Do you experience food sensitivities and triggers? Perhaps you might have been told that you have a leaky gut or SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)?
Maybe you just have chronic inflammation or a health condition and you’re not sure where to start with healing your gut? But, you know how important it is to heal your gut. So let’s dive into how you could do that.
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Our food supply has changed so much since the end of World War II and our agricultural industry is very different than it used to be. We have many more GMOs, herbicides, and pesticides that are used in our food. We also have much more processed food, and therefore that has greatly impacted the health of our microbiome.
In addition to that, we have more stress, more sugar, more antibiotics, a lack of sleep, and lots of caffeine. All of these things are attributing to systemic inflammation and poor gut health. Just one round of antibiotics can shift your microbiome forever.
5 R Approach to Heal Your Gut
We want to remove any potential triggers. This could look very different for each person but here are some examples. This could be doing an elimination diet to remove potentially inflammatory foods. It could also be a modified elimination, like removing gluten and dairy. It could include antibiotics, anti-microbials, or antifungals to eliminate some kind of infection like SIBO or yeast overgrowth.
Removing stressors if you are maintaining a high-stress lifestyle can be very important in your healing. You can’t remove the stress of course, but you can begin to manage and reduce the stressors in your life.
Ideally, you want to have a health professional to help you during this process. They can assist you with looking at all things that are happening in your life: sleep, stress, movement, relationships, and social aspects.
Now that we removed all of these potential triggers, you’ll want to replace them with proper nutrients and anti-inflammatory food, and phytonutrients. Maximize your fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and healthy fats, for example. This can also include supplementation as well.
As we get older our digestive enzyme activity begins to decrease. That can be one factor in some gut issues. Using supplementation to support you during this time can be very beneficial because many times you’re not absorbing the nutrients as you should, especially in the case of leaky gut or intestinal permeability.
The protective barrier of the epithelial lining in our gut becomes less protective and then pathogens can come into our bloodstream causing an immune reaction. When you have SIBO, you’re not absorbing the nutrients in the small intestine like you should be. These are just a few reasons why we might need supplementation.
This can be with probiotics. Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus are two of the primary strains that could be very beneficial in contributing to this anti-inflammatory effect and increasing the diversity of the bacteria of the microbiome. You can supplement and then you can also work towards increasing fermented foods regularly in your diet. If you’re not able to consume a small amount regularly, ideally daily, then it may be best to supplement in addition to that. If you’re able to eat it on a regular basis, then that’s the best approach.
Specific nutrients, as well as medicinal herbs, have been very beneficial in healing the gut lining. Things like glutamine, 14 grams per day, have been very beneficial in healing the epithelial lining of the gut. Also, things like licorice, vitamin D, omegas, and much more can be given to begin to help repair the gut.
This is where you want to look at all the aspects of your life critically and make the appropriate lifestyle shifts to bring your body back into its most optimal state of wellbeing.
You want to remember that this approach could look very different for each person. The timeline can look very different for each person as well.
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