Heal the Gut to Heal the Body

girl holding an embroidered picture of the digestive systemThe Digestive system was just one more routine bit of knowledge in the old fashioned education system that schools taught and health professionals had to follow we learned about the nervous system, the lymphatic system, the circulatory system and so on.

The body was supposedly made up of these systems and we had to learn them.
 
Two obvious questions here for all those who care about real healing…

  1. Which system is the most important? i.e. where do we start and what is the priority here?
  2.  
  3. Are they really separate systems that don't affect each other?
 
Second question first – nope. All the systems overlap so much that it makes little sense to pretend that they are separate and the answer to the first question may surprise you but it is the point of this article.
 
The Gut – meaning the whole of the digestive system from the mouth down the gullet to your stomach and then through the small and large intestines to the anus is the absolute central and important system for your health.
 
If the gut is not functioning properly we will not be able to digest our food and extract from it the health boosting vitamins and minerals in our food.
 
And if the gut is sub par we can eat the best organic food in the world and we will profit little or not at all.
 
In short the health of the gut is not just about avoiding indigestion and malabsorption but it is about the health of our skin, the strength of our bones and the balance of our hormones and the brightness of our mind..
 
It is the absolute priority in health.
 
But we don't see this – we see all around us people suffering poor digestion and swallowing indigestion remedies, we see massive amounts of alcohol consumed which damages the gut and not just the liver and we may not notice the catastrophic over use of anti-biotics which do much harm not to the "germs" they are supposed to kill but on the billions of bacteria that need to live in the gut for us to be healthy and have a well functioning immune system and digestion.
 
Sorry for such a long sentence there!
 
And the results of all this abuse of the digestive system is the poor health of the gut and the consequent epidemic of disease that is the logical prediction of poor gut health.
 
We can sum all this up as – fix your gut and you fix your health. Whatever ills you have will improve or heal when you pay attention to the health of the gut whether you have leaky gut, food allergies or indigestion.
 
Enough talk already –  time to get going…
 
And to force me to use shorter sentences I'm going to do this as "Ten Top Tips" style and please do join in and comment below…
 
1.   Remove the cause – to heal the gut you must reduce or cease damaging the gut with alcohol, anti-biotics and pharmaceutical medications. Don't stop any medication suddenly or without professional advice though.

2.   Clean the diet up – drop as much junk food – burgers, fries, sodas as you can. Include some raw food daily – according to the climate you live in and food available. Gradually shift your diet to include more salads and vegetables, especially greens. If you find them a challenge too fat then you'll need to take them as green smoothies.

3.   Basic Nutritional supplements – a high quality multi is essential such as blah blah or yada yada.

4.   Now for the anti-inflammatories: damage to the gut results in inflammation so we need to use multiple[le anti-inflammatory minerals, vitamins and herbs. Then we need to mend the damage the "flames" caused.

5.   Vitamins – we need extra Vitamin C as well as your multi. Start with a simple 1 gram vitamin C and once you are used to it after a week or so increase the dose to 3 grams a day. Any problems with this stage must be fixed by using a different type of vitamin C – maybe a buffered form or a powder will suit you better. Vitamin C is so important that you cannot make up for it elsewhere, so persist.

6.   Then we can add another basic- a minimum of 1,000 iu of vitamin D3. If you can get a blood test for this you need to be at about 60 to 80 on the usual scale used and most people are at 2 or 30. In that case you will need to take perhaps 5,000 iu daily until your next test

7.   Herbs to soothe the gut include slippery elm and marshmallow root. Both act to reduce the inflammation and sooth damaged tissues. Slippery Elm can be used as a food because it makes a kind of porridge.

8.   The gut is now known to have a huge dedicated nervous system controlling it that is so big and complex that it is often called our second brain. The fancy word for it is the enteric nervous system and it needs some attention in all case of disturbed gut function. So we can use Chamomile – easily consumed as a tea and St.John's Wort. together they will help to better coordinate the whole actions of the gut.

9.   If a little extra is needed in cases of parasite damage for example then L-Glutamine can be used as a specific for the intestinal lining. You will be consuming some glutamine anyhow in your diet since it is a widely spread amino acid but taking a few grams of this in several small doses throughout the day can work wonders

10.                You'll notice that the tips are mild and do not feature any dramatic remedies. The focus on eating mild healthy food and taking sensible supplements and gentle herbs is all most people will need. Any problematic issues can probably be sorted out quickly by seeing a health professional qualified in Nutrition or Naturopathy or simply see your family physician.
 
Once the gut has been healed then you can go right back to smoking, alcohol, junk food and unnecessary pharmacy drugs but you will feel so superb after the healthy diet and special supplements and herbs that the benefit will be long term and some of the things you gave up will not appeal to you then!
 
Healing the gut really will heal several health issues automatically and make others much easier to deal with. And once the gut has been healed it makes detox much easier and much pleasanter to do

 

 

Picture Credit hey__paul

AuthorAlex Newell ND

I love learning and being healthy so as soon as I came across Yoga, read and practised to get the health benefits. When I was approaching middle age my health declined under the onslaught o stress and possibly poor diet, I had a perfect opportunity to learn more and I qualified in both Osteopathy and Naturopathy. Our health really is in our own hands and not in the hands of "The Doctor" or our Genes :-)

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