How I Megadose L
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.
Finally All My Best Ideas For Healing Leaky Gut Syndrome In One Place
The #1 thing I hear people with leaky gut ask for, is an all-in-one list of simple ways they can heal their gut fast.
And I get it.
After all, when I suffered from leaky gut I found myself drowning in a sea of 100s of different research papers, reports and books. Jumping from one report to the next was time consuming and trying to tie it all together took months.
Well, thats why I created this list of the best ideas for healing leaky gut.
The ideas on this page have the potential to get you feeling so much better in just days , and they can save you 100s of hours of research.
But admittedly, there are a LOT of ideas listed below. And I know life is busy. So I dont expect you to read through the full list right now or start implementing all the ideas today.
Don’t Miss: Pickles And Acid Reflux
Is There Another Way To Measure Intestinal Permeability
The discovery of a protein called zonulin has added another way of measuring intestinal permeability, as zonulin is a protein that helps regulate how the cells hold together in the gut lining. Zonulin is increased in situations where there are bacteria in the intestines and due to ingestion of gluten . We can also measure zonulin in a stool test. The result is confounded by gluten intake.
What Is The Fastest Way To Heal Leaky Gut
To date, there are no FDA-approved treatments available at this time for leaky gut, especially because it is not officially a diagnosable condition. Instead, the treatment recommendations a person is likely to receive from their doctor will instead be focused on the underlying condition theyve diagnosed, which may include leaky gut as a symptom. For example, if youve been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease, the treatment will likely be anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, pain relievers, and supplements to help the lining of your gut recover. If the diagnosis is irritable bowel syndrome, then anticholinergic medications, tricyclic antidepressants, antibiotics, or medications specifically for IBS may help reduce the symptoms.
Also Check: Can Omeprazole Make You Feel Sick
Testing Options For Intestinal Permeability
So if you look at the research, there are a number of different tests that have been used to define or identify intestinal permeability. And some of these are more common than others, but Im just going to mention a few different ones and then Ill tell you what we use in our practice and what I recommend.
So the first is the lactulose/mannitol permeability assay, and this uses molecules, sugars, long-chain sugars called oligosaccharides, and Ill explain a little bit more about it in a moment.
The second is an antigenic permeability screen, and this looks at antibodies to particular antigens like lipopolysaccharides and then also antibodies to endogenous molecules like actomyosin and occludin and zonulin. So these are proteins that the body produces in the gut that help to regulate tight junction permeability and the structure of the gut and determine whether the gut is permeable or not.
But in terms of clinical practice and whats readily available and whats been most validated by the scientific research, the lactulose/mannitol test and the antigenic permeability screen, I think, are the two most useful tests.
Available Tests For Leaky Gut
Testing for leaky gut is relatively new and more tests are being developed as we speak. The tests that are currently available are:
- Breath testThis simple test measures your ability to digest table sugar. Healthy intestines have no trouble digesting it, but when your intestines are damaged due to leaky gut, this test is able to detect changes in the pH level of your breath.
- Urine testThis measures the absorption of complex carbohydrates across the lining. Lactulose should not cross the lining, so when it is found in the urine it indicates that the lining is leaky. Mannitol should cross the lining, so if it is not found in the urine then it tells us the cells are not absorbing nutrients well.
- Blood testsThere are two blood tests on the market at the moment. One tests for actomyosin and other proteins that are released when the intestinal cells and tight junctions are damaged, tells us if intestinal cells are being actively destroyed. This test is offered by a lab called Cyrex. The other tests for zonulin, a hormone that opens up the tight junctions, increasing gut permeability and allowing all the nasties to get out of the intestine and into the blood stream.
Recommended Reading: Ibs Mayoclinic
Ditch All Sugars And Dairy Except For Some Gut
First I asked you to ransack your house and bin all the grains and legumes.
Now Im asking you to find anything with sugar or dairy in it, and add that to the scrapheap as well! By the end of today youll probably have no food left in the house
But thats alright.
