Restore Gut Health

How To Restore Gut Health

If you are living with digestive issues ranging from simple indigestion to Irritable Bowel Disease like Chron’s or colitis, I bet you’re wondering if living a normal life free of gas, constipation, bloating, pain, diarrhea is possible. Yes, it is possible and if you are a reader of my blog, you will know that there are many things you can do as far as lifestyle, diet and supplements go to help you get back to living a normal life again. Today, I’d like to talk about how to restore gut health. There is a formula so let’s begin!

Why Does My Stomach Hurt?abdominal_discomfort

They say good health starts in the gut and researchers are understanding more and more every day that this is true. When we are born, we come into this world with a sterile microbiome. As we interact with the environment, our gut starts the process of forming colonies of bacteria also known as our microbiome or gut bacteria. The very first bacteria formed is lactobacillus Johnsonii which is the bacteria needed to digest mother’s breast milk. So as you can see, an infant cannot digest mother’s milk, but the gut bacteria can. We are almost 90 percent microbial! We used to think that these bacteria were there to harm us, but in fact, gut bacteria is in us to help us survive.

As we get older, our environment shapes the colonies of gut bacteria and the more diverse our bacteria the healthier we are as individuals. Medicine, antibiotics, vaccines can all disrupt the diverse and complex microbiome and set us up for all kinds of illnesses in the future.

Researchers have discovered about ten thousand species of gut bacteria and they have no idea what all of them are needed for. Thankfully we do understand more and more every year. In fact, we acquire other people’s bacteria from casual contact because our microbiome is dynamic and changing all the time.  Within 24 hours there can be a major shift in the diversity of your microbiome.

Irritable bowel syndrome and irritable bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s) are two very different diagnoses. IBS is nowhere near the inflammation markers of an IBD sufferer, but many of the symptoms overlap. According to studies, they do share a common thread and that is the diversity of their microbiome is reduced. When bad bacteria overtake the good in your digestive system, your symptoms will be constipation, gas, bad breath, diarrhea and stomach pain. Learning how to improve the diversity of your gut bacteria is critical to start feeling better and improving your digestive health.  

                                                   4 rs

How to Restore Gut Health

Dr. Raphael Kellman, MD, and author of Microbiome suggests a four-point plan to achieve a healthy microbiome. When looking to balance the microbiome it’s critical to Remove that which is compromising healthy gut bacteria. Replace that which the gut needs to digest food properly. Reinoculate with healthy bacteria. Repair the lining of the intestinal wall.

This all sounds so easy, just 4 things to do to get healthy! Nothing is easy, but it is very simple. Do them and within months you will be feeling so much better and on your way to vibrant living again.

Let’s look at them in detail.

 1) Remove You’ll need to remove from your diet anything that can compromise healthy digestion or increase bad bacteria. Removal of parasites is also included in this process. This means absolutely NO sugar, gluten, eggs, dairy, soy or any food made with these foods. No unhealthy fats like trans fats. No preservatives, artificial colors or flavors, no artificial sweeteners and the avoidance of environmental toxins like household cleaners. For a more detailed list, click here. Removing parasites involves the use of oregano oil, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, wormwood, and berberine.  Learn how to kill parasites with natural essential oils here.

Once these foods are removed, you are on your way to balancing your gut. Sugar, gluten, eggs, dairy, and soy feed bad bacteria resulting in more bad bacteria than good. When this happens, inflammation occurs making the lining of the gut more permeable resulting in fat storage, gas, bloating and other symptoms.

 2) Replace now it’s important to replace the stomach acid, enzymes, and friendly bacteria to restore healthy digestion. If you’re suffering from GERD or reflux/heartburn, you’re probably asking yourself right now, why on earth would I replace stomach acid? Most people who have these GERD or reflux/heartburn are suffering from low stomach acid, not too much stomach acid.

