By Rosie Main
My obsession with digestive health all started when I went through my own challenges with irritable bowel syndrome. For years after my major struggles, I continued to battle with persistent bowel issues that have at times sapped my energy and made life unpleasant.
By following the program below and living out a probiotic lifestyle, I have been able to overcome these health issues and improve my digestion, energy, brain function, immune system and overall quality of life.
How We Develop Leaky Gut: When you damage the intestinal wall, little “micro-lesions” form which can cause undigested food particles to pass into the bloodstream. This leads to inflammatory responses and causes nutritional malabsorption and deficiencies.
When the gut is damaged, it leads to food allergens and sensitivities that initiate a widespread inflammatory process throughout the body. This inflammatory process further irritates the gut lining and causes even larger holes in it.
Additionally, it stimulates the adrenal glands to pump out more stress hormone. In time, the adrenals wear out and the hormonal systems are dramatically affected. The adrenals produce cortisol which helps to calm inflammation. When the adrenals are overworked, they are unable to produce enough cortisol, and inflammation can grow out of control.
The bottom line is that your heath 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. The gut must be addressed in order for one to live a lifestyle that builds health and vitality.
The Digestive Breakdown Process: 1. Poor Digestive Processes due to poor diet, chronic stress, eating too fast or on the go, taking antibiotics, antacids or NSAID (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug) medications.
- Intestinal Inflammation: The inflammation of the intestinal region creates swelling and fluid
(like a sprained ankle) and often increases the mucous content. This reduces nutrient absorption further.
- Overgrowth of Bacteria: The bad bacteria, yeast and sometimes parasites come in and feed on the undigested food particles.
- Bacteria, Yeast and Parasites Produce Toxins: The overgrowth of these microorganisms leads to high levels of waste material release 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 people experience.
Conditions Underlying Leaky Gut Syndrome: Some of the major factors that need to be addressed are the dysbiotic conditions of poor bacterial balance around the gut lining. This could be due to any of the following:
- Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO):A condition which involves an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. These bacteria break down food particles and create toxic debris, gas and inflammation.
- Candida Overgrowth: Candida refers to a group of yeast species that are common to our intestines. With the proper conditions, these yeast organisms can take control of the gut membrane and other mucous membranes of the body and wreak havoc.
- Parasites: There are many different parasites that can make their way into the body and, given the proper conditions, can take over control inside the gut. Once they take overcontrol they steal valuable nutrients and release toxic chemicals that irritate our immune system and cause system-wide inflammation.
Healing the Gut: It is vital to remember that when one has this sort of health condition, the intestines are inflamed. Think about this like a sprained ankle. If you are trying to walk on your sprained ankle, it will swell up even more and will never heal as it was designed to. The same pattern works with your gut. If we are constantly challenging our gut with foods that are tougher on the digestive processes, than we are only irritating the injured intestines even more and we can forget about truly healing.
The only way to heal a sprained ankle is to stay off of the ankle. You need to rest it, ice it (reduce inflammation), maintain compression and keep it elevated. The best way to heal a damaged and inflamed gut is to reduce food stuffs that are going through it and use nutrients that help to soothe and de-inflame the gut lining.
The 3 Phase System to Heal the Gut: 1. ReSet Phase: This is a liquid fast that focuses on herbal teas, bone broth, essential oils, apple cider vinegar and coconut oil.
Goal: Starve out bad microbes and reduce intestinal inflammation
Duration: 3-5 days
- ReBuildingPhase: This uses easily digestible foods that provide key nutrients to rebuild the
Goal: Rebuild the intestinal wall while keeping inflammation down
Duration: 10-14 days
- ReInnoculationPhase: We begin the process of using fermented foods and fermentable
carbohydrates to repopulate the gut with healthy microbial species.
Goal: Help support the development of healthy microbial species in the gut
Duration: 10-14 days
This is the basic 30-day program to heal the gut. After these 30 days, the goal is for you to be able to move into the probiotic lifestyle.
The Probiotic Lifestyle: This is a lifelong process where you focus on eating real foods that support the development of a healthy microbiome. You want to find the foods that are most agreeable to you and eliminate the foods that are not agreeable.
Remember to get professional help and know that I am here to help you on your journey to a healthy life and a healthy gut.