Naturopaths, Massage, Nutritionists, Acupuncturists & Osteopaths in Brisbane

Leaky Gut


Leaky gut is when the lining of the intestines becomes damaged or ‘leaky.’ It’s important to keep our intestinal lining healthy as it’s where we absorb our food and nutrients and block out nasties like bugs, which can lead to imbalanced gut bacteria and poor health. The end result of a leaky gut is things that should stay within the intestines, “leak” from the gut and  start to circulate in the rest of the body. This can trigger your immune system to try and fight things it’s not used to dealing with, potentially resulting in a number of health problems including (but not limited to):

  • Inflammation
  • Allergies
  • Food intolerances
  • Weight gain
  • Hormone problems
  • Thyroid problems
  • Digestive problems like chronic diarrhoea or constipation
  • Brain fog and fatigue
  • Candida overgrowth
  • Skin problems like acne, eczema and dermatitis
  • Pre-existing digestive conditions such as Coeliac Disease

Symptoms and the intensity of leaky gut present differently in everyone depending on the level of damage and how long it’s been happening for.

What causes leaky gut:

There can be several contributing factors to the cause of leaky gut. These can include:

  • Illness or infection like a gut bug or parasite
  • Toxin overload
  • overuse or misuse of medications
  • Recurrent Antibiotic use
  • Chronic stress
  • Dysbiosis (or imbalanced gut bacteria)
  • Poor diet
  • Nutritional deficiencies

Leaky Gut can be tested for by your Naturopath by doing an Intestinal permeability test. This involves drinking a solution containing 2 sugars: lactulose and mannitol. One of these sugars is tiny and is easily absorbed by the gut and the other sugar is large and should not be absorbed by the gut. If the large sugar appears in your urine during the test, it’s a sign that you have leaky gut and your gut is letting things into your body through the intestines that should be kept out. Think of it like a fly screen on your windows, air flows in but bugs stay out.

If you’ve tried everything and you’re still looking for answers to help you improve your digestive symptoms, these tests and investigations may prove useful to you. It’s important to seek advice from your doctor to rule out any major underlying causes for your symptoms. If you’ve done this, and your symptoms are still not improving, a Naturopath can help assess leaky gut and help you to determine which is the best course of action to improve your health.

Testing for leaky gut helps you feel like it’s not all in your head, when you find a cause, you can then confidently choose and follow a treatment plan, knowing you’re on the right track for your body to get better. Make sure you contact a Naturopath who has undertaken extra training in functional pathology testing. Best of luck on your journey back to good gut health!

All the Naturopaths at Vibe Natural Health are training in Leaky Gut / Intestinal Permeability testing. We supply you with a take home kit and help you interpret the results and devise a treatment plan to heal you gut naturally.

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