If you give the body what it needs, it will heal itself!
If you give the body what it needs, it will heal itself
The body is amazing at healing itself if given the right nutrients.
It is crazy to me how many people eat the way they do and then think they should feel good, or wonder what is wrong with them. The body will not work well if it doesn’t have the proper fuel.
To acquire the essential building blocks of life, the health of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to rectum is everything.
The gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) is really a long tube “outside your body.” It actually decides what gets in to the body and what goes out in the stool. Its lining is only one cell layer thick – and yet – it has the massive responsibility of protecting the body from outside invaders that are dangerous to health.
If the lining of the gastrointestinal tract becomes leaky – allowing things to inappropriately pass through to the blood stream, the immune system will react. Although symptoms of a leaky gut will obviously often include gastrointestinal issues, the primary symptoms are related to an over-activated immune system.
How do you feel when you have an infection – increased inflammation? When your immune system is activated against a foreign invader?
Symptoms of inflammation include: nausea, feeling tired, lack of motivation, sluggishness, achiness, low grade fever, issues with concentration, and low energy. If these symptoms persist, the ongoing inflammation will increase the stress hormone cortisol with subsequent weight gain.
How do you prevent having a leaky, poorly functioning gut? How to you keep your gastrointestinal tract healthy?
It starts with eating a quality diet and removing irritants.
It is essential to have good acid production in the stomach and adequate enzyme and bile production.
Healthy normal bacteria living in the gastrointestinal tract are also fundamental to health. The optimal diversity of these friendly bacteria is supported by ensuring that conditions are adequate for their growth.
There are excellent stool tests that reveal valuable information on the health of the gastrointestinal tract. Although I highly recommend their use, I usually propose the following health habits prior to ordering stool testing. For me, the goal of a stool test is to have a completely normal result.
- Eat what I call a MODIFIED PALEO DIET with 1/3 of your plate quality protein, and a little less than 2/3 of your plate organic fruits and vegetables. This leaves a little room on your plate for grains and milk products if you tolerate them – not usually recommended on a Paleo Diet – which is why I call it a modified Paleo Diet.
- Remove things that are irritating to the gastrointestinal tract. Eat clean, non-GMO foods without preservatives and additives. Rotate your food – avoid eating the same thing day in and day out. Be aware of the major foods that tend to be irritating to the gastrointestinal tract lining. These include: sugar, legumes, gluten, corn, soy, peanuts, milk products, and (I hate to add this one) eggs. If any of these, or any other foods, tend to cause symptoms in the 1-3 days after they are eaten – it is best to avoid them.
- Encourage acid production in the stomach. Acid helps to stimulate the production of enzymes and bile, supporting the digestion and absorption of nutrients. Acid helps to prevent and discourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast. Ways to increase acid production during meals includes: taking care of the GI tract cells that produce acid, eating bitter foods that stimulate acid production, using lemon juice, Bragg’s apple cider vinegar, and/or taking HCL-Betaine capsules with meals.
- Consider enzymes and bile support products particularly if you have had your gall bladder removed or if testing has revealed deficiencies in digestion and absorption.
- Support the liver’s ability to detoxify the body by eating healthy on a daily basis but also consider a formal liver detoxification product at least twice a year.
- Populate the gastrointestinal tract with healthy bacteria. Eat fermented foods and/or take a quality probiotic.
- Feed the healthy bacteria with fiber. Eat a lot of organic fruits and vegetables. Sprinkle Psyllium on your foods. Eat grains if tolerated – I recommend avoiding gluten.
If symptoms persist despite the above healthy habits – then it is time to go looking for why.
See the article on GI testing for further information.