Healing the Gut Naturally
Once we have discovered what the root cause is of your digestive problems, we can fix it using natural therapies.
When pathogens are involved, We start by “starving” the bugs. This is done through an appropriate diet to support the bodies healing abilities without sourcing the pathogens their means for fuel. Depending on what pathogens are present (yeast, bacteria, parasites) will determine what kind of diet you will be put on. You will be provided with education and handout about what you can have and what is to be avoided. The “diet” is typically followed for at least 2-3 months but may be continued for longer depending on how you respond, how long you’ve dealt with the issue for, and any other immune compromising imbalances you may be dealing with that can slow the healing process down.
During or after the diet has been started, herbal combinations are used to kill off unwanted bugs that are making homes in our guts and feeding off our nutrients. Typically at least 2 different herbal supplements are used at once time to kill off yeast, bacteria and/or parasites. These bugs are very good at hiding and learning how to avoid the herbs being used for treatment. Sometimes it is even necessary to switch up the herbs used every few months in order to confuse the pathogens. We also may introduce something called cyst busters as the pathogens create a cyst like matrix around themselves for protection. it is very hard to break down this mucus like shell. Certain herbal constituents like grapefruit seed extract are good at breaking down the cysts. About halfway through you anti-microbial protocol we may add cyst buster to kill any bugs that are hiding so they don’t come back once we stop using the herbs.
Next nutritional deficiencies are addressed, and inflammation and damage in the gut is taken care off. Demulcent soothing herbs are used as well as nutrients and amino acids like L glutamine, Quercitin, zinc carnitine and more. This process can also take a while if damage to the gut has been going on for a long time; anywhere from 2- 6 months
The last step is to repopulate your gut with beneficial flora- probiotics. I have patients start this repopulation process from the beginning making sure to dose away from anti-microbial herbs. We continue probiotics well after the anti-microbial herbs are no longer needed. We also want to make sure we support the diversity of our microbiome which directly affects our immune system, mood, and metabolism. Things like fermented foods, fiber and butyric acid all help support diveristy.
If pathogens are not present then we will look into why there is inflammation in the gut, avoid foods that trigger the inflammation and use anti inflammatory and demulcent means to heal it. Other natural treatments that may be used include digestive enzymes, special diets, fiber, essential oils, teas and more.
What to expect:
Treating and healing the gut can be a process. It was not damaged over night so it will not heal over night. The main things to remember is to try to cut out food that will cause it more damage and inflammation like foods triggers and sensitivities but also inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, dairy (for some). There can be die off reactions that may make you feel worse before you feel better. As you kill off these pathogens they release toxins that can make symptoms temporarily worse, and increase cravings,. Binders and detox support are critical to support these die off reactions. Bugs can also be tricky to kill if they create biofilm or cysts- a mucus like material produced by the bug used to protect itself. If this is the case then biofilm busters will be added to get to all infection. Treatment protocols may last 2-6 months on average depending on what is going on.