4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease

Leaky Gut Header

Leaky gut syndrome is a rapidly growing condition that millions of people are struggling with and don’t even know it.  From the sound of it, you might think leaky gut syndrome only affects the digestive system but in reality it can lead to many other health conditions.

According to research, leaky gut could be the cause of your food allergies, low energy, joint pain, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions and slow metabolism.

In this article I will outline specifically how you can heal leaky gut syndrome and breakthrough the health problems you’ve been struggling with.

What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?

Think of the lining of your digestive tract like a net with extremely small holes in it that only allow specific substances to pass through.  Your gut lining works as a barrier keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system.

leaky gut chart

When someone has leaky gut (often referred to as increased intestinal permeability) the “net” in your digestive tract gets damaged, which causes even bigger holes to develop in your net, so things that normally can’t pass through, are now be able to.

Some of the things that can now pass through include proteins like gluten, bad bacteria and undigested foods particles. Toxic waste can also leak from the inside of your intestinal wall into your blood stream causing an immune reaction.1

leaky gut

Leaky Gut Symptoms and Progression

This leads to inflammation throughout your system and can cause symptoms, such as:

  • Bloating
  • Food sensitivities
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Headaches
  • Skin issues like rosacea and acne
  • Digestive problems
  • Weight gain
  • Syndrome X

leaky gut syndrome symptoms

One of the biggest warning signs that you may have leaky gut can be that you’re experiencing multiple food sensitivities. Partially digested protein and fat can seep through your intestinal lining making their way into your bloodstream which will cause an allergic response.

This allergic response doesn’t mean you’ll break out in a rash all over your body, but it can lead to one of the symptoms I’ve mentioned above.  And, if left un-repaired can lead to more severe health issues like inflammatory bowel disease, IBS, arthritis, eczema,2 psoriasis,3 depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, muscle pain and chronic fatigue.

According to the Journal of Diabetes there is a strong body of evidence pointing to leaky gut as a major cause of autoimmune diseases including Type 1 Diabetes.

Another problem with leaky gut is that it can cause malabsorption of vital minerals and nutrients including zinciron and vitamin B12.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

There are 4 main causes of leaky gut which include:

  • Poor diet
  • Chronic stress
  • Toxin overload
  • Bacterial imbalance.5

We’re about to cover some in-depth nutrition here.  Read carefully, and in a few sections I will outline the top 5 Foods and Supplements to heal your leaky gut…

The most common components of food that can damage your intestinal lining are the proteins found in un-sprouted grains, sugar, GMO’s, and conventional dairy.

The problem with unsprouted grains is they contain large amounts of nutrient blockers called phytates and lectins. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins that act as a natural defense system for plants that protect them from outside invaders like mold and parasites.

This is good news for plants but bad news for your body.

Your digestive lining is covered with sugar containing cells that help break down your food.  Lectins gravitate toward this area and when they attach to your digestive lining it damages your gut, causing inflammation.

leaky gut causes

Lectins and Foods that Cause Leaky Gut

Lectins are found in many foods, not just grains, and consumed in smaller amounts your body will do just fine with them. But foods that have large amounts of lectins like wheat, rice, spelt, and soy are more problematic.

Sprouting and fermenting grains reduces phytates and lectins, and makes these foods easier to digest.

GMO and hybridized foods tend to be the highest in lectins since they have been modified to fight off bugs.

Also, gluten containing grains will damage your intestinal lining causing leaky gut.  So while you are working to heal your system stay away from all grains especially ones that contain gluten like wheat.  Once your gut is healthy you can add back in grains that have been fermented and sprouted to eat occasionally.

Conventional cows milk is another food that can cause leaky gut. The component of dairy that will harm your gut is the protein A1 Casein.  Also, the pasteurization process will destroy vital enzymes making sugars like lactose very difficult to digest. For this reason, I only recommend buying dairy that is raw and from: A2 cows, goat’s, sheep, or buffalo.

Sugar is another substance that will wreak havoc on your digestive system.   Sugar will feed the growth of yeast, candida, and bad bacteria which will further damage your gut. Bad bacteria actually creates toxins called exotoxins that damage healthy cells and can eat a hole into your intestinal wall.

Other Factors that Cause Leaky Gut

Chronic stress weakens your immune system over time which cripples your ability to fight off foreign invaders like bad bacteria and viruses leading to inflammation and leaky gut.  To reduce stress I recommend getting more sleep, schedule fun into your week, rest one day a week, meditate on scripture, and hang out with positive uplifting people.

Toxins. We come into contact with over 80,000 chemicals and toxins every single year but the worst offenders for causing leaky gut include antibiotics, pesticides, tap water, aspirin, and NSAIDS.  I recommend buying a high quality water filter to eliminate chlorine and fluoride and look to natural plant based herbs to reduce inflammation in your body.

Dysbiosis. Finally, one of the leading causes of leaky gut is a condition called dysbiosis, which means an imbalance between beneficial and harmful species of bacteria in your gut. For many, this imbalance can begin at birth because of a C-section or because the mother didn’t have a healthy gut herself. The overuse of prescription antibiotic drugs, tap water with chlorine and fluoride, and the lack of probiotic rich foods contribute to this imbalance of good and bad bacteria.

Leaky Gut and the Brain


leaky gut and the brain

Another topic I want to quickly discuss is how leaky gut can affect the brain.  If you’ve ever seen a child with autism experience a mood swing, this can be caused by intestinal permeability. Gluten and Casein-Free Diet’s have proven effective for many children with autism because these proteins can leak through the gut and then recirculate and act on the brain similarly to an opioid drug.

This is also why leaky gut has been linked to other psychological disorders such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. So, in many cases, if you can heal the gut you can heal the brain.

The 4-Step Plan to Heal Leaky Gut

The good news is there’s a solution to healing leaky gut. There is a four step process that includes:

  1. REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut

  2. REPLACE with healing foods

  3. REPAIR with specific supplements

  4. REBALANCE with probiotics

Here’s the protocol I have used with my patients over the years that has helped them see incredible results.

Remember, the top foods to remove that cause leaky gut are sugar, grains, conventional meat, conventional dairy and GMO foods.  The top toxic exposures to eliminate are tap water, pesticides, NSAIDS, and antibiotics but remember to always consult with your physician if he has prescribed these for you.

The Leaky Gut Diet and 5 Healing Foods

Bone Broth for Healing Leaky Gut

#1 Bone Broth – broth contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. I’ve  had many of my patients do a bone broth fast for 3 days to help rapidly repair leaky gut.

cultured dairy to cure leaky gut#2 Raw Cultured Dairy - contains both probiotics and SCFA’s that can help heal the gut.  Pastured kefir, yogurt, amasai, butter, and raw cheese are some of the best.

fermented vegetables - heal leaky gut#3 Fermented Vegetables - contain organic acids that balance intestinal pH and probiotics to support the gut.  Sauerkraut, Kimchi, and Kvass are excellent sources.

coconut products to heal leaky gut#4 Coconut Products – all coconut products are especially good for your gut.  The MCFA’s in coconut are easier to digest than other fats so better for leaky gut.  Also, coconut kefir contains probiotics that support your digestive system.

seeds - leaky gut#5 Sprouted seeds – chia seeds, flaxseeds, and hemp seeds that have been sprouted are great sources of fiber that can help support the growth of beneficial bacteria. But if you have severe leaky gut, you may need to start out getting your fiber from steamed vegetables and fruit.

Also, consuming foods that have anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fats are beneficial such as grass-fed beef, lamb, and wild caught fish like salmon.

Top 5 Supplements for Healing Leaky Gut

There are many supplements that support your digestive health but I believe the most beneficial are: L-Glutamine, Probiotics, Digestive Enzymes, Aloe Vera Juice, Quercetin, NAG and Licorice Root.

#1 Probiotics are the most important supplement to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and crowds out bad bacteria.  I recommend getting probiotics in both food and supplement form. I see people all the time only follow part of the protocol in healing their gut by removing the damaging irritants. But the part they often leave out is re-inoculating their gut with beneficial bacteria that will keep bad bacteria at bay.

So load up on BOTH probiotic rich foods and take AT LEAST 50 billion units of probiotics daily from a high quality brand.

#2 Digestive enzymes (one or two capsules at the beginning of each meal) ensure that foods are fully digested, decreasing the chance that partially digested foods particles and proteins from damaging your gut wall.

#3 L-Glutamine is critical for any program designed to heal leaky gut.  Glutamine is an essential amino acid that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and repair of your intestinal lining.  L-glutamine acts a protector and coats your cell walls, acting as a repellent to irritants. Take 2-5 grams 2x daily.6

#4 Licorice Root (DGL) is an adaptogenic herb that helps balance cortisol levels and improves acid production in the stomach. DGL supports the body’s natural processes for maintaining the mucosal lining of the stomach and duodenum. This herb is especially beneficial if someone’s leaky gut is being caused by emotional stress. Take 500mg 2x daily.

#5 Quercetin has also been shown to improve gut barrier function by sealing the gut because it supports creation of tight junction proteins.  It also stabilizes mast cells and reduces the release of histamine which is common in food intolerance.  New studies have also shown it’s effectiveness in healing ulcerative colitis.  Take 500mg 3x daily with meals.

If you can follow the above protocol you are well on your way to healing your gut for good!

Enjoy even more information related to ‘4 Steps to Heal Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Disease’ with the Signs and Symptoms to look out for.

What Foods, Supplements or Natural Treatments have you found help Heal Leaky Gut?


Kiefer D, Ali-Akbarian L (2004). “A brief evidence-based review of two gastrointestinal illnesses: irritable bowel and leaky gut syndromes”. Alternative Therapy Health Medicine 10 (3): 22–30.

Pike, M. G.; Heddle, R. J.; Boulton, P.; Turner, M. W.; Atherton, D. J. (1986). “Increased Intestinal Permeability in Atopic Eczema”. Journal of Investigative Dermatology 86 (2): 101–104.

Humbert, P.; Bidet, A.; Treffel, P.; Drobacheff, C.; Agache, P. (1991). “Intestinal permeability in patients with psoriasis”. Journal of dermatological science 2 (4): 324–326.

Vaarala O, Atkinson MA, Neu J (2008) ‘The “Perfect Storm” for Type 1 Diabetes The Complex Interplay Between Intestinal Microbiota, Gut Permeability, and Mucosal Immunity’, Diabetes Journal,  (57)10(2555-2562).

Z Liu, N Li, J Neu (2005) ‘Tight junctions, leaky intestines, and pediatric diseases’, Acta Paediatrica , 94(4), pp. 386-393.

Maes M, Leunis JC (2008) ‘Normalization of leaky gut in chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is accompanied by a clinical improvement: effects of age, duration of illness and the translocation of LPS from gram-negative bacteria’, Journal of Neuro Endocrinology, 29(6), pp. 902-10.

Visser, J (2010). Tight Junctions, Intestinal Permiability and Autoimmunity Celiac Disease and Type 1 Diabetes Paradigms. PubMed.

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318 comments so far - add yours!

  1. Amy says:

    Is there a specific brand you recommend for the L-glutamine, aloe Vera, and licorice root? I just got your live probiotics. I already take Designs for Health digestive enzymes and I just finished a 6-week round of alternating Oil of Oregano and Designs for Health GI MicroB-X as well as an additional 6 weeks of Designs for Health GI Revive and following the AIP protocol all at the advice of my naturopath and I still don’t feel like I’m making much progress! I was taking a probiotic before too! My secretory IgA was only 2 which is apparently really low.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      My favorite brands include:
      1. Axe Naturals
      2. Garden of Life
      3. MegaFood
      4. Gaia Herbs
      Aside from that, it’s hard to say a specific brand.

      • Candice says:

        There is a good brand called Metagenics, and they have a product called ‘Glutagenics’ which has the L-glutamine, aloe vera, and licorice root.

      • Cheri says:

        Ok I am so In awe on this whole issue,& confused, So Much Good information But No Links To find such things I sure don’t want to Go Off & Get The wrong things Or spend money buying the wrong things I am VERY New at this REAL Health slangs & Acronyms so to speak Like what is The GAPS Diet ? I am Taking Your probiotics, I Have used a ( Comes in a Very Small Jug Bieo something) I found in my Publix Its kinda a cross of Kefir & cottage Cheese should I drink More Contains 50 Billion Live active Probiotics ,I also have You Whey, Super Green other than that I guess I have much more to change & take any suggestions on just where to get most of these things ???

      • Milana says:

        I have a 6 year old, she has been having severe stomach pain for 2 weeks.she was hospitalized and after endoscopy, ct- scan, ultrasound and multiple blood tests the only thing the Drs came up with was gastritis. After discharge from the hospital she was prescribed antacids Nexium and sucralfate. She seemed to be better for a few days, until last night. The pain returned accompanied by vomiting. She was falling asleep and waking up from pain every 1/2 hour. We gave her some peppermint tea and Prilosec. That seemed to work. If it would have been just gastritis a week on antacids and diet should have made it better.
        My question is can we follow this regimen and is it safe to give her l- glutamine, digestive enzymes and other supplements. And if yes how much should we give her.?

      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        I have had similar patients do well with it but you should consult with your physician.

    • Herme says:

      I have used several brands of aloe vera juice and the only one that has had a marked, almost miraculous, influence on my health is a product called aloe vera gel by Forever Living Products. I’m sure it will be easy to find a supplier near you. Leaky gut caused the most awful cluster migraines for me. If I had a few days reprieve a month it was a lot. Then I started on the aloe vera gel. It took a few months of the gradual tapering off of migraines, but one day I realised I hadn’t had a migraine in ages. Now, the only time I get a migraine is when I go without my aloe for a couple of months. Never again. As for liquorice, I drink it in the form of a tea. Very yummy. It also stops sugar cravings :o)

  2. cintia says:

    I’m in a dilemma. I believe I have a leaky gut. For the past 6 years I have been dealing with a out of balanced digestive system that has progressively gotten worse. In trying to find the cause of my ailment I visited a Gastroenterologist, several allergy and OBGYN specialists and after many expensive testing none have been able to help me. On my own I have learned to keep away from coffee, fat, processed foods, dairy, gluten, alcohol,, and just recently sugars.
    On top of all my food intolerances, in the past year I have been diagnosed with an over-growth of candida, gardnerella, and group-b strep by my OBGYN. In the past week I’ve been prescribed Bactroban suppositories to fight group-b strep. Bactroban is an antibiotic in suppository form, I expect it will not affect my stomach but I feel it might trigger growth of other bacteria in my vagina. Dr. Axe, should I proceed with the treatment? What is your suggestion?

