Taking a Natural Approach to Gut Health
Many people struggle with gut problems because of gluten sensitivity. It is no mystery that gluten can cause major inflammatory damage to the gut. It is also no mystery that gluten can cause a leaky gut that contributes to the development of multiple forms of autoimmune disease.
That is why I dedicated an entire show to the topic – “Tips To Help Restore a Leaky Gut” – I discuss simple changes you can make to help support gut health, and pay attention until the very end, as I discuss the best natural supplement options as well.
Let’s talk a little bit about how the gut works so that you have a better understanding of how to apply this information as we go through it.
- Your Sense of Smell
- Our first sense of gastrointestinal function is our sense of smell. Through our olfactory nerve, our smell sends chemical messages to the brain and gut to start turning on digestion.
- Smell also helps warn us about potentially dangers in our food. (You know this if you have ever smelled something rotten.)
- Similar to your sense of smell, taste helps you to identify potential toxins in food.
- When food hits your mouth, your salivary glands secrete chemicals which aid in digestion.
- The glands in your mouth produce amylase, is a digestive enzyme that helps break down our food.
- In your saliva, you also have a protective antibody called SIgA (secretory immunoglobulin A).
- The importance of healthy teeth cannot be over emphasized. The teeth are largely responsible for the mechanical breakdown of your food.
- Thoroughly chewing food will allow easier swallowing and improved digestion.
- Most of our protein digestion occurs in the stomach via the enzyme pepsin and HCl (acid)
- Churning and mechanical digestion take place in the stomach.
- The acid in the stomach is important for helping destroy potential microbial invaders.
- Bicarbonate is secreted in order to neutralize the stomach acid.
- It also secretes amylase, lipase, and lactase.
- It secretes insulin to help regulate blood sugar.
- Small Intestine
- The surface area of the small intestine is about 22 feet long.
- The greatest majority of nutrient absorption into the blood stream occurs here.
- Houses approximately 70-80% of the immune system (GALT)
- Aside from aiding in detoxification, the liver is important in regulating the production of bile salts which are necessary for fat absorption.
- The liver also helps in regulation of blood sugar
- Gall Bladder
- Bile is stored here, which can then be secreted into the small intestine to help absorb more fat.
- If the gall bladder has been removed, supplementing with digestive enzymes can help break down fat.
- Large Intestine
- Much of our microbiome resides in the large intestine. These bacteria help digest food and send regulatory messages to the immune system.
- Water balance is regulated
- Production of SCFA’s (short chain fatty acids) occur in the large intestine via bacterial breakdown of our dietary fiber. These compounds are an important fuel source for colon cells, and they help prevent cancer.
- Excretion of waste and toxins
What About Leaky Gut?
For those with gluten sensitivity and chronic autoimmunity, the digestion process can be greatly affected.
- Leaky gut is often present in those diagnosed with autoimmune disease.
- Many of the medicines used to treat autoimmune disease have gut damaging side effects.
- GI tract nutrition is often compromised in these people, making recovery more difficult.
- Altered immune function contributes to gut inflammation as well as an increased risk for yeast overgrowth.
How To Overcome a Leaky Gut
When it comes to leaky gut recovery, be aware that recovering might require addressing the following 9 factors. Before discussing tips to help restore a leaky gut, let’s talk about some of the common causes of this problem.
10 Tips To Help Restore a Leaky Gut
- Maintain adequate microbiome bacteria by eating healthy fermented foods and taking a strong, high dose probiotic like Ultra Biotic Defense.
- Take a natural aloe vera juice to help support healing of the GI tract.
- Take L-glutamine to repair, heal, and reproduce a new muscosal lining. This amino acid is the primary fuel source for your enterocytes (gut cells).
- Marshmallow root, deglycyrrhizinated licorice, or Zinc carnosine can also be helpful for supporting the gut mucosal barrier.
- Take GI Shield. It helps create a coating in the esophagus, stomach, and intestines.
- Get tested for delayed food allergies and gluten sensitivity…and obviously avoid any allergens and food sensitivities that you find.
- Consider getting tested for bacterial, yeast, or other infections along with testing for SIBO.
- Avoid non steroidal anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and aspirin. These drugs can eat a hole in your stomach and the mucosal lining of the your small intestine.
- Take Ultra Acid to help aid in digestion. Sometimes the stomach cells are damaged and don’t produce adequate acid. This can lead to poor digestion, constipation, malnutrition, and increased risk for infection.
- Avoid as many chemical exposures as you can (plastics, perfumes, chlorine, chemical air fresheners, cleaners). Use a HEPA air filter at home to clean your air. Use a reverse osmosis filter for your drinking water.