Intestinal Permeability (IP)

Intestinal Permeability


Intestinal permeability (IP) is commonly known as Leaky Gut. It can be considered a gastrointestinal condition in its own right but also a potential precursor to a wide variety of conditions far beyond the gut. When the intestinal barrier becomes injured, its selective filtration system can fail us. The gut becomes ‘leaky’, allowing unwanted matter and toxins to escape the colonic environment into the bloodstream. Escaping proteins and toxins into the hosts bloodstream may trigger an inflammatory response manifesting in illness development.

Leaky gut can drive impaired digestion, poor nutrient absorption, adversely altered gut microbiome, heightened food sensitivity and allergy development. Evidence indicates leaky gut may be a contributing factor in the development of autoimmunity.

Causative factors

  • Stress – emotional and physical (athletes may have increased incidence of IP)
  • Poor diet – (typically western)
  • History of antibiotics
  • Long term PPIs, NSAIDs, Acne medication (Roaccutane)
  • Increased toxin exposure
  • Alcohol
  • SIBO – Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Bacterial Dysbiosis


  • Abdominal Pain
  • Loose stools
  • Constipation
  • Gas and Bloating
  • Chronic Muscle Pain
  • Brain fog
  • Poor concentration
  • Chronic Joint Pain
  • Skin Conditions – Psoriasis, Eczema
  • Fatigue
  • Feeling ‘toxic’
  • Increased sensitivity – diet and environmental
  • Chronic headaches/migraine

Associated Conditions

  • SIBO
  • IBS
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Psoriasis
  • Eczema
  • Autoimmunity
  • Joint inflammation
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Crohn’s and Colitis
  • Celiac Disease
  • Histamine Intolerance
  • Food sensitivity and allergy
  • Liver Dysfunction
  • Alcoholism
  • Thyroiditis/Hashimoto’s

How do we know if you have Leaky Gut? Functional Testing

Conventional medicine currently offers no test to determine intestinal permeability. I offer patients IP testing via blood draw or urine collection. Results allow for tailored intervention, therefore enhanced patient progress.

Advanced Intestinal Barrier Assessment – Venus Blood Draw

This revolutionary test assesses a collection of biomarkers to determine Intestinal Permeability.

Test markers include: Histamine, diamine oxidase (DAO), Plasma Zonulin and Lipopolysaccharides (LPS – endotoxins produced by gram-negative gut bacteria)

Intestinal Permeability and Absorption Analysis – Urine Collection (after ingesting sugar substrate)

The IPA Analysis is a unique comprehensive test designed to determine the health and efficiency of multiple gut functions. These functions include intestinal permeability, intestinal damage, gut function, lactose intolerance, sucrose intolerance and intestinal villi health.


To optimise understanding of a patients’ colon health I rarely suggest running either of these tests without the inclusion of either a

  • Comprehensive Stool Analysis,
  • SIBO Test
  • Food Intolerance Panel
  • Organic Acid Test.

Which may provide additional clinical understanding of someone’s IP development and sustenance.


With specific tailored intervention leaky gut may heal. It requires identifying and addressing all elements which may have triggered IP and all elements sustaining IP. A ‘stepping-stone’ process, as follows.

  1. Remove – eliminate offending contributors to IP
  2. Replace – provide digestive support, address low stomach acid, digestive enzymes, support gallbladder
  3. Reinoculated – recalibrate microbiome, introduce probiotics
  4. Repair – nurture mucosal barrier healing
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Meet Paula

Paula is a functional nutritionist with over 14 years of professional experience.

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