In fact, the process of elimination is without doubt the most important step towards healing your leaky gut and feeling great again.
So This Weekend Heres What I Recommend You Do
I typically only fast for 48 hours. It is more than enough time to get all the benefits of the fast itself and the servings of broth.
Let me just wrap up by saying, please speak to your doctor before undertaking any fast or any other leaky gut syndrome treatment in general.
Recommended Reading: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
Common Leaky Gut Lab Tests
Lactulose / Mannitol Testing
This lab test has been used for over 40 years, and measures the ability of two sugar molecules, lactulose and mannitol, to permeate through the intestinal epithelial barrier . Mannitol is a small sugar molecule that is easily absorbed, whereas Lactulose is a larger molecule and is not readily absorbed. After a baseline urine sample is collected, the patient ingests the sugary Lactulose and Mannitol solution and a six-hour timed urine collection follows.
PROS of Lactulose / Mannitol Testing
- Easy to perform: at home, urine sample
CONS of Lactulose / Mannitol Testing
- Can exacerbate symptoms associated with SIBO
- Measures permeability of small sugar molecules : these sugars are not antigenic, and therefore do not challenge the immune system.
- The problem with Lactulose/Mannitol testing is that it lacks the ability to analyze antigenic macromolecule passage. Antigenic macromolecules that penetrate through the epithelial barrier can trigger the immune system, causing and exacerbating underlying inflammatory conditions, and autoimmune disease.
- Lactulose has relatively low molecular size, and the transfer of this substance through the gut barrier is not reflective of the transfer of food proteins and overall immune response.
Labs that offer Lactulose / Mannitol Testing
- Doctors Data Labs: Intestinal Permeability Test
Direct zonulin measurement
What Is The Breath Test For Leaky Gut
At present, theres no way to test for leaky gut through a breath sample.
You can take a hydrogen and methane breath test to investigate small intestine bacterial overgrowth . Butalthough SIBO can contribute to leaky guta positive SIBO breath test is not enough to confirm leaky gut. You can learn more about SIBO by reading SIBO Test All Your Questions Answered .
As well as a blood test, you can test for leaky gut through looking at zonulin in a stool sample . You can also take a urine test for leaky gut.
You May Like: Can Align Probiotic Cause Nausea
How Do You Diagnose Leaky Gut
The only way to be certain you have leaky gut is to test itand the simplest, most convenient way to do this is through performing a urine test at home.
For this test, you drink a solution called PEG 400. This solution doesnt interfere with your bodys chemistry and it isnt harmful. It contains substances with 11 different molecular weights.
You collect all your urine for six hours after drinking the solution, and then send it off to the lab to be analysed. By calculating how much of each substance ends up in your urine, we can work out to what degree your gut is leaky. The larger the molecular weights that get through, the leakier the gut.30
This is presented as a graph, so you can tell at a glance if your gut is more permeable than the normal range for any given molecular weight.
So Why On Earth Do I Like Putting Stools In Tubes So Much
Well, just like we get blood tests to see if there is something wrong with us, I like to get stool tests to see if there is something wrong with my gut health8.
You see, the poor scientists analyzing my stool sample will perform microbiome testing to determine whats going on inside the jungle of my gut.
Stool contains a lot of bacteria, and it provides a great reflection of whats going on in the gut.
So, scientists can use my stool to look for bacteria , viruses, bacteriophages, fungi, yeast, parasites and all sorts of other goodies that may be contributing to or associated with my intestinal permeability, aka leaky gut, with a particular focus on finding what potentially harmful organisms are present or otherwise out of balance9.
And just as importantly, they will analyze what nutrients and toxins these organisms are producing from the foods I eat.
This is the sort of information my doctor and I can then use to take action to fix my gut health or otherwise optimize it.
Also Check: Heartburn Medicine Side Effects
The Best Lab Test For Leaky Gut Is
I believe that the best lab test for leaky gut is a white blood cell count, which is usually performed with a common CBC test for less than $20. Yes, even more valuable than a stool test, SIBO test, candida test, etc., the white blood cell count can not only give us more information, but the price point is so wonderful that we can test and re-test without breaking the bank.
