Development And Validation Of Test For Leaky Gut Small Intestinal And Colonic Permeability Using Sugars In Healthy Adults
- Katayoun KhoshbinAffiliations
- Lehar KhannaAffiliations
- Daniel MaselliAffiliations
- Jessica AtiehAffiliations
- Kayla ArndtAffiliations
- Deborah RhotenAffiliations
- Irene BusciglioAffiliations
- Michael CamilleriCorrespondenceCorrespondence Address correspondence to: Michael Camilleri, MD, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Charlton Building, Room 8-110, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.
Test #2 The Blood Zonulin Test For Leaky Gut
This is the only real blood test for leaky gut syndrome and heres how it works.
So, the main thing to know is that the cells of your intestinal lining are held together by tight junctions. Tight junctions can be thought of as gatekeepers, keeping the cells close together so that only the good stuff gets let in, and all of the larger particles and bad stuff, stays out.
The main thing to know here is that zonulin effects the gatekeepers of your gut lining in a negative way2.
Specifically, zonulin can work with other molecules to pry apart these tight junctions and change the size of the openings in your gut lining3. As such more zonulin means openings increase in size and the lining becomes more permeable / leaky.
Obviously we want some zonulin to ensure nutrients get through . But too much and you can say hello to leaky gut!
This test is thus designed to see whether you have too much zonulin in your system and thus may have leaky gut4.
But arguably a more interesting question is: What causes zonulin levels to rise in the first place?. Because if we can answer that, we can fix the problem itself.
But in certain people, eg celiacs, zonulin is released at higher levels in the presence of gluten compared to healthy people7.
Food Allergy And Food Sensitivity Testing
We use very comprehensive blood testing to detect food allergies and food sensitivities that can be the cause of inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract as well as the cause of symptoms/conditions elsewhere in the body.
Certain foods can have the same effect as toxins in some people. We use very comprehensive blood testing which use very sensitive testing for more accurate results.
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What Is Leaky Gut And How You Can Help Fix It
If youre reading this article, odds are youve been experiencing some digestive issues and may be wondering if its due to leaky gut syndrome. Well, youve come to the right place!
First, lets start off with a quick recap about the function of how your gut lining works. Our intestines, referred to as our gut, contain specialized cells called enterocytes that line the gut wall.
The small intestine lining is a single celled mucosal layer, responsible for the absorption of water, glucose, peptides, amino acids, lipids, vitamins, and more! This lining is covered with enzymes that promote digestion, and covered in mucus that helps food and waste products make its way through the intestines.
In a healthy state, your gut is extremely selective for what it is permitted to pass through and get absorbed into the bloodstream and into systemic circulation.
These gatekeepers called tight junctions keep the cells just that, very tight together. Think of them as the bodyguards of your gut, only allowing entry to those that are on the guest list.
What Is Leaky Gut?
Leaky gut, also known as intestinal permeability refers to when the gaps between neighboring cells in the gut lining are disturbed. Bigger openings allow the passage of foreign substances that normally would not be allowed to pass through, this is known as the gut becoming leaky.
What Causes Leaky Gut?
What are some of the symptoms of Leaky Gut?
- Joint/ structural pain
- Immune issues/ dysfunction
Using The Wrong Diagnostic Tests
There is a test available that shows whether an individual has intestinal permeability. It works by measuring levels of two indigestible sugars, mannitol and lactulose, in the urine. Most physicians do not use this test and research shows that it is not very reliable. As we mentioned earlier, there is no evidence that intestinal permeability causes any disease be wary of anyone who claims that it does. Some unscrupulous individuals are even selling these tests to consumers online. Using this test to diagnose leaky gut syndrome would be like ordering a test to look for blood in the stool of someone with IBD and using a positive test result to prove that the bloody stools caused some other mysterious disease that in turn caused the IBD. We already know that bloody stools are a symptom of Crohns disease or ulcerative colitis, just as we know that intestinal permeability is a symptom of some diseases such as Crohns disease and celiac disease.
Proponents of leaky gut syndrome might also misuse tests that look for bacterial, fungal, or viral infections, or tests that measure immune function, to diagnose the disorder, when there is no evidence that the results are in any way related to this baseless syndrome.
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This Condition Is Not Typically Diagnosed But Could Be Affecting The Health Of Many People
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My body never completely bounced back after I had my first child15 years ago. I’ve told myself that my symptoms were part of being a busy mom: fatigue, digestive problems, joint pain, insomnia, low libido, even mild-grade depression. Many moms I know suffer the same ailments, or worse. They’ll subside at some point, I told myself. My health care provider tested me over the years for various medical conditionsfrom anemia and thyroid disorders to mononucleosis and Lyme disease. The tests always came out negative. “You just need to sleep more and manage your stress better,” he told me.
