“Leaky gut” or Intestinal Permeability as it is better known in medical circles has had a lot of research over the past few years and it is connected to many different health issues.
But how do you know if you have leaky gut? There are a number of tests available, but I think the best test is the Cyrex Array 2 Test.
The Cyrex Array 2 test helps to take out the guesswork as you cannot just rely on symptoms, and it can save wasting time and money on unnecessary treatments.
Now, before we talk about the test, it’s essential that you understand what having a leaky gut (or intestinal permeability) means for you.
Leaky Gut: What Is It?
Your gut has a lining is meant to be permeable, that way you can absorb nutrients, but it should be selectively permeable and not allow unwanted toxins and larger molecules to pass.
Think of something similar to a net or a flyscreen - you would not want a flyscreen with holes in it!
The small holes work as filters. They keep out the harmful substances, like undigested food particles and bad bacteria, and make sure they won't get into your system. At the same time, they let the beneficial substances in.
When that wall gets damaged, it becomes ineffective in doing its job.
Harmful substances get a free pass or 'leak' into your system, causing great damage to your overall health.
There are four main reasons someone develops a leaky gut.
Dysbiosis is one.
Also called bacterial imbalance, it's considered the top reason for leaky gut syndrome. It happens when your gut gets filled with harmful bacteria, overpowering the good and beneficial ones
This can be conditions such as SIBO (SIBO = Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth).
Poor diet is a leading cause of the syndrome as well. When you eat too much sugar, dairy products, and genetically-modified foods, you put yourself at an increased risk of developing the condition.
Plus, eating a lot of food rich in gluten can increase your zonulin levels. Zonulin, in case you're wondering, is a type of protein present in your intestinal barrier's epithelial cells and a marker of intestinal permeability.
Another cause is toxin overload. Excessive and prolonged exposure to contaminated tap water, aspirin, antibiotics, and pesticides fall under this category.
There's also prolonged exposure to stress.
We all know that stress is never a good thing for the body, and that includes your immune system.
When you're exposed to too much stress, your body's ability to fight off infection-causing microorganisms declines. And when you can no longer eliminate them, inflammation happens and a leaky gut develops.
How can you tell if you have a leaky gut?
There are a handful of signs and symptoms that point to the condition. People with leaky guts experience digestive system changes. Some of them deal with diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and gas.
Hormonal imbalances and autoimmune diseases like psoriasis and celiac disease are common symptoms as well. The list also includes:
For a lot of people, relying on checking signs and symptoms is usually not enough. Most cases require tools like the Cyrex Array 2 Test to get a definitive diagnosis.
The Problems A Leaky Gut Causes
By now, you're probably wondering: Why do I need to get checked for leaky gut?
You see, the effects of having intestinal permeability aren't just limited to your gastrointestinal system. Believe it or not, a leaky gut can cause problems anywhere in your body.
Consider asthma as an example.
Even though it's considered a disease of the respiratory system, there are studies suggesting asthma is one of the allergic diseases triggered by intestinal permeability.
There are also studies showing how a leaky gut can increase fibromyalgia pain. Treatment of SIBO showed great reductions in pain.
A leaky gut can also lead to developing nutritional deficiencies which put you at risk of other health problems.
Take iodine as an example. When your body fails to absorb enough iodine, you can end up developing hypothyroidism.
What Is Cyrex Array 2 Test?
Cyrex Array 2 Test is a tool for assessing intestinal permeability or leaky gut. It's a test that's highly recommended for people diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome, auto-immune-related symptoms, and those with food intolerances.
Now, what does a leaky gut mean?
When you have intestinal permeability, bacteria and undigested food particles are able to enter your bloodstream. There, they alert your immune system of potential threats. Different parts of your body experience inflammation and allergies as it tries to defend itself.
To know if you have a leaky gut, the test checks for the following antibodies:
1. Occludin/Zonulin IgA
2. Occludin/Zonulin IgG
3. Occludin/Zonulin IgM
Occludin and zonulin are also proteins you can find in the junctions between the epithelial cells of your gut's lining. Think of them as gatekeepers; they work by preventing large molecules from entering the intestinal barrier and your bloodstream where they can wreak havoc to your body's immune response.
