In our last post When Good Guts go Bad Part 1 we talked about lifestyle factors that damage the gut. Not only can these contribute to or exacerbate a number of digestive problems such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), but it can also set off reactions leading to health complaints such as joint pain, fatigue, depression, allergies, and skin conditions such as eczema that people don’t often associate with poor digestive function.
Below are the 5 Steps you can take to begin healing your gut naturally.
This approach is what's known as the 5 Rs. Keep in mind that each step will need to be tailored to your individual situation, and although almost anyone can follow this approach, remember everyone is different and not all of the 5R’s may be required to get your digestive health back on track.
- Remove. Remove anything in the diet that’s negatively impacting your gut. As we saw in our last article, diets high in sugar and processed foods have been shown to promote the growth of bad bacteria. Replace these irritants with healing and nourishing foods high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. It may be helpful to try an elimination diet to determine which foods are causing your symptoms.
- Replace. Replace digestive secretions: add back things like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids that are required for proper digestion and that may be compromised.
- Reinoculate. Research has shown that just a single course of antibiotics can have a profound effect on the populations of bacteria in our gut for up to a year. A good quality probiotic in tandem with a prebiotic (like our Gut Garden Resistant Starch) will help to repopulate our gut and crowd out unhealthy microorganisms, while also helping us digest our food.
- Repair. Help the lining of the GI tract repair itself by supplying key nutrients that can often be in short supply when the gut is compromised, such as zinc, antioxidants (e.g. vitamins A, C, and E), fish oil, and the amino acid glutamine.
- Rebalance. This last step is crucial and is often overlooked. Pay attention to lifestyle choices like sleep, exercise and stress. As we saw on our last post, stress and lack of sleep can have a profound effect on our digestive systems.
So remember with a bit of time and work on your part you can obtain optimal gut health and live your most vibrant life!