The test can be used to detect impaired gut barrier function, also known as increased intestinal permeability, using a dual sugar substrate (Lactulose/Rhamnose).
Increased intestinal permeability effects a significant proportion of the Australian public. It occurs when the function of the intestinal tight junction is impaired, leading to leakage of bacterial endotoxins, inflammatory microbial lipopolysaccharides, other microbial components, and food proteins into the portal blood circulation. This can cause stimulation of the immune system and inflammation. Increased intestinal permeability is associated with many chronic diseases, including diabetes, metabolic disorders, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, coeliac disease and irritable bowel syndrome.
Factors that contribute to impaired gastrointestinal mucosal integrity include smoking, alcohol consumption, poor diet, and other underlying health conditions. For further information on the Lactulose/Rhamnose test for intestinal permeability, please view our publications.
The intestinal permeability test is not currently covered by the Medicare Benefit Scheme so patients will be required to pay the full cost of the test.