The RIGHT Way to Repair Your Gut
Gut health is a catchy phrase these days, and something that is getting more and more attention due to its critical role in health and wellbeing. With over 70% of your immune system existing in your colon (thanks to the microbes that inhabit it!), it's easy to see why prioritizing gut health is so important. Add to that the rise of conditions like small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), Celiac disease, intestinal permeability ("leaky gut"), H. pylori and C. difficile, Crohn's disease and Ulcerative Colitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, and plain 'ol bloating and gas, it's pretty obvious that the gut plays a major role in ensuring we are feeling our best, and enjoying the most optimal health and wellness that we can.
Anytime a topic or problem in wellness (or anything, really) becomes "popularized" or "trendy," the remedies or solutions to fix that thing become just about common knowledge. This definitely holds true when we talk about gut health, or repairing the gut. A "level one" approach to gut healing might look like adding bone broth to your diet and adding a probiotic. A "level two" approach might look like a standard elimination diet protocol, which would undoubtedly just eliminate the most common allergens or foods with highest prevalence of causing sensitivity reactions (gluten, dairy, eggs, etc.). A "level three" approach might focus on adding more supplements, specifically targeted to certain areas of the gut (i.e. DGL for healing the stomach lining), or working with a practitioner who would most likely start you on a protocol of "The 4 R's" of gut healing: Remove (the bad bugs and foods), Replace (the good bugs), Reinoculate (with good bacteria), and Repair (the gut lining). This is an excellent and tried-and-true method for healing the gut. However, it's incomplete. Why? Because, most of the time, it's not personalized to YOU.
All of the strategies mentioned above for gut healing are a good start, but for true and total healing and repair of the gut, you MUST figure out what foods, food chemicals (both naturally occurring and additives), and compounds YOUR body is reacting to and eliminate those things. And while food allergy testing is important, it, too, is incomplete, and does not give the full picture of what could be causing issues in the body.
Food sensitivities have been shown through clinical research to cause as severe reactions as those involved in food allergy, and in some cases, more prolonged suffering. Food sensitivities are not picked up on standard allergy tests, either blood or skin, as it is a different immune-mediated response than that involved in allergy (for you nerds out there who want the nitty gritty science, it is a non-IgG and non-IgE mediated cellular response, but still an immune-mediated one as shown in clinical research and evaluations). And just as food allergy testing is an important piece of the puzzle when healing a damaged gut, so is food sensitivity testing...but it's a big, big, big piece, and the puzzle will NOT be complete without it.
The reason it's so imperative that we remove the reactive foods is that, as mentioned earlier, over 70% of the immune system lives in the gut. The gut and the immune system are extremely closely connected, and rely on the health of the other for their own health. When we are constantly eating something that our individual immune system is reacting to, we are essentially "wearing out" its ability to kick into high gear and fight off the invader/protect us from undue inflammatory reactions in our body. Overtime, we can quite literally exhaust out immune system, which in turn results in a weakening of our gut lining (literally: the tight junctions in our small intestine LOOSEN, allowing food particles to pass through and wreaking havoc upon havoc in our body). This goes the other way, too: the more we eat reactive foods that are inflaming our gut, the more particles pass through our tight junctions (now not so tight) and into our bloodstream, causing an inflammatory reaction in that vein, too, and demanding even more out of our immune system. It's a vicious cycle, and one that quite literally wears us down.
The GOOD news is...it's FIXABLE! Whether you've been suffering for days, weeks, or decades, you can find relief. Embarking upon a personalized gut healing regimen has proven to be life changing for countless people: from those enduring migraine headaches, to those with irritable bowel syndrome, and even those with fibromyalgia and chronic pain. In many cases, relief comes within WEEKS, even if the individual has been suffering for years. And with personalized food sensitivity testing, there's NO guess work, like in a "normal" elimination diet: you will have cut and dry proof of what your body is reacting to, instead of having to experiment for months (and sometimes years) on end...with no real guarantee of relief EVER. With a personalized approach, you will have evidence of exactly what is causing that inflammatory reaction in your body that is initiating your suffering, and a roadmap on how to make it better.
If you've been suffering with gut problems, chronic pain, mystery health problems, mood and cognitive issues, poor immune function, headaches or migraines, or any other chronic and unremitting health complaint, reach out to me...I want to help! Shoot me an email at email@example.com and we can chat about your options. There IS HOPE for your health, always. And I can help you find it.
DISCLAIMER: The statements made in this post and in any content provided by Dr. Anna Johnson and Anna's Organics Wellness are the opinions of the author only, and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you are experiencing symptoms of a medical problem, seek medical attention immediately or consult your physician for further guidance.