Healing The Gut and Improving Digestive Function

Healing The Gut and Improving Digestive Function

Gastrointestinal or “gut” problems are a dominant feature in many chronic states of ill health including cancer, dementia, heart disease, diabetes and obesity.healing the gut titled
Over the past 2 decades, gut issues have become epidemic in our children and co-exist or drive a range of childhood conditions including Autism, Allergies, ADHD, food sensitivities and other learning and behavioural disorders. Although gut problems do not stand alone as the only issues that need to be addressed, treating the gut is imperative as part of any treatment program. Gastrointestinal symptoms are diverse and include: bloating, flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea, poor appetite, cravings, stomach pain, smelly stools, faecal impaction, heartburn and reflux; as well as nutrient deficiencies and yeast, bacterial and parasitic gut infections.

When treating the gut, it is best to take a holistic approach. It is a very common trap to focus solely on the different pathogenic organisms, to chase symptoms, without addressing some of the fundamental issues that have led to the development of problems. It is important to take into consideration that infections are usually the result of lowered immune resistance and nutritional deficiencies. Only in a body that is depleted or weakened can a germ, virus, parasite or yeast gain a foothold. The aim of treatment therefore should be to strengthen and restore vitality to assist the body’s natural healing processes. Alongside vitamin and mineral supplementation, you should work to improve digestion, absorption and the assimilation of nutrients. Alongside antimicrobial and probiotic treatment, you need to change the environment in the gut and boost the immune system.

HEALING THE GUT

When healing the gut, we need to incorporate the following principles:

  • Nutritionally restore vitality – remove problem foods, I highly recommend the   Hair Test 500 to pinpoint exactly what foods are Friend or Foe using a Hair Sample. Also eliminate processed foods, foods with preservatives, colours & flavours and foods high in sugar. More importantly, add in healing foods and nutrient dense foods. The diet should consist of organic whole food where possible with a major emphasis on fresh vegetables and fruits – rich in phytonutrients and antioxidants, whole grains (gluten free), nuts and seeds and quality proteins. – A ‘Primitive’ or ‘Traditional’ diet that alkalises the body is recommended; lots of dark leafy greens, a range of meat, seeds and nuts and low fructose fruits. Vegetable juicing is good however don’t blend multiple vegetables; keep it to 2-3 with one fruit for sweeting. It is not good enough to leave in high sugar & highly processed foods (pastas, breads, cereals and sauces) even if they are gluten & casein free. The immune system, the brain, all the cells in the body must be nourished to restore the body’s vital force. Addition research has shown that various bacteria produce toxic metabolites with high sugar diets.

 

  • Enhance the immune system – stimulate the body’s own innate ability to fight off infections. There are many very effective herbal remedies that assist immune function; I recommend a therapeutic range of products from Neways International
  1. Transfactor – for gut healing, to build your immunity, antibacterial and to boost your energy levels
  2. Probiotics – which benefit the immune system, stimulating antibody production and interferon synthesis. Boost your good bacteria levels as bad bacteria are a major contributor for people with food and chemical sensitivities
  3. Aloe Vera – to help put the fire out, soothe and nourish the stomach lining right through to your bowel. Aloe Vera is excellent in assisting with regular bowel function
  4. Feroxin – minerals are our bodies spark plug. Studies show we are very mineral deficient as a race. We need over 40 essential minerals each day for our body’s optimal function and we can only get these from our food. The shortfall is that some of the essential minerals are no longer present in our soils, so we need to supplement.
  • Toxicity – research has also uncovered that continual exposure to thousands of chemicals found in our every day personal and home care products provide the body with an incredible challenge in the 21st century. A study in 1994 revealed that over 884 ingredients used in our personal care were know to be toxic and of these 314 cause biological mutation, 218 can cause reproductive complications, 778 can cause acute toxicity, 146 can cause tumors and 376 can cause skin and eye irritations. Click here to What Can I Eat and print the Bathroom card to help you to audit your bathroom and see what ingredients you were unaware of.
  • Change the environment – make it difficult for the Unfriendly Faecal Organisms (UFO’s) to gain dominance or remain dominant. Some important principles involved in this step are outlined below.

