Stress...genetically modified foods...pesticides...harmful bacteria...over-prescribed antibiotics...

These are just a few of the things your body has to deal with in our modern world. And the only thing separating your insides from harm is a thin lining of your intestines.

Unfortunately, the body is prone to attack, and constant bombardment from external toxins can poke tiny holes in your gut lining, leading to leaky gut syndrome. Imagine what happens when your body can't regulate what passes back and forth from within your intestine...

Just imagine bacteria, toxins, and undigested food getting passed into your bloodstream. What does your body want to do with them? Clean 'em out! And it does that through an immune response that creates white blood cells to attack the invaders.

Unfortunately, when this happens day after day, what you end up with is a chronic state of inflammation in the gut, which in turn leads to other symptoms of leaky gut.

What will you do?'s how to heal leaky gut.

Foods that harm

The first thing to do is become aware of the foods that may cause leaky gut. Avoiding these foods when possible may help to alleviate some of the symptoms, but this is really just the start.

It's important to understand that each person is unique in the way his or her body responds and reacts to food. Therefore, using an elimination diet as a tool is the next step.

Elimination diet

Following an elimination diet has many benefits. The philosophy behind an elimination diet is what's called personalized nutrition. By exploring your body's reactions to foods and removing those that are difficult for you, you are laying important groundwork to enable your body to heal itself.

Keep a food journal

Write down the foods you eat and how you feel after eating them immediately, then again about 30 minutes after eating, and after 2 hours. It takes a lot of time and dedication to do, but keeping a food journal will help you discover patterns in relation to the foods you eat and your body's response to them. Then it's up to you to stop eating the foods that make you feel sick, even if they taste oh so good...

Foods that heal

Just as there are foods that can harm your gut, there are also food that can heal it. Following a leaky gut diet and eating whole foods from this list of foods that heal leaky gut may go a long way in restoring balance to the inner environment of your intestines.

Supplements to heal leaky gut

While eating the right foods and refraining from the bad ones may help in the healing process, sometimes the levels of healing elements in food just aren't enough to overcome the damage that has occurred in your gut. In these cases, working with a health professional in the integrative or functional-medicine community can really help. Your health professional can work with you to establish the best treatment plan, including what supplements to take for leaky gut.

These may include vitamins, minerals, herbs, digestive enzymes, and probiotics. The exact schedule and dosage should be discussed and decided with your healthcare professional.

Taking up a daily ritual of drinking tea is also encouraged. Green tea, slippery elm, marshmallow, and licorice root are all beneficial for leaky gut in different ways.

How long does it take to heal leaky gut syndrome?

Many people wonder how long it will take to heal leaky gut syndrome. This will depend on a number of factors, including how long the damage has been taking place, how strict you are with your diet, and the quality of your healthcare professional in determining a suitable regimen of supplements to support your healing process.

Many people who discuss undergoing this process start off with a very strict diet for the first month in order to heal. You might imagine that cheating and drinking alcohol or eating a ton of dairy can really set you back. Skipping your digestive enzymes or otherwise taking poor quality supplements can also prolong the amount of time it takes to heal you gut.