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Navigating Leaky Gut: Natural Solutions for Restoration and Health

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Diagram showing the difference between a healthy gut and leaky gut.

Healing Leaky Gut Naturally: Your Path to Gut Health and Vitality

Have you ever felt like your digestive health was holding you back from feeling your best? You’re not alone. Leaky Gut Syndrome, a condition not widely recognized in conventional medicine, might be the culprit. Rest assured—natural solutions are within reach, offering a promising path to restoration and health.

Understanding Leaky Gut and Its Symptoms

Leaky Gut Syndrome, or increased intestinal permeability, occurs when the small intestine’s lining becomes damaged, allowing toxins, bacteria, and partially digested food to pass through its walls into the bloodstream. This breach can trigger inflammation and immune reactions, potentially leading to various symptoms and complex health conditions. 

This condition, while not officially recognized in conventional medicine, is believed to affect a significant portion of the population, contributing to a range of health issues from autoimmune diseases to chronic inflammation.

Common symptoms associated with leaky gut include digestive issues such as bloating, gas, and cramps, as well as systemic concerns like chronic fatigue, mood disorders, and skin problems. 

Identifying and understanding these symptoms is critical to effective management and healing. In this blog, we go over how functional medicine works to unveil the root cause of leaky gut syndrome and 5 different ways to improve leaky gut through simple lifestyle changes.

Getting to the Root Cause of Leaky Gut Syndrome

  1. Dietary Factors: A poor diet is a leading suspect in the development of leaky gut syndrome. The standard American diet, which is high in sugar, saturated fats, and processed foods and low in fiber, can initiate the process of gut inflammation and increase intestinal permeability[1][2]. Foods known to cause inflammation and promote changes in the gut include alcohol, processed foods, and any foods that may cause allergies or sensitivities[1]. 
  1. Stress: Chronic stress is another significant factor that can contribute to the development of a leaky gut. Stress can reduce the body’s ability to fight off disease and infection, and it has been shown to reduce gut barrier function. This can lead to an increased intestinal permeability, allowing harmful substances to enter the bloodstream[3].
  1. Medications: Certain medications, including non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin and ibuprofen, antibiotics, acid blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), can contribute to a leaky gut. These medications can disrupt the normal balance of gut bacteria and can damage the gut lining, increasing its permeability[3].
  1. Environmental Toxins: Exposure to environmental toxins, including pesticides, preservatives, and chemicals found in personal care products and household cleaners, can damage the gut lining and contribute to leaky gut syndrome. These toxins can intensify and worsen the symptoms of a leaky gut by directly damaging the gut lining or disrupting the balance of gut bacteria[3][5].
  1. Systemic Inflammation and Autoimmune Diseases: Conditions that cause systemic inflammation or are autoimmune in nature can lead to or exacerbate leaky gut. Diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease can cause the gut lining to become more permeable, which in turn can worsen the symptoms of these diseases[4]. This creates a vicious cycle where leaky gut and autoimmune conditions can perpetuate and exacerbate each other.

Healing Leaky Gut Naturally: A Functional Medicine Approach

At Michigan Health and Wellness, we dive deep to uncover the root causes of your symptoms. Our approach begins with comprehensive assessments, including the AO Digital Body Scan and detailed nutritional and stool testing. These insights allow us to craft a unique action plan tailored to heal your body from the inside out.

Embracing a holistic approach to healing a leaky gut can significantly improve your health and well-being. Here are 5 key strategies, each with a simple tip to get you started:

Adopt a Whole Foods Diet:

Eat the rainbow—Incorporate a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to ensure a broad spectrum of nutrients and antioxidants, which can be beneficial in healing a leaky gut. Be mindful of foods that may exacerbate symptoms, such as gluten, dairy, and refined sugars. Keeping a food diary can help identify triggers and guide dietary adjustments.

Tip: Start with small, manageable changes, like adding one serving of vegetables to every meal.

