I'm a relative newbie and have looked through the archives at lots of questions on leaky gut but still can't quite get my head round how to know if you've got one. Do you always have major symptoms? And considering my past, I've been bulimic as a teen (apparently Jack Kruse considers this a likely sign of leaky gut or perhaps it could cause one?) had rosacea but that's mostly gone since going 90% paleo, odd courses of antibiotics, though not for ten years, and not breastfed for more than a few weeks, all making optimum gut flora unlikely I suppose.
So, any diagnostic criteria? Might I have had a leaky gut but going mostly paleo has fixed it? What's your experience? Thanks.
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The only real way of ascertaining gut hyperpermeability or not is via testing - lactolose/mannitol test, PEG, etc. A good overview is here:
There may be other 'peripheral' markers indicating permeability issues as per things like elevated IgG antibody levels to intestinal bacteria species - see this paper on Sutterella and developmental disorders as a sort of template - full-text - : http://mbio.asm.org/content/3/1/e00261-11.full.pdf (see page 8).
As to whether gut permeability issues can be 'fixed', without any medical advice intended or given, look to coeliac (celiac) disease as a potential model of what gluten seems to be able to do and the influence of a gluten-free diet (at least in coeliac disease).
Indeed in my area of interest, there seems also to be some potential effects from the removal of gluten on measures of intestinal permeability albeit with more research required:
I had absolutely no clue that I had a leaky gut. Actually, I had clues, but I did not connect the dots. If I ate curry or hot salsa, I would become very irritable, horny, and it would cause insomnia. I just thought that my spirit was not well connected to my body and the hot food made me hotter. Little did I know that the hot molecules were not being broken down and were entering directly into my blood stream. No wonder I would become so enraged after a hot meal.
Homemade kefir did not solve the problem. I think that homemade kefir is the cat's meow and it is currently one of my staples, but it did not solve the problem. Since becoming paleo for the past about 3 months, the problem is solved. Recently I had very large amounts of curry and chocolate ice cream 3 days in a row, with exactly zero irritability. Eating like this is not very paleo or even healthy in the traditional sense, but it was a great test of my new found strength/health.
This experience has (1) made me a paleo fanatic, even worse than I used to be, (2) made me realize that there are a lot of problems that can be below the radar of self and doctor diagnoses, and (3) it is always better to shoot at a health goal than be harassed into living/eating right by painful symptoms.
If you've been on antibiotics and not breastfed, you've got gut permeability.
Rosacea was your symptom for leaky gut. As you healed the leaky gut by paleo diet rosacea is gone too. That is how it worked with me.
Enjoy paleo food and stop warrying, that might get your gut more leaky too.