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A leaky gut syndrome test can provide confirmation that your intestinal wall lining is permeable, leaching toxins into your blood. But are the tests even necessary?
Sounds like something out of a science fiction movie.
An alien life form’s intestines ooze from its trunk, feeding off a hapless human.
But on real-life planet Earth, leaky gut is indeed a horror for some people.
Anybody with Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or Ulcerative Colitis can attest to this fact.
What is leaky gut?
Put simply, leaky gut is when the lining of the intestines become weak and tear. Instead of the food you eat breaking down completely, undigested particles leak through your intestinal lining. Like a wild bull breaking free out if its pen, the food particles run amok in your bloodstream. This undigested food, even if it’s healthy food, basically acts like a toxin.
What else causes leaky gut?
Let’s stick on food for a second. Processed food or junk food can lead to leaky gut. Drinking too much alcohol can as well. But a big reason some people have leaky gut is because they don’t have enough good bacteria in their gut. And why is that? One factor is antibiotics. Without doubt, every now and then, it’s necessary to take antibiotics. Say, for instance, if you travel to India and pick up a nasty infection. However, medical doctors tend to rely too much on antibiotics for treatment. Antibiotics don’t only kill bad bacteria; they act as a nuclear bomb in the gut, destroying all bacteria, including the good.
Don’t have enough good bacteria? Then bad bacteria can wreak havoc on the the gut. This includes eating away at the gut lining. Chronic stress of any kind tends to lead to inflammation. One way inflammation manifests is creating tiny holes in your gut wall.
Environmental pollution is one form of stress. Toxins in the environment such as heavy metals can also be a culprit for leaky gut syndrome.
What are signs or symptoms of leaky gut?
How do you know if you have leaky gut? You can take a leaky gut syndrome test. But do you have any of the following?
- Bloated belly (aka pregnant belly)
- Unproductive bowel movements
- Brain fog
- Skin problems
- Joint pain
- Poor sleep
- Food allergies (not just one, but a few)
Experience some of the above signs? Then you might have some degree of leaky gut. To be sure, everybody feels tired once in awhile. And everybody has difficulty concentrating at some point. But when cognitive dysfunction is frequent, that could be an indication of leaky gut.
Leaky gut is a sign of gaps in the intestinal lining. Ideally, you don’t have any gaps. But for people with autoimmune disease, those gaps are big. Just like the bigger a chunk of a dam wall breaks, the larger the rush of water, the bigger the gap in the lining, the more leaking of toxins.
Consequently, those with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and GI disorders, have big gaps.
Leaky gut syndrome test
Do you worry about having leaky gut? You could visit a naturopathic doctor to confirm. However, you can’t visit your regular medical doctor and get a leaky gut syndrome test. Currently, there is no medical diagnosis for leaky gut.
Unfortunately, some naturopathic doctors or other alternative medicine professionals do not accept health insurance. Thus, you may have to pay out of pocket for a leaky gut syndrome test. As well as the counseling and leaky gut supplements.
As of this post, the company uBiome offers a no-cost gut health test. It’s a pilot program. The test provides a snapshot of the health of your GI system. It’s not a leaky gut syndrome test per say. However, this doctor-approved, insurance-reimbursed test may provide some valuable insight into your microbiome.
Other tests for leaky gut syndrome include the lactulose/mannitol test. This test measures your gut permeability. You don’t want your gut to be permeable. That means liquids and food particles can easily pass through. Another test is an antigen screen. Antigens are substances in your gut (toxins) that shouldn’t be there.
Is a leaky gut syndrome test necessary?
It depends whom you ask. Your naturopathic doctor might want to confirm how permeable your gut is. However, some natural health experts suggest a test is a waste of time. (And money.) That’s because if you already have some of the symptoms above, the chances are high you have leaky gut.
Consider this brilliant analogy. It comes from a website devoted to eating specific carbs for gut health. Say your car leaks oil. The stains on the garage floor prove the leak. You take your car to a mechanic for the repair. You know you have an oil leak. But the mechanic says, “I want to do a test to confirm you have an oil leak.”
Get the connection? If you already have severe bloating, that’s a sign your gut wall is becoming like Swiss cheese. And we’re not talking the occasional bloating that comes from having a bad meal at a restaurant. Rather, if it’s been going on for years, your gut is malfunctioning. Moreover, if you have one symptom, say bloating, chances are high you have others. Bloating and skin problems often present with leaky gut.