    Prescription: Mupirocin 1% Vaginal Suppository. ! suppository vaginally two times daily for two weeks.

  3. Mike says:

    Great article!
    I didn’t know that it’s actually the casein in milk that irritates the lining. But one question here Dr. Axe – you recommend fermented/live dairy products to heal the gut. I see the benefits of probiotics + I love yogurt.
    But what about the casein? Kefir and yogurt consist mostly of casein.

  4. Ellen says:

    For 25 months I’ve been suffering from CFS (active EBV, CMV, candida overgrowth, adrenal fatigue). I retired from teaching and do not have the stamina to begin working again. In the 18 specialists I’ve seen, no one has been able to help me due to my overreaction (which do not seem to be die-off/detox symptoms) to any treatment including supplements and probiotics. My diet is very clean (14 months.) All organic/grass-fed beef, salmon, chicken, organic non-starchy vegetables and very limited fruits, some nuts/seeds, healthy fats like coconut products and avocados. No dairy, gluten, sugar, beans/legumes. I do eat either brown rice, quinoa, or soaked oat bran 1x daily. I really need your guidance on how to get myself to the point where I can take supplements and additional probiotics (just started sauerkraut).
    In addition I have been using essential oils in hopes of some improvement because they do not cause me side effects. Please advise me on how I can modify your leaky gut healing protocol to get me to the place where my sensitives are repaired because I believe this may be the answer toward my recovery. Thank you so very much for your help.

  5. Sil says:

    I believe I have leaky gut. I have history if h.pylori and yeast overgrowth. (of which I took antibiotics to treat). I have been seeing a doctor for this digestive issues, but my main issues of distended stomach, and acne are still going on. I recently learned I also have thyroid imbalance. I have been taking probiotics, glutamine, fish oils, and now armour thyroid. Would you be able to suggest any supplements or ideas to better heal the gut? Lastly, I am gluten/dairy free. Thank you.

  6. Poppy says:

    I have suspected leaky gut and am trying what I can to fix my symptoms.
    A couple of questions:
    I am a black tea drinker! I have cut back to 4 or 5 cups a day with a table spoon of goats milk per cup. Is this amount of caffeine and milk a problem?
    Also, what about fruits blended into a smoothy, skins removed when possible?

  7. Candice Mallicoat says:

    I’m not sure how severe my leaky gut is, but how long would you say to follow this protocol to heal? I know that continuing to limit irritating foods and supplementing with probiotics is good for daily maintenance, but I’m curious how long it can take to heal and reintroduce small bits of sugar and grains, etc.?

  8. Laura Ray says:

    How much of the supplements would you recommend at every given meal? How does one take them?

  9. Linda Weir says:

    I do have leaky gut – candida/parasites, etc. based on a stool test. I am taking L-glutamine and Candicidal and also a good probiotic.

    I have eliminated entirely wine. I do drink coffee. Is that okay?
    Also, I use 2 tsps of apple cider vinegar in a large glass of water 3 times a day. Is this okay?

  10. Jill says:

    Hi, I have had two food sensitivity tests done in the last 5 months. The first one was through Cyrex Labs, and it showed that Transglutaminase-2 and 6 IgG were out of range. It also tested for Gluten-Associated Cross-Reactive Food senstivities and found Casein to be out of range. I eliminated Gluten and Dairy (I cheated a few times on the dairy) and 3 months later, I did a more extensive food sensitivity test through Genova Diagnostics. It showed a very low sensitivity to dairy, no sensitivity to Gluten, but several other foods (too many to list) also showed up at various levels of sensitivity, the highest ones being Ginger, vanilla, mustard, beef, chicken, pork, basil, dill, fennel and peppermint. My instinct tells me that this is a leaky gut, and I would like to try the diet that you recommend on this site, however, many of the recommendations for healing the gut conflict with my food sensitivity tests (ginger, peppermint, bone broth (chicken), etc.). Do you have any advice on this? There is so much information out there, and it’s hard to determine the best route to go. I have asked my physicians, and they all have such varying viewpoints on this topic, many of which do not support the “leaky gut” theory.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      Yes, do you best to both consume a GAPS diet and stay away from food sensitivities. I would consume beef broth instead of chicken broth and just do your best with the rest.

  11. Kimberly says:

    Are the supplements safe to take while breastfeeding?

  12. Georgeanna says:

    Dr Axe, I listened to your outstanding and fascinating webinar on The Kings Medecine last week –using essential oils for healing.

    My husband has been following your advice for Leaky Gut and is feeling better. Would you also recommend essential oils for Leaky Gut?

    I was so impressed with your talk and tried to order them immediately after the broadcast but, the payment page didn’t work. I immediately wrote on your website for assistance and wrote an additional email two days later since I didn’t hear back from anyone. Would you please assist me in acquiring the essential oils you were selling for $97? Thank you, Georgeanna

  13. Leslie says:

    Hi I’ve had an air hunger issue / shortness of breath that comes and goes . At first I thought due to 5 htp . Now I’m thinking some sort of acid reflux due to sore mouth when I wake . I can’t tolerate probiotics . I do green powders and fermented foods and gelatin powder . Any other suggestions ? Do I need lglutamine ? Thank you so much

  14. Darren says:

    I suspect a leaky gut. I’ve had 2 stool tests within a year and both came back saying im gluten and dairy sensitive. Seems every time I eat I feel a little off kilter. Ive had a rash on my forehead for the past 3 months and calves spasm like little popcorns popping. (only way I can explain it). My joints and muscles hurt periodically and usually spread around the entire body not always in the same place. My energy level is fine.

    My last test also came back saying I had the Shiga toxin but never really had major symtoms. i took probiotics for 4 months straight and my bowels were normal. Trying to eat less breads, wheat, coffee, and sugars. Any suggestions?

  15. Yan says:

    Can you please tell me if I can follow your recommendation to eliminate H-Pylori, I have receive antibiotics, but I stared and never finish, I get to weak and feel very sick. I know the bacteria still there, I have sleep problems, and I read that could be the cause, I go to the Dr. and she said “I don’t know what you have,” it is funny but true, do you know any good Dr. that use your approaches or homeopathy in the Los Angeles are on California. or let me know if you any product that would help, I can no take ferment products cause, I have a kidney problems and it make my symptoms worst when I use vinegar or wine etc. thank you so much and God bless you.

  16. Luis Galvis says:

    Hi Doctor, I have been having leaky gut problems since 8 months ago, at the beginning i used to think that i had MS because of the symptoms but after 2 MRI’s that possibility has been discarded . My diet is very similar to the diet you recommend, with some minor differences. I believe that a may be eating too much fruits, as i eat 4 to 5 a day. Not sure if this is too much or just right. My main problem is that i am having a very difficult time getting good sleep, and i know this is not helping my cause. Do you think this can be due to food allergy’s, and can be fixed through consumption of other recommended foods? Thank you very much.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      Hi Luis, yes, consuming 4-5 servings of fruit a day is too much. I would recommend you cut out all fruit for 2 weeks then add back in one serving a day in the morning and may eventually be able to do 2 servings a day but not more than that. Also, you need to load up on probiotic rich foods and take a quality probiotic supplement. Read this article and look at the LIVE Probiotics on my online store because they are great for leaky gut issues.

  17. Luis Galvis says:

    Thanks you so much for your prompt response. Now with that in mind I have a few more concerns. Without grains, nuts, seeds, and fruits as part of my diet what foods should I focus on to give me enough calories? How much meat and fish is too much? Also, which would be better for me, chicken bone broth or beef bone broth? I have a history with high blood pressure and high cholesterol with have been controlled through diet. I’m afraid with this new variation of diet that these problems may start to reappear. Thank you very much and your answers are greatly appreciated.

  18. Rebecca says:

    My mother was diagnosed of Lung cancer march 2012 and she have done chemotherapy just once and she was not cured until i heard about cannabis oil and its fast curing effectiveness,I was directed by someone who have used the cannabis oil to cure her breast cancer to get the cannabis oil from the cancer centre London and i did immediately and i bought the oil with instruction on how to use it, My mother started the medication and after taking the oil as prescribed, she was cured and healthy again. We are so happy now that our mother is free from cancer.

    Rebecca Smith

  19. Jill says:

    I think I have leaky gut. I’ve struggled with IBS for 2-3 years (diarrhea) and also been very low carb. I’m gluten/dairy free. I made the beef bone broth you recommend and added 2 T of it to organic bone broth from Whole Foods. An hour later, I had diarrhea every time. Should I continue to try this? The store bought broth has helped quite a bit–I drink a cup before each meal. Thanks for your help.

  20. carol says:

    Dear Dr Axe,
    Can I just eat grass fed beef daily instead of supplementing L-Glutamine? Thank you!

  21. Tony Houston says:

    Great article! Question: Can someone with a seafood allergy / Iodine allergy take L-glutamine?

  22. Simon says:

    Hello doctor, I have been following the points you mentioned above but every time I drink the broth, I get multiple unpleasant symptoms.Do I keep drinking it or what else would you recommend? I also am dealing with severe insomnia and I don’t know what to do about it.Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you.

  23. Angela says:

    Hi, I have been diagnosed with leaky gut, spent the last 8 months on a diet which was very limited, no sugars, nothing fermented, nothing processed few vegetables limited to water, no chillies, capsicum etc etc, took a good probiotic, zinc, b6, took regular gut indication tests to see how bad my gut was, once almost clear did a detox incorporating steamed vegetables, and five serves of the shake which had lots of fruit, in fact 5 was hard to get through, the detox was to get my liver going. I have been symptom free for 5 weeks but a few started up again, so now I have incorporated glutamine and slippery elm into my diet, again having the shake recipe from the detox for my breakfast which gives me some good nutrition.

    When and how is the best time to take glutamine?


  24. Chiara says:

    I am a full-time carer of my 27 year old son who has ataxic cerebral palsy with severe speech. He has had severe comedon acne for approx 11 years having been on low dose trimethoprine antibiotics for approx 9 years. He now has H Pylora aswell. I have put him on a fat free, dairy free, sugar free diet consuming mainly veg , fish, millet, soya, brown rice black beans, chick peas etc with just some fruit since January 2014 – Although he still has acne and the large carbuncles are not quite so bad-he has lost a tremendous amount of weight-terrifying to see though he is always so hungry-I just cannot seem to give him enough food and he is always calling out for more food. Please Dr what foods will build him up without increasing his acne after all the hard work that I have been putting in. In February he suffered diarrhoea that lasted 14 days whilst he was always very hungry and he has just had diarrhoea again. What foods shall I give him? Yours very sincerely – Chiara

  25. Linda says:

    In your opinion, which tests are more reliable for food sensitives, i.e., Alcat, ImmunoLabs, Genova, Metametrix?
    Also, would you recommend the Genova Diagnostics ION profile with amino acids test after doing the gaps diet to check for improvements?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      All these tests are great. I think doing this profile post GAPS diet could be beneficial for checking progress. Here are some other tests I would also consider:
      1. comprehensive stool test
      2. Organix dysbiosis profile
      3. IgG food sensitivity testing
      4. Zonulin test

  26. Nita says:

    I believe I have leaky gut syndrome. I have gas,bloating, bad breath and I also smell bad like poop no matter how many times I bathe. The docs cant name it I recently went on a Strict diet only yogurt and baked chicken breast I take a probiotic and ordered some chlorophyll. Does this sound like leaky gut syndrome

  27. Tammy says:

    Hello Dr. Axe, this is my issue. I’ve had an iron cast stomach all my life and 2 months ago I did a parasite cleanse using GRAVIOLA MAX. After the 30 days of using this product I started to use Garden of Life Primal Defense® Ultra Probiotic. I started getting REALLY bad stomach problems meaning bloating,cramping etc (bloating looked like I was 9 months pregnant) it was horrible and so very distressing. I was taking Alka-Seltzer Plus and it gave me no relief. I just started doing a intermittent fasting and still taking the probiotics and also taking 2 tablespoon of coconut oil a day. When I ate my meal it was chicken breast, steamed veggies and pan seared potatoes with seasoning and a large salad I was in so much pain an hour after I ate that I induced vomiting to try and stop the pain but it didn’t help. The the next day I ate the same thing but without the pan seared potatoes I ate quinoa and for the first time in a couple of weeks I had NO pain what so ever. After reading your article about leaky gut it seems to me that is what I have. So I’ll be starting a 3 day chicken bone broth fast. My question is, is there anything else that I can do to heal the lining of my gut?

  28. Andrew says:

    Hello Dr. Axe. I am writing to you in desparation for some help, advice and/or insight. I feel like you’re my last hope. Over the course of the past four years I have developed severe psoriasis, minor joint pain, hemorrhoids, and also some slight rectal discharge after a bowel movement which may be due to the hemorrhoids. The psoriasis has escalated dramatically in the past 6-8 months. What is most puzzling to me is that I have been on a pretty healthy nutrienal diet for the past ten years (mostly organic, little to no dairy except yogurt, little to no red meat, and lots of produce), I have no family history of skin conditions, I never get sick(not even a common cold), and I’m extremely active/athletic. However, for the past six years I have had quite a bit of bad to severe emotional stress in my. I have tried and followed through with SEVERAL natural methods to cure my psoriasis and have had little to no results. Could I possibly have “Leaky Gut Syndrome”? If so, what might be my first step on the path to healing my body? Please, any recommendations or advice would be helpful. Thank you so much for your time

  29. Amy says:

    Dr. Axe, I have Lupus and Psoriasis and have been trying alternative treatments on my own for a few years. I water fasted for 2 weeks about 2 yrs. ago and tried going Vegan after breaking the fast. Eating Vegan made me feel very deficient and after eating veggie burgers I broke out with tiny bumps all over my back and trunk. Also my scalp became very itchy and painful. My fingernails all have pitting and my middle finger developed an outward ridge line straight down the center of the nail. I have been eating gluten free and drinking bone broth with great results. I had rashes on my lower legs, arms, hands, face, and back. My rashes are about 75% better. I have had a hard time with sugar cravings and stopping my one cup of coffee in the morning. I was hoping you could help me with any suggestions on my sugar cravings and my scalp and nail problems. Also I have been eating fermented vegetables, and taking probiotics. Thank you!

  30. gabriella landry says:

    Would your approach to repairing a leaky gut be any different in a child (i.e. an 8 yr old)?

