How long did it take you to heal your leaky gut?

by 594 · January 27, 2014 2:47 AM

  1. How long did it take you to heal?
  2. What foods did you avoid?
  3. What foods did you make sure to include?
  4. What supplements did you take and how effective do you think they were?

I've been reading up on this and there is a lot of conflicting advice so I'd love to hear from people who have fixed the problem. Sweet potatoes and greek yogurt were two foods that I notice appearing on lists of recommended foods and list of foods to avoid. Any thoughts on these? Also if anyone has anything to say about FODMAPs and leaky gut I'd be interested to hear.

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23 Replies

353 · April 05, 2012 2:38 PM

  1. 3-4 months for me but I do not consider myself fully cured as few alcoholic drinks take me to day 1

  2. Think of two cathegories A foods that promote gut permeability (alcohol, coffee, wheat lectins, milk) B foods that take advantage of the permeable gut, cross the intestinal wall and cause immune reaction (gluten, lactose,fructose) Some foods contain both (wheat, beer) for those it is easier to see reaction immediately

  3. saturated fat downregulates the intestinal inflamatory response, bone broth, vitamin D (sunshine),lots of water (dehydration triggers intestinal permeability). No commercial supplements worked for me, had reaction to the filling agents in the pills in most of them.

7185 · December 09, 2011 at 11:21 PM

  1. I've been primal/paleo for 5 months, still not healed.
  2. At first I just avoided grains and legumes. Then over the months I removed dairy, nightshades, nuts, pork, zucchini, and caffeine. The pork and zucchini are because my sister has allergies to those foods.
  3. I focus on grass-fed beef, broth, leafy greens, organ meats, homemade sauerkraut, and kombucha.
  4. I take Natural Calm. For a while at first I took fermented cod liver oil. I've also had rounds of NOW foods super enzymes, and breast-D. So far I don't really notice much difference with any of them except maybe the Natural Calm.

My experience has been a process, for sure. I think the main reason I struggle is because I have celiac disease, and apparently some other food allergies in there as well. It's been a struggle to learn what foods have trace amounts of gluten (tea, vinegars, etc) where you wouldn't expect it. I'm getting better at it, but still not there, yet.

I've heard 6 months pretty often for the length of time it takes to heal a damaged gut. I've also heard that about a year or two after going gluten-free, celiacs are able to add back some of the foods that had previously bothered them.

215 · December 11, 2012 5:54 PM

How do you know if your leaky gut is healed?

32175 · December 10, 2011 3:46 PM

It took about 3 months for me. I came from 2 years of WAP eating, so it was really just eliminating grains & legumes at that point.

I avoided all gluten. No cheats ever. I'm gluten intolerant, but not celiac.

I had kefir and/or kombucha daily.

I took 8,000 IUs of Vit D3, 1000 mg Omega 3 and 400 mg Mag Citrate at the time. I now take 50 mg Zinc Picolinate and 400 IU Vitamin E, in addition.

My digestion normalized in 2.5 weeks after dropping gluten. My chronic eczema was the remaining symptom that took 3 months to disappear.

I now avoid most FODMAPS or only eat them in small quantities (which I handle fine.) I would get gas & bloating when eating them, but no leaky gut symptoms, as far as I can tell.

21258 · April 11, 2012 5:29 PM

A lot of long-term Paleos on here report after 8-mos or so on Paleo, being able to eat moderate amounts of non-paleo foods (in absence of health conditions like allergies or coeliac). I would say that's my Un-SWAG (un-scientific wild ass guess) on the matter. I've eaten non-gluten-containing grains (corn and rice) recently without any major inflammatory response. If I eat large amounts of starches though, all bets are off... so there may still be some gut permeability and sensitivity issues.

Lactose still seems to affect me poorly, as does gluten, which indicates to me my issues are not 100% gut related.

All in all, I think it mostly would be the level of damage you have to heal - there wouldn't be a set time as we are all individuals with differing levels of damage, from almost-nil to knocking on Heaven's door.

