9 Simple Steps to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast

9 Simple Steps to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast

Have you ever wondered if you have leaky gut? Maybe you struggle with digestive issues, symptoms of dysbiosis, or candida. Maybe you have one of the many conditions that are associated with leaky gut. Leaky gut is so pervasive I’d wager that if you’re eating a Standard American Diet, you have some gut damage.

You might wonder, “How come my grandparents didn’t have to worry about leaky gut syndrome?” Well, that’s because so much of what’s damaging our guts on a widespread basis is due to recent changes in our diets, our lifestyles, food allergies, and chronic illnesses. You can read more about the causes and diagnosis of leaky gut in my article here.

You see, leaky gut syndrome doesn’t happen overnight – a number of factors cause inflammation, which causes abnormally large spaces in between the cells of the gut wall. These large spaces allow all sorts of toxic materials through and can cause a runaway reaction of inflammation and increased permeability.

This is a major problem in America. In fact, leaky gut is linked to numerous autoimmune diseases, which is a cause of death that’s on the rise – especially among young women. You can read more about the leaky gut and autoimmune disease connection in my article: Leaky Gut – The Syndrome Linked to Many Autoimmune Diseases.

In order to stop this process, there are steps you can take right now to heal your leaky gut syndrome fast. The interesting thing about the steps to healing a leaky gut is they are safe and beneficial to nearly everyone. So even without an official diagnosis, you can incorporate these following nine steps – they’re sure to heal your leaky gut quickly, and get you on your way to feeling better.


1. Eliminate gut damaging toxins and factors

There’s no point in adding the good stuff without ditching the harmful stuff, or your gut won’t stand a chance. Certain foods, drugs, and lifestyle choices have been shown to contribute to leaky gut. If you want to impact your gut health in a significant way, eliminate as many of these as possible.

  • Food sensitivities – Have testing done or work your way through an elimination diet. You can read more about How an Elimination Diet Can Change Your Health here.  
  • Gluten – This recommendation isn’t just for people with celiac disease anymore. A 2015 study found that gluten “increases intestinal permeability in all individuals.”
  • NSAIDS – Ibuprofen, motrin, and aleve.
  • Alcohol
  • Chronic stress
  • Strenuous exercise

You can eliminate all of these on your own and start today today. If you want to take this an extra step and have the help of your doctor, other factors you should consider include infections such as fungal overgrowth and parasitic infections.


2. Add gut detox binders

These will help your gut repair itself and speed up the elimination of harmful elements. My two favorite gut binders are:

GI Detox contains primarily pyrophyllite healing clay and some activated charcoal, similar to Upgraded Coconut Charcoal. Both of these binders are well-liked for their powerful abilities to adsorb toxins, endotoxins, and harmful bacteria. They also help reduce your overall toxin load, which allows your gut to heal more quickly.


3. Probiotics

Probiotics are key to good gut health. If you can increase your consumption of fermented food – that’s ideal. Also, adding high strain count supplements are great for replenishing the beneficial bacteria your gut thrives on.

The best strains for healing your leaky gut fast are Lactobacillus casei, Saccharomyces boulardii, and Bifidobacterium species. Recent studies have found that Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG is especially helpful.


4. Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG

This strain of bacteria gets its own spot in the limelight because a recent study just found it is incredibly effective in reducing intestinal permeability. The study found that the mechanisms behind what makes Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG so effective are it:

  • Enhances the gut mucin expression/barrier formation
  • Improves cell proliferation
  • Reduces apoptosis

These three factors help the gut maintain barrier homeostasis and reduce proinflammatory cytokine expression.

Before this, other studies have suggested this helpful bacteria reduced leaky gut caused by infection and damage caused cow milk consumption. So, be sure that any probiotics you take have this healing bacteria – your gut will thank you!


5. Digestive enzymes

Digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid have the ability to help a damaged gut fully digest foods, which reduces the amount of partially digested, toxic particles that are impacting your intestinal lining. You can take a capsule with each meal to give your gut an extra boost during this sensitive time.


6. Glutamine

Glutamine is an amino acid that has been shown to be effective in healing leaky gut in numerous studies. Glutamine protects your gut lining from future damage and helps you reverse existing damage. Foods high in glutamine come primarily from animal sources, including:

I also recommend supplementing with glutamine. You can take up to 20 grams per day and it’s best to break this up and take it with meals. A good maintenance level would be about 3 to 5 grams per day.


7. Herbal supplements: Marshmallow root and deglycyrrhizinated licorice

Marshmallow root and deglycyrrhizinated licorice are two adaptogenic herbs that help the gut in several ways:

  • Stimulate the production of protective mucus
  • Decrease inflammation of the stomach lining
  • Help the gastrointestinal lining
  • Reduce digestive discomfort such as constipation and diarrhea
  • Improve acid function

This potent combination of herbs will help support your stomach while it heals.


8. Quercetin

Quercetin is a flavonoid that naturally stabilizes mast cells and reduces the amount of histamine they release – this significantly reduces inflammation and further damage to the gut lining. Quercetin also tightens up the intestinal barrier and function, which essentially helps to seal the leakiness. You should only take quercetin in powder form – 3 to 6 grams daily is recommended.


9. Vitamins A and D

Vitamins A and D are two I always recommend to patients with any sort of intestinal immune dysfunction. They help your body secrete Immunoglobulin A, which is critical to your immune system function and mucous membranes. These are two vitamins that will help rebuild your gut and immune system quickly.


