Intestinal Permeability Testing

The Intestinal Permeability (IP) test, also referred to as a “leaky gut” test, is a precise and non-invasive method for assessing gastrointestinal mucosal integrity. Damage to the lining of the gastrointestinal tract (small and large intestine) is common in people with conditions such as food sensitivity and food allergy, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, Coeliac disease and dermatological conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne. It is also a problem in children with issues such as ADHD, Autism spectrum and other developmental issues.

The lining of the gut wall is often subjected to a wide variety of insults from substances such as alcohol, caffeine, medicines and environmental chemicals. The impact of chronic stress may also affect the permeability of the gut wall over time. Correcting the altered permeability may have an immediate effect on the relief of symptoms and facilitate the gradual improvement in the underlying condition.

The Intestinal Permeability Test measures the ability of two sugar molecules – mannitol and lactulose – to permeate the intestinal lining. Ordinarily, mannitol is easily absorbed but lactulose is not, but irregularities in the test results for this test can help to identify absorption issues and “leaky gut syndrome”.

What This Test Can Help To Identify

This test is often done in patients with nutritional deficiency, chronic digestive disorders, food allergy, arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, arthritis, Coeliac disease and dermatological conditions such as eczema, psoriasis and acne and other inflammatory conditions. It is also helpful for children with issues such as ADHD, Autism spectrum and other developmental issues.

This test can help to identify:

  • Malabsorption, which can cause nutritional deficiency
  • Increased permeability and weakness of the intestinal lining barrier, which can cause toxins and larger molecules to enter the bloodstream and lymph circulation. Once in the bloodstream, the immune system attacks these unwanted substances and it also increases the load on the body’s detoxification and immune systems.

What This Test Involves

To perform the test, the patient fasts overnight, then drinks a mixture of lactulose and mannitol provided in a test kit, to perform at home. The patient then collects urine for the next 6 hours. The sample is then sent to the laboratory for testing.

meet our practitioners who specialise in intestinal permeability testing

  • Chevonne Clasen
  • Jan Purser
  • Dr Catherine Collins
  • Jo Coates
  • Lauren Reid
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