To replace stomach acid, hydrochloric acid tablets are used until relief is felt. Hydrochloric acid also helps keep unfriendly bacteria at bay. Next, enzymes are needed to break food down in the stomach. Enzymes are found in fresh whole fruits and vegetables which people do not eat in abundance anymore. Bromelain is one of the beneficial enzymes needed for digestion. Enzymes need to be taken with every meal to aid in digestion to also heal the gut. Read more about how probiotics can help your stomach issues here.

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 3) Reinoculate Now we have to reinoculate the gut with probiotics and prebiotics. Prebiotics are what good bacteria eat to thrive and gain in abundance. When probiotics and prebiotics are added together, the good bacteria will feed on the prebiotics and increase in number and diversity. It is very important to take them together. Probiotics can be taken in pill form to get the standardized dose or can be eaten in the form of fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, kimchee, and other fermented foods. Read more about fermented foods here. Prebiotics can also be taken in capsule form or you can eat them. Asparagus, carrots, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke, jicama, leeks, onions, and radishes are rich in prebiotics because of the special fiber they contain.

 4) Repair If you are experiencing IBS, IBD, gas, bloating, Sibo, Leaky gut, diarrhea, constipation, and pain there is a level of inflammation and damage to the lining of the gut. Now it’s time to repair it. To reduce inflammation in the gut there are foods and supplements that can be eaten and taken to relieve and heal. Quercitin and curcumin (turmeric) help reduce inflammation. Here’s an easy recipe for Golden Milk which contains turmeric. L-glutamine has been shown in studies to heal the lining of the gut and is a very important supplement to take. The prebiotic foods listed above are also healing to the gut as well. So while you’re reinoculating with prebiotics, you are also repairing the lining of the intestinal wall as well.

As you can see, restoring gut health is as simple as remove, replace, reinoculate and repair. However putting this simple formula into practice can be daunting. I suggest working with an expert in gut health, like myself, to get on a good program. You can work with me one on one and finally feel better.  Sign up here and I’ll get you more information:

One on One Gut Health Coaching

Or you can purchase an online program where you can work independently.  I highly recommend Solving Leaky Gut, a fantastic gut health program that will make you feel better.

 If you enjoyed this article, please comment below, I love to hear from my readers.

22 Comments Add yours
  1. Wow, I learned so much more about what’s going on inside me in the five minutes it took me to read this article, than I have in my entire adult life! I do have random bouts of IBS. I have never went to the doctor for it, I’ve basically just self-taught and keep myself aware of what foods upset my stomach. The weird part is I can have the same foods one night and be totally fine, and then have the same leftovers the next night and have an IBS flare. I’m definitely going to take these 4 steps into consideration! Although I still don’t quite understand the difference between PRObiotics and PREbiotics? Prebiotics are what good bacteria eat… but what are Probiotics?

    1. Hi Courtney! I’m so glad you got something out of the article. That’s my goal, to break down the confusion to easy to understand health terminology and processes! Great question too, probiotics are the ‘friendly’ bacteria. They eat prebiotics. When they eat prebiotics, they grow stronger and proliferate. On the flip side, sugar feeds the bad bacteria, and they get stronger and more in number.

  2. Hi Linda,
    This is quite an eye opening piece, lots of info to digest!(sorry about the pun)
    Over the years I’ve developed acid reflux and have to take omeprazole daily to keep it under control.
    Would adopting the remove, replace,reinoculate and repair protocol you talk about in this piece have any effect on this?

    1. Most definitely Paul. This protocol will help overall with digestive health including GERD/REflux. Reread the REPLACE section to get more info about GERD. Stay tuned for another article specifically targeting GERD.

  3. I have given up gluten, soy, sugar, juice, artificial ingredients, soy and excess protein. (Only one small serving per day)

    I don’t want to give up dairy. Love, love, love my yogurt, kefir and whole buttermilk. I usually have a glass of buttermilk with a teaspoon of turmeric and black pepper at lunch time. I would hate to change that.

    Are these dairy products bad for me? Aren’t there health benefits in the cultures they contain?