These proteins are made when the gut becomes inflamed and the lining breaks down. A positive result can also signal a leaky blood-brain barrier since occludin and zonulin are present in the blood-brain barrier too.
4. Actomyosin IgA
Actomyosin is present throughout your body. A smooth muscle protein, it forms cables in the epithelial cells of your intestinal barrier.
This Actin Network contracts to open small and tight junctions, allowing tiny amino acid nutrients to get into your bloodstream. At appropriate times, it expands to keep the junctions tight.
When actomyosin antibodies are present, it's an indication of damage to the membrane lining of your digestive tract.
5. Lipopolysaccharides IgA
6. Lipopolysaccharides IgG
7. Lipopolysaccharides IgM
Lipopolysaccharides keep gram-negative bacteria safe from gram-positive ones. The endotoxins are released when a gram-negative bacterium dies.
Once LPS reaches your bloodstream, it triggers inflammation throughout your entire system. This contributes to several disorders like plaque formation in your arteries and metabolic disorders.
The presence of LPS can also point toward gut flora dysbiosis.
The best way to assess gut bacteria and the presence of the LPS producing bacteria is the GI Map test.
How Can It Help You?
Cyrex Array 2 test is more than just a tool for diagnosing leaky gut syndrome. It's also quite helpful in monitoring gut repair and intestinal support.
Basically, if the numbers in your test results are improving, it means that your leaky gut is healing well.
Now, who is it for?
The test is highly recommended for people who have a food sensitivity and autoimmune-related symptoms. It's also a good test to take for those suffering from abnormal immune cell count and neurological diseases.
How Is Array 2 Test Done?
After ordering the test, the kits will be sent to your shipping address. You will also receive your requisition form and testing instructions via email.
Once you've received both, you'll need to schedule your draw. Take note that the test requires a serum sample. This means that you can't do it on your own, a phlebotomist must perform the blood draw.
Cyrex will let you know the closest center you can get your blood drawn and there’s no extra fee for it. However, if you choose to have a phlebotomist come to your home to extract your blood, you’ll have to pay for it with your own money.
When it comes to sending the kit back, you won’t have to worry about any additional expenses. It comes with free shipping return mail which you can use. Just remember to have it shipped back immediately so that it arrives at the lab within 7 days.
As for the result, you can expect to receive it within 14 business days.
After getting your results, it is recommended that you schedule a consultation. A consultation can help you understand your findings better. You will also get the chance to learn more about the best treatment plan for your specific health needs.
Depending on your test results, there are a couple of things you can do to take care of your gut.
You can start taking probiotics. This can help maintain your gut lining's health by limiting the overgrowth of the harmful bacteria, particularly in your small intestine.
You can also increase your intake of prebiotics by eating more plant fibers. Prebiotics can boost your good bacteria's ability to fight the bad ones.
You can also consider Postbiotics like Butyrate.
Reducing your consumption of sugars and processed foods in general can also help heal your gut lining.
For a more specific treatment plan, take the Cyrex Array 2 Test today and schedule a consultation with Planet Naturopath once you receive your results.
For the best value I would recommend doing the Cyrex Array 2 & 3 & 4 combination.
More About Cyrex Laboratories
Cyrex Laboratories is located in Phoenix in the U.S, and they are unlike any other laboratories that work on autoimmunity and functional immunology. It's actually one of the best in the industry.
The laboratory specializes in multi-tissue antibody testing. This allows both early detection and monitoring of the various autoimmune diseases known today.
The cost of the test is $295 but there is a special price if you order Array 2, 3, and 4 together ($695). All of these tests require a blood draw and they’re best taken together so you can get a clearer picture of your gut health.
In case you’re wondering, Array 3 tests for wheat/gluten proteome reactivity and autoimmunity. Meanwhile, Array 4 tests for reactivity towards foods and dietary proteins that cross-react with gluten.
Shipping costs are included in the price for U.S customers, for international orders there will be additional shipping costs for FedEx or DHL to get the sample back to the lab within 10 days.