What Is Leaky Gut And Do I Have It?

What Is Leaky Gut And Do I Have It?

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

What is leaky gut?

The purpose of the lining of our gut wall is to act as a barrier to bacteria and other infectious agents. This barrier is an important agent in your immune system. Our intestine wall is also designed to absorb water and nutrients broken down from our food into our bloodstream. Everyone’s guts are semi-permeable. But some people have increased intestinal permeability or hyperpermeability. That means the holes in their gut are much larger than normal and this lets unwanted substances such as toxins, unwanted pathogens such as virus’s and bacteria and undigested food particles through in to our blood stream, so basically they have “leaked through out gut wall”. 

Although well recognised with natural health professional Leaky gut syndrome is not currently recognized as a medical diagnosis.

What Causes Leaky Gut?

Common everyday factors such as diet and stress increases inflammation in our body and gut and may cumulatively wear down your intestinal lining creating holes in your gut and making it more permeable. When this happens the body sets off a immune response which creates inflammation and that over time this can cause food sensitives, nutrient deficiencies and even autoimmune problems.

Some of the Key factors that can cause leaky gut include:

  • Stress and other negative emotions such as fear and anxiety causes stress hormones such as cortisol to be released. These stress hormones can break down out gut lining. For more information on gut health and emotions check out our article
  • Toxins such foods with arsenic, phytoestrogens, trans fats, pesticides and herbicides etc.
  • Difficult to diets food particles such as gluten
  • Certain drugs and medications especially prescription antibiotic drugs, birth control drugs and NSAIDs
  • Pathogens such as virus, candida, bacteria, fungus can eat away at the gut lining.

Signs and Symptoms of Leaky Gut

Biggest warning signs that you may have leaky gut.

  1. Loose stools
  2. Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
  3. Small intestine Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO)
  4. Celiac disease
  5. Food allergies/sensitivities
  6. Chronic inflammatory conditions
  7. Thyroid problems and diseases
  8. Autoimmune problems
  9. Depression or Anxiety
  10. Easily gain weight
  11. Migraine headaches
  12. Skin issues such as rosacea and eczema

It is important to note that you may have leaky gut but have no signs and symptoms and as identified above the health problem that you might be experiencing could be a direct result of your leaky gut. This is why getting to the root cause of the problem is so important as this can help provide the information that you need to put in an effective treatment approach.

Can you Test for Leaky Gut?

A health professional such as a naturopath doctor or nutritionist can reviewing your health issues and symptoms it can be identified that there is a high possibility that you have leaky gut however the only way you can test for leaky gut is by a Naturopathic doctor completing the test for the leaky gut marker called zonulin. If zonulin levels are high that means you have leaky gut.

How do you Treat Leaky Gut?

Here are 12 nutrition strategies to help provide your gut with the nutrients to help reduce inflammation,
support healthy gut flora and improve tissue healing of your gut lining.

  1. Eat lost of fruits and vegetables as this helps with feeding the healthy gut bacteria, that help to protect and nourish the cell walls of our gut.
  2. Fiber also helps with intestinal gut bacteria. So when people ate a large amounts of fruits and vegetables, legumes, lentils and whole grains research has shown that it can significantly reduce zonulin which is the marker to determine if you have leaky gut.
  3. Curcumin, the active component in turmeric can help reduce inflammation and intestinal damage. Check out our delicious turmeric hummus recipe which is a great way to enjoy eating more vegetables which also getting the benefits to turmeric.
  4. Reduce alcohol consumption as alcohol can wreak havoc on your gut wall.
  5. Consume zinc rich foods (cooked lentils, mushrooms, nuts) and zinc supplementation 3mg (protection) ca help protect and help heal intestinal lining.
  6. Consume bone broth as bone broth contains certain amino acids such as proline and glysine (both help to produce collagen which helps to repair tissue cells) and L Glutamine which also helps with tissue repair. Bone broth contains a variety of minerals to help support tissue repair of the gut lining. Do 8 ounces of bone broth twice a day. For more information about the health benefits of bone broth please check out this awesome article.
  7. Kefir or home-made yoghurt is rich in probiotics which help to crowd out pathogens such as yeast or bad bacteria, allowing a better environment for tissue repair to occur.
  8. Fermented vegetables such as coconut kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi, contains a variety of probiotics (different from those in dairy yogurt and kefir) which help to support gut lining.
  9. Coconut oil contains certain acids such as capric, lauric and caprylic acid. These are medium chain triglycerides that help to kill off bad bacteria in the gut and are very easy to digest.
  10. Wild caught fish are loaded with omega 3 fats which is crucial for cooling down the inflammation in the gut. It is recommended that you consume oily fish such as salmon, tuna, pickerel and mackerel three times a week.
  11. Sprouted flax seeds are loaded with soluble fiber which helps to grow good bacteria in the gut. If you have a sensitive gut this might not be the greatest to start off with but if tolerated, you can put it in your smoothie or oatmeal or with unsweetened apple sauce. Consume 1 tablespoon a day.
  12. Avoid gluten found in many grains such as wheat, rye, and processed foods.