535 · December 10, 2011 9:44 PM

Interesting questions. Can't say I have any answers but perhaps some perspectives: (1) does the gut ever truly 'heal'? In coeliac (sorry, celiac) disease, the permeability issues are said to still remain to some extent. Bear in mind also that 'leaky' is probably not the best description, rather 'hyper-permeability': http://questioning-answers.blogspot.com/2011/02/leaky-gut-and-autism.html (2) As per the coeliac example, gluten is in the frame but that does not necessarily mean that gluten per se is the causative agent. Yes, could be those pesky epitopes but certain gut bacteria might also be in the frame: http://questioning-answers.blogspot.com/2011/08/battling-clostridia-difficile.html (3) speak to a registered dietitian! (4) L-glutamine is supposed to be one of the 'foods of the gut'. There is some evidence for some effect on permeability: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21463215

20 · January 16, 2013 4:22 AM

my Naturopathic doctor did a Cyrex lab blood test to discover what foods have an antigen reaction like gluten. I was gluten intolerant for 7 years, but just started having symptoms as if I were eating gluten even though I was 100% certain that I wasn't. The test came back: eggs, dairy, corn, soy, rice, coffee, alcohol. I have chosen to eliminate nuts and nightshades as well. 2 months into eating a diet that I see some people call autoimmune paleo protocol. It's essentially nut free/dairy free/egg free Paleo. Bone broth and lots of fermented foods (making my own now, even coconut yogurt), probiotic pill every morning, a powder mix with slipper elm bark, glutamine, etc., magnesium, calcium, vit. D (5000mg), a high quality women's multi vitamin. Did very little fruit at first to get rid of systemic yeast (nausea came flaming back with any type of sugar the first month) and any parasites. Also taking caprylic acid for those beasties. I will NEVER go back to how I was eating. My migraines are gone, my hormones are balanced, I've lost 10 lbs., I'm calm calm calm as if I were doing yoga all day and I'm not. There is a tremendous balance and energy radiating from my core. I don't know how else to describe this healing. I feel 20 years younger. Miss coffee so so so much, but love yerba matte with coconut creamer. Miss wine, but will never have it again I don't think. I have a vitality I don't ever remember having. So that's the long answer. The short answer is that my pain is 25% gone (sm. intestine) and digestion still slow, but I know in 6-12 months it will be gone forever. Don't need to ever start eating the offending food again. Ever.

24412 · July 16, 2012 8:20 PM

I'm not sure how "far gone" I was when I did this experiment, but years of on and off "paleo" in its own right didn't seem to heal my gut.

After 2 weeks of bone broth every morning, I was able to meet friends for pizza without any painful intestinal fallout the next day.

0 · October 10, 2013 6:56 AM

(This is pretty long so skip if you have no intentions to read it all. Just back story relating to my gulten intolerance and to my current state of my leaky gut.)

I've had a gluten Intolerance for at least 6 months that I know of. It started with me having all sorts of stomach issues. From gas to chest pains and lower UI track pains. I'd have constant diarrhea. It was all from a bad food habit. I was killing my self drinking all that soda and chips. After a few years of this diet, was the result of my current issues. I went in to the ER because a lot of my problems were relating to an ulcer. Which i still believe I have. I don't have health insurance so a lot of what i know ,I'd do research about. The doctor was use less and said I might have one. But was trying to say I have an acid reflux disease and was trying to give me anticids for it. I had to see a lower GI track doctor to do anything about this ulcer if i had one. I can't afford to. So it was hopeless. Two days after my ER visit. Is when things went a turn for the worse in the long run for me. I eat a sandwich and hrs later. I started having this really bad vibration. I felt it over my whole body almost. At my feet the most.

