of these are lies. Instead, we are to put on the mind of Christ. We are to think the way Christ thought (Ephesians 2:24).
Learn more in my new book, Be in Health: Bible-Based Health Restoration: Living in Harmony with God’s Ways Regarding Health. Available now.