CHANGING THE ENVIRONMENT

Clear out the garbage – Purge

Once we have got some gut repair happening we need to CLEAR OUT THE GARBAGE in a clogged up colon. If you try to kill UFO’s when there are impacted faeces, you will have limited success. Certain parasites, bacteria and yeasts will be protected somewhat from both the immune system and any antimicrobials you use if they are able to ‘hide’ under a layer of faecal matter. For successful treatment of gut infections, faecal matter must not accumulate in the bowel.
Regular bowel movements are important for the body to get rid of its garbage. The bowel should move AT LEAST ONCE per day – in the MORNING. The stool should be formed but not hard, lumpy or pebbly. It should be passed with no pain, strain, blood or mucus. It should not be sticky and should be a medium brown colour. There should be complete emptying. If faeces remain in the colon for too long (slow transit time), then the body reabsorbs much of the toxic matter that should have been eliminated contributing to autointoxication. Organisms thrive in this type of environment. Dietary changes, probiotics as well as other various herbal and homeopathic formulas can be used to assist in helping to restore regular bowel movements.

Alkalise – Green Qi

By alkalizing, we are aiming to ensure that the average pH of the body is alkaline not acid. Excessive acidity is a widespread problem in the Western world. Both modern lifestyle and diet promote acidification. In general, the current standard diet is primarily composed of acidic or acidifying elements (proteins, cereals, sugars). Alkaline foods such as vegetables are eaten in too smaller quantities; their alkaline content is insufficient to neutralise surplus acids. Furthermore, stress, nervous tension, noise and other pressures contribute to acidification through the physiological disturbances they create. In addition, heavy metal toxicity, certain infections and inflammation all contribute to acidity.

The acidification of the internal terrain is the source of many health problems. There are a number of effects that lead to illness. Firstly, the activity of enzymes is disrupted. Enzymes are the “worker drones” behind all the biochemical transformations that take place in the body and on which the proper functioning of the organs depend. Enzymes can perform their task correctly only in an environment with a clearly defined pH. Otherwise their activity can be disrupted or even cease completely.

Secondly, the body can become ill due to the harsh corrosive nature of acids present in excessive amounts within the tissues. Before they are neutralised by alkaline substances, acids irritate the organ with which they come in contact. Inflammation as well as lesions or hardening of the tissues can result. The fragile state of the tissues resulting from the invasive presence of acid makes them vulnerable to microbial or viral infection. This is aggravated by the fact that the immune system’s effectiveness can also be lessened by acidity. Additionally, various infections themselves such as Streptococcus-overgrowth can produce acidic by-products that can overwhelm the body’s ability to maintain balance and a vicious cycle is set up. This is a major factor in gut dysbiosis.

Many compromised individuals are acidic. When we are acidic we need to place a greater emphasis on alkaline foods (vegetables and fruits) . This can be easily achieved with a green Superfoods blend such as Green Qi which contains 25 vegetables in a unique blend.
Improve the Digestive Process

To improve digestion and absorption of nutrients, there must be adequate stomach acid. Many people have hypochlorhydria or low stomach acid. A study of autistic children found 62% had low stomach acid.
Adequate stomach acid is essential for protein digestion. Poor protein digestion leads to low levels of the raw materials our bodies need to make neurotransmitters, immune cells and so much more. Poor protein digestion is also associated with an increased susceptibility to food allergies and sensitivities.

Adequate stomach acid is essential for absorption of Folic Acid, B12 and minerals. When acid is inadequate, there are typically deficiencies in Zinc, Iron, Calcium & Magnesium.

Stomach acid is essential for proper functioning of the pancreas and liver/gallbladder. The acidity of the stomach contents triggers a signal for these two organs to do their work.

Stomach acid also provides the first line of defence against pathogenic organisms that may enter the body with our food. Most organisms cannot survive in the acid environment of the stomach.

