Leaky Gut: What Is It, And What Does It Mean For You?

More and more people are learning about the importance of gut health as they realise that most health issues are stemming from an imbalanced gut. 

We now know that our gut and our immune system are closely linked to each other as 70-80% of our immune cells are actually located in our digestive tract. This means that the state of our gut has a huge impact on how we feel both physically and mentally on a daily basis.

A lot of studies have shown that more than 90% of all autoimmune diseases have been associated with leaky gut and the reason is that this is what allows environmental factors to trigger predisposed genes.

It’s important to understand that just because you carry certain genes, it does not mean you are headed to your genetic destiny.

Genes are not expressed randomly and it is your environment and behaviours that actually affect how genes work. This is what epigenetics is all about.


Our gut lining is a physical permeable layer made up of cells and a mucous membrane which has two vital functions:

(1) it allows for the absorption of nutrients and

(2) it prevents toxins, food compounds, bacteria, large protein strands and viruses from accessing the bloodstream where they can cause adverse reactions and infections.

Leaky gut refers to an increase in the intestinal permeability gaps and when this happens, all of the harmful substances start to leak through and spill into the bloodstream. There are multiple factors that can cause this and it includes: alcohol, birth control, food sensitivities, gut dysbiosis, medications, poor food combining and stress.

In a healthy gut, long strands of protein are broken down and absorbed through the intestine so they can then be transported and used in the body. With leaky gut, however, the body does not see the actual broken down amino acids but instead sees actual pieces of food swimming around the bloodstream.

The immune system then recognises these “foreign particles” as antigens and the immune cells begin to fight them off. This leads to inflammation around the gut wall, which can trigger food sensitivities and be the starting point of an autoimmune disease.

The inflammation causes an issue with your genetic programming, so yes, genetics do matter but only if there is a causal factor for them to be turned on.


  • Anxiety & depression
  • Fatigue
  • Food sensitivities
  • Migraines
  • Weight gain
  • Skin issues
  • Join pain
  • Bloating & gas


One of the first things I do when I work with clients is to work on gut health (unless I know for a fact that this is not an issue). The reason is that our gut is the foundation of our health and it will regulate everything else in the body.

It is not an overnight fix but the length of the healing process varies depending on the degree of intestinal permeability. On average, the healing process takes 4-6 months. While on some occasions it can take a little longer, a lot of the symptoms would have improved during the first six months so there will have always been progress in this timeframe.

Healing leaky gut is not difficult but it cannot be healed with just nutrition alone.

You need to work on intestinal dysbiosis and remove all pathogenic overgrowth before healing leaky gut. This is why my clients always start with their GI Protocol (unless this is not needed based on functional lab testing) before they begin healing and sealing the gut wall.

It’s just a formula!

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