Leaky gut has been well recognised in functional medicine and can be a root cause of many health problems. However, it is often overlooked in conventional medicine making treatment of certain health conditions more problematic since the root cause is not being addressed.

If you suspect that you have leaky gut, then please incorporate the nutrient strategies above. Adhering to a gut healing protocol with a supplementation program and incorporating stress management techniques will all help to support a healthy gut.

Beet The Blues Burger

Beet The Blues Burger

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

Looking for some mid-week inspiration for a delicious and nutritious dinner? Check out our “Beet The Blues” Burger. With a delicious mix of beets, lentils, walnuts, romaine, avocados and garlic, this vegetarian option is a great way to brighten up your day!

This burger is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which can help boost your mood and help you reduce or avoid red meat in your diet.

Beet The Blues Burger

This burger is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals which can help boost your mood and help you reduce or avoid red meat in your diet.
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 6


  • 4 Beets
  • 1 cup Lentils
  • 1/2 cup Parsley
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 Garlic
  • 2 Avocados
  • 1 head Romain Hearts


  1. Add beets over steaming basket over boiling water and cover. Steam for about 20-25 mins, or until tender. Let cool slightly.
  2. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a
    baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Too a food processor, add the lentils,
    walnuts, parsley, ground flax, salt, garlic
    and the cooked beets. Pulse 6 or 7 times of
    until a course crust forms. Do not over mix.
  4. Scoop out roughly 1/2 cup of the mixture
    at a time into patties about 4 to 5 inches in
    diamater. Place on the prepared baking
    sheet. Bake for 30 minutes, carefully
    flipping half way through.
Chia Pudding

Chia Pudding

Two Glasses with Detox Green Smoothie

Quick and easy, this is your breakfast of (busy) champions.

You can batch prep and keep it in jars in your fridge for 5-7 days.

Switch up your toppings each day for variety – grated apple & cinnamon today, raspberries and crushed nuts tomorrow!

Chia Pudding

Looking for a great on-the-go breakfast idea? Try our Chia Pudding today!
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4


  • 1 1/2 cans Canned Coconut or Milk
  • 1 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 cup Chia Seeds
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Optional Toppings

  • Banana and Dark Chocolate Chips
  • Strawberries and Basil
  • Blueberries and Mint
  • Chopped Walnuts and Cinnamon 
  • Pineapple and Kiwi


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large container.
  2. Refrigerate for at least one hour or until chia seeds have set.
  3. Stir well and divide into cups and containers if on-the-go.
  4. When ready to eat, add your choice of toppings and enjoy!

10 Negative Thoughts To Ditch Around Food And Your Body

10 Negative Thoughts To Ditch Around Food And Your Body

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

Harsh thoughts around food and your body can creep in at any time which can negatively impact your eating patterns and hinder your weight loss goals. Here are 10 thoughts that we encourage you to lay to rest and switch your mindset to avoid sabotaging your eating habits and health goals.

1. I am bad if I eat “bad” foods and good if I eat “good” foods

Let’s be clear, while certain foods may have more nourishing effects on your body, no morality should ever be attached to your food choices. You are a good person regardless of whether you had a salad for lunch or McDonalds.

2. I already ate something “bad” today so I might as well keep eating “off plan” for the rest of the day

This is a thought that I will admit getting stuck in often. The best analogy I ever heard around this was if you have one flat tire, are you going to go ahead and slash your other 3 tires? Put it behind you, move on, and make a nourishing choice at your next meal. One “bad” meal or snack is not going to have you waking up 10 pounds heavier the next day.

3. My diet starts tomorrow, or Monday…you know the drill

As soon as you tell yourself that you are starting a “diet” or new program, your brain will anticipate restriction and go into survival mode craving all of the foods that you are planning to restrict or eliminate. If you promise yourself that you are ruling out sugar FOREVER, I will promise you sugar will be all that you crave.