What if you wanted to run a stool test 4 times per year to make sure you had eradicated a parasite? The costs could quickly add up to over $1,500. As you know, then you still have to buy supplements, pay for doctor visits, etc. The costs add up quickly. With the CBC with white blood cells, you can take a close look at your health more often.
But There Are 2 Big Problems With Fish Oil For Us Leaky Gutters
To solve these 2 problems you need to find a molecularly distilled fish oil AND one that uses enteric coated capsules . Together that means less toxins and less reflux.
My research team and I make Smart Omega fish oil to satisfy both these points.
Best of all, we push ourselves much further in terms of distillation to the point that our formula is triple strength and meets the strictest purity standards in the US as set out in Californias Prop 65.
Thats why I use it every day and experience no fishy burps. Perfect!
Read Also: Does Tramadol Make You Constipated
Best Of All You Can Eat Quality Foods If You Practice The Art Of Purchasing Which Means Sticking To
- Farmers markets. Particularly if you go towards the end of the day. Hint: everything is negotiable by this point! And slightly bruised and deformed produce is your friend.
- Box deliveries. I dont always have time to go to farmers markets, so I make use of an online food delivery service as well to get a weekly box of organic vegetables. So easy. All I do is simply pick them up from a neighborhood collection point every Wednesday. Bonus: every week the box contains a surprise of what is in season and tastes great.
- Bulk purchases and freeze. You can find great deals on everything from bison to wild Pacific salmon throughout the year. They key is to keep an eye out for them and have the freezer space ready to go when theyre available. Whilst for vegetables bought in bulk, learning how to pickle/ferment them is a great idea.
- Quality online food stores. Since they usually dont have the cost of a retail operation, they can pass on the savings to you. Plus, with national delivery available from many of them, they are a super convenient solution for those of us that dont live in big cities. This is my favorite option, so we made a directory of the best online food suppliers in the USA here.
If You Like Spirits Then Make Sure You Drink Them Heavily Diluted
Spirits are not as bad as many think, especially if you drink them like I do i.e. heavily diluted.
For example, I typically order a tall glass with 400ml soda water, a shot of vodka and a fresh wedge of lime. Plus minimal ice. That combination is so diluted you can barely taste the vodka. And thats how you know youve nailed it.
Importantly, I never use pop/soda/soft drinks as a mixer due to the sugar content.
But if I get sick of mixing with soda water, then I will mix with something like kombucha43. This can be pleasantly delicious, especially if you get a little naughty and choose kombucha with natural flavoring in it!
Also Check: Side Effects Simethicone
Downside #: Knowing If You Have Leaky Gut Will Probably Not Affect Your Treatment
Knowing whether or not you have leaky gut will probably not affect your treatment protocol.
Testing for leaky gut doesnt get you any closer to figuring out the root cause .
Someone on a limited budget is probably better off requesting more targeted tests to determine why their gut might be extra permeable.
However, some practitioners do like to test for leaky gut to evaluate the effectiveness of their interventions.
So, for example, if intestinal permeability is high at the beginning of treatment and then reduced after therapy, this suggests that the treatment protocol was probably effective.
If you do choose to get tested for leaky gut, the best options are the differential sugar test and zonulin antibody testing.
Heres A Chart Of The Most Popular Foods That Contain Wheat:
Youll hopefully join me in a moment of sadness as we see some of the all time tastiest foods included above, like bread, cereal, pasta, pizza, cookies, crackers, cakes, muffins, beer etc.
If you are Celiac or otherwise significantly gluten intolerant , you should also try to avoid wheat-derivative products like couscous, durum, semolina etc and products containing trace amounts of gluten especially hidden as fillers, eg sauces, soups etc.
Dr Perlmutter has an extensive list of foods that contain gluten, including in small amounts.
Don’t Miss: Does Pickle Juice Help Heartburn