Incorporate Probiotics:

Incorporating probiotics is essential for maintaining a balanced gut microbiome, which is crucial for optimal digestion and immune function. Regular consumption of fermented foods introduces beneficial bacteria to your digestive system, promoting a healthy gut environment. This natural intervention supports the body’s ability to digest food, fight off harmful pathogens, and reduce inflammation, laying the foundation for overall well-being.

Tip: To easily include probiotics in your diet, try incorporating natural sources like yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut into your daily meals.

Boost Healthy Protein Intake:

Boosting your intake of healthy proteins, especially those rich in glutamine, plays a crucial role in repairing the gut lining. Glutamine, an abundant amino acid in fish, chicken, and other high-quality protein sources, is vital for gut health. It aids in the regeneration of the intestinal lining, supporting its integrity and function. This nutritional strategy is particularly beneficial for those looking to heal or maintain a healthy gut.

Tip: For an additional boost of glutamine, consider incorporating a supplement into your diet, but always consult a healthcare professional first to ensure it’s suitable for your specific health needs.

Ensure Adequate Vitamin D Levels:

Ensuring adequate Vitamin D levels is essential for the integrity of the gut lining. Vitamin D, a nutrient obtained from sunlight and certain foods, plays a pivotal role in maintaining the strength and health of the intestinal barrier. This not only helps in preventing leaky gut syndrome but also supports the immune system and overall health. Adequate Vitamin D levels are crucial for facilitating the absorption of calcium and fostering gut health, highlighting the importance of this nutrient in your diet.

Tip: Aim to spend 15-20 minutes in the sun daily to boost Vitamin D levels naturally. For those with limited sun exposure or higher needs, consider a Vitamin D supplement, following a healthcare professional’s advice to ensure optimal dosage and efficacy.

Embrace Lifestyle Changes:

Embracing lifestyle changes by reducing stress and prioritizing sleep is pivotal in supporting your healing journey. Stress reduction and adequate rest are foundational to maintaining a healthy gut, as chronic stress and sleep deprivation can negatively impact gut health and exacerbate issues like leaky gut syndrome. By managing stress and ensuring quality sleep, you’re taking essential steps toward fostering an environment for gut healing and overall wellness.

Tip: To enhance sleep quality, establish a calming bedtime routine. This can include practices such as reading, meditating, or taking a warm bath before bed, helping signal to your body that it’s time to wind down and rest.

Empower Your Gut Health Journey

Navigating Leaky Gut Syndrome presents challenges, but armed with the right knowledge and a commitment to natural, personalized strategies; healing is more than just a possibility—it’s within reach. Whether it’s adjusting your diet, incorporating beneficial supplements, or making lifestyle changes, each step you take is a leap toward a healthier, more vibrant you.

Ready to take control of your gut health? Schedule a free consultation with Michigan Health and Wellness. Together, we’ll explore functional medicine strategies tailored to your unique needs and embark on a journey to wellness that’s as rewarding as it is transformative.

Let’s navigate the path to a healthier, more vibrant you. Join us in embracing a life where your gut health is a source of strength, not discomfort.


The information provided in our blog posts is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. While we strive to share knowledge and insights on health-related topics, this content should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with a qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical concerns or decisions related to your health and well-being.


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

Campos, M., MD. (2023, September 12). Leaky gut: What is it, and what does it mean for you? Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/leaky-gut-what-is-it-and-what-does-it-mean-for-you-2017092212451

Michigan Health and Wellness Center. (2024, January 1). 3 Crucial steps for reducing heavy metal toxicity and exposure. https://michiganhealthandwellness.com/reducing-heavy-metal-toxicity-exposure/

Orchant, D. (2023, April 7). What is Leaky Gut? 6 Leaky Gut Causes and How to Cure It. Physio Logic NYC. https://physiologicnyc.com/what-is-leaky-gut-6-leaky-gut-causes-and-how-to-cure-it/

Poor diet one suspected cause of leaky gut syndrome. (2021, December 1). UCLA Health. https://www.uclahealth.org/news/poor-diet-one-suspected-cause-of-leaky-gut-syndrome