Leaky Gut Syndrome is a condition that occurs when the gut lining becomes abnormally permeable, allowing potentially harmful substances to pass through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. If you’ve been hearing about all the health complications associated with Leaky Gut Syndrome and they’re starting to sound familiar, you may want to consider taking a test.
There are several tests that can help you identify both direct and indirect signs of a Leaky Gut, but keep in mind that no single test can provide an absolute answer. Take this quiz to find out whether or not it’s time to take a Leaky Gut test, and learn more about five valuable testing methods.
1.) Is your thyroid working properly?
- Yes, I recently asked my doctor.
- No, I have hypothyroidism.
- I’m not sure.
Leaky Gut Syndrome has been linked to Hashimoto’s disease, which can lead to many problems related to hypothyroidism, like fatigue, depression and weight gain.
2.) Do you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Research suggests that there may be a link between elevated gut permeability and people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
3.) Do you have any food allergies or sensitivities?
Oftentimes, the immune systems of people with Leaky Gut Syndrome are constantly in attack mode, mass-producing various antibodies. This can make them more susceptible to food allergies.
4.) Do you suffer from inflammatory skin conditions?
Many experts believe there’s a link between gut health and skin health. Common skin disorders like acne, eczema and psoriasis may be the result of increased intestinal permeability.
5.) Do you have a nutritional deficiency?
One of the common warning signs of Leaky Gut Syndrome is nutrient malabsorption. People with Leaky Gut Syndrome should supplement with a high-quality multi-vitamin and live probiotics aid digestion and ensure proper nutrition.
If you responded with mostly 2s, it’s possible that you have Leaky Gut Syndrome. This could lead to symptoms like arthritis, autoimmune diseases, and an increased likelihood for developing diabetes.
Commonly reserved for world travelers, parasitology testing is equally necessary in the United States. In fact, we have plenty of parasites. They often travel in food, water, and waste. Common symptoms are belly pain, bloating, constipation, gas, itching, and joint aches. Parasites often show up in the stool but not every sample has a stowaway—you might need to repeat the test a few times.
This kind of testing is the most common, and the only direct test of a leaky gut. You ingest two types of sugar: one with large molecules (lactulose) and the other with small molecules. A healthy gut will pass the small molecules into the bloodstream to be excreted by the kidneys. The larger sugar molecules should stay in the gut. Presence of the larger molecules in the urine is indicative of a leaky gut.
Hydrogen/Methane Breath Test
This test helps determine if your gut has bacterial overgrowth. Most bacteria give off methane and hydrogen, which you expel in your breath. Presence of these gasses can indicate a serious overgrowth. Halitosis is not a sure sign of a leaky gut but it might be one indication.
Comprehensive Digestive Stool Analysis
This kind of test measures how well your digestion is performing and examines harmful bacteria growing in the gut, as well as levels of candida. A practitioner can see if your body is producing enough food-digesting enzymes to break down proteins, fats and carbs for assimilation into the body. Since not every pathogen appears in every stool, the drawback of stool testing is that it can be an incomplete picture. Instead, they’re described as an “approximation of what’s going on inside the gut”.
Food Sensitivity / Elimination-Provocation Testing
This special diet allows you to feel changes in your body by eliminating and then reintroducing potential trigger foods. The basic approach is to eliminate the most common trigger foods (gluten, soy, dairy and nuts) for 7 to 14 days and then slowly reintroduce one at a time. If you have a reaction, you’ve most likely found a food that irritates your gut.
After taking a test and taking steps to alleviate Leaky Gut Syndrome, most people will start to notice improvement within 6 weeks. It can take several months, or even years, to heal a damaged intestinal lining in extreme cases. Since we’re still learning, many of the treatment guidelines are drawn from anecdotal observation instead of rigorous scientific studies. But they’re simple and sensible recommendations that can lead to improvements in your overall health—whether or not you have increased intestinal permeability.