Should You Get Tested for Leaky Gut?

We’ve been getting a lot of questions about leaky gut, as over 45,000 people have taken our leaky gut quiz

Questions like…

“Should I get tested for Leaky Gut?”

“Does Candida make my gut leaky?”

“Does health insurance cover this stuff?”

“How does leaky gut lead to my disease?”

We dive into these and more during our free webinar on “How to Solve Your Leaky Gut…” (which you can register for here).

But Today Let’s Explode the Two MOST Common Leaky Gut Myths...

Is Leaky Gut Making You Sicker?


Myth 1: You Should Get Tested for Leaky Gut

Before you spend a bunch of money on lab work, let’s talk about testing. In many cases, testing is the first step toward getting to the root cause of an issue. You know we’re firm believers in using reliable lab tests to make decisions. Here’s some of your options for leaky gut testing…

1) The most common leaky gut test is called the “Lactulose/Mannitol Test.”

2) Then there’s also a cool new technology in Cyrex Labs Array 2 “Intestinal Antigenic Permeability Screen.”

Both tests have their benefits. For example, the Lactulose/Mannitol test is commonly used as the gold standard in research settings. The Cyrex panel is possibly a better option to measure the immune response from leaky gut. But if you can’t afford to get testing… or you only have a tight budget to get started, this could be an important message to read.

The inconvenient truth is: leaky gut testing could be a waste of money if you already have it.

Leaky gut is a tricky condition. In fact, only 70% of people with leaky gut have digestive problems. You can even find it in people that “look” healthy, which would make it seem like you might want to test for it but…

I think our friend and mentor Chris Kresser L.Ac says it best, when deciding on investing in a medical test ask this question: “Will the test result change the outcome of the treatment?

In the case of testing for leaky gut, not necessarily.


Because if you’re reading this, you probably have leaky gut.

For example, do you have any of these issues?

  • Multiple food sensitivities (reacting to a lot of foods)
  • Brain fog
  • ANY autoimmune conditions
  • Skin issues like acne, rashes or eczema
  • Inflammation related symptoms (like allergies or dry eyes)
  • GI Symptoms like diarrhea or constipation
  • IBD
  • Severe nutrient deficiencies
  • Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth

If you’re dealing with these issues, the research suggests it’s highly likely you have a leaky gut… and getting a test done that confirms this theory is most likely NOT going to change the treatment protocol.

The approach to treating the above conditions isn’t going to change based on the outcome of a leaky gut test… because the RIGHT programs are designed in a way that assumes you have a leaky gut to begin with.

It’s like this…

Imagine the engine in your car is leaking oil and every time you park the car, there is a huge puddle of oil on the floor.

Then, imagine you take it to the mechanic. When you pull into the garage, it’s leaking oil on the floor, yet the mechanic says, “I’d like to test the engine and see if it’s leaking oil.”

Hopefully, you’d say, “Uhhh, look at the floor, it’s leaking oil everywhere. Isn’t it obvious? Can’t you just fix it now?

You get the idea…

We strongly believe in using a standardized system for tracking before and after progress so you know your treatment plan is working. For example, the Functional Medicine Multiple Symptoms Questionnaire (MSQ) is a great tool to keep track of how well your body is healing.

But in general, we don’t recommend our clients get tested for leaky gut. We think their money could be well spent on other tests that WILL change the outcome of the treatment plan by testing for root causes of leaky gut, like stool testing or hormone testing.

Instead of testing for leaky gut, get to work on fixing it. We can help you do that in our webinar (register here if you’d like to attend).

Myth 2: Diet Alone Can Fix Leaky Gut

Whether we’re talking about SCD, GAPS, Paleo, Autoimmune Paleo, or WAPF…

The inconvenient truth is: Diet alone won’t fix a leaky gut.

While some foods cause a leaky gut, just switching to a “real food diet” isn’t enough to fix a leaky gut. We receive so many emails from people feeling like they’re slowly losing the battle. It’s like they’re just “stuck.”

Don’t get me wrong, SCD, GAPS, WAPF, and Paleo definitely reduce symptoms and fix some people forever.

But that wasn’t our experience. Diet helped but it just wasn’t enough to get back to full health.

