If you want to remain healthy or turn your health around you have to look after your gut health and your microbiome. The microbiome is the collection of over 500 species of gut bacteria that support your immune system, contribute to weight, disease and health.
So much research and information has been shared in the last 5 years on the importance of the microbiome and correcting chronic health problems from IBS to Cancer, Anxiety to Autoimmune Diseases. This is the one strong message that dominates – lifestyle diseases require lifestyle changes to heal – and your gut health is the most important to take action on to improve your health. Drugs just disguise the symptoms and cause more problems in the long run – they are not the cure.
The gut wall is just one cell thick and these are some of the fastest healing cells in the body. If given the right nutrients and conditions they can heal in 3-7 days. Then strengthen your microbiome with good diet and supplements.
What damages these cells and causes problems such as inflammation and leaky gut?
- DRUGS – Antibiotics, NSAIDs, Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s), Steroids, Chemotherapy (also Radiotherapy)
- TOXINS – Pesticides, Herbicides (especially Glyphosate), Fluoride, Chlorine, other chemicals in household and personal care products and Heavy metals.
- GLUTEN/GLIADIN and other food intolerance’s – Casein, Soy, sometimes Nightshade foods like Tomatoes, peppers, Potatoes
- INFECTIONS – gastroenteritis, Parasites, Candida, C-Dificile and many others that are difficult to eliminate.
- POOR DIET – high in processed foods, sugar, alcohol and damaging fats like Trans fats and highly processed vegetable oils.
- STRESS – Acute and chronic personal stress and environmental stress.
Even if you don’t have any gut symptoms you may have a Leaky gut and inflammatory Cytokines may be travelling around your body causing sustained inflammation in your joints, Brain, Thyroid, Pancreas, Liver, Muscles or skin.
You might think that this is a new topic but in fact we have known the basics of this for over 25 years from pioneers like Dr. Jeffrey Bland, Weston A Price. Information and research travelled slowly in those days but over 90% of research on the gut and the microbiome has been done in the last 5 years and shared at a much faster rate due to the internet and media. We are entering an era of a whole new understanding of how the body works and how we can work with it to resolve major health problems. ‘What Doctors Don’t Tell you’ published a Guide to Good Digestion from articles dating from 1990 and I have been researching this topic since 1976. If you want to learn more there are many sources to follow – Tom O’Bryan, David Perlmutter MD, Alessio Fasano, Dr.Michael Ash, Alex Vasquez ND DO DC, Andrea Nakayama CNE, CNC, CHHC, Sarah Ballantyne PhD to name just a few excellent sources, many of whom have learnt from reversing their own Health problems.
If you are generally in good health and have just had a course of antibiotics and don’t feel quite right then you may only need a probiotic and some Vitamin B complex (which used to be given routinely with antibiotics), for a month. If you have any chronic disease and there are over 300 known to respond to this treatment including Autoimmune problems, Inflammatory bowel disease, Type II Diabetes, Depression, Dementia, insomnia, multiple food sensitivities or long-term NSAIDs and PPI use then you should look at the whole protocol for healing the gut. You can help yourself by addressing the root cause as outlined below, or with the help of a Health Coach and you will improve. About 20% can be individual problems that might need further investigation and treatment or medication and can be worked on later once you are 80% better!
The main elements for good gut healing and building back a strong microbiome and immune system are:-
- FOOD – controls our microbiome and therefore we are truly what we eat. Clean up your diet and remove all inflammatory foods, processed foods and sugar for at least a month. Concentrate on nutrient dense foods and the best quality you can afford. Organic meat; organic vegetables (aim for a high content of green vegetables); seafood; wild salmon, sardines, mackerel; organ meats (ground up and added to mince if you don’t normally like the texture/flavour); bone broths; good fats – coconut oil (used in Ayurvedic medicine/actively heals the gut), olive oil, avocado, nuts; Berries; Raw cacao; Spices like Curcumin, Cinnamon; and Herbs like Oregano, Rosemary, Coriander, basil. Once your gut bacteria are improving add in fermented foods like sauerkraut, coconut yogurt, water or coconut kefir. Manage your blood sugar by eating some protein and some fat with each meal, a few nuts/fruit for snacks.
- SUPPLEMENTS – to help the gut heal – L-Glutamine; Probiotics( good quality, with varied strains) and Saccharomyces Boulardii in addition; Omega 3 fish or krill oils; Vitamin B Complex; Vitamin D3 high dose; and plant based minerals or at least a Magnesium supplement and Celtic Sea salt as if you have gut inflammation and/or a poor diet you will be very mineral deficient. Digestive Enzymes. Berberine and/or a natural supplement like DIDA if you suspect gut infection or parasites.
Check out Posts on this site for more detailed help – Leaky Gut, Elimination diets, Supplements or these are some of the websites for further information. It is a journey and I am here to help.
www.thepaleomom.com Sarah Ballantyne
www.TheDr.com Tom O’Bryan
GreenMedInfo Sayer Ji
David Perlmutter neurologist and author