  31. Jennifer says:

    You mention 5 supplements to help heal leaky gut. I take enzymes and probiotics but am I to understand that I should be taking all 5?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I would recommend all 5 for a time until you feel that your body has recovered. But of all of them, the probiotics and enzymes are the most beneficial. But listen to your body. Many people also notice a huge difference when taking L-glutamine powder.

  32. Randi says:

    I have been following many of your recommendations for a very long time (ever since diagnosed with Crohns Disease). My doctor is very happy that I have been symptom free and that he saw no evidence of the disease in my recent colonoscopy.

    The one thing that I try to add to my diet periodically is digestive enzymes as I understand their benefits. Every time I try to introduce these into my diet, I start to get heartburn. Since there are no other changes in my diet or supplements, I can only conclude it is the enzymes. I have tried different brands. Any suggestions as to why this happens and what I can do?

  33. Arla Philippbar says:

    I have been diagnosed with leaky gut. I have exzema (since a baby), autoimmune disease, hypothyroid, food sensitivities along with gluten and dairy sensitive. I would like to know about the high quality water filter to eliminate chlorine and fluoride. Is it a whole house filter? Can you please name a brand that takes out fluoride? Thank you

  34. Teresa says:

    Dr. Axe, SO excited to see you address this. Just today, I received preliminary results on my 14-year-old son’s total IgE of 1947, correlates with my younger son’s total IgE of 1878 which is better than their cousin’s whose was over 2000!! (Genova Diagnosics noted that they ran the tests a second time because they didn’t believe it either.) My sister, (who teaches nursing at a university) and I are ready to move to our aunt’s palatial ranch on the hill in Brentwood and ice-water-challenge you or Vandy everyday till someone takes us all in for a family study! Test show that these boys are IgE and IgG allergic to EVERY nut, EVERY grain, egg, dairy, seed, meat in the book. I bet I spend 20 hours a week researching the ba-gillion articles on leaky gut/food allergy/probiotic/gluten free/buy-my-book/watch-my-webinar with our hope for a reason and resolution. I guess I’ll chase the University of Maryland rabbit trail next and see if they have another pill-potion-lotion-oil-magneic-coil-chopped-veggie-from-compost-soil to add to my extensive and expensive collection.

    Leaky gut test from Genova said no leaky gut, maybe some absorption issues in his small intestine.

    However, just this morning, I wrote in large caps on my to-do list to order GAPS book and download Low Histamine Chef. THEN, I got your email tonight… alright…I’ll do your recommendations. Let you know the results. Wish someone credible would document & study this and we can send them all off to GAPSbootcamp boarding school. I’d run it and I know 10 other mothers who would take their kids out of club soccer (EGAD!) and pay me to do it. (Actually, they would hire a private coach from Brazil to board with them…LOL, not LOL)

    RANT OVER…. Here’s my question…. :)
    Where do I get Raw A2 bovine milk, cheese, meat, bones in Northern KY or Cincinnati? Since both boys tested IgE to dairy, is it even worth trying? I heard that those with dairy allergy have no problem with A2.

  35. Sara says:

    My 10 month old has been dealing with pretty bad eczema for about 5 months now. I still breastfeed her, and give her healthy foods including bone broth and coconut everything. Do you know how I can help her heal her gut? Also, as a breastfeeding mother trying to get enough calories, how can I heal mine?

  36. LouAnn Smith says:

    My 11 year old son may have this. For years, he has complained of having an upset stomach, especially at night. He is a very healthy eater and he limits himself on sweets. However, we are on a really tight budget and cannot afford more the organic choices of meat and supplements. We do splurge on doTerra oils because they help him so much, especially their Digestzyn, which has licorice in it. What would you recommend we do for him. He also has a hernia but we were told that was not an issue. The doc just wants to give him pills. I just want him healed. I have suspected leaky gut for about a year, but not sure how to actually get it diagnosed. Thanks!

  37. Rose says:

    I need to lose weight. I am about 70 pounds overweight! I don’t know where to start. I do take medicine for my thyroid. 100 milligrams of levothroxine.

  38. Kristina says:

    Hello Dr.Axe,
    I came across this article on leaky gut on your website after listening to the nutritional summit with Cynthia Pasquella. I have 2 kids 5 and 1 and here is a brief background.

    There is no autoimmune condition running either in my family or my husband’s family and we are not allergic to wheat,dairy,eggs etc. But i’m not sure if we have any sensitivities. But when my daughter was 3 months old she had few rashes and pediatrician diagnosed her with eczema. I was completely ignorant back then and just trusted the MDs and applied a lot of toxic atopic steroids and moisturizers on her. She was on similac sensitive formula the whole of the precious first year of her life, had all the immunizations done and a ton of other toxins that come through non-organic fruits and veggies, exposure to toxins from the tap water etc etc. After 2.5 yrs of suffering, i did a lot of research and got her treated homeopathically and did a ton of lifestyle changes and removed every possible toxin out of the house. I went to the extent of knowing each ingredient on her plate, that goes in her body care products, clothes etc etc. Finally she was completely healed after going through a healing crisis and is fine by the Grace of God now. So with my son, i decided to apply all the lessons learnt and tried to stay away from toxins from the time i was pregnant and took so much care and went through a natural delivery. Praise be to God alone. But he was head down facing up and the obgyn had to rotate him before he was delivered. I guess that caused some nerve damage and a couple weeks after he was born he suffered with acid reflux. we got him treated homeopathically and osteopathically and he recovered in a month and a half. He was all fine and by then i breastfed him 100% and so did not have to worry about the fillers found even in the best baby formula in the market. I did not give him any immunizations so far and keep him away from all toxins as much as possible except for his plastic toys. Every meal for him is made from scratch. Despite all these efforts, he developed eczema and strangely the rashes appear only on his legs. I’m clueless about what i’m missing. I do not give him dairy in any form, no wheat, corn,soy. tried homeopathy as well this time. But his eczema does not seem to go away. My question is

    1. How do i know if a leaky gut is triggering his eczema and what symptoms do i watch out for?
    2. What other foods should i avoid triggering any flare up?
    3. Is spelt as harmful as wheat?
    4. Is there a way to detox the body of gluten?

  39. Bob says:

    Excellent article, thanks for writing.

    You recommend eating Salmon. I find that to be a problem as farmed fish is out of the question and the salmon I used to purchase from Oregon is no longer reliable because of radiation poisoning due to Fukushima.

  40. Michelle says:

    Hi Dr. Axe!

    My 20 month old was just diagnosed with alopecia areata which is heart breaking for me as a mother. I have done a lot of research since and found out that alopecia is another sign of a leaky gut. My question is can my 20 month old start this kind of diet and take these kind of supplements you recommend. I hope she can I am desperate to start her healing process. If so what do you recommend she can take at her age? Please help I am desperate.. Thanks

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      That is something you would have to talk to your physician about. However, if it were my child I would try and have them consume some of the foods on these two eating plans:

    • Kristy says:

      Hello Michelle! I am on my way out of alopecia with my 5 year old son!!! I will be more than happy to offer everything I know so I can help you and your daughter. As a mother, I know how heartbreaking it is, but like I said, we are on our way out, I am seeing some great healing signs! Contact me and I will share!! Best of luck and Gods blessing on your family!!

      • Michelle says:

        Hi Kristy!!
        i am almost in tears right now! i have been praying for someone to please help me with this situation. i feel so lost and don’t know where to begin to help her! i thank God that what your doing is working for your son!!! i would be eternally grateful if you can share with me what your doing to help your little one. Thank you sooooo much for responding to my comment god is great! Much blessing to you and your family also. Hope to hear from you soon! :)

  41. deana says:

    All I can say is… where was this perfect article 3 years ago? My health collapsed and the journey led me to understand the power of digestive health! More specifically it was homemade kefir that resurrected me after 16 specialists shrugged shoulders. Actually… I needed this article 17 years ago before my entire colon was removed due to miserable ulcerative colitis! If any skeptics are reading, I can only encourage you to get those bones simmering today! And make kefir! You’ll see!

    Thank you Dr. Axe for the awesome and relevant information you share! I had the pleasure of meeting you at Exodus in Knoxville last year. So appreciate your life work!

  42. Jordan Parker says:

    Hello Dr Axe,

    Whilst your in the process of healing a leaky gut is it okay to consume ‘toxic’ foods like gluten or even rice, say like maybe once a month if you’re already following a strict diet otherwise?

    Does Dal and Pulses come under ‘toxic’ foods? Different sources name even foods like corn and white potatoes as toxic foods which should be avoided in the process of healing a leaky gut, and this is where it get’s quite confusing for me, is there possibly a list of definitive foods that should be avoided when attempting to heal a leaky gut?

    How long does it take before one even realizes that there gut has been healed? Sorry for the many questions, looking very forward to your reply.

  43. John Smith says:


    I was just wondering say like if I was to follow all of the specifics of this diet but yet smoked on odd occasion (More specifically herbal hookah molasses) would this adversely affect the process of healing the gut in anyway whatsoever? Thanks.

  44. Sean says:

    Greetings and salutations Dr. Axe. To start off, I’m not exactly sure what is wrong with me as I cannot afford to see doctors or get tests done. With that being said, any information or advice would help. Recently I have have noticed when I eat certain foods my head feels spacey(almost like I’m on drugs), my eyes turn red and I feel a burning sensation, I feel anxious, and a weird sensation under my skin-almost like my body is being attacked by something. Could this possibly be leaky gut? I was an alcoholic for 10 years but quit that in may on my own and was on the SAD diet for all my life. I have changed my diet to gluten free, dairy free, meat free,fat free, and sugar free. Everything I eat is organic and I juice. I was diagnosed a few years back with LPR but never took meds and tried to control it with diet. Recently also I took fats out of my diet because I have been having strange symptoms that point to gallbladder problems. Well I want to thank you for your time and any information or advice you can give. Peace and tranquility,

  45. Jo Baxas says:

    Writing on behalf of my husband who is once again battling gastritis. So I am about to embark on your 4 steps to heal his gut leaky or otherwise.
    I will also join the regime though dairy is so hard! I love my coffee with heavy cream – I’ve tried coconut milk, coconut cream, almond milk etc, nothing beats dairy in there! So maybe no coffee for me for a couple of weeks.

    Family and friends be warned.

  46. Mark says:

    I am dealing with neuropathic pain (after a flu vaccine 2 years ago), insomnia, depression, fatigue and lots of IBS symptoms/food sensitivities. I seems to have a lot of symptoms of adrenal fatigue. I have been to all the MD experts. I have been a vegetarian for 15 years. I am not sure how where to start. Do you offer phone or skype consults?
    Thank you

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I apologize but I am not taking patients at this time. I would search for a functional medicine doctor in your area.

      • denise says:

        vaccine are stabilized with Mercury Hg heavy metals. look up Smoking Gun amalgams on U Tube. I suffer with the same mercury issues from fillings, vaccines, mercurochrome, lots of seafood, etc and can cause all types of problems, neuropathic pain, autoimmune, depression and especially adrenal and gut issues as well, and many more…research Dr Andy Cutler “Amalgam Illness” and look into his chelation protocol .
        He says we will never get rid of the yeast issues until we get rid of the metals. Biofilm could play a part, as well as methylation, which are affected by mercury. I would at least look into it and use as a place to start. Chelate and detox..look at Dr Robert Morse Port Charlotte, Fl..iridologist, detox, raw foods, herbs, etc
        watch his videos…pretty excellent..good luck

  47. vincent says:

    I was just wondering when you say taking 3 days of bone broth? Do you recommend any type in particular? how many (servings) are we supposed to take?


  48. Shelton says:

    Hi Dr Axe.
    I’ve had a leaky gut and chronic candida/parasites for 4 years. I quit conventional dairy and wheat over 4 years ago, as well as all sugars, starches and grains. After seeing an episode of beyond organic featuring you, I decided to try homemade kefir. I bought a jersey milk cow tested to be A2 and done ok with her milk but after 8 weeks I still had a little dizziness after consuming it. Is this ok?

    I’ve tried numerous doctors in arkansas, none seem to understand the condition.
    I currently travel 400 miles from arkansas once a month to a nutritionist in Houston. He has helped me a lot in the past 3 1/2 years with supplementation, but hasn’t been successful in complete elimination.

    Could you recommend a Dr to guide me? I don’t mind to travel.

    Thank you so much for all you do.

    In His hands!

  49. Darryl Goes says:

    Hello Dr Axe,

    I was being diagnosed with chronic non specific colitis 5 years back. After one month of taking anti-inflammatory treatment and excluding foods that were causing allergic symptoms my condition improved and later i was diagnosed with mild-proctitis. Doctors have advised me to eat all kinds of foods but it seems like certain foods aggravate my condition and i guess i am having a similar issue like leaky gut which has caused this condition. Lately i was even having an acne issue which after avoiding gluten improved my condition. My diet mostly includes probiotic yogurt, Probiotic supplements, Chicken and rice noodles and even aloe vera. Please advice if i need to include more things in my diet

  50. sean behan says:

    How long do you recommend staying on probiotics at 50B per day for?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      It’s hard to say because everyone is different depending on the current state of their gut, their diet, environment, etc. I consistently take probiotics to continually promote gut health. If trying to heal leaky gut, I would do the protocol with the supplements for 3 months and then reevaluate.

  51. Ana says:

    Dear Dr. Josh Axe,

    Thank you for your article. I have a 10 yr old daughter that has eczema since she was 2 months old. Also she has been very constipated for most of her life. I have a feeling she may have leaky gut syndrome. She is very picky eater and allergic to tree nuts. She only likes bread and sugar which I have almost eliminated from her diet. It looks like her digestive system is not OK. Other than her eczema and constipation, she is tired, has headaches and can’t sleep well.
    I do give her fish oil and she has been taking probiotics and zinc supplements on and off. Also she has been on few sessions of acupuncture. Nothing seems to work so far.
    I would be grateful if you have any recommendation that can help her.
    Thank you.

  52. Elaine says:

    I don’t believe I really have “leaky gut” unless there is varying degrees of it. I do not have any food allergies or sensitivites. I do eat fermented veggies every day and Kombucha and Milk Kefir once in a while. I have had a lot of stress in my life. But………I DO HAVE Heberden nodes (arthritis in my lower finger knuckles). There is not much help out there about these. I would do practically anything to “arrest” these from getting worse and I do see them slowly getting worse. What can you suggest? Do you have any experience in this area? Thank you so much for answering!!!

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      There are definitely varying degrees of it. Many times, most people don’t know if they have food sensitivities because the symptoms can be mild and may be overlooked as part of their “normal.”