Strategies to improve stomach acid:

  • Reduce Stress – especially at mealtimes
  • Provide essential nutrients: Zinc, Niacin, Magnesium, B6 Celtic Sea Salt & Potassium
  • Bitter foods before meals e.g. olives, bitter lettuce & rocket
  • Apple cider vinegar or lemon juice drink, in warm water before meals
  • Neways Digestive Enzymes or Releaze for more severe reactions
  • Herbal Bitters before meals:
    • Enhance upper digestive function / improve assimilation of nutrients
    • Stimulate appetite
    • Increase flow of digestive juices
    • Increase flow of bile
    • Regulate secretion of insulin & glucagon by the pancreas & liver
    • Stimulate repair of gut lining
    • Improve the micro-environment of the gut

Digestive enzymes are important for improving the digestive process. They chemically breakdown food so that nutrients can be absorbed. These enzymes are produced in large amounts at different stages along the digestive tract, for example the digestion of carbohydrates requires enzymes from the mouth, the pancreas and the small intestine. Fat needs lipase from the pancreas and bile from the liver. Protein needs enzymes from the stomach, the pancreas and the small intestine.

People who have allergies and intolerances have insufficient enzymes. Signs of this are bloating, flatulence and pain particularly near the belly button. There may also be undigested food in the stool. Light tan or yellow ‘floaty’ stools indicate that fat digestion is poor. Supplemental digestive enzymes relieve symptoms and improve absorption of nutrients.

Balancing Gut Flora – Probiotics – Lacto Flora

Probiotics are essential both in supplemental form and in the form of fermented foods. The number of functions the gut flora fulfils is so vital for us that if the digestive tract got sterilised we probably would not survive.

One of the most important functions of the gut flora is appropriate digestion and absorption of nutrients from food. If you do not acquire normal balanced gut flora, then they you will not digest and absorb nutrients from foods well, leading to the development of multiple nutritional deficiencies. Certain species of gut flora actively synthesise various nutrients: vitamin K, folic acid, vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, CoQ10, various amino-acids and proteins, all of which can become deficient in an unbalanced gut. Restoring the beneficial bacteria in the gut helps to treat these deficiencies.

Apart from taking a vital part in nourishing the body, beneficial bacteria keep the gut healthy. Certain species coat the entire surface of the gut protecting it from invaders and toxins by providing a natural barrier and producing a lot of anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal substances. At the same time they provide the gut lining with nourishment. It is estimated that 60 –70% of energy the gut lining derives, is from the activity of bacteria, which live on it. An unhealthy gut lining will substantially reduce the body’s ability to absorb nutrients from food.

Additionally, gut flora are intricately involved in the functioning of the immune system. The beneficial bacteria in the gut ensure appropriate production of different immune cells. They also help balance the immune system. With dysbiosis the Th1 and Th2 arms of the immune system can get out of balance, contributing to Th2 overactivity. This causes the immune system to over-react to various foods and environmental stimuli leading to allergies.

The absence or greatly reduced numbers of beneficial bacteria in the gut flora leads to overgrowths of certain species of bacteria that produce toxins in these circumstances. These toxins can overwhelm the body’s natural ability to detoxify, which can contribute to the accumulation of heavy metals, pesticides & other environmental toxins as well as mimic certain food intolerances such as salicylate sensitivity. In effect the digestive system instead of being a source of nourishment becomes a major source of toxicity in the body. Alkalising & appropriate nutrition as discussed above are absolutely essential when working to restore a healthy balanced gut flora.

Detoxification

Another important issue to deal with when healing the gut is detoxification. This involves supporting the body’s natural detoxification systems. A discussion of this issue is too complex to address here. Treating bacterial & fungal overgrowths to reduce gut toxicity is an important part of this. In general more will need to be done…

 

“ It is a mistake, it’s half a therapy if you only treat the gut. The other half of the therapy is to detoxify.…..We have to get the toxins out to even allow the nutrients to get into the tissues. You can’t get the nutrients in there if they are full of poisons, you can’t get two things into one space.” Charlotte Gerson

Healing the gut is a complex process and there are many other important factors to consider. These are just a few of the fundamental issues that should be considered in any treatment program. Below is a table with some foods & wholefood supplements that can assist in gut healing. In summary you need to consider.