I found an answer four months ago when I went to see Willie Victor, a nutritionist in Mill Valley, California, whose practice is based on the healing properties of food. She asked me to keep a food diary and take a blood test for food allergies and sensitivities.
The results were shocking. It turns out I was “highly sensitive” to a number of foods that had been a regular part of my daily dietdairy, soy, sugar, caffeine and gluten.
10 signs you have a leaky gut:
According to Dr. Leo Galland, director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine, the following symptoms might be signs of leaky gut:
More Than Half Of Australias Population Live With Pain And Discomfort Caused By Gut Issues
Often under-diagnosed and untreated, gut health issues can lead to chronic conditions and have a huge impact on quality of life. The key to good health is having a healthy gut.
Increased Intestinal Permeability occurs when the cells lining the gut become damaged, resulting in larger particles of undigested food, bacterial toxins and germs entering the blood stream causing inflammation and irritation. This can manifest in symptoms from anxiety to abdominal pain, diarrhoea, migraine, mood swings and lowered immunity.
If youre experiencing pain or discomfort, take our test to find out how healthy your gut is!
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What Is Leaky Gut
The proper scientific term for leaky gut is increased intestinal permeability or intestinal hyperpermeability .
When the gut is leaky, it allows molecules that are normally kept out to pass through the lining of the intestines and into the bloodstream.
To understand why this might happen, first, we need to explore a little bit about the anatomy and physiology of the small intestine. Weve broken it down into simple terms below.
Accurate And Reliable Measure Of Gut Health
We have developed an industry leading test for leaky gut which is easy and fast. Our simple test can measure the severity of leaky gut, enabling doctors, dietitians, naturopaths and other wellness advisors to provide the advice needed to begin the healing process.
Quicker testing and quicker results lead to improved health and enhanced quality of life.
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Gut Microbiome Testing To Improve Health
Analyzing the genes that microbes express lets us identify which metabolites they produce. This helps determine their role in your bodys ecosystem. But all of that isnt helpful if it is just data. When we understand metabolites, we can also understand how to affect them with food, lifestyle, and supplements to change the gut bacteria.
This is the first time we have the ability to fine-tune the function of gut microbiome. This helps minimize production of harmful metabolites and maximize the production of beneficial ones.
The metabolites in our gut give us a shortcut to know what to eat and what to take to improve wellness in the fastest way possible.
The Science Of Microbiome Composition
Flashback to freshman biology
Every living organism produces RNA molecules from their DNA. Tests like this one sequence all of the RNA in the stool to help quantify all of the living microorganisms in the gut at the species and strain level.
The end result?
A more in-depth view of your gut microbiome than has ever been available before. Instead of just looking at bacteria and parasites, we can now sequence RNA in the gut. The nerd in me is so excited about this technology, but even if you arent interested in the science, I think youll be excited about how technology like this can improve all of our lives!
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A Path Toward A Healthier Gut
Although it is unusual to hear the term “increased intestinal permeability” in most doctors’ offices, alternative and integrative medicine practitioners have worked on gut healing as an initial step to treat chronic diseases for decades. Other cultures around the world often recommend specific diets to make people feel better. Even in the United States, it is common to see people changing their diets after getting sick. A common initial step some practitioners take is to remove foods that can be inflammatory and could promote changes in the gut flora. Among the most common are alcohol, processed foods, certain medications, and any foods that may cause allergies or sensitivities. In my practice, I often see patients improve significantly when they start eating a healthier diet.
Controversy still exists on whether leaky gut causes the development of diseases outside the gastrointestinal tract in humans. However, it is always a good idea to eat a nutritious, unprocessed diet that includes foods that help quell inflammation , which may, at least in theory, help to rebuild the gut lining and bring more balance to the gut flora. This recipe could make you feel better, without any side effects. It is definitely worth a try.
A Quick Note On Normal Lab Findings
Too many people leave their doctor with labs that say they are normal and healthy, yet they suffer from numerous pain and inflammatory conditions. If you look at this picture you will realize that the lab normal ranges are designed to only exclude those with live threatening conditions or acute problems. So while over 60% of adults are overweight and over 40% of adults are obese, in general, they still fall within the normal range. I only use weight to demonstrate that you can have a less than optimal metabolism and yet still be lab normal. So essentially, this is why we use functional lab values to further elucidate those suffering from low-grade and more chronic conditions.
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Gut Microbiota And Autism
2016 review , autistic children often develop significant digestive problems, such as constipation, diarrhea, and vomiting.
In a small 2017 study, researchers compared stool samples from two groups of children autistic children with GI symptoms, and those without autism or GI symptoms. The researchers identified significantly higher amounts of Clostridium perfringens bacteria in samples collected from autistic children with GI symptoms.
