Gut health & depression

What is “leaky gut?”

Imagine a wall made with bricks and mortar. Your gut walls are similar with junctions between cells that are supposed to be tightly stuck together. This gut wall is a barrier to keep the outside world of foods, bacteria, and waste products from directly affecting the inside world of your bloodstream. When the mortar between the bricks starts to crack and fall apart, or becomes “leaky,” the outside world begins affecting the inside world, causing symptoms of poor health and inflammation. When people have “leaky gut” they ultimately have “leaky brain!” This is why we see a link between gut problems and brain/mood disorders. One of the most common symptoms of “leaky gut” is depression, but there are more, and there are things you can do about it!

Signs you may have “leaky gut”
– Depression, low mood
– Brain fog, fatigue, forgetfulness
– Gas, bloating, abdominal pain
– Joint pain, muscle aches, back pain, headaches
– High inflammation and autoimmune markers on labs

Ways to improve “leaky gut”
– Get regular exercise
– Eliminate grain, especially wheat
– Eliminate sugar and processed foods
– Limit alcohol consumption
– Increase dietary fiber, vegetables, fruits, and nuts
– Take an Omega-3 supplement, like MonoPure Fish Oil
– Take probiotics, especially those with Lactobacillus plantarum
– Eat grass-fed butter or ghee to help feed gut cells
– Start a whole-foods ketogenic diet (with the help of your provider)
– Increase polyphenol-rich foods like berries, green tea, and dark chocolate
– Add extra virgin olive oil and rosemary to dishes

Visit or call 503-298-4104 to make an appointment with Dr. O’Connell!


Photo by Vlad Bagacian on

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