I was so worried I was going a little crazy. For weeks it wouldn't let up and I wasn't sure what was the cause. I knew research I done about gluten lead to one probably reason why I'm having it. But their was little to almost no information on the internet. That related enough to my problems to give me a good answer. Shortly after this point. I realized a lot of other unrelated issues I had. Showed signs that I have IBS. Bad diet=IBS=gluten intolerance=leaky gut. After I totally changed my diet 100% gluten free, as i was also on an ulcer diet. My vibrations totally went away after a month or so. I still had my feet vibrations when ever I made a mistake. Eating foods that i believed had gluten in them, even tho i really believed they didn't. At this point I found out. Soy was linked with gluten and I was problem getting cross reactions. I went over all the products I'd eaten before that effected me. And they all had soy. The only ways I could tell if something effected me. Was by getting constant a foot vibration. That'd last about a few days before going away completely. Itching and maybe getting a small red rash/dot on my hands was another sigh. Their were many times i believed i wasn't gluten Intolerance because. I eat it to see if i felt bad or any other sighs. And nothing would happen. Just the vibrating from before. I was going crazy over the constant vibrating after going off my ulcer diet 2 months later. That i totally went gluten/soy free. To my best hopes. Everything got better. Almost all my problems I had months before were. Totally gone, even the vibrations.

I kept this up for almost 2 months in till i got my leaky gut. I haven't gone to a doctor about it. But i know i have it, I'm 100% sure. After those 2 months. I thought, maybe all my problems or most. Were related to maybe an ulcer or IBS. Because I didn't feel bad before eating gluten. You always hear stories of people feeling really bad. Having bad reactions. That I really believed I had other issues. I thought, if I'm going to eat gluten again. So that if i do react, I might as well eat something nice. So i ordered a pizza and had at it. Minutes later, i get this terrible pain in my gut. I start to get itching in my hands. After a few hrs. I get the vibrations in my feet again. I never considered getting a leaky gut. I always thought if you eat gluten. You were already damaging your self. Thus having a leaky gut. But all the sighs of leaky gut started poring out the next day after that meal. I didn't know i had a leaky gut after a day or two later. Because by the next day. I'd react to milk, a simple banana. I've tried to do as much research as possible to help fix this. But simple products like pepper i react to. I'll even react to fish, i use salt with almost all my meals. So I'm worried at this point Its the main cause of my reactions. I try to eat simple chicken with grape seed oil. I'll react to that. I've tried apple cider its no good, I react to it aswel. List of other foods as well like. Ground beef, fish, chicken, omega pills, probiotic pills, pickles, cucumbers, rice, potatoes, other oils like canola which i know is linked to soy. I use onions, tomatoes and carrots a lot in my diet. So I'm not sure whats totally effecting me. I also have this candida problem the day after the sings of leaky gut. So I'm staying away from all fruits. I've even reacted to lemons/grapefruit with candida. So I don't touch those anymore. I've started drinking camomile to help with filling in some drinks in my diet. I've started to react to that so i just stopped using that.

I'm pretty much going crazy at this point. For the last week. I've only eaten one cucumber a day. I've lost 60 bls since 6 months ago of my problems. I really think it's going to end up killing me. I wished i never eat that gluten. I don't drink/smoke/do drungs/ rarely take pills for anything/ I work out almost everyday. The only part i strewed my self over in life. Is a crappy diet. I fixed that 6 months ago but I can't go back at this point. I'm 21 and really keep telling my self it'll get better. I can't say it will. Becuase i feel like every day i'm only building new Intolerance's. This issue started a little over a month ago. I only wish it'll get better and I'll stop reacting to foods. Which i hope is an indicator my gut is starting to heal up. The only way I know if i react to foods. Is by getting an itch on my hands which lasts for about a minute after 5-15 minutes after eating something. If its worse, I'll get a rash. The vibrations haven't gone away yet. So that another indicator. I'd normally react hrs later after eating foods. But that doesn't happen anymore really. Just the itching on my hands. How is one to heal their gut if they react to everything that helps. I guess I could drink just water for a few weeks and die of starvation. My gut can't be that damaged, this was the first time i showed real symptoms after eating gluten. I did eat half a pizza box, so maybe it did do a lot of damage.

1090 · August 13, 2013 6:27 AM

remove allergic foods i.e. eggs/dairy Most importantly, stop eating fiber, read FIBER MENACE. you'll have a hard time healing leaky gut if you keep eating fibrous vegetables, beans/legumes, fruits and grains. most ppl don't think about the vegetables part and keep partaking in big salads which are hurting them

0 · July 03, 2013 6:45 PM

Took me about a month. I'm 100% cured. I used to get serious inflammation with alcohol and now I don't even notice it. I followed the protocol below.

