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Intestinal Permeability or Leaky Gut Syndrome

Evaluation of Intestinal Permeability or Leaky Gut Syndrome

  • A simple Litmus paper test will allow you to assess and adjust the acid/alkaline balance of your body. Hyperacidity is associated with the conditions mentioned above.
  • Intestinal Permeability Assessment from Genova aka Great Smokies Lab, which directly measures the ability of two non-metabolized sugar molecules "mannitol and lactulose" to permeate the intestinal mucosa. Mannitol is easily absorbed and serves as a marker of transcellular uptake, while lactulose is only slightly absorbed and serves as a marker for mucosal integrity.
  • To perform the test, one mixes premeasured amounts of lactulose and mannitol and drinks the challenge substance. The test measures the amount of lactulose and mannitol recovered in a urine sample over the next 6 hours.
  • Genova Labs aka Great Smokies, can also test for pathogenic bacteria, yeast and parasites in your digestive tract with an easy to administer home stool test. If offensive organisms are found, they are grown out to see which natural and medical substances will assist in eliminating them.

Increased Intestinal Permeability or Leaky Gut Syndrome is seen in disorders such as:

  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Inflammatory joint disease
  • Food allergy
  • Celiac disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis
  • Reiter's syndrome
  • Chronic dermatological conditions
  • Schizophrenia
  • Allergic disorders

What is Intestinal Permeability?

Intestinal Permeability references the integrity of the mucosal layer of the digestive tract that prevent bacteria, antigens, and undigested food proteins from seeping through the GI barrier and into the systemic circulation.

Increased permeability can result in a chronically over reactive immune system in constant battle with toxins and allergens normally kept at bay.

The small intestine has the paradoxical dual function of being a digestive/ absorptive organ as well as a barrier to permeation of toxic compounds and macromolecules.

Either one of these functions may be disrupted by various mechanisms, resulting in local as well as systemic problems.

The distal intestine contains a number of dietary and bacterial products with toxic properties. Dysfunction of the immune or mechanical barriers leads to increased uptake of inflammatory macromolecules and pathogenic bacteria.

If the intestine is not functioning properly, the amount of normally excluded substances that are absorbed through the mucosal lining increases dramatically. Intestinal inflammation promotes the uptake and systemic distribution of potentially harmful macromolecules.

Increased intestinal permeability of the mucosal barrier, also known as leaky gut syndrome, appears to correlate with a number of disorders, while decreased permeability appears as a fundamental cause of malnutrition, malabsorption and failure to thrive.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Intestinal Permeability

Increases in permeability have consistently been reported with small bowel inflammation. In 1972, Shorter proposed that a breach of the intestinal barrier is fundamental to the development of intestinal inflammation. Now, most hypotheses about the pathogenesis of Crohn's disease posit the prime importance of mucosal integrity in maintaining a healthy state, and suggest that increased mucosal permeability underlies the inflammatory process.

Permeability studies show Crohn's disease to be more extensive than sometimes apparent using macroscopic approaches. Pearson showed a sixfold increase in permeability in people with Crohn's disease. When patients with Crohn's disease were placed on an elemental diet, their permeability improved significantly, coinciding with marked clinical improvement."

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