Heres How The Test Works:
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In Terms Of Practically Implementing This Idea
well, it should not be too hard to do if you simply stick to the leaky gut diet above. And thats because everything in the leaky gut diet I recommend is whole food based.
The real struggle comes down to avoiding eating out too much. From grabbing lunch at your local food court to ordering Uber Eats, these time saving ideas have to be canned for now. After all, the food industry is driven by processed and preservative-packed foods.
Leaky Gut Syndrome: 7 Signs You May Have It
If youve been around the natural health world very long, youve probably heard of a condition known as leaky gut syndrome. It sounds pretty gross, but its an important enough problem to consider. There are several leaky gut symptoms to be aware of, which is particularly important since leaky gut is associated with dozens of related conditions and diseases.
As more Americans are affected by poor diet choices, chronic stress, toxic overload and bacterial imbalance, it appears that the prevalence of leaky gut has reached epidemic proportions. The medical profession is just now agreeing this condition may even exist, which is especially shocking to me because intestinal permeability has been discussed in the medical literature for over 100 years!
Why should leaky gut syndrome concern you? Recently leaky gut has been called a danger signal for autoimmune disease. If youre wondering if you may be experiencing leaky gut, the first thing to do is access your symptoms. Keep in mind that its very common for people on a Standard American Diet to struggle with poor gut function and high levels of inflammation but just because digestive issues and autoimmune conditions are common doesnt make them normal!
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Suggested Treatments Range From Bogus To Dangerous
The Myth: Many solutions that leaky gut syndrome proponents recommend are based in fad diets, which declare that normal foods cause serious problems in most people. For instance, proponents of leaky gut syndrome recommend that patients avoid any foods with high sugar content , claiming that the excess sugar causes an overgrowth of a certain strain of yeast in the GI tract that is responsible for the damage to the intestinal wall. In addition, they say that sensitivities to gluten or lactose damage the intestine, and they recommend avoiding all dairy products and anything containing gluten.
Debunked: Fruit will not cause yeast to attack your intestines. While a small percentage of the population have symptoms related to gluten and lactose intake, these foods cause no problems for most individuals. Following these practitioners instructions is more likely to lead to nutritional deficiencies rather than reduced symptoms.
Another issue in this field is that many people in the popular media who support this unverified condition try to sell special products as a treatment for leaky gut syndrome. They offer unproven treatments for a condition that has no medical basis. Additionally, since many of these supplements havent been well researched, taking them could cost you a lot of money, do little to reduce your symptoms, and could even be dangerous.
Urinary Excretion Of Oral Saccharides In Healthy Participants
|Sugar||Median mg on 16.25 g fiber/d||Median mg on 16.25 g fiber/d||Within individual difference in mg excreted in study A and B on 16.25 g/d fiber||P value 16.25 g fiber/d A vs B||COVinter % study A|
|Saccharide||Median mg or ratio average of 2 studies with 16.25 g fiber/d||Median mg or ratio with 32.5 g fiber/d||Variance mg for average of 2 studies with 16.25 g vs 32.5g fiber/d||P average 16.25 g vs 32.5 g/d fiber|
|13C-mannitol 100 mg|
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Are You Dealing With Leaky Gut
Leaky gut often goes undiagnosed for many years, and in some cases, especially to doctors who are not familiar with the condition, leaky gut can be difficult to pinpoint. Fortunately, individuals who know the warning signs associated with leaky gut may be better equipped to resolve this issue.
Common warning signs of leaky gut include:
- Fatigue: Research indicates there may be a direct correlation between leaky gut and fatigue. In one study of blood samples of fatigue patients, researchers found markers of leaky gut from intestinal problems that enabled bacteria to enter the bloodstream.
- Headaches: Brain fog, memory loss, and headaches may occur due to elements which entered the bloodstream via loosened junctions in the gut.
- Skin Rashes: Oftentimes, skin rashes are a sign that the body is trying to eliminate bodily toxins through the skin.
- Occasional Constipation and Diarrhea: Individuals who experience occasional constipation and/or diarrhea may be dealing with issues involving the intestinal walls.
- Joint & Muscle Issues: Gut dysbiosis is prevalent among many individuals who suffer from joint and muscle issues.
- Weakened Immune System: Stress has been shown to weaken the immune system over time and makes it tough for an individual to combat foreign invaders. Therefore, if a person is dealing with stress, this individual may also be suffering from leaky gut.
How To Test For Leaky Gut
Have you heard the phrase leaky gut thrown around on the internet, but youre not quite sure what it means?
Does it conjure up images of your intestines leaking out their contents, but you feel like that cant be what everyone is talking about??
Dont worry, its a little less dramatic than that!
Leaky gut is actually a simpler term for increased intestinal permeability a fairly common phenomenon associated with many chronic conditions .
In this article, well provide a brief overview of what leaky gut is, why it occurs, and how medical professionals can actually test for it.
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