      The Heberden nodes are signs and symptoms of osteoarthritis so to target OA, I would recommend that you focus on eating a diet high in good quality protein and veggies with fermented foods to decrease inflammation. I would also follow the protocols in this article:

  53. Vida says:

    I’m currently undergoing treatment of Candida Overgrowth by following the candida diet, taking probiotics and prebiotics, and antifungals. The source if my overgrowth is partly due to Leaky Gut. is it possible to follow the candida protocol listed above and follow the Leaky Gut protocols for healing at the same time?

  54. Kelly says:

    Hi Dr. Axe,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to answer everyone’s questions.

    I have vitiligo (it started when I was about 5, and I’m 35 now), and have become very interested in learning about the connection between gut health and autoimmune diseases. I’d like my gut to be as healthy as it can be, so I changed my diet about 8 months ago, removing all gluten and dairy and adding probiotics.

    I used to love having my morning latte with soy milk but now I’m trying to phase it out. Since I also like black, green and white tea, I’m drinking more tea instead. I know you don’t recommend black tea for a leaky gut, but what are your thoughts on green or white?

    Thanks again.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I think 1 cup a day for some people is fine but stay away from coffee. The best tea you could take would be chamomile, ginger and tulsi and those with little to no caffeine.

  55. Francesco says:

    Hi Dr Axe, I’m writing to you from Italy; I found this website by chance and , if it’s possible, I would like to have some advice from you as it’s a long period that I feel down because of health problems that I’m going to tell you, without having found until now any solution; everything started this winter when I suffered for 2 months from colitis with periods of diarrhea alternated to periods of constipation with hemorroids; without sending me to any specialistic visit, just after a cytotoxic test on the basis of which I resulted intolerant to several kinds of food, the family doctor gave me the diagnosis of Irritable bowel syndrome; so in march I started a diet I got from a nutritionist, the “low fodmap diet”, with supplements of lactic acid bacteria to take for three months, during the change of season; I had some gut results even if occasionally I kept suffering from bowel pains even if less intense; in may little by little I started to eat again all the kinds of food that I didn’t eat for longtime also because I work as a barman and with the stress of the work I couldn’t manage so much with that diet; so I incresead little by little the quantity of the carbohydrated and I reintroduced dairy products and sugar, noticing that in any case my pains were bearable; so I didn’t make problems to myself; at the end of may I started to notice that I was always tired (i used to do regularly two times a week gym, once yoga and I was studying for my german exams while I was working); I started to notice that I was not sleeping more than 5-6 hours a day waking up also a few times during the night; I started to suffer from insomnia; because of the consequently weakness, I left all the activities on the side, gym and studying, and until two days ago i did a treatment with diazepam (tranquirit) for two weeks; I could sleep but always waking up during the night; I thought that this was due to breathing problems and a specialist, on monday 25 august, after having visited me, gave me a spray “Locrinolyn” for treating a kind of rhinitis; yesterday I started to look for information about my insomnia and my weakness and I started to think that I may suffer from “leaky gut”. What do you suggest to me to do? All these symptoms may derive from this desease? The level of cortisol should also be checked? Since yesterday anyway I started also to respect the previous diet that I have stopped respecting 100% for a few months and recently even less because of my weakness problems; I don’t get any supplements and I keep sleeping from 2 to 3, almost 4 hours a day always waking up from 3 to 4 times per night; I’m always tired and often down and i don’t see any solution; i thank you in advance for your help

  56. ScienceStudent says:

    Hi Dr Axe. Many thanks for your informative website.

    To add a brief note on the role of stress; I work at a private hospital in a country that, while modern, is still developing & where religion & its plethora of effects & subcultures are very much alive & interwoven into many lives. Religion here has always played a significant role in affecting people’s mental & physical health…negatively, for the most part. I believe this is true for many other parts of the world. Hence for many, I think that overcoming certain traditions & modes of thinking will contribute to maximum fulfilment, where one is not subconsciously suppressed by rules but free to deal with life’s inevitable realities, & allow better stress management.

    I suspected I’ve had Leaky Gut Syndrome for awhile now. Job is rather hectic & for some months I haven’t been able to eat in the manner I usually do. A bit more wheat products + less food in general + less time to take the supplements & herbs I know are good + less sleep + tons more stress has all equalled more digestive issues (random bouts of semi-diarrhoea, bloating & general stomach discomfort), weight loss including my muscle (I’m usually slim with lean muscle), occasional migraine/tension headaches, skin issues & general loss of vitality.

    I’m still functioning, just nowhere near as well as I usually do.

    I’m going to purchase Source Naturals Glutamine powder & NatureWise Ubiquinol & make an effort to return to my old eating habits. Already, absence of wheat for just a wk has resulted in my stomach issues virtually disappearing. Now just to start repairing my gut.

    What healthy foods can you recommend for adding weight? I’ve lost more than 10 pounds from an already slim physique & would like to gain back my lean muscle. I usually do not eat meat, just fish & eggs. Can I trust Brunswick’s tinned Wild Salmon?


    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      If you’re low on time and need something quick, my superhuman shake is always a great option! You can find that recipe here: http://draxe.com/recipe/superhuman-shake/
      Otherwise, I think making meals ahead of time so that you can take them with you to eat quick will be important for you. I would also try incorporating bone broth into your diet, this will help promote healing in your gut. Make sure you try to get at least 8 hours of sleep a night as well!
      Wild Alaskan salmon from the can is a great option for meals.

      • ScienceStudent says:

        Thanks, Dr Axe. That shake sounds perfect for me, I think I can do a slightly modified version (difficult to get that almond butter in my country).

        I’m going to load up on quinoa as well. Even with consuming lots of avocado & grass-fed butter (Kerrygold), I find it difficult to put on weight (& I don’t have excess fat to burn); much of my day I spend running back & forth, so I burn a lot of calories. Hopefully a natural protein shake will help me.

        I was concerned about tinned salmon being contaminated w/heavy metals as Brunswick gets theirs from the US.

  57. Daniel E says:

    Dr Axe ,
    I believe I know have leaky gut because of coconut oil. I started the paleo diet and introduced many new foods but unfortunately felt terrible, and was able to indentify it was a coconut allergy. For the last 16 months since this happened I have pale skin, psoriasis, and my hair won’t stay on my head due to nutrient deficiencies, does this sound like possible leaky gut to you and is there a specific treatment when it’s a food allergy to have caused the leaky guy? (I ate a ton of coconut oil ignoring my body’s adverse reaction which was a huge mistake)

  58. megan says:


    I had leaky gut for a few years after taking roacutane, but i managed to sort it out by following a strict diet and taking probiotics, glutamine, slippery elm, zinc and liquirice root for 6-8 months. Unfortunatly i reintroduced sugar and wheat too fast and because i thought i was better i went crazy for all the wrong foods and quit the supplements…after a month of denying it, im back to square one again.
    Three weeks ago i started taking 10billion live probiotics daily and having glutamine before each meal and having 1 x magneisum supplement daily along with cutting out proccessed foods and sugar and wheat, but my stomach is so sore and swollen and im so lethargic its bringing me to tears and no matter how much i eat im in constant need of food and in such a bad mood if i dont eat.
    Please can you advise what supplement will help my inflamed stomach, as its waking me up because its so sore and swollen.

    Please also tell me a supplement to take to help my fatigue, because i literally feel so faint its unbearable.
    i drink tea because its the only thing i look forward to, but i have almond milk with this, is this okay?
    Please help, because im so exhausted im only 22 and i feel about 80 lol.

    Thank you :)

  59. rachel says:

    Hi, I’ve had candida related problems for the past 5 years, which have resulted in leaky gut and now autoimmune disease and multiple food allergies. For the past 9 months I’ve focussed on elimnating the candida (unaware of leaky gut issue) and have cut sugar, gluten, dairy and yeast from my diet. I’ve seen some improvement but still have fatigue and food allergies – I take an antihistamine every day. I saw your tip on bone broth, but after taking it for 3 days found my symptoms got worse – fatigue, mood swings, general slowing and congestion of my systems including digestion, which had been improving. Can the broth have a bad effect? I added some ACV, which I’ve reacted badly to before.

    I’m taking L-glutamine and slipery elm/licorice root combo as well as linseed. Will this be enough to heal my gut?

    Thanks, Rachel

  60. Angelica Robiou says:

    my daughter was diagnosed with lupus.She is 25 years old. Am trying to find natural ways to treat and cure this condition. she is presently taking 5 mg prednisone, and 200mg plaquenil twice daily. i want to get her off of these meds. Please any help will be greatly appreciated.
    Thank you
    God bless.

  61. Kelly says:

    I live in a small city in the Middle East and finding A2 milk is impossible, however, camel milk is very common. Can this be a good substitute?

  62. Virginia Robbins says:

    Several years ago; I was diagnose with Rheumatoid Arthritis. Recently, diagnose with Osteo Arthritis and damage my lower back. Which was sciatic damage/with degenerate disc disease. Recently, I’ve noticed some strange spots on my arms, legs & thigh. I guess my stomach & back which my back would be difficult to see. Some other health issues and severe constipation once. Since taking some new probiotics I’ve gone to restroom daily once a day. Would you please help me out; and tell me what you think it maybe? Thank you.

  63. Stella Babakhanova says:

    What brand and name of digestive enzymes do you recommend? Is serapeptaze one of them?

  64. Patti Crosby says:

    will I ever be able to loose weight with a leaky gut?

  65. chrons vs UC says:

    HELLO DOC,25 yr old male here.. I have had ibd issues for about 3 years now. Things were getting better with mesalamine (prescription 5ASA)…then they became ineffective for some odd reason. I have not ate junk food for months, and even tried kefir (trader joes) and gave me major cramp/pain. I DONT eat beans, raw vegies/fruits, fried stuff, soda/caffeine, sugars/starch. I ONLY EAT BEEF/CHICKEN/STEAM VEGIES. Currently (three days now) I am taking l-glutamine in powder form 5g/2xdaily and also 30 billion live culture probiotic(ultimate flora). If this doesnt work, then prednisone is next :/PLEASE DOC help me out . Thanks for your time.

  66. Christie says:

    I have Graves Disease. I’ve had this for 5 years and dr though I went into remission. Off meds for a year and I found out Friday that it’s back. I want to treat and cure this naturally. I will take meds but dr first suggested that I shut thyroid down I said no. Any help at all would be appreciated! Please!

  67. Jey says:

    Hello Dr.Axe,
    My 14 month old kid has a mild case of eczema. I came across this article and i’m planning to start him on the GAPS diet. We always had organic food and only use natural products around the house. We were very surprised when he suddenly showed a skin eruption 4 months ago. I got to know from a friend that a treatment with Bioveda BAX-3000 helped out his kid. I’m not sure of the technology. Does this treatment complement the diet? Please let em know your thoughts.

    Thank you!

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I will have to look into it more. To start, I would just focus on doing the GAPS diet with lots of bone broth. I would also start using lavender and geranium essential oils topically. If you have questions on where to get those, email me at oils@draxe.com

      • Jey says:

        Hello Dr.Axe,
        I just started my toddler on GAPS diet. The very first day of bone broth all his eruptions look very inflamed. Ofcourse in addition to that, i did give him steamed veggies mentioned in the stage 1 of the diet. Can ingredients in bone broth(Organic chicken bones,organic carrots, celery,fennel,turmeric powder,coriander powder) cause allergies? Should i now start eliminating foods and find out what is causing his inflammation? That seems like a very hard process especially for a 14 month old. Are there any other better options?


      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        Just have him do bone broth. It’s more likely that he is reacting to one of the vegetables or herbs like turmeric or coriander. Keep with the GAPS diet and only add 1 food in at a time. You may also consider getting an IgG blood test.

        The bone broth you should make yourself or buy from a company online like Wise Choice Market. You can find the link to their website in this article: http://draxe.com/recipe/beef-bone-broth/

      • Jey says:

        Hello Dr.Josh Axe,
        Thank you for your suggestion. The bone broth seems to help him very well as well as the geranium oil.

        But oflate we noticed that he has undigested food particles in his stools like well cooked carrots,cauliflower,onions etc. Is this to do with his digestive enzymes? Should this be of concern?


      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        I would have him try chewing his food at least 20 times before swallowing each bite. Also, digestive enzymes may be a good option.

      • Jey says:

        Doctor, are there digestive enzyme supplements for a 15 month old? Are there any natural food alternatives that might help the secretion of these enzymes? I’m concerned that he might get addicted to these supplements.

      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        You can find kids digestive enzymes here: http://amzn.to/1zbKBkg
        You can have him do these for up to 3 months but the biggest thing that will bring healing is their diet.

      • Jey says:

        Hello Doctor,
        The chiropractor who tested my 15 month old for allergies suggested doing a muscle strength testing on him and he came back positive for candida. He never had any antibiotics so far and my wife has never taken any antibiotics in the last 15 years. The chiropractor also suggested nutritional supplements and dosage based on the muscle testing. I really can’t comprehend the science behind the testing. So i wanted to understand if these kind of diagnosis are true?

      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        I can’t say. Cutting out grains and sugar for a time is never a bad idea though! http://draxe.com/candida-cures/

  68. Shelia says:

    Dr. Axe
    I have been diagnosed with severe RA about 14 years ago. I have just muddled through all these years feeling really sick. I have some joint damage but refused treatment for a long long time. I was on methotrexate pills and shots for the last couple of years and they made me feel even worse. I am now to the point that they want me to start the biologic drugs (remicade). I am falling on my face sick but still working. Please, I need help. Any suggestions ??

  69. Mary Miranda says:


    I do fitness competitions (bodybuilding). If I have Leaky Gut and start GAPS diet per say, I would be eliminating any pre-workout supplement or Amino Acids supplement (BCAA). I take L-glutamine as intro and post workout. Just wanted to know what you would suggest, since my pre-workout is what gives me energy to workout at 5am.

    Thank You,


    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      To heal leaky gut and do the GAPS diet correctly, you would have to take a break from those supplements. During this time, you would also need to lighten up your load while working out. The reason for this is you need to allow your body time to heal. The energy and stress induced by exercising hard on the body could hinder it from healing quickly. Also, it’s important to rest your gut from those supplements. When you have leaky gut, many times the things you consistently consume actually become triggers for an immune response. You need to rest from those things and then slowly add it back in as you progress through the stages.

