Heal your Gut
Last month I addressed the issue of poor digestion and offered suggestions to help boost your digestive power. "We are what we digest after all". Not only being able to break down your food but to have the power to properly absorb all those nutrients locked within your food is a vital part of our digestive process.
The advent of food additives, pesticides, highly concentrated grain products, processed foods, some pharmaceutical medicines, poor food combining, food intolerances or allergies has wreaked havoc on our GI lining.
Our GI lining aids in absorbing nutrients into the body while also preventing foreign particles, toxic waste material or bacteria/yeast/viruses into our blood system. When this lining becomes compromised you could say the seal has been broken, and particles can get through into places they shouldn't. This creates an inflammation response in the body. If left untreated you could develop further food intolerances or allergies, arthritic symptoms, autoimmune diseases, IBS or other digestive disorders, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia have even been linked to what has now been termed "Leaky Gut Syndrome".
Currently this is a condition more known within the Naturopathic community and is just starting to get some notice within the western medical field as it is being linked to IBS, a condition that is said to effect 1 in 10 people.
If you have any of these symptoms you could have a leaky gut:
chronic constipation or diarrhea
IBS or other digestive disorders
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth
nutritional deficiencies or mal-absorption
food intolerances or food allergies
mood disorders, depression
Autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, chrohn's or celiac diseases
Regardless, it can be nice to give back and nurture your GI lining once in a while.
Here are some suggestions for how to give back and repair your gut:
First, find out what might be damaging the lining in the first place and remove those items.
Here are some common things to eliminate: Sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, dairy, soy.
Do a blood drawn food intolerance test such as IgG or Elisa test. And eliminate those foods that prove to be sensitive for you.
In my case I tested intolerant to dairy, eggs, corn, beans, grains, sugar. Of which I was eating at least one of these items on a daily basis.
Avoid eating the same thing every day. Rotate your foods. The more you eat the same food every day you will over time develop a sensitivity to it.
Avoid GMO foods. Watch the documentary "GMO OMG" its streaming on Netflix.
Reread and apply my "Optimizing Digestion" suggestions from February's newsletter.
Chronic stress also impairs the proper functioning of our digestive system and should be addressed as well along with diet changes.
Avoid NSAIDs like ibuprofen. Instead try Bromelain for inflammation and pain that might be triggered from it.
Now on to sealing the gut.Here are my top 5!
L-Glutamine: Is an amino acid and is the main fuel source for the cells that line the gut. They need this nutrient to build the intestinal barrier. This is the main support for your gut.
Protein: The gut needs good protein and amino acids. Protein is the building blocks to building tissue.
Bone broth: Is a nutrient dense easy to digest liquid. Bones, marrow, skin, feet, tendons and ligaments that we don't eat directly house abundant amounts of collagen, proline, glycine, our very important l-glutamine I spoke about, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and many other compounds that aid in repairing our body. This is why your parents and grandparents were fond of chicken broth when you were sick. Much of the world uses all of the animal in some fashion or another. The most nutritious parts of the animal are being thrown away in our culture for the more tasty less, nutritious meat portion of the animal. I know I have many vegan and vegetarians out there. You can opt for getting the supplements of L-glutamine. For those who eat meat this is the most ideal way to get these healing nutrients in their more natural forms and percentages. For poultry place in crock pot with water to cover all bones along with 1-2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar. Slow cook on low for 24 hours. For fish bones 12-24 hours. For all other bones cook for 48-72 hours.
Gelatin: Coming from being a vegetarian for over 15 years I never thought I would see the day I would eat Gelatin or even recommend it to people. But, times are a changing and this has proven to be a very healing supportive supplement for any kind of healing from broken bones to the delicate mucosal gut lining. I even recently gave it to my dog who had knee surgery. The surgical Vet was stunned at how quickly she healed, we were about a month ahead of schedule. It is high in Glycine and proline which speed wound healing and have anti-inflammatory properties. Gelatin is my go to when I do not have time to make bone broth or I am out of bone broth in the house. I think bone broth is superior but a good quality Gelatin is the 2nd closest thing. Try this source for Gelatin: http://www.greatlakesgelatin.com I make gummy jelly "candies" from the red container and use the green container to put in drinks as it does not gel. Here is a great article on the many other helpful and healthful properties of Gelatin: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/why-broth-is-beautiful-essenti... Soothing supplements:
If there are ulcers or strong inflammation you can add in:
DGL- licorice product. Do not take if you have High blood pressure.
Aloe Vera Slippery elm Many times these will be in a formula along with L-glutamine
Further testing you can do:
Stool analysis for bacteria, candida, mold, parasites. This will test for what is in your colon.
Hydrogen Breath test- This will test for bacteria that might be in overgrowth in your Small Intestine
Full blood work panel testing for Iron, Ferritin, B-12, Vit D & A, that are commonly low in those with Leaky Gut.