The Resistant Starch Diet: The Most Effective Diet for Weight Loss, Insulin Resistance and Optimum Health http://selfhacked.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/the-resistant-starch-diet-the-most-effective-diet-for-weight-loss/

The Causes and Cures for Brain Fog. http://selfhacked.wordpress.com/2013/06/15/the-cause-of-brain-fog/

0 · July 01, 2013 1:52 AM

I am in my sixth week, a little more energy but still have a long way to go to completely heal. I have fatigue, muscle and joint pain. I may have parasites. I have two doctors running blood and stool tests.

I take probiotic at night. I wake up with glass of warm water, lemon juice. Ad B-12 lozenge. Small bowl of pineapple, mango and papaya for enzymes. 15 minute walk. Huge breakfast: grass-fed beef, quinoa, lentils, salad, veggies. Supplements: monolaurin, and herbal antibiotics (with berberine) Lunch: veggie bowl w/ coconut oil and apple cider vinegar dressing. B-100. Nuts and seeds for snacks. Supper: veggie bowl, bowl of steamed peas. Supplements above again. Bedtime: Vitamin D w/ magnesium and calcium and probiotic.

I have been suffering from CDs for 5 years or more, I expect 3-6 months to heal. Going to doctors for test exults in one month.

0 · March 27, 2013 6:36 PM

I went gluten free 19 months ago and over time have had around 30 conditions/symptoms disappear or minimize. I have also become intolerant to soy, dairy and peanuts. I now avoid all legumes and can tolerate dairy if I take lactase.

0 · February 02, 2013 at 10:34 AM

I've been paleo for 7 months and I'm thinking I need to do the autoimmune protocol. Eggs bloat me and give me gas though I found if I only eat the yolk, that doesn't happen. I don't have that big of a reaction to dairy but I've eliminated it, as well as gluten, like you're supposed to. 2 weeks off gluten and I felt alive again. I know I have an intolerance, possibly celiacs, but this intolerance can explain the leaky gut I've had a good portion of my life. I know 100% that I have a leaky gut because if I eat or drink anything with gluten or dairy in it, my daughter, who I breastfeed, breaks out in an eczema rash on her face. This means the gluten and dairy proteins are still making it into my bloodstream.. After 7 months even, so even though people are saying they are cured after 2 weeks, I highly doubt it, you may feel better after two weeks but I don't think you cured yourself. I do still eat bell peppers, along with potatoes occasionally. I have yet to commit to the autoimmune protocol 100% because I'm breast feeding and I don't want my supply to drop. The sad thing about all this is that my daughter inherited all my bad gut flora and leaky gut, as all babies inherit from their mothers. Now we have to work on correcting her issues and pray they work. After going paleo, researching wheat and dairy, I never want to go back to consuming either. Processed wheat is like poison to everyone and stop people from absorbing nutrients, and if you develop leaky guy from it, it can turn on your genes to create autoimmune diseases, for me it's hyperthyroidism. Also dairy TODAY, pasteurized or not, is not good for you. 80% of milk cows in the U.S. have bovine leukemia. Which probably explains why the top three states that consume dairy in the U.S. also have the highest rates of leukemia among humans. All milk is combined before its processed by the way. So what happens if they pasteurization does not kill all the virus? Why would you want to consume dead cow cells from pasteurization anyway? And if you are drinking raw milk, I hope you know 100% that the cows you are getting your milk from don't carry the leukemia virus. Anyway I'm done with my rant, good luck in healing everyone.

0 · January 16, 2013 2:13 AM

Raw milk from grass fed A2 cows and raw milk from grass fed kefir has helped me tremendously. I have been GF for 5 yrs and I am celiac, severely celiac, and get sick often just from contact with things I don't even know I am allergic to. I never cc myself ever! I didn't start to heal up until I started on the raw milk and the kefir from grass fed cows. I eat ONLY organically and no processed or very little processed foods...I can't handle preservatives or sulfites and am allergic to wheat, gluten, soy, yeast, eggs, sugars, sulfites, and alot of medications and things like that. I am getting stronger all the time and am finally strong enough to start working out as this disease ate away alot of my muscle mass...getting stronger all the time and my muscles are coming back even though the Drs said they wouldn't. Taking it very slow with my muscles as they were in shreds from the muscle wasting. I stopped all sugars, preservatives, dyes, all that stuff...I"m soooo careful what I touch, what I breathe, and what I eat.