  70. simone says:

    Hi there, I just got myself tested for leaky gut as I have high natural killer cells (3 times the normal level) and am worried about autoimmune conditions developing. I have also had 3 very early miscarriages due to an immune over reaction. I would say my immune system is not sluggish at all – quite the opposite, I never get sick! I had childhood eczema, but otherwise no family history of autoimmune disease. I tested negative to H Pylori. My recent intestinal permeability test showed 0.41 % lactulose recovery and normal mannitol recovery and normal Lactulose/Mannitol ratio. What does this mean? They have said my Lactulose is high (it was at the very red end of the spectrum). I have no digestive issues I have noticed, very regular and no gas issues, maybe some stomach bloating. I would never have thought I would have this issue, but what do you think of my results? I also never experience headaches or any of the other symptoms, in fact I never would have bothered testing except for something is not right in my immune system. I have been vegetarian for 17 years, but have started eating meat in the last year as was diagnosed with homozygous MTHFR and was low in B12.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      You need to get an IgG panel done testing for food sensitivities. It sounds to me like you are reacting to many of the foods you are eating. And you can even have an immune reaction to healthy foods. Get the IgG done and then eliminate those foods from your diet while following more of a GAPS diet.

  71. Mary says:

    Dr. Axe,

    How long should a person take the supplements listed in the article?

    I am in my 30’s and the only one in my family with hypothyroid. And it’s pretty bad…I take 175mcg of Tirosint daily. Although on Tirosint, I am still constantly fatigued. In fact, I had a doctor just last year offer to put me on Nuvigil. I graciously declined when the pharmacy told me the cost and also because of the side effects. That being said, I also have a lot of stress in my life with two aging parents.

    Today, I have read your articles on Heavy Metal Detox, The Hypothyroidism Diet, and 10 Ways to Balance Hormones Naturally and now this one. I would like to do your Heavy Metal Detox and your Leaky Gut protocol first and then transition into the Hypothyroid and Hormone protocol…unless you can suggest another plan. Realistically, I can’t do all of them at the same time.

    Thank you for the wonderful information you provide to us daily!

  72. Arjun Singh says:

    a2 Milk can be obtained from cows with hump. i.e south asian indigenous breeds like : sahiwal / gir / tharparker etc. which are available mostly in India and Pakistan .

  73. Joanne says:

    My husband suffers from Crohn’s disease that has created fistulas. Please advise diet for him to try as his meds have stopped working. He has had 3 operations in his life to remove parts of his intestine. He eats a low fiber diet but does drink beer. Any advice is appreciated.

  74. Hector L. Sosa says:

    I have been sufering leaky gut for 32 years.

  75. Sarah says:

    I have two separate cases I would like to address with you.

    The first is my husband about 7 years ago he went into anaphylactic shock. To this day we do not know what triggered that reaction. For the next two years he suffered from severe panic attacks and terrible digestive issues. He was given so much medication (xanax, nexium etc.) that did little to help him. Finally he went to a gastroenterologist who felt that because of his symptoms as well as a recurring rash on his chest he was gluten intolerant. Taking gluten and eventually dairy out of his diet was life changing. He stayed on this diet for a little over a year but has now been eating gluten again with minimal issues. He also is prone to having multiple sinus infections every year treated by one round of antibiotics after another. Having researched this on and off for years I feel that he may have a leaky gut. He is a bit hard headed and I know that I will not have much success changing his diet. Would supplements alone help him build up his immune system so that he won’t suffer from so many sinus infections and digestive issues and if so which ones would be most beneficial?

    The second case is my 18 year old daughter. Up until the age of 10 she was very healthy and hardly got sick. I did suspect that she might be lactose intolerant as she did seem to suffer from stomach issues about once a month and even as a baby was chronically constipated. When she was 10 we traveled to Spain and when we got back her stomach pain was almost constant we had a test run that showed that she had an intestinal bug. She was given medication at that time to get rid of it. After that she returned to having stomach issues about once a month. When she was 16 she felt that she should get gluten as well as dairy out of her diet because her stomach issues were happening weekly. That did the trick she was no longer constipated all the time nor did she have stomach issues. Then the sinus infections started. She would get antibiotics for it sometimes that would work sometimes she would have to get another round of antibiotics. Any time she took antibiotics she would also have to take a probiotic to counter the side effects. She also became susceptible to bronchitis. At this point we took her to an allergy doctor who ran a skin prick test. She didn’t test positive for anything. She was diagnosed with asthma and takes multiple medications, inhaled steroids and allergy medication everyday. However, she still suffers from sinus infections and bronchitis. We feel that her immune system is not working properly at all and needs to be built back up. She is maintaining a gluten and dairy free lifestyle however, she is away at college and has limited food options thankfully they do have gluten free offerings. I would like to add supplements that will build up her immune system and have had an awful time trying to find a good probiotic as there are so many with different strains and conflicting results. What would be the best protocol to follow to get her healthy again? Keep in mind that she’s away at school and is limited in what the cafeteria offers. Do you think that this could all (asthma, bronchitis etc) be related to a leaky gut and if so is there hope that she can get off some of this medication in the near future?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      For your husband, it’s hard to say because what he really needs is to change his diet to allow his body to heal. Supplements are intended to supplement an already healthy diet. Although they can help, he really needs to change is diet to see real changes. However, I would start doing the supplements in this article and try to add in bone broth to his diet on a daily basis. I would also try to avoid gluten and dairy like you have been, and also eliminate all sugar and grains that have not been sprouted: http://draxe.com/leaky-gut-diet-treatment/
      For your daughter, if anyone has had antibiotics, there is a good chance that there is some level of leaky gut present. I would have her do something similar to your husband, in addition to removing gluten and dairy, try to avoid grains and also sugar as these will make it worse. I would have her start doing all the supplements listed in that article as well.

  76. ikbel zammit says:


    This is the best article that i have seen in the web

    is the same result what i find add to that :
    we must desintoxicate our body from heavy metals (green clay , some herb or nutriant…)
    We must have vitamine C and D and E
    We must have a good salt (with 22 minerals and not 2 minérals + poison)
    We must do sports or walk for one hour a day (VS stress and fortifyng the body)
    We must consume some oligo element like zing +B12+B9 +slicium +… to heal rapidely and to have a good immune system
    We must avoid suggar +diary +proinflammatory products (all that man has produced like OGM+soda + beware plastics + …)

    But is true the most great problem is the GUT and this article has a bestest resume how to heal it

    Very good work …and i thank you

    The problems in the GUT and the heavy metals cause the most greastest probleme of health : cancers + autoimmune (polyarthroid + diabete + scerelerosis + … + some other rare desease +…The most of deseases)+ heavy metals in vaccin like mercure or aliminium (babes must have the milk for their mother for 2 years to have a good immunity and avoid the vaccin ROR)

    Best regards

    Zammit Ikbel

  77. Marianne says:

    I believe I have leaky gut. I suffer from Autoimmune Chronic Urticaria and have Hashimoto’s. I try to follow a low-histamine/low salicylate diet. Licorice and fermented foods are on the do not eat list for high histamines. Its a bit confusing, because ultimately I believe I have leaky gut and the way to rid it is by following this, but I am just worried I will experience a bad outbreak. Need help….should I go on the bone broth cleanse first??

  78. Audrey says:

    My son has a condition called ‘Visual Snow’ – there has been very little research done in this area, and so there is no cure at present. We have tired cutting out gluten for a month, but saw no results.
    He is also intolerant to soy and milk protein, and so these were out of his diet also. Is it still possible that this condition is due to a leaky gut? What ways can one scientifically prove that a person has leaky gut? As my guess is that to heal the gut – the diet must be tried over a long period of time. At the moment I am having difficulty convincing my son. Do you think that visual snow could be caused by a leaky gut.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      It could be. Leaky gut has been linked to many neurological conditions that could effect vision. He can try the diet for 1 month and see if changes occur. Also, I’d recommend he start consuming a diet high in healthy fats and eliminate sugar and grain intake.

  79. Laura says:

    I have had acne for the last 2 1/2 years, and for an almost 60 year old women, who has never had acne before, this is traumatic. 3 weeks ago I started with the supplements suggested and have noticed some improvement already. Do I keep taking them till it is all cleared up, and then discontinue them all when I run out, or what is the best way?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      First off, that’s awesome! Quite often skin conditions are actually symptoms of something going on in the gut. I would continue to take them and eat a clean diet and pay attention to your symptoms. If they completely clear up, you can stop and see how your body responds. However, they are safe to take after symptoms have left too. I personally take those supplements every day to keep my gut healthy and in good condition!

  80. Lona says:

    My 18 year old son was just diagnosed with narcolepsy with cataplexy. This is a brain disorder which was confirmed to be an auto-immune disease in Dec 2013, by a number of top neurologists. The only treatment option being offered to my son by standard doctors is amphetamines and depressants. We aren’t interested in that route. He doesn’t “appear” to have any of the leaky gut symptoms, so I am wondering we should begin with the diet alone or if we should add in the supplements as well.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I would start following this leaky gut diet and see how he does. Getting rid of gluten, grains and other processed foods is a huge first step and I expect you will see great results.

  81. Craig says:

    When you say eliminate sugar ,of course I assume refined sugar (liquid sugar, dextrose, ect) but do you mean all sugars all together even from fruit, cane sugar ? I have vitiligo as well as white circles around my eyes (like people who have dark circle but mine are white with no pigment, a form of vitiligo I assume). I get acne all year (getting better since using natural cleansers and starting my leaky gut cleanse) and eczema in the winter now too as of last year so my skin seems to be my main source of inflammation and something else occurs year after year. If you could clarify on sugar and maybe a particular direction and diet I should follow that would be great. Thanks for your time!.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      It means all sugar so that from fruit as well. Sugar, regardless of the form it is in, feeds candida and perpetuates the leaky gut cycle. To heal from leaky gut, you need to cut out all processed sugars but also fruit sugars, natural sugars, and things digested as sugar such as grains. Once your gut is healed, you can slowly add back in some of these foods, always in moderation of course ;)

      • Craig says:

        Ok thank you for clarifying that for me. I have since downloaded one of your articles “healing foods shopping list” but it too has some fruit (berries). I’m struggling to find foods to eat on a day to day basis to keep my macro’s up. Its hard to meet even my 1,600 cal mark to function let alone higher after working out and day to day life haha. I understand from other research even nuts shouldn’t be eaten too much with leaky gut or otherwise.

        My breakfast smoothie is now gone with no fruits as well as my snacks (apples, bananas which have been great for my nutrients in healing my acne and daily function or now my meat with cane sugar added), No oatmeal anymore. I’m literally going to die here if I can’t eat haha. Today I had 4 strips of bacon, some fruit and water and then it wasn’t till lunch I could have a chicken salad…..I’m lost. What do I eat???? sorry my frustration isn’t directed toward you of course but there’s so much that’s good but then also counter productive so I can’t eat it. I’m trying to be Paleo and eat as a human is meant but now that’s even limited. Please help, even if I have to eat the same 3 meals and snacks everyday the rest of my life, at least i’ll be eating hahaha. Thanks again

      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        I understand your frustration Craig. I’ll be adding more gut health recipes onto my site shortly that should help. Otherwise, I would focus on lots of steamed veggies and meat. You can also roast vegetables in coconut oil or ghee. In the morning, you can do a breakfast smoothie with a few berries but lots of healthy fats like avocado, coconut and kefir. Fat takes longer to digest and is higher in calorie content so it will help to keep you fuller longer. For lunch you can do salads with grilled meat, or meat and vegetables. Crockpot meals are also great options!

  82. quianna says:

    Dr. Axe,

    Thanks for this article. It is amazing. My two year old son has had eczema and digestion issues since basically birth. Western doctors told me there is nothing I can do and that he may or may not grow out of either. I decided that was not ok and met with a naturopath. We did a stool analysis and IgG testing and from the results she diagnosed him with leaky gut. She said to avoid the nearly 30 foods he tested positive to and gave us some weak supplements.

    I again decided to take it into my own hands again and we are now on the gaps diet. We went gfdf about a month and a half before starting intro and went full gaps about two weeks before intro.

    We are currently on day 18 somewhere between stage three and four. His sleep is awful, his eczema is no better but actually worse and his digestion issues have not improved. It seems as tho he’s been having die off reactions since we started or even before we started intro.

    I have been giving him l-glutamine for a week now, quercitin for three days and probiotcs since maybe a few days in. I was giving him a teaspoon or two of kraut juice as it states in the book but stopped two days ago thinking he was reacting to it. You say people should be taking 50 billion units of probiotics a day but that would be 25 biokult per day? Is that correct?

    I’m at a loss for what is going on. I was thinking, maybe hoping that we would see improvements already but things are pretty much just worse. Our gaps practitioner thinks maybe he is healing. I thought maybe he has a histamine intolerance. Any idea what I should do to make things better for my kiddo who is not doing so great?

    Thanks again for the article and for anything else you may have to add.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      When doing the leaky gut, I recommend staying on each stage for a minimum of 2 weeks, sometimes longer if symptoms persist. If symptoms are still present during stage 1, you should stay on that stage longer. This will give the body a chance to heal before reintroducing another food group in that may have triggered a reaction before. I would go back to stage 1 and would not introduce the glutamine supplement until stage 2. I would focus on lots of bone broth and 1 type of steamed vegetable at first for the next 2 weeks. When adding a food in, start off with a few bites of 1 other vegetable and see if any symptoms come back with its addition.

      • quianna says:

        Thank you Dr. Axe for the reply. Unfortunately I am not able to go back stages. I had two months off of work and I only have a month left before my son has to go back to daycare. Doing intro while he is in daycare would be impossible. They have set feeding times and he eats at least five times a day now. Maintaining full gaps will be difficult but I know I can make it work. I am also concerned about him losing weight. He eats really good and is not underweight right now but several close family members and his father seem to think he is getting skinnier. He hasn’t lost any weight in the last few months but he also hasn’t gained any weight. Is there anything else I can do? Thanks again.

      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        I would try to do the first stage for the next month you have off then or for as long as you can.

  83. Celine says:

    Thank you for your great articles.
    I have been trying to heal leaky gut and candida since February 2014. I have been gluten free for 3 years. I have been tested for food sensitivities and have eliminated them. I have been treated for parasitic infection and taken supplements for several months (vitamins for which i was deficient, L-Glutamine for a month only, probiotics for 3 months, digestive enzymes for 3 months, supplements to support liver detox, garlic supplements for candida).
    I have also been drinking homemade broth for the past two months, which has significantly reduced by IBS symptoms. I have had almost “normal” bowel movements for the past two months.

