The Immune Gut Type


The immune gut can be triggered by the overuse of prescription medication or antibiotics and the consumption of an inflammatory diet. Emotions such as disappointment, grief, and depression can also contribute to symptoms associated with this gut type. 

People with an immune gut type generally have the most severe forms of intestinal permeability (leaky gut). Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, and ulcerative colitis as well as irritable bowel syndrome and a lowered immune function are often associated with this gut type. This type can also struggle with multiple food intolerances, sensitivities, and allergies.

A leaky gut barrier results in partially digested fats and proteins leaking through the gut barrier into the bloodstream. We are not supposed to have food in our bloodstream, so when food particles land up in the bloodstream, it creates a systemic inflammatory response, which can negatively affect several systems and functions in the body and can cause an allergic response.

Allergic responses don’t always result in a severe immediate reaction, which can make it tricky to identify the cause, but when we continue to eat foods that cause inflammation in our bodies, we are at much higher risk for developing more serious chronic and auto-immune diseases.

Conditions that are often associated with intolerances to these foods include: 

  • Headaches and migraines
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression and anxiety
  • Muscle pain
  • IBS
  • Arthritis or joint pain
  • Eczema and psoriasis

It is important to be in tune with your body so that you can recognize subtle changes after eating. Getting hiccups or a runny nose after eating something can be a sign that you have an intolerance or food sensitivity, but it can take up to three days for some foods to cause an adverse reaction so keeping a food diary can be a helpful way of tracking patterns and responses to various foods. Sometimes it’s just too hard to pinpoint the food culprits so in cases like that having a food intolerance test can be invaluable. If that is out of reach financially, then an elimination diet is the next best thing.

As with many of the other gut types, the immune gut is often intolerant to gluten grains as well as lactose and casein in dairy products. Apart from these, the most common other food allergens are:

  • Egg whites
  • Shellfish
  • Nuts
  • Sugar
  • Alcohol
  • Soy products

Eliminate all the above foods at the same time for at least a month to six weeks before introducing them back one at a time with a 3-day interval before each new addition. If you experience any reactions with the reintroduction of any of the foods, you know to stay off them.

Foods that are good for this gut type include bone broth, stocks, soups and cooked vegetables.

Make sure you wash your vegetables well before cooking and eating them because this gut type is also more sensitive to pesticides and chemicals.

Supplements that are supportive for this type include digestive enzymes, probiotics and l-glutamine. 

Listen to my interview with Brad Kirsten from Radio Cape Pulpit on 15 February 2024 to learn more. Listen to my next interview on Thursday at 7.45am.