We know that 3 things must be present for an autoimmune condition to develop: a genetic predisposition, a leaky gut and a trigger.
Let’s look at ways to heal your gut. Functional medicine has developed a very effective method of healing and protecting your gut. The method is called the 5R’s and consists of the following steps:
* REMOVE the bad
* REPLACE with the good
* REINOCULATE with healthy bacteria
* REPAIR the gut
REMOVING THE BAD
Remove anything that negatively affects your gut or contributes to your leaky gut. These include:
* Inflammatory food
* Processed food
* Known food sensitivities
* Known food allergies
* Infections such as yeast, parasites and small intestine
bacterial overgrowth (SIBO).
* Stress: find ways to reduce and manage your stress.
REPLACE WITH THE GOOD
Restore the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption that might have been depleted by diet, medications, disease or aging. A critical component of this is digestive enzymes. Without enzymes you don’t digest your food properly which stresses your digestive system and leaves your undernourished. Enzymes also restore stomach acid required for proper digestion.
REINOCULATE WITH HEALTHY BACTERIA
The body needs a healthy balance of good intestinal bacteria. These friendly bacteria are often depleted by antibiotics, steroids, acid-blocking medications, poor diet, stress etc. To improve intestinal immune function, probiotic supplements may be taken to replenish your friendly bacteria. You may also consider taking a prebiotic supplement. Where probiotics are the beneficial friendly bacteria, prebiotics are types of fibre that feed the friendly bacteria.
REPAIR THE GUT
To repair the gut, the following supplements may be considered to assist with the healing process:
* L-glutamine, an amino acid that helps rejuvenate the gut
* Omega-3 fish oil, to help decrease inflammation.
* Licorice root or aloe vera to soothe the gut and cool the
* Collagen, the amino acids in collagen quite literally, “seal
the leak” by supporting cellular health and tissue growth.
* Natural anti-inflammatories like turmeric and ginger.
Work with your functional medicine practitioner to find the perfect gut healing combo for your needs.
Healing your gut is not just about the food you eat or the supplements you take. Lifestyle choices matter. Consider the following:
* Do you get enough good quality sleep?
* Do you have a gentle exercise regime?
* Are you managing your stress?
* Do you live a happy and fulfilled life?
* Do you have loving relationships?
* Do you love your job?
All of the above influence your stress levels and it’s a known fact that there is a direct link between stress, inflammation and various lifestyle diseases.