    My question is: Is it possible to heal leaky gut with all of this and no L-Glutamine, or is L-Glutamine a vital part of the healing?

    Thank you for your help :-)

  84. Celine says:

    PS: I have also been grain-free, egg and dairy free since January 2014.

  85. Lucy says:

    Dr. Axe, Good morning!
    I would love to go on the Leaky Gut treatment,
    but I am afraid Bone broth with all this fat will push up my Cholesterol
    to 400. With fish only, no egg yolk, I have to struggle to keep it between
    300 and 350. Can I do just fish broth? anything fermented burns my
    stomach so can I just take fish broth, your 50 billion probiotic, aloe vera juice , coconut products and L-glutamine?
    Thank you so much and God bless! Lucy.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      If you make your own fish broth, it should have very similar benefits. But it may be hard to find fish bones. Another option: If you make the beef or chicken broth, you can always put it in the fridge and then strain out the fat once it hardens in the broth

  86. Grant says:

    Hi, I think I’ve got a severe case of leaky gut and been on a paleo diet for 6 months. I take a probiotic, Vit b complex, Vit C, Vit D, Zinc, Glutamine, Slippery Elm and Omega 3’s but it doesn’t seem to be healing much the only thing that has calmed down in the healing crisis. What else would you recommend to add in? I have been to see a Complex Homeopathist aswel recently do you think the drops will be beneficial?

    It has caused a lot of my hair to fall out all over and recede is this regrowable or do I just need to try and save what is left?

    Thanks :)

  87. Pei M. says:

    Dear Dr. Axe,
    My son is autistic, he was given the second shot of MMR in 18 month old and diagnosed as PDD-NOS right after, I would like to ask for your advice about two powders I heard from this youtube: Time: 3:20 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wln9J1UVm_Y, she mentioned ultra clear plus powder (Detox) + Perm Vite (heal/prevent Leaky Gut), would like to know your opinion whether these two products is suitable for young children.

    Thank you,

  88. Suzanne says:

    Hi Dr Axe, a recent Food Detective test for IGg intolerances lists a strong reaction to dairy, gluten, cashews and yeast. Stool test revealed no Candida problem but overgrowth of Strep and no Lactobacillus! I want to follow your leaky gut diet and specifically substantially increase my intake of fermented food. My question is how can I increase my intake of fermented food given the yeast intolerance? Are there some fermented foods more suitable to me than others? Any comments much appreciated. Thanks

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      Fermented foods will trigger a yeast intolerance. However, most of the time when doing an IgG test, they don’t test you for all types of yeast, only one or two. Have you noticed a reaction when consuming all fermented foods? You may have to listen to your body on this one. Or cut out fermented foods for a time while following the rest of the leaky gut diet and add them back in later on down the road.

      • Suzanne says:

        Thanks for your reply. I don’t think I get a reaction to fermented foods themselves. The problem is when I eat yoghurt (A2 I make myself ) I notice a stuffy nose (no other symptoms). Too much coconut makes me feel queasy in the stomach (hence no coconut kefir). Also tried fermented cabbage/veg mix (commercial) and I did get some gas and bloating but have noticed same reaction to eating unfermented cabbage,cauliflower. Also the acidity of the fermented veg caused a bit of reflux I think as I has a bit of a hot burning feeling in the throat (mild). Would be grateful for your suggestions of other fermented foods I could try as I believe they are an important part of healing the gut as you say. Also I have just ordered a gut permeability test kit (using Mannitol and Lactulose) to see if I actually do have leaky gut. Do you think these type of tests are helpful? Thanks

      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        Hi Suzanne, it sounds like you could have SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth). For that, you may need to follow the FodMaps diet for a month and work on the health of your stomach. Many people with SIBO have found that taking HCL with pepsin can help.

  89. Shelby C says:

    Dr. Axe,

    I eat a great diet, 95% gluten free, the only wheat i consume rarely is organic and sprouted. I have 1-2 servings of sprouted grains per day, healthy fats, lean organic proteins once a day, 2 servings of fruit, a few sweet potatoes a week, and tons of leafy greens and steamed veggies. Coconut sugar only as a treat. I take great probiotics, digestive enzymes, L-glutamine, zinc, B12, and vitamin D. I also cook all my sprouted grains in bone broth.

    My naturopath has been doing thyroid testing on me and my antibody level is very high, which she said could indicate Hashimoto’s..she also thinks this is linked to leaky gut. The only thing is, I have no major symptoms at all of either health problem. But i do have a weak appetite, unrestful sleep, and cold hands/feet.

    Am i doing everything right/am i on the right path to healing my gut? What else can i do being to make sure my gut lining stays healthy and doesn’t hurt my thyroid? Do I even have leaky gut anymore since overhauling my diet last year? I am 23 by the way and of normal weight for my height.
    Thank you!

  90. Donna says:

    Dr. Axe

    My son suffers from nausea it is very strong on he morning and tapers off during the day, with no triggers. Can this Bea symptom of leaky gut?

  91. Nehal Kaur says:

    I have seen people suffering from Leaky Gut Syndrome so closely that I feel like helping them. I started researching about this near about 8 years ago and have studied a lot about it. I have gone through more than 7000+ articles and EBooks about the Leaky Gut Syndrome and feel like helping every one facing it. If any one wants help regarding it can add me on facebook and I will surely try my best to help. There are many articles around the web available which can help you people know about it.

  92. Dillon says:

    Dr. Axe,

    I was wondering what is your take on raw dairy being “risky” to consume, or if there is any precautionary measures when buying it. Not to mention that its hard to find…for me at least. Anyway I also wanted to ask why every time i take probiotics I feel super nauseated. Nausea seems to be the only symptom I have with leaky gut in general, so when that happens I’m sort of at a loss.

  93. Krystalle says:

    Is it generally helpful to consume healing clay (1 Tbs in water to help remove toxins) while pursuing a healing diet for leaky gut? The clay in this case is a pyrophyllite or volcanic clay. According to the website, “Sacred Clay” provides nutrients unlike bentonite clays which may remove nutrients along with toxins from the body. It also has a slight laxative effect (bentonites may have a constipating effect).

  94. Nikita says:

    Excellent. I first saw this article in the EpochTimes(London, UK).
    Much of the information is consistent with what other sources offer – pro biotic, cultered/fermented food etc.
    Just one note on KVASS. After reading this Article I went to a Russian shop to get the most authentic of a KVASS I could get. KVASS after all is a Russian/ Eastern European thing. I am myself with Eastern European background with little KVASS knowledge. To boil it down – Kvass is 1. Carbonated drink(can’t be good for the gut) 2. “Sugar syrup” or sugar rich(gets on your teeth on par with cokes etc.) 3. Yeasty stuff from rye bread etc… all grains that seem to irritate the gut seem to be the base for this drink.
    4. Full of preservatives and god knows what agents(as packaging suggests)

    I tried a Russian, Latvian and Another brand KVASS all full of preservatives, sugar, and stuff I would assume serves the opposite purpose.

    Good article.

  95. Edith says:

    Great article Dr. Axe! Is L-glutamine, Licorice Root and Quercetin safe to take while breastfeeding?

  96. Krystalle says:

    Re kvass (reply to Nikita) – try the wonderful and healing beet kvass tonic from Sally Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions. You could also substitute carrots or any fruit, but beets are loaded with nutrients which the natural fermentation process extracts. 1/2 cup beet kvass morning and nite feels refreshing to me: Simply place 3 medium or 2 large organic beets, peeled and chopped coarsely (not grated or it may ferment too quickly into alcohol); 1/4 cup whey (strained from yogurt or kefir, etc); 1 Tbs sea salt (not refined salt); and filtered or good quality well water to fill a 2 qt glass container. Cover securely, leaving 1 inch head space at top for carbonating gases. Keep at warm room temperature 2 days, then refrigerate. When most (not all) of that kvass has been drunk, you may refill container and ferment at room temp another 2 days. After 2nd brew, discard beets but you may reserve some innoculant for next batch or start over with whey. Personally I like to drain off and bottle most of the first brew before drinking any, then proceed with the 2nd ferment. When done, I mix them for equal flavor and nutrients (sweet and salty). The Kvass keeps well for a few weeks in refrig. For more explanation about the nutrition, ingredients and processes our native ancestors relied on for robust good health, read Sally Fallons book or good websites like this one and CulturesForHealth.com, etc.

  97. Jerri says:

    In the presence of candida, which people with leaky gut have, why would recommending fermented anything be of benefit? I was taught by a naturopath that ferments must not be introduced until candida numbers are down. GAPS allows ferments, but I have family members who were on the diet for over a year, all the while eating sauerkraut and drinking kombucha. They felt better, but it was not until they removed all ferments, and eating a candida diet protocol that die off symptoms began to appear. Things are moving now without all ferments.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      Probiotics help crowd out yeast. With kombucha, there is still sugar which feeds the candida and that wouldn’t be beneficial to keep in the diet. But fermented vegetables contain good probiotics without the sugars which promote crowding out the yeast.

  98. Muris says:

    hello, good articleyou have written up. What does someone do when they have a severe histamine intolorence to meat and other histamine products? I used to be abld to tolerate it but now i cannot, unless its very fresh. My body composition is showing im loosing muscle even tho im taking organicbrown rice protein powders etc and nuts and seeds. Also it showed i need 150grams protein per day in my composition, how do you manage a leaky gut, histamine issues and trying to get 150g protein to build muscle.. I feel im starving most time due to lack foods i can take. My igg allergies have dropped from 50 to 10 foods now, but now this histamine issues have me puzzled any ideas what i can do? Thankyou

  99. Muris says:

    Hello, thanks for your response i have been following the gaps diet previously however it seems ive developed this histamine intolorence to meats probably due to poor gut function.. If now cannot take meat, grains, or legumes etc how to keep the body healing/functioning with lack of protein sources?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I would consider doing an elemental diet for a time and then starting GAPS and doing to start bone broth and vegetables. I would then slowly add in 1 thing at a time to see how your body does with it.

  100. Ellie says:

    I would appreciate some advice very much.. you recommend taking l-glutamine on an empty stomach, with food or after food? Looking to try it again due to my suspected leaky gut but the time I tried it on an empty stomach as recommended at the time, and has bad diarrhoea. I also made an attempt at doing the bone broths for 3 days before an attempt to start the SCD diet and to kick start my healing but had daylong diarrhoea after the first day so aborted that idea. I have multiple food sensitivities and am eating meat, a small amount of fruit (berries & bananas) and mostly green vegetables, small amount of root veg due to this seemingly making my stools worse. Another concern of mine with the gaps diet is the fact I don’t seem to tolerate carrots. No wheat, dairy, grains or potato. I also take krill oil, sublingual vitamin D3 and about 90bil probiotics per day. Please advise!

  101. Helen says:

    Hi, I have severe allergies following Lymes disease and would like to do this diet but I am vegetarian. What could you recommend for me as most vegetarian protein sources are soy based. I have been vegetarian for over 10 years so I am not going to stop, but Gaps or Paleo are hard for us veggies. Thanks.

  102. Denise says:

    Can I use coconut kefir instead of raw cow kefir? Does it have the same benefits?

    If I followed a protocol of basically bone broth fasts 3 days a week, then the rest of the week, bone broth, fermented foods, kefir, coconut oils, the recommended supplements, plus some organic veggies and fruit, lots of water, what would be the estimated time for my leaky gut to heal?


    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      Yes you can use coconut kefir. Everyone is different regarding healing times because so many variables play into it. Environment, past antibiotic use, health history, stress, sleep, etc…Just do your best and listen to your body.

  103. Stephanie says:

    It’d be helpful to learn what Dr. Axe’s tips are for finding a local doctor to treat any health issues with a natural approach. Is there already an article like this available? Love all your posts! Thank you.

  104. Hendy Sara says:

    Thank you for this very informative article, I have crohn’s disease, and I have been on the specific carbohydrate diet for 10 months, I recently started taking glutamine supplements and I feel much better, so I was just wondering if healing leaky gut can reverse crohn’s disease?

  105. Terra Santos says:

    I was just introduced to you through the Wellness Summit. I very much enjoyed the interview and have since been reading through some of your site. I’ve been researching leaky gut and such for almost a year now. I would like to follow through with the leaky gut protocol for our entire family as we have a wide range of ailments (Rheumatoid Arth., psoriasis, multiple food intolerances – including dairy/wheat, and more). My two questions: can I follow through this diet and recommended supplements while exclusively nursing (I have an 17 day old)? And secondly, should kids on this plan take supplements as well? If so, how do I determine appropriate dosages? The non-newborn ages are 22mo, 3.5yr, 5.5yrs and 7.5yrs old. Thanks in advance! I look forward to learning more!

  106. Mike says:

    Hi Dr. Axe,

    I wanted to ask you specifically about L-Glutamine, but leaky gut in general. I’ve been trying to improve my leaky gut for 3-4 months now, but I don’t see any improvement at all. Just finished my pack of glutamine and I was wondering if I should order another one or not. I read everywhere that it’s great for the gut (and has neurological benefits when taken first thing in the morning). None of my symptoms got any better – bloating and farting, dry and itchy patches on my face and neck, dark circles under eyes…
    How do I ACTUALLY know if it is doing anything? You know, otherwise it’s just a waste of time and money. (I am a 20 year old uni student, so I am pretty short in both :))

    Thank you for advice and keep up the good content!

  107. Jackie says:

    Can I make sm. amount of bone broth? Bones,fat, apple cider vinegar,veggies? Would I be able to make 3-4 quarts? I cannot get chicken feet just carcas of one chicken

  108. Anna says:

    Dear Dr Axe,

    I have been on anti-psychotic medicine for 2 years and was scheduled to go off the medicine by gradually lowering the dose. I had a relapse. It led to the start of researching options and I found some very interesting information regarding the medicine from Robert Whitaker that gave me the determination to find a way to go off those meds. I have read about GAPS which I have seen that you are recommending to some people and I wonder what your experience is on patients with my condition on the GAPS diet? Also, what is the difference between the Makers Diet and GAPS? Many thanks in advance.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I think this would be very beneficial. I’ve had patients see great success doing the GAPS diet who have been in similar situations.
      Makers diet incorporates grains like Ezekial bread where GAPS is a grain free diet.

  109. theresa says:

    hi dr im taking optibac probiotics extra strenght 20 billion is this brand good enough. i suffer a lot with leaky gut and lots of symtoms that the doctors have no ans for. i also have that horrible sick feeling like i want to vomit but i dont vomit. im taking the optibac now for 3months and ive got the fatuge under control which is great. i also was diagnosed with meniers disease is this a leaky gut issue. i also suffer with what seems like im sweating all the time all over my body its dreadfull at times but not a smelly odour just clamy sweat.

    many thanks for a reply.

