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Leaky Gut – foods that hinder and foods that heal

By Danielle Elliott
from Tummy Rescue

Leaky Gut is a term we use to talk about hyperpermeable intestinal lining. Naturopaths have always believed that disease originates in the gut and have worked on the idea that gut lining can become damaged allowing for the passage of undigested food particles, bacteria, and other fragments through gut cells where it can interact with the immune system.

This triggers the immune system to believe there is a problem and triggers a cascade of inflammation. We believe this inflammation can act locally and cause gut symptoms to develop like heartburn, bloating, pain, and gas. And that this inflammation can also travel through the body and cause symptoms globally, like headaches, joint pain, and brain fog.

Some scientific research has shown that leaky gut may be associated with gut diseases including Coeliac Disease and Crohn’s Disease and also other conditions like Lupus, arthritis, allergies, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

When I work with patients, part of their treatment will always involve healing the intestinal gut lining. In patients who are experiencing a lot of gut symptoms, including bloating, pain, excess gas, reflux, diarrhoea, constipation, or even a mix of both, and/or reactions to foods or supplements they have tried, I will always work on leaky gut FIRST.

When you have a higher degree of “leakiness”, you will often react to foods, but find it very difficult to pinpoint which and you might have tried supplements available from your pharmacy or health food shop and felt like your symptoms worsened. This to me is a sign you definitely need to heal up the gut lining with care.

Possible symptoms of Leaky Gut

Gut based symptoms

  • Bloating
  • Gas
  • Pain
  • Reflux
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Large amounts of mucous- must see GP
  • Blood- must see GP

Body wide symptoms

  • Inflammation
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Rashes
  • Brain fog
  • Mood disorders

Foods that hinder good gut health

  • Preservatives Synthetic dietary emulsifiers polysorbate 80 (P80) and carboxymethylcellulose (CMC) increase intestinal inflammation and alter microbiota (Mayo, chocolate, bread, spreads, creamy sauces)
  • Alcohol
  • Gluten
  • Artificial sweeteners
  • Non-organic animal foods
  • Diet high in processed and refined foods

Foods that heal

  • Plant foods- as tolerated- provide fuel for the microbiome
  • Water- clean and plenty
  • Herbs and spices- cinnamon, turmeric, ginger, peppermint, rosemary, thyme, oregano
  • Bone broth

Natural medicine also offers many nutrients and herbs that reduce inflammation of the tissue, and help to restore & repair the health of the lining. These include glutamine, Vitamin A & D, Zinc, collagen peptides, and pre & probiotics. But you do need to select formulas carefully, as some may actually worsen your symptoms, especially if you have a very sensitive gut.

Want to know how I can help, please contact me at

More about the author

Danielle Elliott_3
Danielle Elliott
– Tummy Rescue

Danielle has been working with patients for over 18 years and now gets to focus on patients who have digestive complaints in her clinic Tummy Rescue. After her husband was diagnosed with his second digestive autoimmune condition 13 years ago, she dived into the world of Gut Health and her true passion developed. Since then Danielle has self published her book “Gluten Free and Happy”, which helps people with Coeliac Disease and Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity navigate every aspect of this complicated world and to learn to protect their health but also live without fear.

In 2015, Danielle discovered the world of SIBO, thanks to Dr.Nirala Jacobi and she knew that was where she had to focus to help those IBS patients who didn’t respond. Since then she has concentrated her study and clinical focus on all things SIBO related, including completing many SIBO courses like the SIBO Mastery Program, Jason Hawlerak’s Microbiome Restoration & Functional Nutritional Lab Digestive Intensive. She now also works alongside Dr. Nirala Jacobi and her team at the Biome Clinic, consulting with patients world-wide.

Danielle, loves educating the general public through her IG & FB pages & by being a guest on podcasts for BioPractica. She also regularly writes for BioPractica and Brauer Professional, to educate practitioners on the use of their ranges.