  • Restore vitality
    • remove problem foods
    • Primitive diet
  • Enhance the Immune System
    • herbs, supplements, probiotics
  • Change the Environment
    • Clear the colon
    • Alkalise
    • Improve digestion
    • Restore beneficial bacterial balance (probiotics, fermented foods)
    • Support detoxification
  • Reduce exposure to Toxicity in your everyday products usage
  • Specifics – Antimicrobials, antifungals, antiparasitics, nutritional supplements, anti-inflammatories, antioxidants.
  • Wholefoods support overall vitality and in so doing aid in gastro intestinal healing
Whole food Action
Slippery Elm
Cabbage
Anti-inflammatory, nutritive
Young Green Coconut Enzyme rich, Nutritive
Kefir
Sauerkraut (unpasteurised)
Probiotic
Garlic
Quality Honey
Antimicrobial
Turmeric Anti-inflammatory, supports detoxification
Acai Berry
Goji Berry
Blueberry, Raspberry, Blackberry
Antioxidant
Immune enhancement
Spirulina
Chlorella
Green Juices
Nutritive, Alkalising, Support Detoxification, Promote healthy flora
Bee Pollen Nutritive, Enzyme rich, antioxidant
Coconut Oil Antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, Nutritive
Chia Seeds (soaked)
Flax seeds (soaked)
Nutrient Dense, Anti-inflammatory
Seaweeds Nutrient Dense, Alkalising
Papaya
Pineapple
Enzyme Rich

For more information about the Hair Test 500 and products designed to help with gut health visit What Can I Eat.

Why fruit and veg taste better straight from the farm?

Why fruit and veg taste better straight from the farm?

It’s the age old question really that we intuitively know but have just really forgotten along the way.  It seems that the supermarkets have forgotten as well but I don’t really claim to why fruit and veg titledknow the answer for the big chains as they struggle to keep up with supplying so many people.  It is relatively easy for them to provide produce in season, but when it is out of season, that is when we need as consumers savvier.

However as consumers there is a huge move now towards knowing and understanding where our food comes from, how it is processed and what is the best option for our families.

The simple answer and reality if that fruit and veg is picked fully ripe fresh off the trees, ready to sell to customers.  Supermarket produce is generally picked green to last on the shelf or stored in cool rooms for long periods. Produce can undergo additional processes such as waxing, fungicide treatments or gas ripening.

What you get when you buy directly from the farmer is as fresh as you can get it without having to grow it yourself.  The time from picking to purchasing is minimal and you as a consumer can then be more confident that the fruit has had time to develop flavour and retains its nutrients.  It’s super fresh, naturally ripe, naturally coloured, hand picked and packed and presented the way it is supposed to be.

This is optimal for farmers as well as they can control how their produce is handled and appreciated.  Let me tell you farmers grow produce because they love it and generally have enormous pride in what they grown.  It is very rewarding for them to see customers enjoying their produce, trusting them and coming back for more.

My final tip would be check out what is seasonal and try and stick to purchasing that produce only if you have to shop at the big stores.  Make sure you check out where the produce is sourced from when it is out of season as we found out with the frozen berry scandal, produce that is sourced from other countries can go through different criteria to what our stringent standards are here in Australia. Discover where your local markets are and make your way there.  You will quickly get to know your favourite store holders that you love and trust so the process becomes very quick each week.

For some great recipe ideas on what to use your fruit and veges for have a look at the cookbooks in our bookshop.

Candida – Now how to get rid of this sucker

Candida – Now how to get rid of this sucker

GAINING CONTROL OF CANDIDAcandida how to get rid of titled

The growth of Candida can be reversed but it takes commitment and a bit of hard work. You will need to increase the immune response, change your diet and re-establish normal bowel bacteria. Candida has an enormous appetite for yeasted foods and sugars so they must be eliminated from the diet.

DIET

Now the HARDEST part – DIET. You will need to give the bowel a rest and stop feeding the Candida for a while. As mentioned earlier Candida has a huge appetite for yeasted and fermented foods as well as sugar. Foods containing these should be eliminated for a while – at least until the Candida is brought back into balance. You may find that you will always have a sensitivity to yeasted foods but may eventually be able to include some in your diet.

