How Long Does It Take To Heal a Leaky Gut

Conventional medicine recognizes leaky gut as a symptom rather than a condition. That said, there are no definitive answers as to how long it may take you to heal a leaky gut. Moreover, most clinical studies so far have dealt with correlation as opposed to cause and effect, making it increasingly difficult to predict how long it will take you to recover from symptoms associated with a leaky gut.

However, there is some evidence that a leaky gut syndrome is linked to other conditions in the gut health department. So mostly, the recovery time will depend on the underlying cause

A good case in point is research from the University of Manitoba which examined recovery times of people suffering from celiac disease. Although more research is needed to draw more definite conclusions, the research indicates that intestinal permeability improved in 87% of the participants after a year on a gluten-free diet. [1

That said, the best way to grapple with a leaky gut syndrome is to understand more about it. This way you can bridge the gap between recognizing your symptoms and starting to feel relief faster.  

Buckle up your seatbelts, today we discuss: 

  • The controversy problem surrounding leaky gut within the scientific community
  • Possible leaky gut therapeutic options 
  • Signs that your leaky gut is healing

Leaky Gut and Medical Controversies

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To understand the nature of the leaky gut syndrome, we need to look at the cellular level. Now get this: the human intestinal lining is made up of millions of the so-called epithelial cells. These cells come together to create a tight barrier that allows vital nutrients in and prevents xenobiotics (harmful substances like bacteria and toxins) from passing from your digestive system into your bloodstream. [2]

That said, a leaky gut occurs when the intestinal lining is damaged or weakened and when it develops “holes” in the barrier. That’s when bacteria and toxins can leak into the body, causing inflammation. This can cause a chain reaction and create symptoms such as food sensitivities, fatigue, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. 

Importantly, it’s yet unclear within the medical community whether a leaky gut is a cause or a symptom and this remains a controversy. Yet, what we do know is that a leaky gut is strongly linked to other conditions such as Crohn’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), among others. Although no research has confirmed that leaky gut is responsible for these conditions, it often occurs alongside them. [3]

That said, no conclusive clinical trials are confirming the cause-and-effect relationship regarding gut lining permeability and so far there are no FDA-approved therapies available. What you can do, though, is take steps to improve your gut health and remedy the symptoms attributed to your leaky gut (we’re about to tackle these). 

You can also keep track of your symptoms by following signs your leaky gut is healing (but more on that later).    

What Is the Fastest Way to Heal a Leaky Gut?

While science gives us no definitive answers as to how to fix the damage to the intestinal lining in and of itself, there are certain dietary guidelines and supplement suggestions that can help ameliorate your symptoms.

However, the fastest way to heal a leaky gut is to touch base with your doctor. They’ll help diagnose and treat the underlying conditions that cause your leaky gut symptoms. 

Making Dietary Changes 

Making dietary changes can help heal a leaky gut. The number one easiest step to take is to eliminate inflammatory triggers from your diet. According to Harvard Health Publishing, tweaking your diet this way may help you rebuild the gut lining and stop any further leakage. [4]

Now, let’s break this down into a few straightforward tips. The quickest way to do this is to review your diet and eliminate the most typical dietary causes of inflammation, including but not limited to: 

  • Processed foods
  • Added sugars 
  • Refined oils
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol

On top of that, to rule out any food sensitivities, you can do a food sensitivities test to determine whether it’s gluten or dairy that disagrees with you.

You can also introduce certain foods to your diet regimen to weigh in on the positive side in terms of improving your intestinal barrier function. Some of these foods, according to a 2022 review, are found to help strengthen the intestinal barrier. [5]

Below are a few dietary strategy suggestions you can take.

Dietary Strategies Recommended for Leaky Gut 
Type of foodEffects 
Raw cultured dairy (like yogurt, kefir, butter, amasai, and raw cheeses)Can help heal a wide array of gut issues
Fermented vegetables and other probiotic foods (like sauerkraut, pickles, etc.)Can promote the production of tight junction proteins that defend against intestinal permeability
Fiber-rich foods (like whole grains and vegetables)Can help enhance intestinal wall integrity
Flavonoid-rich foods (like fruits, veggies, and coffee)
Can help heal the intestinal lining 
Olive oil Helps restore healthy gut microbiota 

Taking Probiotics

The single most effective way to speed up your leaky gut recovery is to take probiotics via food. But just as a good dietary source of probiotic cultures like sauerkraut, kefir, and kimchi, can repopulate your microbiome with good bacteria—so can a high-quality probiotic supplement.   

There’s also some advancement in the way of research when it comes to studying the link between leaky gut syndrome and probiotics. Namly, there’s some suggestive evidence that restoring a healthy gut microbe with probiotic supplements can improve symptoms associated with a leaky gut. [6]

Total Gut Restoration Program will help you restore your gut health following a bout of symptoms such as digestive distress, constipation, or loose stools. It packs the punch by supporting a healthy microbial population, regulating the immune function, and repairing the intestinal walls. Take this probiotic, prebiotic, and intestinal repair supplement for complete gut support. 

For a more comprehensive understanding of probiotics and the way they work check out our in-depth guide.  

Considering L-Glutamine

L-glutamine is your go-to treatment if you want to see faster beneficial effects on your epithelial barrier. Namely, a major body of research has found L-glutamine to prevent permeability to toxins and pathogens in patients with different levels of gastrointestinal mucosal injury. 

