Leaky Gut Culprits

Painful Legs begin with Leaky Gut Culprits.

Leaky gut is essentially like having the gates broken from your intestines to your bloodstream; can you imagine what happens to all the undigested “stuff” in your intestines that move through the open gates in your intestine walls.

Your gut has a surface area of a 4-bedroom house, with a 2-car garage! The gut is where your body comes into greatest contact with the outside world. Your gut houses 70% of all your immune cells, making up most of all lymphoid tissues in the body. Lymphoid tissue makes up the system responsible for ridding the body of toxins, waste, and other types of unwanted matter.

So, you can probably guess that things like gas, constipation, regular diarrhoea, and bloating could be related to your gut. Did you also know that some other symptoms might stem from your gut health as well? Things like:

  • Painful legs, bones and joints
  • Food Allergies
  • Fatigue and a Sluggish Immune System
  • Rashes
  • And more that we will talk about.


The intestines, which are a part of your digestive tract, are lined with a mucus-like intestinal barrier. It’s like a screen or a net. And it has lots of tiny holes all over it. These holes serve as protection allowing only certain substances to pass through. Bigger, unwanted particles are kept out.

When you experience Leaky Gut, the holes in your net have been forced open by either lectins, gluten or similar unwanted guys. This is bad, because all the particles the net is meant to filter away, are now able to pass through where they shouldn’t. You can imagine how hectic this becomes for your body; things like viruses or undigested food, waste, and bad gut bacteria can literally leak from inside your intestines, through the net, and into your bloodstream. This can, in the short term, end up causing strange reactions that feel like they’re coming out of the blue, including headaches, rashes, bloating, fatigue, food allergies, and inflammation. But also, so much more in the longer term.


Increased intestinal permeability can be a bit mysterious. Here are some possible leaky gut symptoms that could indicate you’ve got it.


Leaky Gut “holes” in the net or lining of your gut are referred to as “tight junctions.” When they grow in size, as I have mentioned, they allow undigested food proteins and fats from the food you’re trying to digest to pass through the digestive tract and into the bloodstream. These substances can cause allergic responses or food sensitivities. The allergic reactions can then result in varying symptoms like rashes, certain skin conditions, or gastrointestinal health issues. Certain nutritional deficiencies could be a result of a damaged intestinal lining. It turns out that the intestinal lining of the small intestine isn’t just an “intestinal wall.” It’s made up of a bunch of tiny, finger-like parts responsible for absorbing those essential nutrients. When they get damaged, they can’t do their job, and your body suffers unable to absorb the nutrients your body needs from the food you eat.


When foreign food particles infiltrate your small intestine and its intestinal lining, your gut is forced to fight against harmful toxins. The stomach has its own brain and is smart. And so is your immune system which is waiting on the other side of the gut’s lining. So, they both fire off their defences. This defensive process can cause blood inflammation, a key leaky gut symptom. Besides, the process of protecting your body from foreign particles can make your body tired, slowing down your immune system and causing all sorts of other issues. The more toxins that enter the bloodstream, the more your immune system must defend your body, and the more fatigued you’ll feel.

  1. Painful Legs and Joint Pain

Leaky Gut triggers the immune system to get defensive about blocking unwanted materials from invading the intestinal wall and therefore the bloodstream. How your immune system tries to help you is inflammation. That’s right, your body actually causes inflammation around a wound or the site of an infection, because it’s trying to heal the issue. The problem is, inflammation isn’t comfortable. And, if it goes on too long, it’s not healthy, either. Because Leaky Gut results in increased blood inflammation; and if you have a predisposition to inflammation in your joints, this will result in worsening of your painful legs and joints.


Your gut flora is directly linked to your immune system and is responsible for getting rid of most of the things which can make you feel sick or in pain. Your skin, on the other hand, is your body’s largest eliminative organ. So, of course, it’s affected when toxins make their way into your bloodstream. A rash or even more persistent skin issues can be a sign your body is trying with all it’s might to shed these harmful toxins. Your body is doing its best to get rid of the problem, but it can’t always help but expose the unsightly and annoying side effects of Leaky Gut in your skin. So, if you see dry, flaky or bumpy areas, it might just be another sign that Leaky Gut has started to take its toll on your body.


Finally, your stomach might also give you a clue that you’re experiencing Leaky Gut Syndrome directly. Symptoms like constipation, regular diarrhoea, gas, and bloating are loud and clear indications that you might be dealing with Leaky Gut.


All hope is not lost. If you think you might suffer from leaky gut, and nearly everyone suffering from Painful legs does, there are things you can do to help heal leaky gut.

First, you can eliminate the foods in your diet that are currently causing harm to your gut flora. Then, eat a “Leaky Gut” diet to repair the holes in your gut, and at the same time, your mitochondria and endocannabinoids will benefit.

Read my article about what to avoid and what to do, to repair the gut.

In addition to the above foods, you want to do your best to include these foods:

  • Ginger
  • Turmeric
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Wild-Caught Fish
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Coconut oil
  • Bone Broth
  • Gluten-free foods

Finally, make sure to start adding more probiotics into your diet.