WHILE YOU ARE FIGHTING THE CANDIDA YOU WILL HAVE TO AVOID THE FOLLOWING:

Yeasted and fermented foods. Bread (except unyeasted varieties), cheese, mushrooms, peanuts, peanut butter, vegemite, marmite, promite, soy sauce, tamari, tofu, tomato sauce and tomato paste. Fruits. Grapes, rockmelons, fruit with mould or bruising, oranges. Drinks. All beer, all wine and fermented drinks, tea, coffee and soft drinks. Foods containing Vinegar such as relish, pickles and olives. Sugar. You will need to keep your sugar-levels down so no cakes, biscuits, sweets, ice creams, soft drinks, fruit juices and malted foods. Dairy products. Cheese, milk and ice cream This sounds very stringent because if you have a Candida problem this will probably represent a large portion of your normal diet. You will have to change your eating patterns for at least a period of time to achieve a balance in your system.

ALLOWABLE FOODS

Vegetables and salads – Eat as many as you like. Fruit – Up to three pieces a day especially bananas, apples and pears. Drinks – Purified water, uncarbonated mineral water (Vittel or Evian), herbal teas (caffeine free), pure fruit juices except tomatoe and orange.Soy milk (unsweetened) Fish- Either grilled, baked, pan fried in olive oil or stir fried. Meat – Organic chicken (Lorax), small amounts of red Organic meat (if organic meat is unavailable, lamb is the recommended choice.) Whole grains – such as rice, millet, buchwheat, rolled oats, etc. Unyeasted breads- rice crackers, tortillas, rivita and pita bread are acceptable. Yeast free pasta is o.k. Also-organic eggs,plain yoghurt, plain soy milk (Vita-Soy,Aussie-Soy)

Also you need to start a course of pro-biotics.

 Candida is the cause of a number of fungal infections, there are many other environmental factors that cause Candida to flourish , so let’s have a look at that along with what are the common symptoms YOU may be experiencing?

 

One of the critical steps to eliminating candida is to heal your gut. We invite you to review our gut healing program on What Can I Eat?

http://draxe.com/candida-symptoms/

 

Candida in men

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Thrush-men/Pages/Introduction.aspx

 

http://www.naturalbodyhealing.com/candida.html

What are the Common Symptoms of Candida?

What are the Common Symptoms of Candida?

 

Understanding what Candida is very important and what causes it to flourish is extremely important
but then you have to know what the symptoms are.

symptoms of candida titled

EARLY SIGNS

The early signs that Candida is out of control are thrush, tinea, recurrent cystitis, frequent headaches, dizziness, digestive problems such as wind, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea, recurrent indigestion, irritability, fatigue, weight control problems, unexplained anger, skin rashes, low blood pressure and nearly any type of allergic reaction.

ALLERGY SYMPTOMS

All the classic allergy symptoms are common in Candida imbalance or Candidiasis – sneezing, runny nose, stuffiness, sore throat, postnasal drip, cough and asthma. The mucous membranes of the respiratory tract from nose to lungs may become irritated by continous exposure to yeast or its toxins. Irritation can lead to infection by other organisms either viral or bacterial. Then the label changes from Candidiasis to sinusitis, bronchitis, sore throat, a coid or even pneumonia. When the non-invasive form of Candida changes into the invasive, pathological “mycelia form” it actually grows root-like appendages and can infiltrate the intestinal walls and get into the bloodstream. The body’s immune system has trouble coping with this pathology and the Candida Spreads. If you have this form of Candida you will have symptoms which may be difficult to diagnose.

10 common Candida Symptoms:

  1. Skin and nail fungal infections (such as athlete’s foot or toenail fungus)
  2. Feeling tired and worn down or suffering from chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia
  3. Digestive issues such as bloating, constipation, or diarrhea
  4. Autoimmune disease such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, Rheumatoid arthritis, Ulcerative colitis, Lupus, Psoriasis, Scleroderma or Multiple sclerosis
  5. Difficulty concentrating, poor memory, lack of focus, ADD, ADHD and brain fog
  6. Skin issues such as eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes
  7. Irritability, mood swings, anxiety, or depression
  8. Vaginal infections , urinary tract infections, rectal itching or vaginal itching
  9. Severe seasonal allergies or itchy ears
  10. Strong sugar and refined carbohydrate cravings

Effectively treating candida involves stopping the yeast overgrowth, restoring the friendly bacteria that usually keep them in check, and healing your gut so that candida can no longer enter your bloodstream.

