Monday, November 29, 2010

4 Ways to a Healthy Gut

Digestive distress is extraordinarily common in the American population.  This distress ranges from indigestion, gas, bloating, to more severe disease states such as Celiac's disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Crohn's disease.  Regardless of the diagnosis, some tried and true methods exist for restoring balance to the digestive tract.

The "4R" Program is one I have been following for several years now. 

1.  Remove irritants to the digestive tract such as caffeine, alcohol, food allergens, and/or over-the-counter pain relievers.  I use manual muscle testing as well as saliva testing to determine food sensitiviies or allergens.  Or, you can use a rotation diet to help you identify if any foods are making you ill. 

2.  Replace what the body is missing i.e hydrochloric acid from the stomach, pancreatic digestive enzymes, or bile salts from the gall bladder.  When the body is missing these essential elements to digestion, they body cannot digest the food it consumed.  This sets the stage for any number of digestive ailments. 

3.  Reinoculate by re-introducing the beneficial microbes/bacteria into the digestive tract.  These include Lactobacillus, Bifidobacterium, and Saccoromyces boulardii to name a few.   My preference is to use kefir, kombucha, fermented veggies, and/or yogurt as the food sources of these beneficial microbes.  However, when necesssary, I use Standard Process whole food concentrates to re-inoculate the gut. 

4.  Repair the damage to the gastro-intestinal lining.  Inflammation of the digestive tract must be repaired, otherwise the body will never properly heal.  I recommend homemade bone broth, castor oil packs, fermented veggies, cabbage juice, slippery elm, and glutamine to address the inflammation.

My preference is always to use foods as the basis for healing, but at the same time, I regularly use whole food vitamins to facilitate the healing process. 

Jennifer Greenfield D.C.
Raleigh, NC

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