  110. Princess says:

    Thanks Dr.Axe….you mentioned a 3 day bone broth fast…..I think I really need to do one after having taken antibiotics for the past couple of years….lots of stomach issues. How should I go about doing the three day bone broth fast…thank you very much….God’s blessings.

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      To do a 3 day bone broth fast, you can either make bone broth or order it and drink 3-5 8oz glasses each day along with water for 3 days.

      • Princess says:

        Thanks for taking the time to respond Dr.Axe…I appreciate it! Would really like to know your thoughts on this … I found Dr. Pompa on you tube suggesting the bone broth 3 day fast…..he does not suggest removing the fat but drinking as is….and also leaving out the celery/ onion/ garlic/ carrot for the fast. Just salt and the bones.
        He also mentioned that for detoxification…. An aid is needed to bind the toxins in order to prevent re- intoxificarion when the bile rebounds the toxins in the gut and brings it back to the liver. Here are his thoughts. What do you think….your expertise and advice would really be appreciated.

        True Cellular Detox

        Removing the source not only refers to external environmental toxins, but internal toxins that have stock pilled and bio-accumulated in our bodies. There is a lot of information today about different cleanses, whether it’s a liver cleanse, colon cleanse, foot baths and even magnets on the feet, however, they fail to remove toxins at the cellular level. I don’t have a problem with most of those cleanses, but if you don’t remove the toxins from the cell, these cleanses fall short of true cellular detox and a real lasting solution. Also, if you don’t understand how to fix cellular pathways that have been affected by a toxic cell (the other 4R’s of cellular healing), then getting someone well becomes impossible. You are never really going to get a patient well because fixing the cell is the catalyst for healing. One of the things I always say is, “True cellular detox has to occur at the cell,” and once we impact the cell, we can now impact so much of the expression of adverse symptoms in the body. In other words, “If you fix the cell the body gets well.”

        The Intracellular Detox System

        There is a product that we created called IDS, or the Intracellular Detox System. It contains two products, Gcell and BIND. This system is very unique because it up-regulates detox pathways of the cell, and it prevents the reabsorption or redistribution of toxins so common in other forms of detox. It is the retox that causes many of the unwanted symptoms during detox, and makes most detox programs or systems dangerous.

        The first part of the Intracellular Detox System is called Gcell. Gcell raises intracellular glutathione, which is the key to removing toxins from the cell and, therefore, the body. Glutathione (GSH) is how your cells remove toxins. GSH is in every cell in the body. If levels get too low, the cell will die from toxic overload and inflammation. GSH is the strongest antioxidant in the world because your body makes it. It is also 5,000x stronger than vitamin C as an antioxidant. Do a Pubmed (medical public library of studies) search online, and you will find at the time of this writing, over 190,000 studies linking GSH to many different diseases and its many roles in healing. By working side by side with a brilliant biochemist from Systemic Formulas, Dr. Shayne Morris, we were able to develop this third generation product that supports every pathway in the GSH cycle. Here are many pathways responsible to raise GSH in the cell and every one of these pathways was taken into consideration when developing this product. There is no other product like it on the market.

        Why Your Glutathione Is Not Working

        Glutathione has become very popular due to all the current research. However, why does it seem like the results are limited to the first month of use or no results at all? Most GSH sold is put in a pill and taken orally. At face value, this seems the most logical way to raise GSH. The problem is that only 3% of the GSH makes it through the gut to body. The GSH oxidizes very easily in the gut with very little benefit where we need it most. Even if it makes it through the gut using liposomal GSH or other forms of GSH, it still will not enter into the cell. For example, when injectable GSH is used, it goes directly into the blood stream, so it is not oxidized at all in the gut. There is a reduction in inflammation and therefore, symptoms in the first month with very little value after. The injected GSH reduces extra cellular inflammation and oxidative stress, but doesn’t get into the cell where it’s needed most, therefore, the affect is limited and does not last. Raising GSH in the cell is the key.

        How It’s Done

        Raising intracellular GSH is done two ways; first by recycling the unusable oxidized form of GSH (GSSG) before it escapes the cell, to a usable reduced form (GSH), or giving the cell needed precursors to manufacture more GSH from scratch. Creating new GSH requires more vital cellular energy (ATP) and can be limited due to an inflamed cell. An inflamed cell will not be able to utilize specific amino acids and cofactors needed to raise GSH like a healthy cell. Unfortunately, most products on the market only utilize this limited way of raising intracellular GSH and do not take into consideration the most efficient way of recycling it. Gcell does both, and even when it comes to providing the precursors and cofactors needed to manufacture new GSH, Systemic Formulas uses proprietary methods to help shuttle the needed precursors and cofactors into an inflamed cell. The proprietary formula also contains a new form of GSH, called S-Acetyl Glutathione, which studies show that it enters into the cell with great success. With this new technology, it now becomes three ways that Glutathione can enter the cell. The bottom line is that when it comes to sick and inflamed cells, raising intracellular GSH is no easy task. However, it is one of the keys for “true cellular detox” and getting very sick individuals well.

        When Detox Becomes Dangerous: “The Crazies”

        The truth is if you are successful at raising intracellular GSH, toxins will leave the cells and tissues, and most of them will make their way to the liver where they are prepared for further detox. Many of the toxins are bound up to bile because it is a fat complex that attracts toxins. Bile, of course, is used to digest fats. When the bile is bumped into the small intestines for digestion, it carries with it the multitude of toxins that are now bound with it. It’s called “hepatic biliary sludge,” and it is the cause of many liver and gallbladder problems, but here is the bigger problem! Bile is reabsorbed in the lower intestines and recycled back to the liver. When it makes its way back to the liver, it brings toxins with it. This is referred to as retox or autointoxication. When the toxins are reabsorbed, they get sent back into circulation where they cause more inflammation and symptoms. They can even cross into the brain, which causes what I call, “the crazies,” and can even lead to a neurodegenerative condition.

        Stop Autointoxication and the “The Crazies”

        I had said earlier that this is a two-part product. The second part is called BIND. As it’s name suggest, it binds toxins. Its purpose is to bind up the toxins in the gut and pull it out of the body so it is not reabsorbed. This process is a proven system that has changed the fundamentals of what a true detox system actually is. This cutting edge technology is something that not only changed my life, but thousands of other’s lives with unexplainable symptoms and illnesses.

        BIND is a completely different than any other product on the market. It has the ability to bind organic and inorganic toxins. It contains a special super-activated pharmacy grade carbon that has the highest and tightest binding capacity than any other carbon on the market. It can bind a biotin, which measures 400-1000 angstroms. How small is that? Well let’s just say too small to be bound by any other natural binder. Mold and Lyme produce biotoxins that are deadly to humans. These toxins will stay bound to bile and shut down the liver’s ability to detox. Now all other toxins begin bio-accumulating, which causes these unexplainable illnesses. Biotoxic illnesses are nasty and go undiagnosed for years, if ever. The only way to save these poor individuals is to pull these toxins away from the bile complex and reopen the detox pathways.

        Many inorganic toxins, like heavy metals, are much bigger in size but due to their massive atomic weight, are very difficult to remove. There are so many chelators (detox agents) on the market like chlorella, clays and other herbal concoctions that DO NOT BIND HEAVY METALS. I know they make the claims but it just simply is not the fact. The special humates in BIND have been shown in laboratory testing not just to bind heavy metals, but to hold onto them in an almost permanent bond. The biggest problem with most of the binders on the market, besides the fact that they don’t really work, is they are contaminated. Test them yourself and you will find the same thing we did. We had to literally search the planet for clean sources. I can tell you it wasn’t easy. Systemic Formulas tests everything they use and the standard is stricter than what is considered good quality in the supplement industry. Why don’t more companies use these sources? I will just tell you it is more expensive than most street drugs when comparing kilos.

        The unique design of these two products is unlike any others on the market. The combination works! I guarantee this product alone is going to change lives in your practice. The next article in this five part series is R2, Regenerating the Cell Membrane, and this is something I learned that not only changed my life, but it changed my adopted son’s life. I congruently believe in my heart that we are making a difference. You are going to see that when you put all 5R’s together, that this is how you impact an epidemic and get the results you are looking for. I can’t wait to teach it to you and I hope you can’t wait to learn it.

        Thanks much!

      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        He’s a friend of mine and has good products.

  111. Erin says:

    I have been hypothyroid for about a year, my levels keep getting worse and my doctor had to increase my dosage. My doctor says he will not increase my dosage anymore and he has me on a gut protocol for two months to see if leaky gut is the reason for my hypothyroid. I quit birth control pill 5 months ago and have beem gluten free for 5 months as well. I started the gut protocol 2 weeks ago and have gained 4lbs since starting.
    I am getting discouraged because I eat healthy and exercise everyday and still gain weight.

    I am on compounded thyroid med, Do you think I should take my medicine at night so the supplements for the gut protocol don’t interfere with the apsorbtion?

    I want to try the gaps diet as well.

  112. Debbie says:

    Just made my first batch of bone broth and couldn’t wait to drink it as it smells so good but was surprised at the oily taste, which I do not care for. I add the ACV for an hour, covered the bones with water and has been in the crockpot for 48 hours. Got the marrow bones at Whole Foods and did not have the scum or fat on top. Is it suppose to taste oily or did I do something wrong, i.e. roast the bones beforehand? I am trying to repair my leaky gut.

  113. Shelly says:

    Hi Dr. Axe! I started my 30 days AIP to try to heal leaky gut then an autoimmune hypothyriod… half way there I feel there is no change until I realized it might be the prenatal (Garden Of Life) that I am taking. HELP!
    Can you please recommend a prenatal brand that is OK for hypothyroidism,I just realize it has (on addition to goitrogenic veggies), many sprouted grains and seeds. It’s NOT ok for AIP right? I absolutely can’t find ANY information online about this:(

    This is part of the list that I think is maybe not very AIP (Raw Organic Sprout Blend
    Organic Amaranth Sprout, Organic Quinoa Sprout, Organic Millet Sprout, Organic Buckwheat Sprout, Organic Garbanzo Bean Sprout, Organic Lentil Sprout, Organic Adzuki Been Sprout, Organic Flax Seed Sprout, Organic Sunflower Seed Sprout, Organic Pumpkin Seed Sprout, Organic Chia Seed Sprout, Organic Sesame Seed Sprout)

    Which prenatals you recommend for women with hypothyroidism?

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I wouldn’t worry about those ingredients in such small doses and cruciferous vegetables really aren’t much of a problem for thyroid.

      I would stick with it or try MegaFood.

  114. Cindy says:

    What do you recommend for a 2 year old picky eater who is having severe eczema along with dairy, gluten and egg allergies. She has had severe eczema since she was 3 months old and it just gets worse. We try and stay away from steriod cremes but it is coming more difficult the older she gets. We keep her on Raw Goats milk, whole organic vegatables and fruits along with organic meat. Gets gets so bad her face will ooze because of the eczema. I would love to give her a lot of the foods that help with healing a leaky gut but getting a 2 year old to eat it is almost impossible. Please help with any advice you can offer!! I hate to see my daughter suffer and the doctors only suggest topical cremes.

  115. Misti DeShields says:

    I have a friend that swears- SWEARS- by oils. Do you use oils? If so, where did you find the research on their benefits. All I am finding are the claims by the MLMs and subsequent distributors. Respectfully, is there a common quality brand that doesn’t make wild claims and that can be substantiated?

  116. Katrina says:

    I have a five month old who has had really bad eczema and cradle cap since he was 2 months old. We had him allergy tested and he’s allergic to dairy, eggs, peanuts, mustard seed, garlic, and possibly some other things. No allergies run in either of our families, and I eat a 90% organic diet, so I’m not sure where these allergies came from. I’ve been breastfeeding him, but he hasn’t been gaining much weight, so now we’ve been mixing in some hypoallergenic formula with the breast milk (about 1/2 and 1/2 in each bottle). I didn’t want to put him on formula, but the allergist that we met with suggested to do so. I am taking a probiotic now, along with a vitamin D supplement, and I’ve been putting a probiotic in his bottles too. I haven’t started him on solids. Is it possible for me to heal his gut? If so, approximately how long will it take? If I’m able to heal him, do you think he has a chance of outgrowing these allergies? I’ve been reading about bone broth, and how it might be good to give him some as his first food…thoughts? I’m desperate to help him. I’ve researched everything I can, met with two different allergists, his pediatrician, and a naturopathic doctor. The naturopathic doctor recommended the probiotics and supplements. He’s still breaking out on his skin, and I know he’s very uncomfortable. Any help and advice you can give would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!

    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I would consider talking to your doctor about adding in bone broth. Also, check out this formula recipe: http://draxe.com/recipe/coconut-milk-baby-formula/

      I don’t know how long it would take to heal as everyone is different and there are many factors that play into healing the gut. I would also consider using essential oils on him.

      • Katrina says:

        Thank you so much for your response. I’m assuming that you’re not big on the bone broth since you said to talk to my doctor. I can tell you that most doctors tell you to give your baby rice cereal (which I’ll not be doing) as a first food, so if I mentioned bone broth, they’d probably look at me like I had two heads!

        The formula recipe you have has butter in it. He’s allergic to dairy, so do I just leave that out or is there something else I can use to substitute?

        Can you elaborate a little on the essential oils? I know you’re busy, but I just want to fix these allergies for my son if I can, so he can be comfortable on a daily basis.


      • Dr. Josh Axe says:

        I think bone broth is amazing! I just can’t legally give advice in one direction or another. But I am a HUGE fan of bone broth. You could definitely leave the butter out in the recipe and use coconut oil in its place. Also, for the essential oils, email me at oils@draxe.com and I can get you the specifics on those. You’re doing a great job!

    • Katrina says:

      I just bought everything for your homemade formula, and bought everything directly from the links you provided. I looked over the ingredients in each item, and I don’t see any egg, dairy, or peanuts in the ingredients, but I wanted to double check with you to make sure that you aren’t aware of any in any of these. I’m looking forward to trying this with my son. I know it will be better for him than the hypoallergenic formula that I’m mixing with my breast milk. I’ll be mixing this with my breast milk instead!