Researchers have explored the way l-glutamine does this and they found this happens via promoting cell reproduction. More precisely, it works by enabling your gut cells or enterocytes to regenerate more quickly and heal the mucosal barrier. [7]

So, how long does l-glutamine take to heal a leaky gut, you may ask yourself? Some reports state it can take as little as 30 days to repair a leaky gut this way. Importantly, as these reports are based on anecdotal evidence alone, you’ll have to try and check the recovery time for yourself.  

Pure Encapsulations l-Glutamine capsules work at the cellular level to help seal the tight junctions in your epithelial lining preventing permeability. 

How Do You Know Your Leaky Gut Is Healed?

Knowing when the healing has started will depend on your initial leaky gut symptoms. It’s critical to know that gut health is on a spectrum, so you may have to follow symptom improvement closely with your doctor. Given that leaky gut is so tricky to diagnose and treat, the best way to get initial insights into your recovery curve is to keep track of the following signs. 

You’re No Longer Experiencing Food Sensitivities

One of the first signs your leaky gut is healing is experiencing a halt in food sensitivities. People with leaky gut often suffer from multiple food sensitivities as these conditions tend to co-occur. And this makes sense once you see how this process unfolds. 

When you have a damaged intestinal lining, partially digested food particles can get into your bloodstream and the rest of your body. This triggers an immune response causing all sorts of issues within and beyond your digestive system.    

So it is when you start perceiving these issues begin to subside that your gut health is getting on an upward curve. For example, you may feel your digestive system has stabilized and certain foods no longer give you digestive problems, fatigue, mood issues, and brain fog.

The good news here is that you can start tapping into the abundant offer of food variety once again. Just make sure that while you’re healing you steer clear of gluten and dairy, the two biggest inflammatory foods.  

Your Bowel Movement Pattern Gets Regular

If you’re anxious to know how long it will take to fix your leaky gut, here’s another pointer you can use to track your gut healing progress. Start following your bowel movement patterns. Though there are no hard and fast rules as to how often you should pass stools, if you fall within the following threshold, you’re probably fine. Namely, moving your bowels between three times a day and three times a week means you’re in the safe zone

However, pay attention to any irregularities in your bowel movement routine. Any major changes to it as well as waking up during the night are red flags that you should talk over with your doctor. 

You Start Perceiving a Good Gut Transit Time

Another way to keep track of your gut health is to see whether your gut transit time is in check. Namely, gut transit time is defined as the time it takes for the food you ingest to get digested and travel through your gut. This is subject to great variation, but ideally, your gut transit time should be around 28 hours.

If this time is shortened or prolonged, this may indicate any of the several different digestive problems, including constipation or food intolerance. This may also be a sign of dumping syndrome—a condition characterized by shortened gut transit times where food travels from your stomach to your small intestine at a much quicker rate.

If you suspect you may be suffering from any of these conditions or symptoms, make sure you consult a trusted physician. 

You Are Passing Healthy Stools

Another sign that should be up to scratch when closely looking your gut health checklist is your stool color and consistency. Unhealthy stools can result from a variety of reasons including poor diet, stress, dehydration, and food intolerances. Watching your lumpy or hard stools decrease in frequency can signify you’re on the way to recovery.  

Similarly, you’ll know your gut health is improving when your stool:

  • Has a sausage shape that passes seamlessly as one large stool piece or in a few smaller pieces
  • Has a smooth texture
  • Sinks in the toilet bowl

Your Autoimmune Labs Get Better

Another pointer that can give you a hint that your leaky gut therapy is working is seeing your autoimmune lab markers improved. You can even experience your antibodies go negative as one of the signs your leaky gut is healing.

So what are the tests you can take to eliminate the guesswork and get some tangible signs of improvement? Below are the most common biomarkers for gut inflammation: 

  • C-reactive protein (CRP)
  • Fecal calprotectin (FCP)
  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
  • Fecal immunochemical test

Take Control Over Your Leaky Gut Recovery 

In hindsight, the time it takes to heal a leaky gut will depend on the underlying cause of your ailment as well as the type of treatment you choose. Yet, you can start tracking your condition by following the above-listed signs your leaky gut is healing. This can help you see if your chosen therapy is working as well as if you’re approaching anywhere near recovery.

Fact: the fastest way to heal your intestinal lining is to get to the root of your problem with your GI specialist and then target your specific condition. We can’t stress this enough as leaky gut symptoms can co-occur with other digestive issues like IBS and IBD, so it’s important to diagnose.  

Simply Nutrients is a one-stop-shop for all things supplements if you want to have the right customer service support every step of the way. We’re a doctor-owned dietary supplements supplier and we know how important it is to be able to reach out to knowledgeable personnel

With that and the right support from your doctor, you’ll be able to shorten the time frame needed to take control over your leaky gut.  










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Medically reviewed by Dr. Jamy Antoine, D.C. — by Chris Bowman — On December 7, 2023


Chris Bowman

Chris Bowman is the CEO and Co-Founder of and has over 15 years of experience in nutritional sciences and wellness. Simply Nutrients is a part of Dr. Jamy Antoine's Select Health Practice in Edina, Minnesota. Chris is passionate about helping people live healthier lives by using the best practices of nature, nutrition, and medicine.