4. Carbs are “bad”

This is such a myth and while subsisting on sugary carbs, bagels and pasta may not leave you feeling energized throughout the day, incorporating carbohydrates such as quinoa and sweet potatoes daily is so important as we derive a lot of our energy from these foods. More importantly is getting a balance of all macronutrients (fat, protein and carbohydrates) each day

5. I am not “allowed” to eat after a certain time at night…

With Intermittent Fasting gaining popularity, there is definitely research to support the benefits of going at least 12 hours without eating, especially for adequate digestion. However, more importantly is learning to tune into your body cues and if you are starving past the time you have set as your cut off for the day, don’t deprive yourself. And learn from that…maybe you didn’t eat enough throughout the day. I am not encouraging eating late at night but rather emphasizing the importance of tuning inwards rather than your eating cues being dictated by the clock.

6. I am never going to eat sugar again

I mean you do you!! If you truly believe that you can live your life without EVER having a piece of birthday cake or sharing a dessert with your hubby on date night again, I would never stand in your way. If you want to be more realistic, strive for balance and just remember that the DOSE MAKES THE POISON. And this relates to #3 where as soon as you implement strict restriction, your brain with physiologically crave that item even more.

7. My value is determined by the number on a scale

My best advice, get rid of your scale. I have not stepped on mine longer than I can remember and it is quite liberating. I know as soon as I do, I go back to having my mood for the day being dictated by that number. This is tied in to the need for external validation. If you are eating and moving your body in a way that makes you feel good, why should an arbitrary number on the scale change how you feel about yourself?

8. I will love myself when I fit into my old pair of jeans or get down to a size X…

I talk about this a lot and when you are so used to speaking to yourself this way, it is hard to shift. However, withholding love from yourself until you are a certain size will never get you closer to your goals. It will keep you stuck in shame and self-hatred and less likely to even want to take care of yourself. Going from self-loathing to self-love I recognize is a huge jump…start small by spending time each day appreciating parts of your body and extending gratitude towards those parts. For example, I have always hated my arms and it would be a HUGE stretch for me to wake up tomorrow and start saying that I love them. However, I can start appreciating them for allowing me to carry heavy groceries into the house or being able to do a tough upper body workout.

9. I ate so poorly today I need to have a crazy intense workout

No, no, no!!! Workout because it feels good to move your body, and you want to be strong and keep your heart healthy. When you start to see working out as a form of punishment or a rite of passage to “earn” certain foods, you will begin to resent it. By all means, if moving your body after a huge meal makes you feel good because it gets your blood flowing than I think that is great. But be honest with yourself about why you are working out and make sure that your motivation is coming from the right place.

10. I am going to wear sweats and baggy shirts until I feel good about my body

Again, this is a thought that often resonates with me. When you don’t feel comfortable in your skin, you are less apt to want to wear more form fitting clothes. But putting on outfits that you feel good in will make you feel more confident with how you show up in the world and more motivated to continue to take care of yourself in mind, body and spirit.


We all intuitively know that living in a state of stress can negatively impact both our physical and mental health. That being said, telling a stressed person to relax is the same as telling an anxious person to calm down. EASIER SAID THAN DONE!

Yet if you have goals around weight loss, improving your digestion, or increasing your energy, your stress might be very well be one of your roadblocks. And it might not be stress in the traditional sense of the word. When your body is in a state of stress, what most of us know as FIGHT, FLIGHT or FREEZE, a switch in your brain is turned off. In turn, digestion, including assimilation of nutrients, calorie burning capacity, and ability to burn fat are halted. And the release of hormones such as cortisol and insulin occurs, as well as increased levels of inflammation which can all contribute to weight gain.

Here are 3 stressors that you might not even be aware you are bringing to the table:

1. Eating quickly

We are all guilty of it. Instead of planning our day around lunch, we find a couple of minutes to squeeze it in and likely while we are distracted with scrolling, working, or watching television. Scarfing down everything on our plate in record time will put our bodies into the state of stress described above.An action step you can try immediately would be to choose one meal and give yourself 5 extra minutes to eat it. Put your utensils down between bites. This will give your body a chance to get into a more relaxed state, which is more ideal for digestion.