The food allergies didn’t seem to go away. The energy just wasn’t there. Autoimmunity and inflammation markers were still high.

The joy of life wasn’t returning…

Because the leaky gut wasn’t actually healing.

It takes more than just diet to reverse leaky gut.

It takes a 3-part approach.

In order to really reverse your leaky gut and begin to heal your problems we use the 3-pronged approach of diet, supplement and lifestyle changes.

Chronic, system-wide inflammation and leaky gut is a huge beast to tame…

Let me be crystal clear, diet change is critical… but it’s only one important piece. We’ll talk more about this in more detail during our leaky gut webinar, but because of the nature of having a damaged intestine, sometimes you have to eat stricter than SCD or autoimmune paleo to start to heal. Dare I say it, this might help you more.

But once you’ve changed your diet, you need a solid backdrop of supplement and lifestyle changes to complete the process.

Many people have actually done all three at one time or another, but never at the same time. For example, maybe you finally followed a strict Paleo diet for 6 months, but you weren’t taking any reliable gut-healing supplements.

Or maybe you finally quit your stressful job and started meditating, but you didn’t follow the diet as closely as you need to.

Rome wasn’t built in a day… and neither is gut health.

If you’re already on the autoimmune protocol, taking good quality supplements, and reducing your stress… but still have signs and symptoms of leaky gut, there’s more work to do.

Many of us are “tough cases” and we need more than just a real food diet to heal. Complex problems rarely ever have simple answers, but as humans we like simple ideas: single causes, magic pills and smoking guns. When it comes to leaky gut, there are at least 19 common triggers in the research that can be contributing to your problems.

We’re going to be covering the right diet, lifestyle, and supplement changes to fix leaky gut in a free presentation on TUES night, “How to Solve Leaky Gut and Reverse Chronic Disease.”

Click here if you’d like to join us

In good health,

– Jordan

P.S. – If you’re not even sure if you have a leaky gut or not, make sure you take our leaky gut quiz. It takes about 3 minutes and once you’re done you’ll get a custom analysis of your top leaky gut risk factors, as well as a 60-minute interview with one of the world’s leading experts on your #1 problem. It’s free to take the quiz here:

Jordan Reasoner

About Jordan Reasoner

Jordan Reasoner is a health engineer and author. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 and almost gave up hope when a gluten-free diet didn’t work. Since then, he transformed his health using the SCD Diet and started to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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33 thoughts on “Should You Get Tested for Leaky Gut?

  1. Avatar
    Zeeshan Salaar says:

    Hi i m suffereing from Fibromyalgia since last 11 years but it became chronic in past 3 years.. so i came to know by a chiropractor “Dr. John Bergman from California” that leaky gut is a major contributing factor to aggravate the symptoms. I use to live in Pakistan, So please let me know what should i do to heal my leaky gut?

  2. Avatar

    Hello. I was recently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease—psoriatic arthritis. From various natural healing sources I am inclined to believe that one of the root causes is a leaky gut. Would it behoove me to take a blood serum test that would show which foods could be seeping through my intestinal walls into my blood stream?
    Thank you.

    • Avatar

      HI Jerome – we don’t thing that would be very helpful and here’s why. If foods (any foods) are causing an intolerance…it’s likely you’re suffering from a leaky gut. The bottom line is that it needs to be healed. We like to go by this rule – if the test won’t change anything, it’s not worth getting. You can assume you have some work to do in your gut if you have an active autoimmune condition.

  3. Avatar
    Belinda Nweke says:

    I have been having bloating, gas, and abdominal pain especially after eating, what should I do? Explain more on paleo diet? Am from Nigeria and we don’t have some of the food products in Paleo or scd diet

  4. Avatar

    With a Crohn’s diagnosis, do you think getting into remission is best with a drug first and then adding a good diet and lifestyle change; or starting with the diet and lifestyle first and then adding the drug; or both? We are wondering if doing both would then not give us a clear indication about whether or not the drug would be a lifelong protocol. Can remission be had without the drugs? (Remicade has already proven ineffective).

