Updated: Oct 23, 2021
When the gut needs support and healing, symptoms are not only limited to digestive distress like gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and heartburn. Your gut health is linked to so many other aspects of your health!
Your body may be telling you it’s time for gut support and healing if you experience:
1) Brain fog
2) Easily sick with cold or flu
3) Chronic skin conditions
4) Constipation, diarrhea, IBS
6) Heartburn or acid reflux
7) Autoimmune conditions
8) Nutrient deficiencies (check out ‘Guide: How to Detect Nutritional Deficiencies’)
9) PCOS, infertility, irregular periods
10) Chronic Fatigue
11) Anxiety, depression, mood swings
12) Cravings for sugar, breads and pastas
13) Asthma and allergies
At Purely Rooted Nutrition and Wellness, we follow the 5-R Program for gut restoration.
Our first step is to REMOVE anything that may be negatively impacting the environment of your gut such as common allergenic foods, harmful bacteria, yeast or candida, and parasites. We may use the elimination diet or request food sensitivity testing to personalize protocols. We also use gentle and natural antimicrobials such as oil of oregano, black walnut, berberine, artemisinin, and so on depending on individual cases to kill off ‘opportunistic bugs’.
These ‘opportunistic bugs’ create something called a biofilm. This biofilm acts as a shield or barrier that helps a colony of bugs to defend themselves against antimicrobial treatments and our own immune cells. Some natural compounds target overgrowth of ‘bad’ microbes hiding in these biofilms. These natural compounds are an important part of the removal protocol to ensure persistent infections do not reoccur (UTIs, fungal overgrowth).
It is also important to support detoxification during this step to avoid ‘die off symptoms’. B Vitamins, Amino Acids, NAC and so on are all important in this process.
Our second step is to REPLACE. Your gut relies on digestive secretions for proper digestion, so it’s important to ensure we’re giving the body a supportive boost like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and/or bile acids. Then we support your body’s ability to do this on its own.
When the body is not digesting food optimally, it just sits there in the gut, ferments and then serves as food for these ‘opportunistic bugs’. The ability to digest your food optimally also ensures absorption of essential nutrients.
Next, we REPOPULATE. Beneficial bacteria play a monumental role in your gut health and your immune system. Repopulating your gut with plenty of ‘good’ bacteria will help rebalance your gut flora and strengthen the communication between your gut the immune system and the brain.
Your gut and brain communicate constantly through the vagus nerve. This is called the gut-brain connection and it is why you may have digestive issues when you are anxious or butterflies in your stomach when you are nervous. So, to support your mood … gut health is extremely important.
70-80% of our immune system is also within the gut! If the gut is unbalanced, you may experience more colds, flu, skin conditions and so on. These beneficial bugs also:
Produce and absorb nutrients
Metabolize hormones and detoxifying enzymes
And make neurotransmitters (such as serotonin, GABA and dopamine)
Then we spend time REPAIRING the gut. If the integrity of the lining of your intestines is compromised, it is called intestinal permeability or ‘leaky gut’. In this case, foods can get through the lining of the intestines and into the blood stream where they do not belong creating a vicious cycle of further immune activation, inflammation and chronic conditions.
So, it is important to give your gut the key nutrients it needs to repair itself like zinc (the wound healer), antioxidants (like Vitamin C), omega 3 fatty acids, natural anti-inflammatories like quercetin and the amino acid glutamine just to name a few.
Lastly, we REBALANCE. Factors like quality and quantity of sleep, stress management, intensity of exercise and your diet can all affect your digestive tract. So, making intentional choices that support a happy and healthy gut is key.
This is where your diet is extremely important. Boosting good quality proteins and utilizing bone broths, healthy fats, and lots of colorful fruits and veggies for fiber all play a huge role in the health of your gut!
A healthy gut = a strong immune system, hormone balance, skin health, and a happy brain because everything is connected and everything matters.