2. Food deprivation

If you have ever followed any type of diet, you have likely eliminated various foods and/or food groups. Or skipped meals, thinking that if you only eat from 2pm onward, you can reduce your calorie consumption for the day. Again, this exercise will prove futile every time. When your body finally gets fed, it will feel so stressed as it doesn’t know when the next meal will be coming. And it will hold on to whatever you feed it, possibly causing unwanted symptoms such bloating, gas, or weight gain. My tip around this is to avoid skipping meals. Our bodies ability to burn calories follows the sun and peaks midday. Which is why you are better off eating larger amounts earlier in the day and not piling all your food into the late afternoon and evening. Feeding your body regularly throughout the day also allows it to feel more relaxed, instead of stressed about when the next meal might come.

3. Body shame

How many times have you stared down at your stomach as you are eating feeling yucky about how big it looks to you and almost feeling ashamed for continuing to consume food? And spending every meal and snack time consumed by wanting to change how you look. Simply thinking these thoughts while you are eating can also put your body into a state of stress, which we have determined is not ideal. Take a few minutes to journal about some of these thoughts to get them out of your head onto paper. Then try to spend some time noting what you appreciate about how your body SERVES you. At your next meal, focus on these more empowering thoughts instead of the negative ones.

There are several other stressors that might be showing up when you eat. My overarching advice is to sit down to every meal as relaxed as possible. Take 3 deep cleansing breaths before you eat and put on some relaxing music. Try it out and I would love to hear how it goes for you.

By Jodi Katzin
Registered OT and Eating Psychology Coach

How Much Does a Naturopath Doctor Cost?

How Much Does a Naturopath Doctor Cost?

A variety of protein powder and shakes.

A naturopathic doctor’s consultation is based on an hourly rate. A first visit is often 1 – 1½ hours in length. Naturopath doctor costs vary and many have switched to virtual consults following covid and have maintained their virtual practise. This will limit their ability to perform some of the ND role such as acupuncture but allows services to potentially be more cost effective.

When developing an individualized fee guide, Ontario Naturopathic Doctors need to be mindful of the College of Naturopaths of Ontario (CONO) Standard of Practice: Fees and Billing. This Standard outlines that fees should “not be excessive in relation to the services proposed and are an accurate reflection of the services provided to each patient”.

In a initial consult the Naturopathic Doctor will comprise a full history of the presenting issues, review any documentation provided, collect a detailed inquiry concerning the person’s complaints and detailed examination of the affected part, region or system as required to: a) arrive at a diagnosis, b) complete an appropriate record of findings c) advise the patient on course of treatment; and d) where appropriate, refer the patient for other health care.

In researching the initial Naturopathic Doctor assessments can range $250 up to $450 and more likely higher if this is a in clinic consult versus a virtual one, although this might not be the case especially if they offer a specialty.

The last fee guidelines that came out for Naturopath Doctors was by the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors in 2016. In this guideline it indicated that initial assessments would usually cost between $160-$240. Given that we are now in 2023 (7 years later) assessments being charged between $250 and $450 is reasonable.

Follow up sessions will vary as well from anywhere between $150 to $250 for 45-60 minutes. The Fee guidelines which were last provided in 2016 indicated that 1 hour follow up sessions to be between $135 to $185. So current market rates of $150-$250 is considered reasonable.

Is Naturopath doctors covered by insurance?

Most extended health insurance plans in Canada cover naturopathic treatments, especially now that Naturopath Doctors are regulated health professionals. Insured patients are encouraged to contact their employer or individual insurance brokers to determine if they are covered and/or to request that their policy be extended to include naturopathic services if it does not already do so. Other health benefit plans tend to have flexi plans where they have a certain amount of funds that could go towards alternate health care and the person can choose which health professional they would like to use that money.

Are Naturopath Doctors working in the Auto Sector?

It is rare to find Naturopath doctors that are set up on Hcai and that can complete their own treatment plans. Although Naturopathic Doctors are regulated health professionals they are unable to sign off on the OCF 18’s so this needs to be coordinated by a third party. Naturopath doctors are being covered and approved in the auto sector. Although the FSCO fee guidelines do not have ND’s listed, the adjuster will sometimes question the rate and drop it to a non regulated health professional even though they are a regulated health professional. The nonregulated rate is significantly below market rates for a naturopathic doctor and when this occurs the ND can not proceed with the treatment plan.  

If you are interested in a naturopath doctor consult please book in with Dr. Oliva Chubey or Dr. Karm Hans using our online booking site https://korunutrition.janeapp.com/

If you want more information on what or how a naturopath doctor can help you please reach out to Kylie at [email protected] or call 1 (855) 386-KORU (5678) ex 801. We want to help you and are hear to listen.