These can be in the form of supplements, or they can be fermented foods (like yoghurt, kombucha, sauerkraut, or tempeh) that are packed with “good gut bacteria” and support good digestive health. The good bacteria found in probiotics can be your greatest defence against illness and stomach upsets. You can also eat prebiotic foods which contain fibres that help to feed your good probiotic bacteria.

For what it’s worth, your body was built to defend itself against all sorts of possible dangers. And with a little help from you, it can clear up a lot of distressing health issues. So, be proactive. Make quick changes to your lifestyle. You’ll feel better physically, and you’ll likely be happy that you’re finally in control.

One of the other things that are getting scarier and scarier is, not only is it against the law to spray pesticides on organic vegetables, but organic vegetables are not going to have any of the biocides and herbicides, like Roundup. But do you know it’s perfectly legal to weed kill with Roundup around ordinary vegetables, around wheat, around soybean, around flax seeds, around canola, around everything non-organic, and even around wine-grapevines? This is one of the most poisonous chemicals known to man. Roundup was patented as an antibiotic, not as a weed killer.

Now, think about that for a second. What does antibiotic mean? It means it kills living things. Antibiotics kill bacteria, so what nobody knew, because Monsanto didn’t tell anybody, is that Roundup, glyphosate, kills your intestinal bacteria, as if you were swallowing antibiotics. What’s even scarier is MIT researchers have now proven that glyphosate is a direct cause of leaky gut. You’ve heard me say over and over again that I think almost all disease are at their basis from leaky gut started with lectins, gluten and poisons in our meat and vegetables.

The 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 like Painful legs and joints, cancer, diabetes and heart events. According to research, the cause of your food allergies, low energy, painful legs, joint pain, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions and slow metabolism is a leaky gut progression, and If left un-repaired, it can lead to more severe health issues like:

  • inflammatory bowel disease,
  • arthritis,
  • eczema,
  • psoriasis,
  • depression,
  • anxiety,
  • migraine headaches,
  • muscle pain
  • chronic fatigue.

According to the Journal of Diabetes, there is a substantial body of evidence pointing to the leaky gut syndrome as a major cause of autoimmune diseases, including diabetes. Another monumental problem with leaky gut is that it can cause malabsorption of vital minerals and nutrients, including zinc, iron and vitamin B12.

Lectins and Foods that Cause Leaky Gut.

Lectins are found in many foods, not just grains, and consumed in smaller amounts which you cannot avoid; your body will do just fine with them. But foods that have large numbers of lectins are more problematic. Some of the lectins and foods causing leaky gut include:

  • whole wheat bread,
  • wheat,
  • brown rice,
  • spelt,
  • kidney beans,
  • peanuts
  • all the nightshades like tomatoes, bell peppers, potatoes (unless resistant starch) and others,
  • all GMO foods
  • and soy, to mention the worst offenders.

Sprouting and fermenting the above foods reduces phytates and lectins, making these foods easier to digest, but not at the start of treatment. GMO and hybridised foods tend to be the highest in lectins since they have been modified to fight off bugs. Also, whole gluten-containing grains may cut holes through your intestinal lining and cause leaky gut problems. Once your gut is healthy, you can add back grains that have been fermented and sprouted to eat occasionally to gain the benefits of those foods.

Conventional “A1” cow’s 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 pasteurisation process will destroy vital enzymes, making sugars like lactose very difficult to digest. For this reason, I only recommend buying raw dairy and from A2 cows; goats, sheep and buffalo.

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

The Leaky Gut Solution.

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

  • REMOVE foods and factors that damage the gut – see the list above.
  • REPLACE with healing foods – see my solution below.
  • REPAIR with specific supplements like Aruca and Alpha.
  • REBALANCE with probiotics like sauerkraut, Kombucha and yoghurt with live cultures.

This is the protocol I am using that is helping me see incredible results.

Here is the leaky gut diet food list:

  1. Bone Broth — bone broth contains collagen and the amino acids proline and glycine that can help heal your damaged cell walls. I had previously done a bone broth fast for three days to help heal leaky gut and autoimmune disease. If you eat it with vegetables, only use cauliflower, cabbage, beetroot and broccoli.
  2. Raw Cultured Dairy — contains both probiotics and short-chain fatty acids that can help heal the gut. Pastured kefir, yoghurt, amasai, butter and raw cheese are some of the best probiotic foods.
  3. Fermented Vegetables — contain organic acids that balance intestinal pH and probiotics to support the gut. Sauerkraut, kimchi and kvass are excellent sources.
  4. Coconut Products — all coconut products are especially useful for your gut. The medium-chain fatty acids in coconut are more accessible to digest than other fats, so they work well for leaky gut. Also, coconut kefir contains probiotics that support your digestive system.
  5. Sprouted Seeds — chia seeds, flaxseeds and especially hemp seeds that have been sprouted are excellent sources of fibre and omega that can help support the growth of beneficial bacteria. But if you have severe leaky gut, you may need to start out getting your fibre from steamed vegetables.
  6. Healthy fats — consuming healthy fats like egg yolks, avocados, ghee, olive oil, butter and coconut oil are easy on the gut and promote healing.
  7. Omega-3 Fats — anti-inflammatory foods like grass-fed beef & lamb, and wild-caught fish like salmon and sardines benefit a damaged gut.
  8. Fruit – Consuming one serving of fruit daily is good on a leaky gut diet. Preferably steam apples and pears to make homemade apple sauce or fruit sauce. The fruit is best consumed in the morning but eat it in moderation and not with meals.

