Besides your immune system, the gut is responsible for 90% of the chemicals responsible for regulating the mood in your body – neurotransmitters. Gastrointestinal tract issues have been connected to conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, hormonal imbalances, anxiety, autoimmune diseases such as and hashimotos thyroiditis, rosacea, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, depression and eczema.
So what can you do to heal your gut? Dr. Amy Myers has put together the 4 R program to help you heal yourself and heal your gut.
The 4 R Program
Get rid of the bad stuff. The goal is to get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract such as infections, inflammatory foods and gastric irritants like caffeine, drugs or alcohol. Inflammatory foods such as eggs, gluten, dairy, sugar, corn and soy can lead to food sensitivities. We recommend an Elimination Diet and IgG food sensitivity testing to determine if any foods are a problem for you. Infections can be from bacteria, parasites or yeast. A comprehensive stool analysis is the key to determining the levels of good bacteria and any infections that may be present. Removing the infections may require treatment with anti-parasite medication, anti-fungal medication, herbs or even antibiotics.
Replace the good. Add back in the essential ingredients for proper absorption and digestion that may have been depleted by aging, diet, drugs (such as antacid medications) or diseases. This includes hydrochloric acid, bile acids and digestive enzymes that are required for proper digestion.
Restoring beneficial bacteria to reestablish a healthy balance of good bacteria is essential. This may be accomplished by taking a probiotic supplement that contains beneficial bacteria such as lactobacillus and bifidobacteria species. We recommend anywhere from 25 -100 billion units a day. Also, taking a probiotic (food for the good bacteria) consuming or supplement foods packed with soluble fiber is very important.
It is essential to provide the necessary nutrients to help the gut repair itself. One of our favorite supplements is the amino acid that helps to rejuvenate the gut wall lining, called L-glutamine. Other key nutrients include omega-3 fish oils, zinc, vitamin A, C, E as well as herbs such as aloe vera and slippery elm.
The 4R program is sure to help you and your gut heal, no matter what your health issue is. We have witnessed dramatic reversals of inflammatory and chronic illnesses in a very short period of time by utilizing this simple approach.