Holistic Doctor Online - Holistic Family Practice VA

Digestion and assimilation of nutrients is the key to optimal health

Last week I had a client come in complaining of abdominal pain that lasted throughout the day. They described it as moderate to severe pain that got worse when they ate. Apparently this had been going on for years. But since some days weren’t so bad, and their medical doctor couldn’t find anything wrong, they did their best to push through it and carry on. For them, this meant that on some days, they just wouldn’t eat. At all. It seemed better to go hungry than to suffer from acute pain.  

I hear similar stories from clients all the time. Their complaints are different but in the end, they are all painting the same picture. They know something isn’t right with their digestive tract but can’t figure it out what. They try different things like over the counter medicines, skipping meals, or trying new diets. And when nothing seems to help, they quit trying. If they can’t figure it out, and the tests the doctor ordered all show up normal, they are left to believe there is nothing they can do. And so they do their best to live with it. 

But what if you could do something about your symptoms. Would you try again?

If you’ve been wondering why you experience stomach issues like bloating, gas, abdominal cramps, or constipation or maybe some days you’re in severe pain and running to the bathroom right after you eat, please keep reading. You don’t have to ‘deal with it’ anymore. Stop missing out on life because you feel sick all the time. And don’t buy into the lie that there is no hope. 

Symptoms like these, as well as celiac and gluten allergies, are serious. They’ve all been linked to a condition known as “leaky gut.” Studies have shown that it is not only more common than previously thought, but it is also more harmful.1 It’s time for you to get the help you need. 

What Is Leaky Gut? 

Inside your body, you have an amazingly complex digestion system. For instance, did you know that your body contains approximately 25 feet of intestine which your food has to pass through? Or that your intestinal tract has over 4,000 square feet of surface area that plays a critical role in the absorption of the nutrients? 

When your food passes from the stomach and into the small intestine, enzymes and bacteria in the intestines continue the work of digesting, extracting all the nutrients it can from the food you eat in order to convert it into the energy your body needs. 

When working properly your intestines control what gets absorbed into the bloodstream and what doesn’t. However, when your intestinal tract isn’t working properly or is damaged in some way, molecules of partially digested food, bacteria, and toxins can ‘leak’ through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.2 Once these toxins have ‘leaked out’ they are carried to every system in your body. The impact this has on you and your health is huge! 

Leaky gut is considered the harbinger of ill health and catalyst in the development of many chronic diseases, including food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.3

So what causes damage to the digestive tract?  

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that your digestive tract becomes compromised and damaged from eating “food-like” substances such as GMOs, refined wheat, corn, and processed foods. These and other low-quality foods damage your digestive lining, making your body susceptible to autoimmune conditions as well as a breakdown in your metabolism. 

Eating a poor diet will lead to excessive formation of something called free radicals that then contribute to the formation of toxins. And trust me they are something you don’t want because they set off even more chain reactions on a molecular level that are damaging to your health. And if that doesn’t sound bad enough, they are believed to be causative agents in nearly every disease.4 Combine stress with that and now you have added gasoline on the fire.

Yeah, it’s that bad. So what can you do? 

Treatment For Leaky Gut

Proper diet, digestion, and assimilation of nutrients make up one of the major pillars of health. But even if you make the switch to eating a healthy diet, if your body can’t digest and assimilate that diet, it’s useless. 

Optimal functioning of the intestinal tract requires proper mucosal integrity (a healthy lining) and a balanced microflora (healthy bacteria) which can only flourish if you eat balanced meals filled with high-quality nutrients.5

The most common treatment approach is to begin with a thorough review of your diet. From here you can begin to eliminate known dietary causes of inflammation, such as excessive consumption of alcohol and processed foods, and to explore whether you have any food sensitivities; for instance, to gluten or dairy.6 Eliminating foods that cause inflammation helps your body begin to rebuild the intestinal lining which is what prevents further leakage through the intestinal wall. That’s great news for everyone who suffers from leaky gut symptoms!

leaky gut

4 Practical Tips To Heal From Leaky Gut Syndrome

  1. Keep a daily food journal. Start writing down what you eat and drink. You can use an actual journal, small notebook or you can keep track on your computer or smartphone. The method doesn’t matter as long as you are keeping track of the date, what you had to eat and drink, and how your body feels. This will become a valuable source of information. It will reveal exactly what causes your symptoms. Which means no more guessing. It also helps you to become mindful of how your body feels when you eat certain foods. 
  1. Start to eat more high-quality foods like fresh, whole fruits and veggies, meat, fish, and healthy fats. Begin to cut back on processed foods of all kinds. If you struggle with this, you can start slow. Remove one unhealthy food item a day. But be sure to replace it with a healthy alternative. 
  1. Drink plenty of water. Chances are you’re dehydrated. Most people are and don’t even know it. If you’re not sure how much you should drink, check out this link for a water consumption calculator. It’s fast and easy. 
  1. Get help from a pro. Talk to your naturopath about your symptoms today. There are so many options, non-drug treatments, and advanced laboratory testing available to determine causes.

There is hope. You can restore balance to your gut microbiome. 

We are here to help you. Call today and schedule a consultation.


1.  “Human gut-in-a-dish model helps define ‘leaky gut,’ and ….” 10 Feb. 2020, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200210095316.htm. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

2.  “Toxins From the Gut – NCBI.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566437/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

3.  “Integrative medicine and leaky gut syndrome – In Medpharm.” https://medpharm.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20786204.2010.10873997. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

4.  “Leaky Gut Syndrome, Dysbiosis, Ama, Free Radicals, and ….” http://www.ayujournal.org/article.asp?issn=0974-8520;year=2009;volume=30;issue=2;spage=88;epage=105;aulast=Sharma;type=0. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

5.  “The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human ….” 24 Dec. 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303825/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

6.  “Putting a stop to leaky gut – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard ….” 21 Nov. 2018, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/putting-a-stop-to-leaky-gut-2018111815289. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.