Updated: Jan 16
Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn's Disease, chronic diarrhea, leaky gut, and Colitis are very common and can be extremely embarrassing, debilitating, and difficult to get under control. Worse, they can cause even bigger issues if left untreated. Now the medical community is finally recognizing what Naturopaths have known for decades: the gut plays an enormous role in cognitive function, emotional health, joint support, skin health, immune function and so much more! Most people unfortunately only deal with the obvious digestive symptoms, rather than the intestinal breakdown that is the real culprit.
How Our Natural Ecosystems Work
The ideal ratio of "progenic" or life-giving microbes to "pathogenic" or disease-causing microbes is thought to be 85:15. Most Americans today have this ratio completely flipped. This is called dysbiosis or bad bacterial balance. Dysbiotic conditions are due in part to environmental toxins that wipe out life-giving species and allow disease-creating bacteria to run rampant.
The digestive tract is loaded with trillions of microorganisms that form a natural ecosystem called gut flora. This internal ecosystem is dependent upon certain beneficial species being widespread and in control. These symbiotic microbes provide a protective barrier guarding the intestinal wall against bacteria, parasites, fungi, viruses, and environmental toxins and create anti-microbial substances that destroy disease-causing organisms.
The beneficial microflora digests our food and produces enzymes that metabolize protein into absorbable amino acids. These enzymes also transport important vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream where they are carried to cells in need.
Certain lifestyle stressors throw off the natural symbiosis between gut bacteria and human host health. This leads to a rise in disease-causing or "pathogenic" microbes, chronic gut inflammation, and damage to the gut lining. Pathogenic bacteria consume too many of vital nutrients we need and produce toxic waste. These toxins inflame our gut lining leading to various stages of intestinal permeability (aka "Leaky Gut").
How We Develop Leaky Gut
While the intestinal lining has many layers of defense and is designed to repair itself some direct causes of leaky gut are chemotherapy and radiation, chronic use of ibuprofen, antibiotics, aspirin and alcohol, HIV/AIDS, and food allergies.
Biologically speaking, toxins created by bad bacteria create little “micro-lesions” causing undigested food particles to pass into the bloodstream. This leads to poor nutrient absorption and food allergies that initiate a widespread inflammatory process throughout the body, further irritating the gut lining and causing even larger holes. The adrenals pump out cortisol to help calm the inflammation and over time wear out causing dramatic hormonal issues.
What Happens When You Have Digestive Issues?
1. Poor Digestive Processes: due to poor diet, chronic stress, eating too fast or on the go, taking antibiotics, antacids, or NSAID medications.
2. Intestinal Inflammation: The inflammation of the intestines creates swelling and fluid (like a sprained ankle) and often increases the mucous content. This reduces nutrient absorption further.
3. Overgrowth of Bacteria: The bad bacteria, yeast, and sometimes parasites come in and feed on the undigested food particles.
4. Bacteria, Yeast & Parasites Produce Toxins: The overgrowth of these microorganisms releases toxins that causes more inflammation and gas. This accounts for the stomach pain, distension, gas, change in bowel movement patterns (diarrhea and constipation), etc. that many suffer from.
Our 30-60 Day Protocol to Revive & Heal the Gut
This 4-step Process will Reset, Rebuild, Repopulate and Recondition Your Gut
Step 1: Reset (1-2 days)
Start healing the gut by going on a bone broth diet for 1-2 days. You can make your own or I have a company that makes delicious bone broth that you can order here. The goal is to relieve the digestive system and start to reduce inflammation.
Drink 6-8 oz of bone broth at least 3x in the day and warm water the rest of the time. Bone broth provides a megadose of critical nutrients like gelatin and key amino acids that support the rapidly growing cells in the gut and soothe inflammation and scarring of the gut lining.
Step 2: Rebuild (14 days)
We want to utilize a dual approach combining the best gut-healing food-based nutrients with targeted supplementation into the body with the least amount of stress on the digestive system.
The best approach is to cook vegetables well in bone broth creating soups and stews to take in the enormous health benefits of the broth, adding in small amounts of meat and healthy fats as time progresses. Try some yummy berry shakes with coconut milk as an option for liquid nutrition and variety. Do not eat raw vegetables except for Cucumber.
