Does Gluten Contribute to Leaky Gut?

By Tracy Gowler 6 years ago
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Both Leaky Gut and Gluten are getting a lot of press these days in the functional medicine community.

The term Leaky Gut is not recognized by the medical community. The proper term is actually Intestinal Permeability.  The correlation between gut health and illness isn’t really respected in the medical community either.  Sadly.

What is Leaky Gut? 

This is when the lining of your small intestines have been compromised.  The lining is responsible for a couple of things.

  1. Nutrient absorption from the food that we eat
  2. Keeping foreign particles like toxins, larger particles of food, etc out of the blood stream.

When the gut is Leaky, both of these functions are compromised.

It has been estimated that up to 80% of the US population has some degree of Leaky Gut.  What does this mean.  Well, it means an epidemic is here, we just haven’t realized the full effects of it yet but it is definitely here.  This is an entirely different blog so back to topic.

The gut is also responsible for our immune systems, so if our gut isn’t working properly, it means our immune system is also compromised.  Hence the reason illness starts in the gut.

How does Leaky Gut happen?

There are many factors that can cause leaky gut. They all add to the inflammation in the body and the break down of the lining in the gut.

When this starts to happen, the body becomes depleted of nutrients and with the tight junctions being damaged food and toxins are entering the blood stream in a way that they should not be, creating an over active immune system, more inflammation, symptoms, compromising of the blood brain barrier, etc.

Disease starts to set in and you become another statistic.!!!

So, what are the factors that contribute to leaky gut? 

Environmental toxins


Food sensitivities


Chemical toxins


Yes, I did say Gluten.  And we arrive at the second topic of our blog this week.

How does Gluten play into leaky gut?

When your body needs to detox, it releases a chemical called zonulin to open up the tight junctions in your small intestinal lining and allows the body to eliminate the bad stuff.

Working as it is supposed to, the body is a wonderful miracle but, we have done an extreme number on our bodies with processed foods, fast foods, chemicals for crops, pollutions, stress because of our current lifestyles etc.

The lining of our guts is already weakened and then comes Gluten.

Gluten promotes the release of zonulin in the body.  The body is no longer controlling the opening of the tight junctions, gluten is and this is bad.  And if you are eating wheat products on a daily basis, your tight junctions are being constantly compromised and opened allowing all the bad stuff to move through the protective lining and be absorbed into your bloodstream.

If it doesn’t quite make sense to you yet, let me explain a little further.

With the immune system now on fire constantly, our body becomes more inflamed.

Food sensitivities develop if they haven’t already.  If they already have, even more foods will become an issue.

Depression and anxiety issues can develop because the body can no longer produce the levels of serotonin needed.  The majority of serotonin is made in your gut by the way.

Melatonin production is also in the gut, so that becomes compromised and sleep is now an issue.

And, disease sets in.  It is inevitable.  Your body is no longer functioning properly. 

Gluten may or may not be the singular trigger for you in leaky but, it definitely contributes and as long as you are consuming wheat, you cannot heal.

Oh, by the way, gluten is in many skin care products as well.  I know, WTF, but it’s true and if you are looking to eliminate gluten, you should clean up your skin care products too.

I’ve given you a lot to think about.  Of course my goal is to have the entire country gluten free but I’ll start with you.

I know, you love your bread.  But, give it a break for 30 days and see you feel.  It might be amazing.

Thanks as always for letting me share my knowledge and my rants.  Have a great rest of your week.


  Gluten, Health, Tracy's Corner
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 Tracy Gowler

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