A large part of your immune system is in your intestinal tract/gut. If your gut is out of balance everything else is too.
According to Dr. Lisa Ganjhu, clinical assistant professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, the gastrointestinal system is more than the body’s primary site of taking in and absorbing nutrients. This system of critical digestive organs also acts as a type of switchboard or communication center to and from the brain, and functions as one of the body’s frontlines in the fight against disease. “Our gut plays a major role, not only in our gastrointestinal health, but in the health and well-being of the entire body,” Dr. Ganjhu said.
Scientists have only recently begun to understand the extent of the gut flora’s role in human health and disease. For example the gut flora promotes normal gastrointestinal function, provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism and comprises more than 75% of our immune system. Dysregulated gut flora has been linked to diseases ranging from autism and depression to autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s, inflammatory bowel disease and type 1 diabetes.
Recent research has shown that the gut flora, and the health of the gut in general, also play a significant role in both obesity and diabetes. Many patients treated with a blood sugar issue also has a leaky gut, a gut infection, or some other chronic inflammatory gut condition. Chronic inflammation is the number one cause of disease.
Armed with this knowledge I set out to bring my intestinal tract into balance in May of last year. I decided that I would go on a Yeast Free eating program. Yeast free seemed logical to me because it is designed to decrease the amount of candida in the body. Candida is the cause of inflammation and most of us have too much of it.
The first few days that I was yeast free I had detox symptoms which included joint pain, headache and diarrhea. My first month of being yeast free seemed to go okay. I had added fermented foods including Kombucha and fermented vegetables in order to add healthy, live probiotics.
By the middle of the second month I developed severe diarrhea. It was so bad that I was afraid to go out of the house and I thought I might have parasites. I went through all of the clinical tests for parasites and none where found but I was left with not being able to eat anything without having a severe reaction. I dropped the yeast free diet idea and for months struggled to find foods that didn't cause a reaction. I found very few and this went on for several months. For over a month I was afraid to eat anything but the BRAT diet (Bananas, Applesauce, Rice and Toast). I lost 10 pounds.
One day I was talking with a friend who is also a nutritionist and telling her about my problem. She told me you should never start a new diet plan,such as going yeast free without healing your gut first! Wow! I had gone about it backwards because I didn't see anything in my research about yeast and candida that suggested starting by healing your gut. You need to start out with a healthy gut or it will be completely through out of balance, in my experience.
This might go against popular belief but it resonated with me.
So how do you restore healthy gut function?
The four "R's" are the best approach:
Step 1: Remove
In this first step we remove the offending foods and toxins from your diet that could be acting as stressors on your system. I suggest taking an easier approach and starting with a couple things at a time. This process might be slower but in the long wrong you would completely through your system out of balance like I did. This means caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, bad fats, and any other foods you think may be causing issues, like gluten and dairy. All of these all irritate the gut in some form and create an inflammatory response. I started with gluten and dairy.
Step 2: Repair
The next step is to begin to repair the gut and heal the damaged intestinal lining. You do this by consuming an unprocessed diet and giving your body time to rest by providing it with substances that are known to heal the gut, like L-glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, antioxidants (in the form of vitamins A, C, and E), quercitin, aloe vera, and turmeric.
I started with
L-Glutamine Helps to heal and seal the gut along with aiding in recovery after workouts, so it's a double whammy supplement.
Enzymes: Digestive aid for proteins, fats and carbohydrates
Caprylic Acid supports healthy intestinal flora
Candex Gut management supplement that targets yeast over growth
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Boost heart health, fight minor inflammation, keep those joints moving,
Greens which is an alkalizing power that I use. Anything green is generally okay, like kale, spinach, broccoli, wheatgrass, parsley, chlorella, and spirulina. These are all great at keeping high stomach acid levels in order.
I started slowly with both the Caprylic Acid and the Candex because my intestinal tract was already irritated. You will have to find the right rhythm for yourself.
Step 3: Restore
This step involves restoring your gut's optimal bacterial flora population by introducing probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus andBifidobacterium lactis. A probiotic is a good bacteria and is ingested to help reinforce and maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and to help fight illness. In general a healthy lower intestinal tract should contain around 85% good bacteria. This helps to combat any overgrowth of bad bacteria. Unfortunately in most people these percentages are skewed and this allows for the gut health to drastically decline.
Dr. Williams Probiotic Advantage formula is a good one. They provide live strains of good bacteria to help bolster your defenses.
Step 4: Replace
This involves getting your bile salts, digestive enzymes, and hydrochloric acid levels to optimal levels to maintain and promote healthy digestion. This can be done by supplementing with digestive enzymes and organic salt to help make sure you have enough hydrochloric acid.
Hydrocloric Acid this is a good one
The links that I have provided are the supplements that I use and recommend after some research.
My favorite drink before bed is Golden Milk
The main ingredient in this recipe is turmeric. Turmeric contains curcumin, the polyphenol identified as its primary active component and which exhibits 600 potential health benefits of turmeric, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties.
- Anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, antiseptic,analgesic,.
- Boosts immunity.
- Helps maintain cholesterol levels.
- Promotes digestive health.
- Liver detoxifier.
- Regulates metabolism and weight management.
- High blood pressure.
- Memory and brain function.
- Various skin conditions.
- Neurological disorders.
- Lowers Triglycerides
Golden MilkStep 1: Turmeric Paste:
Mix all ingredients in a small a small sauce pan and mix well. Turn the heat to medium high and stir constantly until the mixture is a thick paste. This does not take long so don’t walk away from the pan.
Let this mixture cool and then keep it in a small jar in the fridge.
Step 2: Golden Milk
- 1 cup of almond milk (hemp or coconut are also good options)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1/4 teaspoon or more of turmeric paste
Combine all the ingredients, except honey in a saucepan. Turn the heat to medium. While heating make sure to stir constantly and do not allow the mixture to boil. Add honey to taste.