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  • vanessavanderhoek

Leaky Gut - Do You Have It?

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

Leaky Gut. It’s a term that’s used often but many people don’t know what it is.

The formal term is “intestinal permeability”. It’s when the epithelia lining of the gut wall (which is only 1 cell thick) becomes permeability due to an increase in Zonulin levels (a protein found in gluten) (1).

Why is this bad?

Our body is meant to absorb nutrients and mineral in our small intestine, with the waste moving to the large intestine (colon). If it’s leaky (permeable), then we are at risk of pathogens and nasties escaping our gut and entering body.

Leaky gut is an underlying driver of inflammation – and it’s common!

If you’ve got intestinal permeability, you may experience a number of these symptoms (3):

  • Digestive issues – bloating, gas, diarrhea, IBS, SIBO, Candida

  • Brain fog and difficulty concentrating

  • Skin issues – eczema, rosacea, acne

  • Seasonal allergies – hayfever

  • Food sensitivities

  • Mood imbalances

  • Exhaustion, chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia

  • Hormonal fluctuations including PMS and PCOS

  • Autoimmune conditions – coeliac disease, Crohn’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, JIA, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

  • And more

The good news is it can be improved with a bio-individual protocol that tackles the root causes - there’s often many including:

  • Gluten

  • Gastrointestinal infections including previous food positioning

  • Trauma

  • Chronic stress

  • SIBO

  • Toxins

  • Antibiotics

  • PPIs and NSAIDS

  • Alcohol

  • Allergies

  • Radiation, chemo

  • Bile acids

  • And more

The gut is always regenerating itself – so if we can work out what’s going on in there and create an environment for it to heal, you’ll be feeling much better soon (2).

In early 2023 I discovered that I had really bad leaky gut despite feeling great and having little symptoms (and living a very healthy lifestyle!). Click here to learn more about my story and what I’m doing about it.

Here's how to get started working with me:

  1. Click here to watch my free workshop: Intro to Gut Health - Why Great Health Begins In The Gut.

  2. Download my FREE eBook: The 5 Things I Learned About My Gut Health & Energy. In this eBook I've shared the top 5 things I have learned about my gut health and my client's (bloating, constipation, diarrhea), low energy, and other symptoms, so you too can finally stop searching for answers. Click here to get immediate access!

  3. Join The Healthy Gut Formula Program (click here) or The Healthy Gut Autoimmune Formula Program (click here). You will be directed to my secure platform called Better, where you will get immediate access to the program resources. Here you can choose a time (and time zone) that suits you for our initial Functional Medicine Nutrition consultation. Whilst I live in Canberra, Australia, I work with clients from around the world in my virtual clinic. If there's not a time that suits your time zone, book in for another time and drop me a message - I will fit you in!

  4. Complete the Client Intake Forms in my secure platform (Better) at least 24 hours before we meet. Also please upload any test results (bloods etc) in Better so I can review them. This approach enables me to best prepare for our time together.

  5. In our initial consultation we will undertake a comprehensive review of your Health & Family History and determine the appropriateness of functional testing (gut, urine, hair etc).

  6. Based on this I'll develop for you a Bio-individual Plan and explain to you what you're doing and why. If we are waiting on test results, you'll be given an interim plan to get started.

Vanessa Vanderhoek is a functional medicine nutritionist specializing in the gut microbiome, biochemistry and nutrigenomics. She helps people to regain their health by taking a “food as medicine” approach that's unique to their body. Vanessa is based in Australia and has clients around the world.


(2) SIBO Mastery Program

(3) Amy Myers



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