The Women's Journal

Does Your Gut Measure Up?

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Dr. Heather Rooks, DC

I talk about gut health a lot. And I talk about it a lot for a reason. Your gut affects everything from your immune system to your mood. And of course, your digestive health.

I’ve seen many transformations happen when people decide to focus their energy and time on investing in their gut health. And it’s never too late to start.

I wanted to share this list of 7 Signs & Symptoms You Have Leaky Gut Syndrome. If you deal with any of these conditions, it could be a red flag, warning you there could be an issue with your gut health.


1. Food Sensitivities

Especially dairy and gluten. In studies involving rats and human children, leaky gut and food allergies have been linked. Allergies are believed to be one the most common leaky gut symptoms.

2. Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Elevated gut permeability is oftentimes localized to the colon in people suffering from IBS and ulcerative colitis. Chrohn’s disease may be more of a risk for people with leaky gut.

3. Autoimmune Disease

Leaky gut can cause autoimmune disease in genetically susceptible individuals due to an important protein pathway being deregulated.

4. Thyroid Problems

One of the autoimmune diseases that leaky gut syndrome may directly affect is Hashimoto’s disease. Also known as “chronic thyroiditis,” this disorder is displayed with hypothyroidism (low thyroid function), impaired metabolism, fatigue, depression, weight gain and a host of other concerns.

5. Nutrient Malabsorption

In my own clients, I’ve observed various nutritional deficiencies resulting from leaky gut, including vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, iron deficiency, magnesium and digestive enzymes. Those common nutrient deficiencies are one reason why many functional medicine practitioners prescribe a whole-food multivitamin in addition to probiotics for people suffering leaky gut problems as well as specific dietary protocols to heal it.

6. Inflammatory Skin Conditions

The gut-skin connection theory has described how intestinal hyperpermeability can cause a slew of skin conditions, particularly acne, eczema, and psoriasis.

7. Mood Issues and Autism

According to a study published in the journal Neuroendocrinology Letters, leaky gut has been shown to cause various neurocognitive disorders, mood disorders and even personality disorders.

How Do You Get Rid of Leaky Gut?

Now that we’ve talked about leaky gut symptoms, causes and opinions, let’s talk about how to test for and repair leaky gut.

How do you test for leaky gut?

Several leaky gut syndrome tests are available that can help confirm a diagnosis and point you in the right treatment direction. Tests are helpful for identifying specific sensitivities and uncovering which types of toxins or deficiencies are contributing to your symptoms.

What leaky gut treatments are available?

After years of research and patient care, I follow a four-step process for helping to heal leaky gut. If you’re concerned that you or a loved one may have leaky gut symptoms, I encourage you to get proper testing with a practitioner like myself who is trained in gut repair and restoration.

The basic steps to healing leaky gut are as follows:

1. Remove foods and factors that damage the gut.

2. Replace these with healing foods as you follow an anti-inflammatory leaky gut diet.

3. Repair the gut with specific leaky gut supplements like butyric acid.

4. Rebalance your microbiome with probiotics (beneficial bacteria). This is key because bacteria in your gut are a major component of the intestinal barrier.

If you’re struggling with leaky gut or other GI issues, remove processed foods — including un-sprouted grains, added sugar, GMOs, refined oils, synthetic additives and conventional dairy products.

A Medical Enigma . . .

Leaky gut syndrome is not a recognized diagnosis in the medical community yet — but I’m confident it will be recognized someday, due to the vast body of research that has already been conducted.

If you suffer from any leaky gut symptoms, I encourage you to consult with a functional medicine doctor about options for treatment. Many of my patients have seen improvements when adjusting to a healing diet, rather than a disease and inflammation-causing one. In addition, there are helpful dietary supplements many people implement to support better gut health.

Dr. Rooks is skilled and experienced at finding and addressing the root physiological, biochemical, hormonal and neurological imbalances causing the poor health status of people today. In the current health tragedy most people find themselves in, she has found an emphasis in Metabolic disorders like weight gain, pre diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes, digestive disorders and Hypothyroidism, but she works with all kinds of conditions.

Dr. Heather Rooks, DC  

PATH Integrative Health Center

Suite 3, 98 Wilmington-West Chester Pike (Rt. 202)

Chadds Ford, PA 19317         


Call today for a complimentary consultation

[email protected]


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