Healing the gut takes some time, it unfortunately doesn't happen over night. On the bright side, it's not too complicated to figure out how to start the healing process. It does take discipline to commit yourself to a healthier eating program, supplementation, and some lifestyle changes. There are simply 4 R's to follow:
Here is where we begin. This is truly the most important among the 4 R's. As we discussed in the past two posts, there are many factors that play a role in disrupting gut health. Those main sources being stress, unhealthy food and drink choices, and chemicals from medications.
How do we replace? We replace the everyday repetitive stress with time management and spending some ME time to decrease/manage the stress. Next, replace the fast food with healthy foods prepared at home (again pre-plan just a little). Replace the fake processed foods and snacks with healthy fruits, veggies, nuts, etc. Read labels and avoid poor food choices. Also replace the food sources that are highly inflammatory with alternatives. With the Gluten free trend, there are MANY options now available to help you avoid gluten. Same goes for dairy alternatives as well as eggs and nuts. As I mentioned just above, replace some of the medications with all natural supplements, whole foods, and lifestyle changes. The key here is to replace unhealthy stressors in your gut to foods that promote healing.
After you have made the commitment to remove and replace factors in your diet and lifestyle that are unhealthy for your gut, the next step is to repair the damage. Repairing the gut wall is a process. Thankfully the human body is amazingly resilient and SMART! This process can only happen if the stressors are all removed. It is a delicate process that involves healing the gut barrier wall, the villi, and the mucosal layer. Remember from the last blog, 70-80% of our immune system cells live within the gut.
The last step is to re-balance the GI system. While whole foods are imperative to providing nutrition for your GI health, they are typically not enough in the beginning when we are re-balancing the GI tract. The damage to the gut lining makes it difficult to utilize all of the nutrients we digest, especially if the foods are not superior quality. At this phase, reestablishing the micro-flora is paramount through probiotic support. Take a peek at the picture below
Since starting to research this amazingly indepth topic on Gut Health, I have spent a lot of quality time speaking with our supplement companies to see what they officer to patients for gut health and inflammatory healing, and immune support. I was amazed at the amount of literature they were able to produce on this well studied topic. We are excited to have one of our favorite supplement reps in town next week, February 13th, to speak with not just us but also our patients and community about this interesting topic. There is so much to learn about gut health and how it's related to your overall well being. If you would like to hear more about the supplements we offer in the office for detoxification, gut repair supplements, and probiotics, please send me an email and I would be happy to help.
Dr. MJ Wegmann,