  117. Kirsten says:

    Hello Dr. Axe!
    First and foremost, thank you so incredibly much for all of your hard work! We all benefit greatly because of it!
    Second, I am GF, DF, RSF, CF, and mostly soy free.
    I am not 100% sure that I have leaky gut…but I really think that I am, I am going to try the Healing Diet.
    I was wondering if eating things (like beans) that are harder for your body to digest if you have leaky gut would cause a nauseous and severe abdominal pain reaction?
    Thanks so much!

  118. Milissa says:

    I do believe I have gut damage that needs to be healed due to past practices. I suffer from acid reflux, bloating, intestinal gas, fatigue, insomnia, muscle aches and headaches as well as mood swings. My question is what can I do to heal the damage since we have adopted a vegan lifestyle? Also, I am currently breastfeeding a two-year old toddler and I purchased a good quality digestive enzyme that includes liver and duodenum glandulars but it says not to take while breastfeeding. What is the danger in it? My daughter nurses mostly at nap time and bedtime and maybe once or twice throughout the day. I try to keep gluten to a minimum and consume little dairy except for yogurt. I also try to limit refined sugar and don’t eat a lot of processed foods. We eat lots of veggies, beans and legumes, greens, fruit, brown rice and quinoa and very little soy. What can I do to alleviate my symptoms and make sure my whole family is at their optimal health?

  119. Kelly says:

    I’m fairly certain that low stomach acid is contributing to my leaky gut situation, although I don’t have reflux, is there anythingelse that I can add to increase stomach acid levels naturally? Thanks

  120. Christine says:

    I’m amazed at your wisdom and how freely you share it. Thank you. From what I’ve seen, it’s unheard of for an organization to respond to every comment readers leave, the way you seem to!

    My question: If leaky gut is healed using your protocol, will that eradicate yeast problems?

    Thank you, again.

  121. Tracie says:

    my 1yr old grandson has Nutropenia not sure if autoimmune but looking that way has had bone biopsy (rare blood disease )his Nutropenia levels are in the 800 range and varies is there any natural remedy that could help him

  122. Jayalakshmi says:

    Hi . My 5 year old son has been recently diagnosed with type 1 diabetes. He is suffering from bowel discomfort means he has to rush to potty after meals. He is not having loose stools. Is he having leaky gut? Will probiotics darolac can help?

  123. Abdul Razaq says:

    I Have Hypothyroid problem since 6 years and taking tablet (Tyroxin 25mg), and Extensive Keloids on my chest and shoulder also 10 years old. So far I went through many treatment except surgery,But still no change, To day I read your article, I noticed myself that I am facing similar symptoms of Leaky Gut and always appearing acne in my body.

    Hopefully I am looking your kind advice

    Best Regards

  124. Sue says:

    Could I have leaky gut syndrome? I am a 54 year old women. In my twenties I developed Raynaud’s Phenomenon and migraines (both hereditary). In my 30’s I developed Supra Venticular Tacycardia and Graves disease of which I had to have radioactive iodine after reacting to two of the medications for treatment. This has left my thyroid hypoactive so I’m now on Thyroxine of which I would love to get off. In my 40’s I developed Idiopathic Edema (my whole body, but worse due to gravity from the knees down where it stays pitted for several minutes when pressed over the shin) and anaphylaxis to bee stings. Now in my 50’s I have developed Heberden Nodes. I also have had arthralgia for many years. I often get explosive diarrhoea and crippling wind pains sometimes while I’m still eating my meal but usually 10-15 minutes after eating.

  125. Sue says:

    Hi, it’s me again. I forgot to mention that since I had radioactive Iodine treatment, and the development of Idiopathic Edema I have gained nearly 30kg in weight & fluid. I am active in my work and regularly walk 5km in the evenings after tea.

  126. Barbara Karangelen says:

    Thank you for the much needed information and eye opening symptoms of Leaky Gut. Have you heard of COLOSTRUM for Leaky Gut syndrome?

  127. Angela says:

    I have been to so many doctors over the past five yrs. I’ve been told IBS, fibromyalgia, migraines, etc… I have brain fog, migraines, tingling n extremities, joint pain, IBS symptoms, vit D deficiency… Long list. I was recently told I cannot metabolize sugar. I do get depressed and anxious after eating breads. My mom has same problems so I’m thinking its something hereditary. My daughter is 7 and having few problems as well. There’s so many diets out there… I’m thinking maybe leaky gut but I’m just lost at this point…..

  128. Tishani says:

    Hi Dr Axe,

    Once again I would really like to thank you for your article, which has really opened my eyes to what is proBably happening within my body. If you don’t mind I would just like some additional advice… I have suffered since childhood from moderate ezcema (I am now 25) and don’t really have any other symptoms that you mentioned. I used topical steroids intermittently to help control but nothing seems to work, so I have therefore (after reading your article) self diagnosed myself with leaky gut. From reading the other comments and your answers should I follow your GAPS protocol? Is there anything else you would recommend? My sister also suffers the same as me, if not worse, so I will be getting her into the same plan!
    Thank you in advance for your help!

  129. Betty Lee says:

    Just wanted to say that I ran across this article about a month ago and I immediately started to follow your recommendations. The 2 health problems that I had which caused me to suspect leaky gut were: food sensitivities, skin irritations & itching, alopecia areata & sudden acne on my face which seemed to appear out of nowhere. One month after starting the treatment plan, my acne is about 95% cleared & my hair is starting to grow back. Based on your recommendations, the changes I made to my diet were: adding fermented vegetables and probiotics in the form of kim chi & kombucha, and removing sugar, processed/packaged foods, & gluten. In addition to that, I started to take a probiotic supplement, digestive enzymes, L-glutamine, aloe vera juice, & collagen hydrolysate in powder form. I am really grateful that I came across all of this information that you provided & it actually worked for me! Thank you so much for all of your help.

  130. Cyndi says:

    This is great information, what essential oils do you reccomend for leaky gut and autoimmune?

  131. Jessica says:

    What are you supposed to do to replace bone broth if you’re a vegetarian?

    Sorry if this has been asked before

  132. Sharon says:

    Hello, I am currently on the gaps diet x5 weeks, almost to full gaps. History of organic everything, gluten, dairy and soy free, Kombucha, goat keifers, probiotics for 10 years. Trying to heal gut and mild eczema. No change in rash in spite off all this and notice that I get digestive upset with garlic. Is there something else I should be looking at? Thank you

  133. CK says:

    Dr. Axe,
    Great article and very helpful! I believe I have a leaky gut and possibly candida overgrowth, but when I even mention these to my conventional docs, they either roll their eyes, dismiss me and so forth. Add to that list hypothyroid complications. I am seeking the right doctor to help me with my quest and preferably one that takes my insurance, but I am not sure the best way to approach it.

    I have read a ton of books, looked at a lot of medical journals and most importantly, I know my body. What is the best way to consult with a new doctor to see if they are a good fit? It is highly possible I am offending half of them and the other half are truly clueless. What do you recommend? I have been through 7 doctors and I can’t this on my own but I can’t afford to waste another three months interviewing doctors.

    Your advice is greatly appreciated!


    • Dr. Josh Axe says:

      I would try searching for a doctor who practices functional medicine or talk to your local health food store and see if they have recommendations and get feedback from other people. It can definitely be hard to fine one who is a good fit. Don’t lose hope!

  134. Mark says:

    I have lost weight over the past 3 years and my memory / brain fog is not good. I am searching for the reason(s). I may have leaky gut, but I see that an indicator is “inflammation”. I have had two CRP – c Reactive Protein tests recently that have come back less than 2 on the first one and less than 1 on the second test, would this rule out leaky gut?

    I presently have been gluten free (90%) and no dairy for the past 6/7 years. I am also limiting grains and using designs for health pure paleo protein daily, trying to put on weigth.

    I am the primary care provider for my wife who has chronic lyme disease and I really need to get my weight and mind in top shape.

    Any ideas would be appreciated.


  135. debe says:

    Interestingly enough I started in the spring with a DO and and integrative md. Stopped all gluten, dairy, nuts and most oils as I tested sensitive to multiple foods.
    Now I have developed severe facial seborrheic dermatitis, never before had any skin problems. What in the world could have caused this?
    My md had me stop all vitamins and supplements to see if there was a change and 2 months later skin is worse.
    Any thoughts?

  136. Megan says:

    I’ve recently read that if you have candida issues (which seems to have similar symptoms as leaky gut) you should avoid fermented foods. This confused me. Do you agree with this?

  137. Faye says:

    Hi, just a queue, I have an allergy to molds eg; yeast, vinegar’s, mushrooms ect, I don’t know if I should try
    Fermented Vegtables ?

  138. Sylvia says:

    What bone broth do you recommend?

  139. Jo says:

    Thank you for all these lovely free things.
    I have achy muscles, and joints. I know I should stick to this type of diet, but my willpower is zero, I only manage fits and starts. Im addicted after a life-time with mood-fixing cuppa Ts, bikies etc.

    Is there anyone here who would be interested in peer support and an accountability partner?


  140. Marty says:

    Hi Dr Axe
    Some background for you. My girlfriend was recently told she has Lupus. The flare up that led to the diagnosis very nearly killed her. She was in the ICU with fluid in her heart and lungs and kidney problems. She was unable to move and on a ventilator with an extremely high fever. (She was told after the crisis they gave her about a 20% chance of getting out alive on admission). Initially they drained her lungs but could not risk draining the fluid from her heart, she was too weak. Fortunately test results came back in time to confirm she had Lupus and treatment with medication commenced. She stabilized enough to drain the fluid from her lungs and she survived.

    That was about two months ago. Since then she has been taking medicine prescribed by her doctor that has controlled her Lupus symptoms. The doctor reduced dosage of some medicines after the first month and changed some medication. A day after the medication change a nightmare two weeks of mental issues started. Most seriously extreme paranoia, hallucinations memory loss and disorientation. The mental issues were controlled to a degree with drugs. She is now off that medication with just occasional bouts of mild paranoia.

    Physically she is also much improved. On discharge from hospital she could barely walk. She is now walking up to half a mile at a time and doing light exercise and getting frustrated at being stuck inside. Her biggest issues now are hair loss, puffy face, depression, her weight and food. Weight and food are what I need help with. She is very petite, 5’3″ and normally around 90 lbs. On discharge from hospital her weight was 77lbs. It is now around 84lbs.

    Extensive research online indicates a link between Leaky Gut and auto-immune diseases of which Lupus is one. I am encouraging my girlfriend to follow your healing Leaky Gut Healing protocol whilst also following the dietary recommendations of her physician. The physician initially said she could eat only cooked meat or fish and cooked vegetables. That was relaxed after a month to allow fruit.

    Our geographical location make it extremely difficult to get supplements. I was able to track down some Spirulina, and some Vitamins, B Group and C supplemented with Calcium, Magnesium and Zinc. Her physician has prescribed Vitamin D. The nearest health food store is probably in Singapore an hour and a half flight away but locally we are blessed with a wonderful daily farmers market, fresh fruit, vegetables and things often mentioned as healing (fresh coconuts, ginger, tumeric, cinnamon, watermelon) are abundant and cheap.

    The problem is that her medication has a side effect of making her feel hungry. When she is not with me (she spends weekends with her family and children from a previous marriage) she gets stuffed with food. Her family think I am trying to kill her with the Healing Diet and over-feed her with food including meat and fish. This is probably loaded with more anti-biotics and growth hormones even than foods in the States. (We are in South east Asia, there is zero awareness of food issues here other than price). She comes back to me after the weekend bloated, exhausted from lack of sleep and with spots all over her face. I start your protocol and limit portion sizes to approximately fist size. Her skin clears up her bloating goes away and she feels much better and gets a full nights sleep by maybe Wednesday.

    My common sense tells me that if a human stomach is the size of a fist and it is recommended to leave the table 80% full she is overloading her digestive system when she is with her family. That combined with food not on the Healing Diet list will in my opinion make it impossible to heal her Leaky Gut / Lupus.
    I have won her over on the Healing Diet foods list and intend working with the family to try and make them understand that stuffing her full of the wrong foods is hurting her not helping her.

    Your recommendations on portion size and how often foods on the Healing Diet list can be eaten would be much appreciated. My girlfriend gets the Healing Foods bit but portion size (if my common sense is correct) is being lost in translation for her and completely ignored by her family. I am thinking fist size portions maybe five times a day are better than 3 big meals. I want to make sure I am correct before passing out that as a way forward.
    Are there any foods that will make her feel less hungry without stressing her digestive system?

  141. Nichole says:

    Hi Dr. Axe, I have been on Synthroid for Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis for over 25 years. I recently found out through a food sensitivity test that I am severely gluten and dairy intolerant and I have Candida overgrowth at very high level. I didn’t know I had any food allergies since I don’t have any reaction to any food items. I was shocked to find out that I was showing sensitivites to almond, coconut, asparagus, peaches, nuts, fruits. grains, almost all items tested (93 items). Some are showing that I am very slight to moderately sensitive. Shall I eliminate them all from my diet? At what level of sensitivity should I completely avoid from the GAPS diet? If it’s in the slight range is it ok. to keep on the list? Otherwise I have almost nothing to eat! Also my blood test shows Ant- TPO (Thyroperoxidase) level is over 7800, while normal range is 0 to 37. I am very concerned about that whatever that number means. I believe it is the activity level of my immune system’s anti-body within the thyroid is way high.. I take only .5 mg of synthroid and thyroid function T4 and T3 are nornal range according to the blood test. I have been under stress for a quite a long time. Along with Hashimoto’s, I developed Sjorgren’s syndrome and Raynard Syndrome, which was present from the time I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s 25 years ago. I quit working and trying to focus on my health more. I am excited to start GAPS diet immediately. Thank you.

  142. Christy says:

    This is the best article on leaky gut I’ve read. Thank you for putting so much good, understandable, useable information in one place!

  143. Mickie Stacy says:

    I took a two month round of antibiotics 2-1/2 years ago for possible Lyme disease and have had trouble ever since. Lyme was ruled out, but I have diarrhea and an intestinal yeast infection going on and don’t know what to eat. I don’t eat gluten, dairy, soy, corn, eggs and sugar. I do eat grass fed beef etc. I have cut way back on veggies and fruit and am thinking raw food, especially salads, are a problem. I just can’t seem to get rid of the diarrhea and am getting desperate. Can you please suggest something???? I would be most grateful.

  144. Tammy O. says:

    I am refraining from all wheat and gluten…yet I am looking at the ingredients of my “Stomach Ease” tea..it has “organic barley malt” in it. I was refraining from grains…but if it is organic…is this okay? Thanks.

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