Combining these nine gut healing steps is a recipe for restoring function for anyone struggling with a leaky gut. Whether your gut issues are large or small, the more of each of these you can incorporate into your life, the better. Unfortunately, our food system has created a diet packed full of gut damaging foods. It’s up to us to combat this through reducing the damaging factors and boosting our health with supportive foods, nutrients, and supplements.

These are steps you could also take as you heal from a season of not-so-great eating that often comes with the holidays. Share this article with a friend who could use a post-holiday gut reboot!











17 thoughts on “9 Simple Steps to Heal Leaky Gut Syndrome Fast

  1. Christina Mueller says:

    Dr. Jill,

    Thank you so much for the helpful information. I currently have leaky gut and Hashimotos. I have been looking for a probiotic and other supplements. Do you have any brands that you recommend for probiotics as well as vitamin D?

    Thank you:)


    • Jill Carnahan, MD says:

      Hi Christina,
      I recommend Dr. Jill’s Probiotic Essentials 100 billion – great formula with everything you need! Another great one is Klaire Labs Ther-biotic complete. Call to order 303-993-7910
      Dr Jill

      • Christina says:

        Thank you so much, Dr. Jill! I really appreciate you taking the time to answer my question!! I’m excited to try the probiotics out:)


  2. Zafer says:

    Hi Dear Carnahan, after I read your articles about leaky gut and autimmun diseases, I am making diet about 2 months for my phemfigus. I had stopped gluten about 3 years. And about 2 months I stopped lactose, starch, fruktose, sugar.. I use probiotics also. But phemfigus is still active. I don’t want to go to doctor, because they will force me to use prednisolone and other drugs. Is 2 months early to see a good result for my sickness? Thanks…

  3. kath hath says:

    I was told that it was best not to take probiotics with leaky gut because the probiotics could end up where they shouldn’t be. Please give your opinion on this.

  4. lra says:

    Hi Dr. Carnahan,

    Would you happen to know if the strain saccharomyces boulardii is compatible with breastfeeding? Ever since having my daughter a year ago I seem to be sensitive to more foods and developed a rash on my hand that comes and goes. I believe the connection is from the iv antibiotic I was given during labor since I tested positive for gbs and from overuse of ibuprofen when I kept having plugged milk ducts. I read an article on restoring gut flora after antibiotic use and that strain, in particular, was recommended by Amie Skilton, ND, as a first step to heal the glycocalyx. My understanding is saccharomyces boulardii is a fungal probiotic, so my next question is weather or not it is considered safe for individuals who are sensitive to mold? Thank you for your thoughts.

  5. Amber says:

    Hi Dr. Jill,
    I have Hashimoto’s and leaky gut. I am having tons of symptoms ranging from stomach bloating and puffy face after eating, postnasal drip, extreme fatigue. I had a food sensitivity test done and it showed a high reaction to gluten which I eat everyday, several times a day. But it also showed a high reaction to every other food there is. I’m also a big fruit and vegetable eater. I eat them with my gluten containing meals. Every vegetable and every fruit showed a high reaction. The only foods that showed no reaction on the entire test were lemons and sugar cane, both of which I don’t eat. I can’t cut out every single food on the test and only eat lemons and sugar cane so what do I do? If I take out gluten, will these other allergies go away to all these fruits and vegetables? Thank you for your time.

    • Jill Carnahan, MD says:

      Hi Amber,
      This means you likely have severe intestinal hyperpermeabiltiy – I suggest getting organic acid testing and stool testing to determine if you have dysbiosis and then rotating foods except gluten, dairy, sugar, soy, corn, egg alcohol which should be avoided 100%
      Dr Jill

  6. Amanda Patrick says:

    I have spent years dealing with leaky gut. I finally am seeing progress after dealing with the candida and bad gut bacteria. I see you suggest coconut products which I have not tried yet. I’ll add that to my list of supplements. I am seeing a reduction in my migraines and acne since dealing with gut infections. My thyroid is slowly improving also. Thanks

  7. Renee Denlinger says:

    Hi Dr Jill, I heard you say that the spore Probiotics are a good thing. What brand do you recommend, and do you have any links you can share?
    Thank you, Renee Denlinger

  8. Candace says:

    Hi Dr. Jill,
    My daughter has Hashimoto’s and for the longest, her antibodies would be in the 900-1000 range, with sometimes a result of slightly higher than 1,000. We went gluten free and she’s seen a lot of improvement in bloating, fatigue, headaches, significantly clearer vision. After 3 weeks and that included a cheat day, her antibodies dropped down to 638. Now we’ve been strict gluten free (no cheats at all) for 2 months. We thought for sure her antibodies would be lower, but now they’re 674. They’re not 900-1000 like they were before gluten free so that’s good but really disappointing that they’re not lower. They’re still pretty high. Has she been gluten free for long enough to determine if that’s the root cause of her Hashimoto’s? Or would it have to be longer than 2 months to know? Is something else causing the Hashi’s? This makes no sense to me cause gluten causes leaky gut, leaky gut is needed to have Hashi’s, her stomach bloating is significantly better off gluten which I think would mean a healthier gut so why wouldn’t her antibodies still be coming down? Thank you in advance for your help!

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