The bacteria in your gut have more control over you than you might think. They have a direct pathway to your brain and they can affect your mood, cognition, weight, digestion, and more.
There are good gut bacteria and bad gut bacteria. When your gut bacteria are balanced and the good guys are in control, you’ll feel great: lots of energy, easy weight loss, mental focus, and so on.
But if the bad bacteria take over—due to stress, poor diet, environmental toxins like mold or pesticides, and a variety of other causes—you may develop a leaky gut.
Leaky gut is when the lining of your gut becomes damaged and things inside your digestive tract, like bacteria and food particles, begin to leak out into your bloodstream[*].
Leaky gut causes a variety of issues that sap your performance, from immune issues to weight gain to constant fatigue. The good news is that, with the right strategy, you can fix leaky get and get rid of the root cause of your issues.
Here are 10 common signs that you have a leaky gut and what you can do about it.
10 Signs You Have a Leaky Gut
One of the problems with leaky gut is that the symptoms are broad and don’t seem related. However, if you have several of the symptoms on this list, there’s a good chance that your gut lining is compromised, and you may want to use the hacks at the end of this article to strengthen your gut.
Here are 10 signs that could indicate you’re dealing with a leaky gut:
- Gastrointestinal (GI) issues, including bloating, gas, diarrhea, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)[*]
- Autoimmune issues like rheumatoid arthritis[*] lupus[*], celiac disease[*], and psoriasis[*].
- Allergies, especially food allergies[*] and asthma[*].
- Mood issues like depression[*], anxiety[*], and other mood disorders[*].
- Brain fog, including trouble thinking, concentrating, remembering, and learning[*].
- Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis[*].
- Unstable blood sugar, which can lead to type 1 and type 2 diabetes[*].
- Skin conditions like eczema[*] and acne[*].
- Insomnia and poor quality sleep[*].
- Weight gain and difficulty losing weight[*].
Because your gut is connected to so many different parts of your body—including your brain, metabolism, digestion, immune system, and hormonal system—leaky gut can have far-reaching effects on your performance.
How to Leak-Proof Your Gut
The good news is that you can take control of your gut bacteria.
With a healthy and intact gut barrier, toxins, pathogens, and other harmful substances will remain locked inside your gut where they belong, and your body will deal with them before they can do any damage. Keeping your gut barrier healthy involves:
- Avoiding substances that degrade your gut lining, like gluten, pesticides, alcohol, and NSAIDs (acetaminophen, ibuprofen, etc.)
- Eating a good diet with plenty of fat and minimal sugar and refined carbs (I created the Bulletproof Diet for optimal gut health, as well as maximal brain function and fat loss. You can download the complete one-page Bulletproof Diet guide for free)
- Addressing gut infections (if you have one)
- Maintaining a well-balanced gut microbiome where beneficial (probiotic) bacteria outnumber harmful (pathogenic) bacteria
When it comes to strengthening your gut microbiome, high quality spore probiotics are one of your strongest allies. In addition to killing harmful bacteria, a good probiotic will help good gut bacteria flourish in your gut, making your digestion and gut biome better than ever.
How to Find a Good Probiotic
Most probiotics don’t actually work. They either contain bacteria that are already dead or bacteria that will die the second they make contact with your stomach acid.
One of my rules-of-thumb is to never buy probiotics that are in the refrigerated section. If they can’t survive at room temperature, they definitely won’t survive in a 98.6 degree Fahrenheit human body.
And even when the bacteria are alive, a lot of companies don’t put enough in their formulas to actually make a difference. You want trillions of living, effective bacteria in your probiotic supplement.
Finally, you also want to make sure you get the right strains of bacteria to repair your gut. A 2017 study in people with leaky gut found that there are four specific probiotic bacteria that strengthen your gut lining[*]:
- Bacillus subtilis HU58
- Bacillus indicus HU36
- Bacillus clausii
- Bacillus coagulans
There are a few good probiotic companies out there. I’ve done a lot of research on probiotics over the years, and these days my go-to choice is Just Thrive.
Just Thrive makes probiotics that are coated in a protective shell designed to pass through your stomach intact, and their testing shows that 99% of the probiotic bacteria in their formulation make it into your gut alive.
They also contain all four of the best strains for gut repair. Instead of throwing a bunch of different bacteria strains at you and seeing what sticks, Just Thrive delivers a large dose of only the most effective probiotic strains.
Most of the time I don’t feel much of a difference when I take probiotics. But with Just Thrive, I notice a change within a couple days. I’m not bloated, my digestion is stronger, I can focus for longer, and I have more energy, especially in the afternoon.
If you think you may have leaky gut, give quality probiotics a try. Just Thrive’s probiotic blend is one of the few that actually makes a difference in your gut lining and performance.