What Causes Leaky Gut?

What Causes Leaky Gut

We can break the cause of leaky gut down to 4 main causes:

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

Today’s diet consists of too much gluten (un-sprouted grains), conventional dairy, soy, corn, sugar and eggs. Too many are eating non-organic and GMO forms of these foods leading to high toxicity levels and even more internal inflammation of the gut. The most common cause of leaky gut are proteins found in these foods which damage the intestinal lining.

Phylates and lectins, or nutrient blockers, are found in un-sprouted grains in large quantities. Lectins are good for plants but not for people. Lectins are sugar-binding proteins that protect plants from things like mold and parasites. When lectins bind to our intestinal walls it causes damage to the gut and causes inflammation.

The best way to consume grains is to eat sprouted and fermented grains. Sprouting and fermenting grains reduces phylates and lectins making it easier to digest.



GMO’s and something called “hybrid” foods tend to contain the highest levels of lectins since they’ve modified the DNA to fight bugs. (Although bugs are becoming resistant to those creating Super Bugs. Scary!)

Stay away from Gluten. Gluten will damage the lining of your intestine which will result in leaky gut. While working to heal your gut please say no to gluten! Gluten is most commonly found in wheat but there are many sneaky ways the food industry sneaks it into and even your supplements today.

hidden sources of gluten

Click here to download Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List PDF


Conventional Cows Milk can also cause leaky gut. This milk is pasteurized which means it’s heated to a temperature so high it kills even the good enzymes that would normally break down lactose (a sugar). This is why so many can’t drink or eat foods with dairy today. Conventional cows milk also contains a protein called A1 Casein which will harm your gut. Unless you’re getting dairy raw from A2 sources it’s not recommended. A2 sources include raw cows, buffalo, goat, or sheep.

Sugar is another one 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.

There are other factors also. I’ll cover three more.

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.  See my 10 Ways to Manage Stress for ways to reduce chronic stress in your life.

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.  Start reducing your toxins today by using a high-quality water filter to eliminate chlorine and fluoride and turn to natural plant-based herbs to reduce inflammation in your body like cilantro. Cilantro naturally draws metals out of your body and allows them to exit via your urine. Amazing how God gave us everything we need to live well and heal through wonderful foods like cilantro and others.

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.

Thanks for hanging in there through these somewhat technical details. What causes leaky gut is very technical and it took some time to break this down a little. I hope you find this information helpful and useful to you on your journey to healing and wellness. Stay tuned for steps to healing Leaky Gut Syndrome along with some recipes!