Leaky gut treatment
Many people think diet alone is all you need to repair the leaks in your gut. For some people, diet modification may improve symptoms. However, for more serious cases of it, diet alone won’t work. Of course diet changes are crucial. But let’s take a look at some other factors.
Repairing the integrity of the gut lining requires a multi-prong approach. First, you need to colonize your gut with good bacteria. One of the best leaky gut supplements is probiotics. (More on this below.)
You also need to purge your liver and tissues of heavy metals. Another top leaky gut supplements is colloidal silver. Any other supplements that help chelate toxins from the body will benefit your gut. Milk thistle
Also make sure that your household is free of toxic cleaners. That name-brand shampoo might be contributing to your leaky gut. So, too, may your cosmetics. And your sunscreen. Check to see if a specific brand is safe here.
In addition, increase your stomach juices. This alone may not repair the leaks in the gut wall. But you’ll digest your food better. Hydrochloric acid (HCL) and pepsin are the two primary stomach juices. You can buy a supplement that contains both.
Another leaky gut supplement to consider are antifungals. Pau D’Arco is one all-natural anti-fungal. An overgrowth of candida is one sign of leaky gut. Candida is yeast. Yeast is a fungus. Therefore, antifungals can kill candida. Probiotics and candida pack a powerful one-two punch against yeast overgrowth.
That’s a lot of information to absorb. So let’s review the strategy for leaky gut treatment:
- Clear heavy metals
- Increase good gut bacteria
- Decrease bad gut bacteria
- Increase stomach acid
Leaky gut supplements
Aloe vera juice is technically not a supplement. But you should supplement your diet with it. Aloe vera juice can help improve your digestion. One indication of leaky gut is psoriasis. Psoriasis is a chronic inflammatory skin disorder. According to this study, aloe vera juice can cure psoriasis. In fact, the cure success rate in the study is 83%.
Already mentioned above is colloidal silver. You can get a high-strength silver spray. The spray may help remove heavy metals. These metals can cause more leakage in your gut.
Another supplement to consider: collagen protein.
Collagen is your body’s most abundant protein. In fact, about one-third of all the thousands of proteins that make you, well, you are collagen. But you obviously can’t eat human collagen. That’s cannibalism. But you can get collagen from animal sources. Marine collagen peptides are very easy to digest. Collagen may help repair your gut lining.
In addition to increasing your belly’s digestive juices, another leaky gut supplement are enzymes. Digestive enzymes can help break down your macronutrients.
Some food you may consider healthy may be too difficult to break down. Take quinoa for instance. If you can’t break the food down, the nutrients don’t get fully absorbed. Enzymes give you an assist in digesting fats, proteins and carbs.
Probiotics occur naturally in cultured dairy products and fermented foods. But if you have leaky gut, you’ll also want to take a probiotic supplement. (Read more about probiotics for candida here.
Leaky gut syndrome diet plan
Let’s revisit the analogy from before. Remember? It compares a leaky gut syndrome test to an oil leak in your car. That analogy comes from the website for the SCD diet. SCD is “Specific Carbohydrate Diet.”
The SCD diet was created to help Celiac disease patients. Also, SCD helps those with irritable bowel disease (IBD) and other digestive disorders. If you love quinoa, tough luck if you have leaky gut. The SCD prohibits quinoa. And all cereal grains. So no wheat. No barley. And no rye. And definitely no corn or oats. These complex carbs are too difficult to digest if you have leaky gut.
Other verboten SCD food stuff includes starchy veggies. Sweet potatoes come to mind. Avoid legumes on the SCD, such as: soybeans, chickpeas, bean sprouts, mung beans, fava beans, and garbanzo beans. Legumes cause too much gas and bloating in people with digestive disorders.
Bone broth is a superfood if you have leaky gut. The collagen protein and amino acids help repair your gut lining. Yogurt is considered healthy by many because it contains probiotics. But the SCD prohibits it. That’s because many commercial yogurts contain sugar and not enough enzymes.
Is leaky gut real?
Of course leaky gut is real. It may not be a diagnosis that you’ll receive from your doctor. However, if you talk to a gastroenterologist, he or she will likely be familiar with leaky gut.
Unfortunately, natural treatment for leaky gut can be very expensive. You can try to research and take matters in your own hands. However, if you do have the money, at least get a consultation with a naturopath. Do what you have to do to afford treatment. Cut the cord and get rid of cable TV. Instead of taking that cruise, have a staycation. And you can also save money by not taking a leaky gut syndrome test.