What is Leaky Gut Syndrome?
Leaky gut syndrome is also known as increased intestinal permeability. It is not a recognized diagnosis because many doctors are still unaware of its existence. There are also those who are aware of the disorder but are reluctant to acknowledge it as a real health condition. That is because the gut, the largest immune system organ, is not yet fully explored. Fortunately, many medical health professionals acknowledge the disorder as a real health issue. They coined the term “Leaky Gut Syndrome.”
It is a disorder wherein the intestinal lining of the digestive tract becomes “leakier” than normal. This is caused by repeated irritation and inflammation. This causes unwanted substances such as toxins, undigested fats and proteins, bacteria and waste to enter the bloodstream. As more and more foreign substances enter the bloodstream, the body will struggle to keep up and this may lead to various autoimmune disorders.
The Immune System
The gut is a very important part of a person’s immune system. It is the biggest immune system organ, as stated earlier. It is responsible for up to 80% of the body’s immune system. Immunoglobulin A is an antibody that is produced and secreted in the digestive tract. When you have leaky gut syndrome, Immunoglobulin A production is highly affected in a negative way. IgA deficiency will leave you exposed to harmful infections and other diseases.
How To Diagnose?
There are ways to test for leaky gut. One is called the lactulose/mannitol test. The test is performed by drinking a solution that contains sugars(lactulose and mannitol). A urine sample is then taken after six hours and if the results show high levels of both sugars, it is indicative of leaky gut.
There’s also the digestive stool test. A stool sample is taken and tested for how well nutrients, fats, proteins and carbohydrates are absorbed, parasitic infection, bacterial infections, candida and dysbiosis. There’s also a candida test where a blood sample is taken and tested for levels of antibodies IgA, IgG and IgM. High amount indicates candidiasis.
Skin allergy testing is also a way to help in the diagnosis of leaky gut syndrome. Skin prick test involves placing a drop of allergen to the skin. The skin is then scratched and if it gets itchy and swells, the person is allergic. The Patch test and blood RAST test are also used for skin allergy testing.