Reversing Autoimmunity: The Role of Healing Leaky Gut

autoimmune, leaky gut syndrome

As an autoimmune specialist, I’ve seen firsthand how autoimmune diseases can affect a woman’s life. 

Maybe you can relate. Especially if you’re struggling with…

  • Flare-ups that derail your entire day.
  • Brain fog that keeps you from being productive.
  • Anxiety that spirals out of control.
  • Joint pain that keeps you from enjoying the things you normally love to do.
  • Fatigue that steals your energy and drive.

If that sounds familiar, know that you’re not alone. Many women suffer from autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and multiple sclerosis. The conditions can be debilitating, and the road to recovery can be long and arduous. 

But what if I told you that healing your gut could help you on the path to recovery?

In this post, I’m sharing why a leaky gut is such an important factor in autoimmune diseases and how you can heal it.

First, we’ll cover the basics.

What is leaky gut? 

Leaky gut refers to a condition in which the lining of the small intestine becomes more permeable than it should be.1 This condition is also known as increased intestinal permeability. 

The small intestine is responsible for absorbing nutrients from the food we eat and preventing harmful substances from entering the bloodstream. 

The intestinal lining has a barrier function that allows nutrients to pass through. It also keeps out larger molecules and foreign invaders like bacteria, toxins, and undigested food particles.

However, when the intestinal lining becomes damaged or inflamed, the barrier function can become compromised. This allows larger molecules and foreign invaders to pass through the intestinal wall and enter your bloodstream. 

This can trigger an immune response and inflammation. And it leads to a wide range of health problems, including autoimmune diseases.2

Leaky gut is a big deal. Let me break it down even further. Here are three reasons we’re all so obsessed with healing leaky gut. 

1. A leaky gut precedes an autoimmune diagnosis.

Research has shown that leaky gut syndrome often precedes the diagnosis of autoimmune diseases. In other words, intestinal permeability increases first, and autoimmune disease follows. This suggests that a leaky gut may be a significant contributor to the development of autoimmune diseases.

In fact, some experts believe leaky gut may be one of the primary triggers of autoimmune disease. Your immune system can recognize undigested food particles and bacterial byproducts in your bloodstream as foreign invaders and launch an attack.

Over time, this ongoing immune response can lead to chronic inflammation, tissue damage, and eventually, an autoimmune disease.

2. Leaky gut can trigger an immune response.

Leaky gut can be a significant contributor to chronic inflammation, which is a key driver of many chronic diseases, including autoimmune diseases. Chronic inflammation can lead to tissue damage and dysfunction, contributing to a wide range of symptoms, such as: 

  • Pain 
  • Fatigue 
  • Brain fog
  • Anxiety
  • And more

In addition to chronic inflammation, leaky gut can contribute to nutrient deficiencies. When the intestinal lining is damaged, nutrients from our food may not be absorbed properly. This leads to deficiencies in essential vitamins and minerals. All of this can further contribute to chronic inflammation and a weakened immune system.

3. Healing leaky gut can reverse autoimmune conditions.

When your gut is happy, your body is happy. If you’re wondering how to heal leaky gut — fortunately, there are several steps you can take to keep your entire system in balance. 

First, it’s important to identify and address any underlying causes. Common causes of leaky gut include: 

  • Medications
  • Stress 
  • Dysbiosis
  • Food sensitivities

Once the underlying causes have been addressed, you can shift your focus to healing your intestinal lining. Nutrients like glutamine, zinc, and vitamin A can benefit your gut health and healing. 

A diet high in nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods can also be helpful. To support your gut health, make sure your diet includes foods like:

  • Leafy greens
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Seeds

These rockstar superfoods are packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that can keep your gut happy and healthy. But your diet isn’t the only thing contributing to your gut health, sister…

Your overall lifestyle choices can significantly impact your gut, too. Taking time to manage stress with activities like yoga and deep breathing can be incredibly helpful in reducing inflammation and promoting healing. 

And let’s not forget the basics like getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, and staying active. All of these lifestyle factors can support your gut health and improve your overall well-being. So be sure to take extra good care of yourself — inside and out!

Now you know that leaky gut is a major factor in autoimmune diseases, and healing it may prevent or even reverse your autoimmunity.

Learning how to fix leaky gut is a process. It’s important to get help from an expert who can guide you. As an autoimmune specialist, I always use a functional stool test like the GI-MAP when I assess gut health. This test can identify imbalances in: 

  • Your gut bacteria 
  • Inflammation
  • Other markers of gut health

If you have autoimmune symptoms or a family history of autoimmune disease, I recommend doing a functional stool test annually to stay on top of your gut health. Even if you don’t have autoimmune symptoms, it’s a good idea to prioritize gut health as part of your overall health and wellness.

For continuous expert guidance and support on your autoimmune journey, I invite you to join Road to Remission. It’s my 4-month, holistic program for women motivated to reverse their autoimmune conditions and take control of their health.

Remember, healing leaky gut is a process. It’s essential to be patient and consistent. With the right guidance and support, you can improve your gut health and potentially stop autoimmunity in its tracks. Click here to join my program, and we’ll do exactly that.

Sending love and healing vibes your way!

women's functional medicine autoimmune specialist

1 Camilleri M. Leaky gut: mechanisms, measurement and clinical implications in humans. Gut. 2019 Aug;68(8):1516-1526. doi: 10.1136/gutjnl-2019-318427. Epub 2019 May 10. PMID: 31076401; PMCID: PMC6790068.

2 Christovich A, Luo XM. Gut Microbiota, Leaky Gut, and Autoimmune Diseases. Front Immunol. 2022 Jun 27;13:946248. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2022.946248. PMID: 35833129; PMCID: PMC9271567.

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