0 · December 29, 2012 3:27 AM

So are eggs bad? Im finding this diet so so hard! And not drinking is a killer!!

5584 · December 11, 2012 6:40 PM

i started paleo 4 months ago and am still pretty sick. will be starting humira soon for ulcerative colitis since it doesn't seem diet/supplements are doing the trick. still have so much bleeding even on the autoimmune protocol ( no starches).

0 · December 11, 2012 3:05 PM

It's been trial and error with me, a lot of adding and removing! Eggs and nuts make me violently ill for 4 hours after I would eat either one! I am a sensitive celiac and my small intestines were nearly destroyed! At this point my diet consist of 3 pounds of grass fed beef a day, which I buy right off a farm, FAGE plain Greek yogurt, Raw honey,bandannas, and a cup of bone broth twice a day! Supplements include, chelated magnesium, b12, D3, E, C And most importantly I take serrapeptase 240k units a day for inflammation! At this point going on 3 months and have no more nausea, feeling much better, even psoriasis and eczema on legs is healing! Any questions feel free to inbox me trytobecool23@yahoo.com

298 · July 16, 2012 5:34 PM

I'm not sure about total gut healing, and I didn't have Crohn's or anything, but I have had loose stools for several years and they went away a few days after I dropped grains. DAYS, I tell you. It took a week or so for other symptoms to disappear.

I've been eating mostly paleo for about a year now.

0 · July 16, 2012 3:10 PM

i do scd/paleo...had mild crohns and leaky gut/candida issues.

once i quite all dairy and eggs...symptoms went away within 3 weeks. feel great. lglutamine and probiotics are key! i also cut all fruit and nuts out

37013 · April 05, 2012 6:36 PM

After one month, many chronic symptoms were gone but my gut was not healed and I was still craving junk food 4 months in. At about 5 months in, I started drinking water kefir and that seems to be when true healing occurred. At the 6-month point I was nearly healed although still reacting badly to wheat. At 10 months even wheat didn't trigger symptoms but I don't plan to abuse that.

So, I'd say I needed the probiotic water kefir to heal at all but with it I healed in a few months.

2492 · April 05, 2012 3:52 PM

I'm a FODMAP/fructose sensitive person, and it's a bummer, but also great information. I've learned that legumes, coconut milk, onions, and fruit are not my friends. By removing fruit (even grapefruit, such a bummer!) and onions, I've started to feel better. Ive also added dairy and water kefir to my diet, and, while I'm healing, I've been going easy on the fat. I know it's heresy in the paleo community,but I find that when my gut is irritated, fat does not sit well. So I'm trying to heal the gut before adding the questionable foods back in.

i think it also depends a little on what you're willing to give up. For instance, I still use a little bit of leeks or onions, because my food tastes terrible without it to me. I still drink Diet Coke (I know, awful), and I still use soy sauce sometimes, though less. It's possible that I would have healed more quickly if I had all bad stuff out.

As a side note, I believe sleeping well also helps, though I don't know if that's a proven fact or just my own anecdotal experience.

77338 · April 11, 2012 2:38 PM

I am currently in treatment for this condition now. It is a really confusing process. I actually went on a very specific food/diet program based on a blood test. I always have been gluten and dairy intolerant, but giving up black tea and caffeine is impossible. I am also working with a chiropractor/nutritionist who uses muscle testing, and chooses very specific supplements for me. I had other health problems as a result of mold exposure and stress, and this, in conjunction with hormone problems, created chaos in my body. I think everyone is different in terms of how they heal, and I would recommend muscle testing/bioenergetic structural alignment, as well as a food program specific for your body. By the way, for the person on Paleo, I was on Paleo for years. The products are good but often have junk in their packaging. There is another, more natural line called Standard Process that is much safer for your body. It takes a skilled practitioner to use them, and they also cost a lot less money than Paleo.

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