I know you're going to ask me about coffee! Yes you can have coffee but clean it up. Buy an organic medium to dark roast for a low-acid bean. You could add a small amount of raw honey and coconut oil or a small amount coconut milk for creamer.
Vegetables: Bamboo Shoots, Bok Choy, Butternut Squash, Carrots, Chives, Cucumber, Fennel, Green Beans, Green Onion (Scallion), Ginger, Lemongrass, Kale, Parsnips, Radishes, Pumpkin Squash, Spinach, Sweet Potato, Zucchini.
*If you have a history of kidney stones avoid using Spinach or Swiss Chard and instead use a moderate amount of Kale.*
Meat: Eat wild-caught Salmon, Organic Chicken, Turkey, or Duck meat.
You can also try our Collagen powder in warm water or your coffee. This is great if you have joint issues.
If you tolerate a Protein Powder, you can bring that in using filtered water for mixing in the blender.
*Why Not Red Meat? Red meat is tougher on the digestive system, and we want to do everything possible to reduce stress on the digestive system during this stage.
Healthy Fats: Organic animal broth (grass-fed beef, lamb, duck, chicken, or turkey), coconut oil, coconut milk, grass-fed ghee, and olive oil.
Seeds: Pumpkin seeds, Hemp seeds, Chia seeds, and Flax seeds are all excellent.
Fruit: Berries, lemons, limes, or a small amount of Granny Smith apple
Supplements to incorporate:
Inflammatone: 2 caps upon waking and 2 caps before bedtime for 30 days. Inflammatone is a combination of herbs, nutrients, and proteolytic enzymes for modulating the inflammatory response (replace your ibuprofen with this!)
Glutamine Complex PLG: 1 scoop in 2 oz filtered water at bedtime. This supplement supports healthy gastrointestinal tract and mucosal lining, the immune system, acid-alkaline balance, and balances blood sugar while reducing sugar and alcohol cravings.
Step 3: Repopulate (14 days)
Now we want to repopulate the gut, and this is where you consume lots of good fats and fermented and steamed veggies. Slowly add in new foods taking note of how you feel. If you notice gas, bloating, cramps, heartburn, etc. after consuming something be sure to journal that and try it again the next day. If you notice this reaction 2 days in a row, then eliminate that food for a month before retrying.
You'll continue with the 2 supplements and bone broth, but now you can bring small amounts of steamed cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc. Small amounts of steamed carrots can be nice too.
Fermented veggies and beverages such as sauerkraut, kimchi, beet kvass, kombucha, coconut water, and coconut milk kefir are good foods to try in small quantities and see how your body tolerates these as well. Using small quantities of chia and/or flax seed is great for fiber and essential fats as well as coconut oil.
Additional Foods to begin adding:
Meat: Red meat – grass-fed beef, lamb, bison, venison
Vegetables: Fructans: Asparagus, Beetroot, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, garlic, leek, okra, onion and shallots, chicory, dandelion.
Polyols: Cauliflower, mushrooms, avocado (most fruit is in this category).
For the first 7 days focus on Fructans and in the 2nd-week focus on Polyols.
Sugar alcohol sweeteners like xylitol and/or erythritol are on this list, but I would recommend waiting until the 2nd month to begin adding these.
Step 4: Recondition (30 days)
You made it! You're in the home stretch. As you incorporate more foods and tolerate them well, you’ll add the following changes to a supplement protocol for 30 days:
Mega PreBiotic Powder 1 scoop in 4 oz water am: The first Precision Prebiotic supplement made up of clinically tested, non-digestible oligosaccharides that can increase microbial diversity and feed the beneficial bacteria in your gut.
MegaSporeBiotic 2 caps in am: This unique probiotic blend reconditions the gut instead of reseeding with probiotic strains that cannot survive digestion or colonize the gut.
The bottom line is that your health revolves around the health of your gut. If your gut is damaged or you have an abundance of pathogenic microorganisms it is impossible to be healthy and feel your best. The gut must be addressed for one to live a lifestyle that builds health and vitality. And of course if you need help with this process please call us.