Understanding your Leaky Gut Breath Test Results

Leaky Gut Syndrome results when the lining of the small intestines becomes damaged or weakened. Damage to your intestines may occur through consumption of caffeine, alcohol, medicines, environmental chemicals, stress and certain foods. The loss of enzyme activity in the small intestine is an example of leaky gut damage.

Gut-chek for leaky gut monitors sucrase enzyme activity using a simple breath test. Sucrase is the enzyme that digests common table sugar or sucrose.

The breath test uses a 20-gram dose of sucrose and monitors how much appears in the breath as carbon dioxide within 90 minutes. We measure the conversion to carbon dioxide by mass spectrometry. Normal sucrose digestion over 90 minutes is >5.10% for females and >3.91% for males. The test is positive for leaky gut and intestinal damage if the digestion is less than these amounts.

View an example report.

What if I have a Positive Leaky Gut Breath Test?

Remove the foods that are damaging the intestine

If your breath test shows leaky gut is detected, a change of diet is the way to deal with this condition. It is important to remove foods and toxins that are damaging the intestinal lining. In time, the intestine can heal. The goal is to remove the causes of this condition. These are the biggest offending foods to the intestine:

  • Foods with added refined sugars
  • Alcohol (no more than 1 glass of wine per day)
  • White breads and foods with white flour
  • Caffeine (no more than 2 cups per day)
  • Packaged, processed and convenience foods
  • Fizzy drinks (example regular and diet sodas)

What foods can help heal the intestines?

Eat organic raw fruit and vegetables. Eat foods that have natural antimicrobial properties such as onions, radishes, ginger, chili, lemon juice, mustard, rosemary, leaks and turmeric.

Reduce intake of products with gluten

Glutens can cause inflammatory damage to the lining of your intestines. Reduce products that contain gluten.

Reduce exposure to toxins

Pay attention to exposure to beauty and personal care products. Use alternative products that have less toxic chemicals.

Eat garlic

Garlic has antioxidant components that can minimize the damage caused by toxins. Garlic can also kill yeast overgrowth in the intestine. Add garlic to foods or take garlic supplements.

Increase your essential fatty acid intake

Get plenty of essential fatty acids. Essential fatty acids perform vital functions in the intestinal lining. Eat foods high in omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids such as found in fish (salmon and tuna), avocados, and nuts (walnuts). Virgin coconut oil has antimicrobial and antifungal activity. Fish oil and flaxseed oil supplements are also useful.

Eat yogurt with live cultures

Yogurts with live cultures (not pasteurized) will add beneficial bacteria to your intestines. Eat yogurt only if you don’t have a problem with dairy and milk products.

Increase your consumption of complex carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are digested more slowly which is beneficial. For example, these foods contain complex carbohydrates:

  • Pumpkin
  • Winter squash
  • Sweet potato
  • Raw apples

What if I have a Negative Leaky Gut Breath Test?

If you have cramps and bloating, headaches and other aches when you your meals but received a negative leaky gut breath test, there may be several reasons for this result.

First, a negative leaky gut breath test may indicate your damage to your small intestine is not significant enough to cause a change in the digestion of sugars. Your testing was too early to detect damage.

Second, your symptoms could also indicate that you have bacterial overgrowth. Consider taking the Gut-chek small intestinal bacterial overgrowth test.

Please consult our Learning Center for additional leaky gut resources. 

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