When it comes to gut health matters, how many of your patients could benefit from digestive rehabilitation?
The digestive system is responsible for providing every nutrient the body needs in order to maintain health and grow — every nutrient. We’re finding how much gut health matters, yet it is often the last place we look when treating disease.
Destructive bacteria and fungi consume the protective mucus layer and expose the microvilli directly to food. This produces a huge immune response which not only beleaguers the immunity system, but also can lead to self-destruction of the epithelial tissues responsible for proper digestion. A gut in poor condition cannot support a human by providing a state of good health. Let me say that again: You cannot have a healthy human with an unhealthy gut.
Gut health matters: highly-processed problems
Because of the widespread and pervasive use of preservatives in our foods and the drastic increase in modified foods in our diet, man today, especially in modern countries, has more digestive problems than any other generation.
This is an epidemic in the United States, where food is more highly processed and less nutritious than anywhere else on Earth. The high sugar and carbohydrate intake is a fuel that promotes fungus (like candida) that we have growing in our gut. The preservatives in food that are designed to kill bacteria in the bread, cereal, canned and dried food products are killing the good bacteria we need in our gut. Further, widespread and over-prescribed antibiotic use disrupts the body’s bacterial balance, resulting in numerous digestive-related problems and gut health matters.
While there is a rising effort to stay away from processed foods and reduce our carbohydrate and sugar intake by eating healthier local organic produce, we are still a nation plagued with disease and obesity because of our dietary habits. We have to learn to both correct and then maintain healthier alternatives and lifestyles. It is just as important to repair the debilitated state in which we now find our guts as it is to support the other systems of our body.
Probiotics and the imbalanced gut
If you have tried probiotics, then you know they can have a positive effect. You have also seen them all too often fail to make a significant change at all. But why is it that taking expensive probiotics for months has no apparent effect? Allow me to shed some light on why that might be.
If your front yard was a huge crabgrass and weed patch, would you sprinkle thousands of dollars of high-quality seed on it expecting a beautiful lawn to emerge? Of course not. You would first get rid of the weeds.
The bacteria and fungus in an imbalanced gut have covered every square inch of livable space. They protect themselves with exotoxins and make it virtually impossible for any new bacteria (the good ones from your probiotics) to grow and survive. There’s “no room at the inn.” The expensive probiotics either die or just move on down the tube. This provides no net gain.
Consider this three-pronged approach to the gut rehabilitation process:
- First get rid of the weeds; kill off as many of the bad bacteria and irritating fungus as possible.
- Second, re-seed the gut with good bacteria which will aid in digestion and keep out the fungus.
- Third, repair the damage that has been done to the epithelial lining of the intestines by the fungus and bad bacteria. This can be done holistically and naturally.
To accomplish the first step, we need a broad-spectrum antimicrobial that is bio-compatible yet kills bacteria and fungus significantly. An enhanced aqueous silver colloid of better than 40 ppm will accomplish this nicely.
It is best taken on an empty stomach and in bolus dosing of 2 ounces every two hours. This can be continued for 2-3 days with one 8-oz. bottle per day consumed. It should be remembered that mixing a colloid of silver with anything containing salt will ruin it, and food tends to make it less effective. Taking the colloid on an empty stomach and not eating for an hour afterward maximizes the effect.
After 2-3 days of this protocol, patients will have attenuated the bacteria and fungus in the gut significantly. Another side benefit of this is that the level of H. pylori in your stomach will also be dramatically reduced. While you won’t “sterilize” the gut (it’s simply not possible in this manner) you will make room for important beneficial bacteria to live and thrive. Making room for the new and beneficial bacteria to thrive is of critical importance.
Once you have knocked down the population of bad bacteria and fungus in the gut, it’s time to re-seed with the probiotic of your choice. This will re-establish the fauna of bacteria necessary to support proper digestion and nutrient extraction from food.
The probiotic ingestion should be continued for at least a month. It is not critically important to have the most expensive probiotics available. A healthy gut has over 200 types of bacteria. Most probiotics have only a few dozen types. In some very severe cases, a fecal transplant may be indicated. However, the most important task is to make sure that you have provided a good environment in which the good bacteria can multiply and thrive. You will have provided this environment where they’re not fighting to survive when you cleared out a lot of the bad bacteria and fungus in the previous step.
The third step is to repair the epithelial lining. The years of antibiotics, preservatives and sugar have allowed a fauna of pathogens that have been eating away at the intestinal lining 24/7 for years. This tissue needs to be healed.
The reduction in the mucus layer caused by candida overgrowth leaves the microvilli unprotected. This allows direct food contact to the digestive tissue and feels like an invasion to the body. This causes the immune system to live in a continual state of heightened immune response.
This inflammation severely reduces the body’s ability to fight actual infections, and the constant inflammation will cause a host of other systemic symptoms. The body will be sending white blood cells down to the intestines to fight the infection by digesting the cells they believe are infected. The body will be needlessly consuming itself. There are many names for this condition but few practitioners who address it appropriately.
Herbs to begin the healing
To facilitate healing, patients should take a mixture of herbs designed to heal the tissues, increase mucus to protect the region, and reduce the local inflammation. This will facilitate the reconstruction of the epithelial lining and restoration of the insulating mucus layer.
Suggested are plantain, licorice, aloe vera, peppermint, marshmallow root and slippery elm bark. These can be encapsulated or made into a tea. Again, taking the capsules or drinking the tea on an empty stomach is best. When food is regularly being introduced into the gut, encapsulated herbs are better than tea as they will tend to be released in the area most in need of repair.
Of course, building new tissue requires some very basic building blocks. Take 2,000 milligrams of vitamin C, 10,000 IUs of vitamin D and a good B-complex daily. Taking 250 mg of magnesium will also help support the mucus layer.
The GI tract is critical not only to absorption of nutrients through digestion, but also to the proper operation of your immune system. A non-functional or poorly functioning digestive system can cause a myriad of health problems as it produces nutritional deficiencies and a compromised immune system.
Diseases such as arthritis, auto-immune disorders, and many skin conditions have been traced back to gut health matters. Obviously, conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, SIBO and Crohn’s disease are problems of the gut. Without a digestive system you would die. So why then is it hard for us to appreciate that with a poorly working digestive system we will be in poor health?
Kill, re-seed, restore. Put your patients’ guts back on track and watch their health improve.
S.R. FRANK is an innovative herbalist who can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org with complete Digestive Rehabilitation Kits at MyNaturesRite.com, where the coupon code DRK20 can be used on retail orders for a 20% discount. Nature’s Rite © 2021.