One of the critical steps to eliminating candida is to heal your gut.  We invite you to review our gut healing program on What Can I Eat?

 

What causes Candida to flourish?

What causes Candida to flourish?

Candida Albicans is a very invasive yeast infection and can cause many imbalances in your body.what causes candida titled

There are a number of factors that initiated the flourishing of this little fella but here are the top ones.

  1. Taking prescribed antibiotics, cortisone or steroids for any period of time.

Before I had children I would say that I had at least 20 doses of antibiotics to treat tonsillitis, middle ear infections, bladder infections and what ever else happened in between. Lucky I had any good bacteria left surviving in my body I’d say.

  1. Taking the bill control pill. Well it is the contraception of choice to start with. Until you try it you don’t know how it will work for you and what effects it will have on your body, we are all different. But there is a price to pay on your health by the looks.
  2. Diabetes. Now I don’t know much about this one and why diabetes would influence the flourishing of this yeast but I would imagine it would have something to do with the sugar imbalance in the body. Yeast feeds on sugar.
  3. Whether you’ve undergone chemo-therapy or been exposed to radiation. Well this makes perfect sense as chemo-therapy kills everything good and bad in your body. Bacteria doesn’t have a chance. It also causes a great deal of acidity. Yeast loves an acid environment, similar to a swimming pool when you get too many phosphates in the water and the algae starts to grow. Radiation well this is a hard one as we are now exposed to increasing amounts on a daily basis surrounded by wi-fi, phones and microwave technology as the most popular forms. Admittedly only small amounts maybe in each but each omitting a little to make us a lot all day and all night.
  4. If you have suffered a prolonged illness and you have been on long term medication of any sort, this creates acidity in your body and destroys your good bacteria colonies. Therefore the yeast has a perfect environment once again to thrive in.
  5. Malnutrition – when we don’t feed our bodies regularly the nutrients it needs particularly in the form of prebiotic fibres which assist the growth and multiplication of beneficial bacterial, we are once again providing the perfect breading ground for yeast to take hold.
  6. Multiple pregnancies, this is interesting. Even though pregnancy is of course a natural process, it can be very taxing on even the healthiest of women. Weaknesses and imbalances can occur and provide an environment for yeast to grow. Keep in mind here that if you in your lifetime have had any of the above you have a depleted set of good bacteria and you will pass this onto your newborn.
  7. A diet high in sweets, carbohydrates, soft drinks or fruit juices this is the perfect food that feeds the Candida Albicans yeast.

Normal candida and acidophilus live in the bowel so that is generally where the problems start. The next to be effected you will notice is the digestive system. Candida Albicans once taken hold starts to depress your immune system and cause nutritional deficiencies which then lead to the many symptoms we talked about in the next article.

CAUSATIVE FACTORS

There are many factors which may cause an imbalance and result in Candida becoming invasive. Some more important factors are: 1) Taking prescribed antibiotics, cortisone or steroids 2) Taking birth control pills 3) If you have diabetes. 4) Whether you’ve undergone chemo-therapy or been exposed to radiation. 5) If you have suffered a prolonged illness. 6) Malnutrition 7) Multiple pregnancies ie, twins or close births 8) If your diet is high in sweets, fruit juices and refined carbohydrates. Problems with Candida often start in the bowel where the normal Candida and acidophilus live, and initially effects the digestive system. Nutritional deficiences accompany all forms of chronic Candida problems which in turn further depresses the immune system allowing the Candida to grow unchecked. .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNILKmGdVA0

Let’s have a look at What are the common symptoms of candida?

One of the critical steps to eliminating candida is to heal your gut.  We invite you to review our gut healing program on What Can I Eat?

 

 

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