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…
“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...
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
- 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,
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: http://solvingleakygut.com/quiz/my-health/
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