Repair your gut with certain supplements

In a leaky gut treatment plan, many supplements support your digestive health as well as protect the gut lining from further damage. I believe the most beneficial leaky gut supplements are probiotics, digestive enzymes, l-glutamine, Berberine extract, liquorice root, shilajit and marshmallow root.

Probiotics — This is the essential supplement to take because it helps replenish good bacteria and crowds out harmful bacteria. I recommend getting probiotics firstly from food.

L-Glutamine — critical to include for any program designed to heal leaky gut. Glutamine powder is an essential amino acid supplement that is anti-inflammatory and necessary for the growth and repair of your intestinal lining. L-glutamine benefits include acting as a protector: coating your cell walls and acting as a repellent to irritants.

Berberine – comes to us from China, where it was first used in traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine. It’s a natural alkaloid found in a wide variety of traditional herbs. People who suffer from small intestine bacterial overgrowth symptoms have excessive bacteria in their small intestines. Berberine is the hero for your stomach. 

The following I have not used, but are highly recommended by professionals:

Liquorice Root — an adaptogenic herb that helps balance cortisol levels and improves acid production in the stomach. Liquorice root 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 because of the way it can help improve the way you produce and metabolise cortisol.

Shilajit — A tar-like medicinal herb frequently used in Ayurvedic medicine, shilajit can protect from stomach ulcers as well as reduce inflammation triggered or exacerbated by leaky gut.

Marshmallow Root — The antioxidant and antihistamine properties of marshmallow root make it a great addition to any natural medicine cabinet, particularly for those struggling with leaky gut.


The sneakiest of the evil army: lectins. As I said before, lectins are a class of proteins that bind onto the carbohydrates in our cell walls. Lectins are present in about 30-40% of our diet, but they are mainly concentrated in grains (wheat is the worst), seeds, nuts, legumes (soy is the worst), nightshade plants (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, etc.), and pasteurised dairy. In a healthy gut, some ingested lectins will make it naturally through the gut wall, which will allow them access to the blood and lymph system. From here, they may enter the liver, pancreas or other organs. Experts believe that about 5 percent of ingested lectins will enter the bloodstream and, depending on the individual’s specific glycoconjugates (what type of sugar is bound to their cell walls), bind to various tissues in the body such as nervous tissue or connective tissue or even the bladder.

Some lectins that we consume in everyday foods can bind to the sugars in the cell walls of the gut or the blood. This can cause an immune response, leading to inflammation, intestinal damage, altered gut flora, malabsorption, decreased cellular repair, cellular death, and eventually, disease.

Now, that’s in a HEALTHY GUT. Let’s just think about how much worse it can be in a leaky gut. In a leaky gut situation, more complete lectins can flow directly into the bloodstream and bind to tissues throughout the body, potentially causing autoimmune mayhem. As discussed earlier, this could lead to chronic inflammation or disease. The effect of lectins on those with an established autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s, diabetes, painful legs or celiac could be even worse. The correlation between intestinal lining damage, gut permeability, and chronic autoimmune response is very compelling and needs to be taken seriously.

Lectins found in peanuts, kidney beans, and soybeans are all capable of attaching to various body tissues and having harmful effects. Of course, it is not as simple as that. Our genotype (the genes we have) and phenotype (how those genes are expressed) play a role in how lectins affect any of us.

Almost everyone tested so far have antibodies to some dietary lectins in their bloodstream, meaning that their immune systems have mounted a defence against those lectins at some point. Many allergists agree that most of what we call food allergies are immune responses to the lectins in the foods we eat.

Now, it’s almost impossible to avoid eating lectins because they are in just about every plant and animal to varying degrees (even if you try to avoid them you’ll still end up eating small amounts given their omnipresence in nature). However, lectins are more concentrated in some sources than others.

I said it earlier, but it is worth repeating; Here is a list of foods with a high concentration of lectins: All grains (wheat is the worst offender), dairy, nuts, legumes (soy is the worst offender), and nightshade plants (potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, tamarios, tomatillos, pepinos, pimentos, paprika, cayenne, and peppers of all kinds except black pepper).


All of the evidence leads to the conclusion that it is probable that all types of Arthritis resulting in painful legs, autoimmune diseases, many inflammatory diseases, and possibly neoplastic diseases share a common thread: leaky gut syndrome. That is not to say that leaky gut syndrome is causing these diseases, but it does seem to be a necessary condition for them to occur. Logic tells us to repair the holes in our stomach netting and see how our health improves.

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Let’s Walk Pain-Free, together

Michael Plumstead