Using Functional Medicine to Treat Leaky Gut Syndrome


Leaky gut syndrome–it’s a topic that is hotly debated in the medical community.  Conventional physicians don’t fully embrace the concept because of the lack of hard scientific evidence and therefore don’t really consider it a real diagnosis. But it’s hard to argue with the overwhelming anecdotal evidence of countless people suffering with ailments who find relief through functional medicine. So what is it exactly? Leaky gut syndrome wreaks havoc on a person’s immune system.  It is believed that the intestinal lining becomes far too permeable thereby allowing substances like food, bacteria, and viruses to leak into the bloodstream. The immune systems reacts by attacking these foreign invaders in the bloodstream which results in an inflammatory response causing a variety of symptoms including bloating, gas, cramps, diarrhea, fatigue, achy joints, rashes and autoimmune issues. Nutritional deficiencies can also result from poor absorption in the damaged lining.  So what is typically done to combat leaky gut syndrome?

Diet Restrictions

You are what you eat.  And if you eat a diet full of sugar, starches, grains, and processed foods, then you may suffer from a leaky gut. Eliminating these foods from your diet, can give your gut time to heal while reducing inflammation and killing off any yeast overgrowth. There are several diets out there including the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD), Paleo, and the Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet (GAPS) that can help serve as guidelines.

Take Probiotics

A leaky gut harbors more bad bacteria than it does good bacteria.  Once the gut starts to heal and Candida (yeast) overgrowth is under control, it’s a must to repopulate the good bacteria. Lactobacillus plantarum is a probiotic powerhouse for helping accomplish this.

Take Supplements for Deficiencies

Leaky gut syndrome tends to suck the nutrients right out of the body. People who suffer with this syndrome also tend to lack certain vitamins and minerals. Zinc and Vitamin D, as well as Omega 3s from fish oil can promote healing.  L-Glutamine, a powerful amino acid, also helps grow and repair the intestinal lining.


Not surprisingly, stress tends to exacerbate chronic health conditions by affecting your immune system.  High stress can result in cortisol and other corticosteroids staying in your system for a long time ultimately leading to an inflammatory response.  Consider yoga or meditation as ways to help control stress levels.

If you think you are suffering from leaky gut syndrome, please contact us and we would be more than happy to help you get your health back on track!