  5. Avatar
    Layza Velasquez says:

    Recently, I have been dealing with stomach issues. I’ve been having two or three diarrhea bouts a month for about a few months now. I have tried about everything I had available to me.I tried antidiarrheals, pills for pain, antacids, and a home remedy. Then, I read that the antacids only aggravate the symptoms so I stopped taking those. My mother once said that I had anxiety, and my doctor said I have gastritis. Up to now I doubt both answers. I’m suspecting I have something else. I discovered that I have a high risk of Leaky Gut Syndrome.

  6. Avatar

    Hi, My daughter has Graves disease, eczema and achy joints. With everything I have read she has leaky gut but I haven’t been able to convince her to COMPLETELY change her diet. She is currently on methimazole but I want her off of it. I started her on Juice Plus (just the tablets) back in April. Since she has been on Juice Plus her white blood count is normal, her liver function is normal and her skin has cleared up. The problem we are still having is her thyroid levels (they are like a roller coaster). Do you have any recommendations to help her thyroid levels and get improve her overall health?

  7. Avatar

    When getting a Lactulose/Mannitol Test do you get a number to say exactly how leaky your LeakyGut is? So then this could be used for comparison purposes later. It’s obviously best to feel better but it’d be nice to have a number to put next to progress too, right?

  8. Avatar

    Hi just listened to your webinar with Katie and is was so well researched clear and informative Thankyou.
    I am at the moment going through the process of healing and the webinar has helped me solve questions that were puzzling me. One particular was fermented many people are saying it’s the best thing for healing leaky gut that I was relieved that you questioned for some people,I would like to add some info as to why it may not be for some people. I have always struggled with fermented foods and when excluded them form my diet felt better. I now know that I have a gene mutation that means I do not break down both Histamine and Tyramine easily and both are included in Fermented foods!!! Thank you again.

  9. Avatar

    I appreciate your informed post and how you are clearly helping those that find you. Leaky Gut Syndrome is probably unknown to most Americans, don’t you think? Reading in health especially about the Paleo diet was the first time I learned about it years ago. Now in studying the subject of my website, I’ve come upon the possibility that leaky gut may be implicated with systemic infections also. That’s what attracted me to your article, not because I suspect I have it. You confirmed that the road back to full health from this syndrome requires more than diet changes. Thank you for writing this.
    The best to you.

  10. Avatar

    Royce Mclean NLP Practitioner NZ
    Thank you for your site in sharing information and allowing our comments. I have been dealing personally with LGS for about eight months now and I finally can see the results of resolving the issue from many approaches suggested. This is what i did over time. 1. I completely change my diet as recommended, get a good mindset around this one. 2. drink lots of clean warm water (2litres a day) boil up parsley juice and drink that great for the liver. 3. take lots of quality supplements. 4. take appropriate herbs as a support. 5. use acupuncture in dealing with the internal heat of the blood. 6. first thing in the morning take half a lemon in parsley juice followed by a second glass of same with herbs (drops) and apple cider vinegar and sometimes with some vitamin C powder in the drink taking two good quality probiotics, wait 30minutes b4 breakfast. 7.breakfast take two kiwifruit (gold) with organic cereal. lots of fermented sauerkraut cabbage during the day. 9. get rid of stress and laugh more. 10. Make up lots of pure vegetable soups with chicken broth and puree freeze them for future use. 11. accept that years of gluten food will take some time to turn around, but it will happen and your energy will return. 12. you will lose lots of weight and feel so much better you will not go back to your previous self and will really like who are now. Forget the medical profession they are so far behind the eight ball and work with those that know (like this site)

  11. Avatar

    I couldn’t finish the quiz because I can’t say for certain whether I have food sensitivities. My digestion is pretty good overall, although once in awhile I get some fairly serious gas pains. Perhaps you need a “Maybe” choice in your quiz?

    • Avatar

      HI Mike, thank you for reaching out. Yes, each answer/question is not going to be perfect, but due to the multifaceted questionnaire, the quiz is typically right on for most people. Perhaps you can answer both ways and see which ending seems to fit your situation better.

    • Avatar

      Hi David, thank you for reaching out! The webinar is a general overview of how leaky gut is caused, what you can do about it, and also about the details of the program. We will be sending out the replay as well, so if you would like to browser through that a little quicker, you can.

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