I’ve been working with so many clients on gut issues (Gastrointestinal problems) lately and also working on healing my gut everyday! It’s amazing how your gut affects the health of your entire body – since 80% of your immune system is located in your gut. So, if you have arthritis, eczema, asthma, stomach issues or any other problems- healing your gut is your first step. How do you do it? Well, it’s not as easy as it sounds and EVERYONE is So different. Trust me. One thing that works for one client, doesn’t work for another and vice versa. I’ve also found that one thing that works for me one year, doesn’t work the next. Why is that? Well, mostly because the yeasts, bacteria, pathogens, bad bacteria, parasites that are in our gut are constantly changing. And when we start to use one herb—and we use that herb everyday or every time we’re bloated or have a flare-up, those yeasts, bacteria, etc. in our gut get really smart and those herbs no longer kill them off. With that said, I’m laying out a few thoughts for you below. Since all of your cases are different, it’s important to work with a functional medicine doctor or someone like myself who focuses on customizing your treatment to your individual needs. Unfortunately, I spent my teens and 20’s at Gastro doctors (Western medicine) who just wanted to put me on antibiotics and didn’t give me more than 7 minutes to talk to them before I was handed a script for a prescription, numerous colonoscopies, endoscopies and blood work that found NOTHING. Actually, I was told I had IBS—which in my opinion, and all the Integrative MD’s agree with me on this, is a bunch of B.S. (it’s bull)–it’s the Western medicine doctors way of saying….”I’m sorry, we have no idea what’s going on with you…you’re in pain, bloated, not feeling right and we can’t help you…you have IBS“. Awesome.
That’s when I got smart, went back to school for nutrition, started reading hundreds of detox books, working with Integrative/Functional medicine MD’s and started to understand that I am NOT crazy. Western medicine doesn’t believe in Candida and Adrenal Fatigue and so many other issues. Why? Well because their business is run by the pharmaceutical companies and there aren’t any drugs to cure these issues. Sad, yes. And the pathetic part is that I actually listened to these Western medicine doctors for the first 20 years of my life. Mostly because I didn’t know any better- I was raised to take antibiotics when you were sick. I was raised without knowing what the heck organic was and why these crazy people were spending $20 on organic berries when I could get conventional berries for $4 on the street corner from a little vendor.
Back to your gut. Your gut affects the health of your brain, which is why you’re reading SO much lately on how the health of your microbiome will determine the health of your entire body and well-being. Many conditions that you are experiencing—from acne to arthritis to eczema are an inflammatory response from your body saying, ‘Something isn’t right, folks’. These conditions are inflammatory disorders of the vast spectrum of autoimmune disease.
Now, onto the tools you need to get started to start reversing your symptoms and get your gut in tip top shape so you can strut your stuff, feel fabulous and fit back into your favorite jeans without feeling like there’s a bloated balloon in your belly. (I swear I’ve been asked hundreds of times if I was pregnant in my 20’s–because I was so bloated. Sad? Yes, but I’ve figured it out and I’m here to inspire you to whip your gut into shape and get your immune system happy.
1. Avoid foods that hurt your gut lining.
You should know this by now. Say good bye to avoid gluten, dairy, soy, sugar and conventional (non-organic food) because pesticides, herbicides and growth hormones found in non-organic food are hurting your thyroid, liver and making your Leaky Gut much worse!
2. Look at underlying gut issues.
Leaky Gut. Click on the link to the left for more info. I’ve had this!
Yeast. Yeast in your gut can lead to bloating, etc. This does not have to cause vaginal yeast problems, it can be just in your gut. I’ve had this!
Parasites. Click on the link to the left for more info. I’ve had this!
Dysbiosis. An increase in bad bacteria. Click on the link to the left for more info. I’ve had this!
SIBO. An overgrowth of normal bacteria in your small intestine. It’s when bacteria from your colon grows into your small intestines where it shouldn’t be. Click on the link to the left for more info. I’ve had this!
Hypochlorhydria. This is a decrease in your stomach acid, which you need to digest your food. I’ve had this!
3. Use real food to help heal your gut lining (Leaky Gut).
Coconut Oil: Use it on everything. Once I started adding 4 Tbsp. of this to my lifestyle each day- my gut started to heal and my thyroid, hormones, etc. started getting increasingly better!
Fermented Foods: Reach for organic sauerkraut, kimchee, chickpea miso, etc. and other fermented foods to help your good bacteria flourish in your gut.
Probiotics: Get yourself a VERY high quality probiotic. Please don’t buy the cheap ones in the foodstore- they’re filled with sawdust/crap.
Bone Broth: I was against this for SO long but once I started sipping on bone broth (ORGANIC, of course)- I noticed a difference in my gut, energy, skin and blood work The collagen makes it fabulous for healing your gut and skin!
Healthy Fats: Avocado, coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, ground flaxseeds, chia seeds, hemp seeds.
4. Get the RIGHT tests done.
They’re not cheap, folks but I’ll be honest here — what I’ve learned is that if you want answers, you’ve gotta pay a lotta money to get these tests done that aren’t common. Why? Well, because they tell you what the heck is going on vs. the boring simple blood work that your general Western medicine doctor is running. They’re not looking for inflammation or anything else….they don’t even know what the heck reverse T3 is for the full thyroid panels so they’re not looking at all the pieces to the puzzle. So, what do you need? I’d start with an Immunological Blood Test that will help you see if your gut’s system has been shaken up —aka Leaky Gut –which allows undigested food and bacteria to enter your bloodstream causing a HUGE inflammatory response in your entire body. Not fun and not pretty. I’ve been there and it’s not fun. I’d also suggest getting a stool test done by an Integrative Medicine doctor who can run a 24 or 48 hour stool test to take a look at your good bacteria, bad bacteria, yeasts, parasites, infections, etc. And with my experience, I’d be sure to get a FULL virus panel done for blood work–because Lyme Disease is SOOOO sneaky and gave me false negatives for over a decade until I spend a couple thousand dollars to get my blood sent to special labs who found positive bands of Lyme—Lyme is what caused all of my issues (adrenal fatigue, crazy cortisol, leaky gut, hypothyroidism, myocitis, etc. etc. etc…..). The point it, underlying infections and viruses cause a whole slew of issues—so if your doctor isn’t looking at these viruses and he’s not sending your blood to a reputable lab (not your everyday lab like Quest, etc.) then sadly, you’re trying to put out the fire in your thyroid, adrenals, gut, etc. but you’re not getting better because the infection or virus is causing all of this to be out of whack. Catch my drift? There are a TON of other inflammatory markers you can get done in blood tests, which I’ll be sharing with you soon and I work with my clients to make sure they know exactly what they need done to get the underlying answers.
And now I’ve got a fabuuuuuulous gut-friendly recipe for you below.
Try to buy everything organic. Here’s why: The Benefits of Eating Organic.
- 1 butternut squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 Tbsp. creamy almond butter, slightly melted
- pinch fresh lemon zest
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place squash face down in a large baking dish. Sprinkle with sea salt and pepper.Pour water into the baking dish around the squash halves.
- Bake for 1 hour- 1 hour 30 minutes or until squash is tender. Remove from oven.
- Drizzle with slightly melted almond butter and garnish with fresh lemon zest. Season with sea salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve warm.