    Just asking. I mean, if there was life before buttermilk I really don’t want to know about it. It’s the best tasting thing I consume all day.

    I admit my digestion isn’t perfect. I have recently given up cheese, hoping to become completely and reliably regular. I will binge on cheese if it’s in the house. Now it’s not in the house. We’ll see!

    Thanks for Giving Me this “Food for Thought!

    Elizabeth

    1. Elizabeth, food is part of the enjoyment of life and you cannot give up totally things that you love. If you do not have problems with dairy foods, then you can enjoy them in moderation. Kefir, yogurt, buttermilk are fermented foods and they can be very good for most people. Some who have certain digestive issues, have to stay away from fermented foods for awhile, but for most people they are fine to eat and have wonderful benefits for digestion. Thank you for your comment!

  4. This is a very useful article, thanks! I have been intending to get information about probiotics, so it comes in very handy. I did not know about prebiotics, so I will be following your protocol to restore my gut health.

  5. Very informative post. I deal with stomach problems all the time when I travel to different countries. It is tough for me to enjoy the environment at times. I learned a lot about how to clear my gut through this post along. Thanks for sharing I will keep this in mind for the next time I travel.

  6. sounds like a good healthy plan to restore your gut health, I did an elimination diet to find out which foods was giving me digestion problems. Eliminating these foods from my diet has improved my gut health, I recommend everyone do an elimination diet to find your trigger foods.

    I found gluten, dairy and soy was making me sick, this might be something you want to explore

    1. Jeffrey, so glad you did an elimination diet. I highly recommend them and I do write about them in my blogs. I think gluten, soy and dairy are the biggest triggers myself.

  7. Lots of info in this article. I notice how you bring up avoiding sugar in our diets. I’ve been reading this more and more lately. I never would have thought that sugar can be so bad for our bodies, though I’ve always known it’s terrible for our teeth.

    Nice post

    1. Thanks for your comment, Jeff! Yes, sugar is like poison to our bodies when it’s in the form of white sugar and high fructose corn syrup. You’ll do your body a favor by reducing or eliminating white sugar and HFCS.

  8. HI Linda
    Really great info, I will definitely share all this info with my wife as she suffers occasionally with IBS. Thanks for this great info I already know what might be a contributing factor, and that’s the eggs as we eat allot of them. I had no idea it helps feed the bad bacteria. Can this also explain her severe heartburn she’s been suffering?

    1. Hi there and thank you for your comment. Yes, it sure can. Whenever there is inflammation and damage to the lining of the stomach, or when there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria resulting in too little acid production in the stomach, heartburn can be the result. My article on Life Extension products has a paragraph on GERD/heartburn and what to take to heal the esophagus that is being damaged by the acid backwashing into it. Here’s the article and I hope she can find relief.

  9. Informative article Linda! I’m experiencing IBS. The 4R of healthy digestion is eye-opening for me! I’m interested in the online program “Solving Leaky Gut”. I prefer to treat my IBS independently. Please give me the details about this program. Thanks a lot! =)

  10. Very informative and helpful, thanks! And yes I agree – as simple as this four-step approach may sound, it can be quite complicated to follow without the guidance of an expert. Even just those little details such as having the need to remove sugar and dairy products from the daily intake is already quite difficult for me to achieve on my own. So thanks for sharing all these valuable info! 🙂

  11. I think it’s really important to have a healthy gut. I know of any people with health issues such as irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn’s disease. I was not aware that you had to remove certain foods from your stomach first. It appears it all has to do with digestion. I’ve heard of probiotics but I was never aware of anything knowing as pre-biotics. This is something I definitely want to look into. While my daughter has acid reflex this may be something that can help her. This is some really great information here. Thank you!

    1. You’re welcome Rob! So important to take care of our gut.  Seems that there are too many forces in our lives trying to ruin it.  Fast food, processed foods, sugary drinks, etc take their toll.  I hope your daughter feels better with the tips!

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