Testing Leaky Gut
Below are some of the options available to you if you would like to test for Leaky Gut Syndrome and related conditions or problems. Additionally, some test providers have supplied details of the testing that they offer for Leaky Gut, such as: The Diagnostic Clinic, IWDL and Biolab.
PolyethelyneGlycol (PEG) Test
This is the most common form of testing for leaky gut. The person is given a solution containing mannitol and lactulose and collects their urine for six hours to be tested. Lactulose (a disacharride) and Mannitol (a monosaccharide) are two water soluble, non- metabolised sugar molecules. Mannitol is easily absorbed, penetrating cells, whilst Lactulose has larger molecules and is only partially absorbed. If the levels of mannitol and lactulose in the collected urine sample are high it is indicative of Leaky Gut Syndrome. Low levels of both molecules indicate malabsorption of nutrients. High levels of lactulose and low levels of Mannitol indicate that the person has healthy digestion.
Digestive Stool Analysis
This involves testing of a stool sample for: digestive function, how well fats, proteins, carbohydrates and other nutrients are absorbed in the colon, presence of candida or other bacterial infections, dysbiosis (imbalance in intestinal bacteria), parasitic infection and other indicators of digestive dysfunction.
The tests most commonly used involved testing the blood for high levels of antibodies such as IgG, IgA and IgM, which could indicate Candidiasis.
Allergy/ Intolerance/ Sensitivity Testing
Your doctor can refer you for allergy testing. The methods below are the most common forms of testing that are offered:
A skin prick or scratch test, where a drop of fluid containing the allergen is placed on the surface of the skin and then the skin is pricked to push the allergen just under the skin surface (usually the forearm, back or upper arm). If the person is has an allergy the skin will swell, become itchy and red and a white swelling called a wheal develops, which fades after several hours.
Also the allergen can be injected underneath the skin surface and monitored for a reaction.
A blood RAST (radioallergosorbent) test that measures the amount of IgE in the blood when exposed to various allergens is also used for true allergies.
Patch tests are used to diagnose delayed allergic reactions that cause skin rashes, such as dermatitis. Traces of the allergen are taped to the skin for 48 hours and a dermatologist measures reactions. Tests can be performed for respiratory or food allergies.
Food Allergy/ SensitivityTesting
If you choose to order your own food allergy testing instead of going via the doctor there are places that offer true allergy testing, for instance YORKTEST offer an allergy test against 36 of the most common food and inhalant allergens, which requires a blood sample taken by a doctor or nurse.
Food allergies can be tested for by elimination diets, where the foods suspected of causing an allergic reaction are eliminated from the diet for several months. This needs to be undertaken with the assistance of a qualified health practitioner.
There are blood tests available to test for food intolerances, which test a pin-prick blood sample against a number of foods for various antibody reactions, depending on where you get the test done. York Test are the most well known and offer testing for up to 113 different food types.
Live Blood Cell Analysis
Live Blood Cell Analysis involves the patient giving a pin-prick blood sample, which is placed on a microscopic slide, underneath a glass coverslip, to prevent it from drying up. Following this the slide is viewed by the practitioner through a dark field microscope (at high magnification), which then transfers the image to a television monitor, for the patient to view simultaneously.
The practitioner then assesses from how the blood appears, the patients state of health. It is said that the movement of the red and white blood cells can be seen along with: the presence of pathogens and free radicals, immune system function, digestive function, liver or pancreatic problems, oxidative stress, presence of bacteria, parasites and fungus, malnutrition, stress to the system, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, along with other indicators of poor health and disease. It is not a method of diagnosis but a screening process indicating where health problems may lie.
Amino Acid Analysis
Amino Acids combine to form protein required by the body. They repair tissue, produce antibodies to prevent infection, carry oxygen throughout the body, aid the production of hormones such as insulin, amongst other important functions. There are eight ‘essential’ amino acids that the body cannot manufacture and which must be gleaned from dietary sources and the other ‘non -essential’ amino acids can be produced by the body. A low protein diet and poor health can cause deficiencies in amino acids. The amino acid test calculates amino acid levels in a 24 hour urine sample. It is used to: assess the risk of heart disease and for, anxiety, autism, behavioural disorders, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, digestive disorders along with other conditions.