Poor gut health can be caused for a number reasons and is not solely related to diet even though it’s of course a big factor. To reverse Autoimmune disease and digestive problems, you have to realize they often go hand and hand. Genetics, stress and environmental toxins can all be responsible or leaky gut and digestive issues too. To repair your gut health and overall immunity there are a few places to begin.
Dealing With The Diet to Help Reverse Autoimmune Disease and Digestive Problems:
The gut microbiome is where 80% of the immune system lives. This is the reason the gut is the most effective place to treat before trying to conquer any underlying health issue. Additionally, a more alkaline diet that lowers inflammation is what we should be focusing on. Ways we can do this are to cut back on meats and processed foods as well as gluten, dairy, sugar, soy and night shade vegetables(most common are potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant and peppers).
When food shopping be mindful of the following things:
• Purchase mostly organic fruit and vegetables.
• Limit animal protein and when possible choose organic/grass fed beef and free range chicken.
• Stick to low mercury, sustainable fish.
• Avoid all pre-made and packaged foods which contain preservatives, dyes and excess sodium.
• Choose high quality fats such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil and grass fed butter over vegetable or canola oil.
• Look for grains and starches that are naturally gluten free such as quinoa, rice, yams, and sweet potato.
Some foods and spices that specifically help to heal the gut are:
• Turmeric (curcumin) helps to decrease inflammation and heal the intestinal lining.
• Cinnamon can help with heartburn and relieve gas.
• Ghee helps with gut inflammation and usually doesn’t affect people with lactose intolerance.
• Whey protein (from grass fed cows) can help with leaky gut, adrenal fatigue and autoimmune disease.
• Glutamine is an important amino acid supplement – especially in the case of leaky gut.
Herbs can be antimicrobial and antibacterial when trying to clean up gut toxins:
• Grapefruit seed extract can help to eradicate candida and parasites. For those traveling abroad with food that seems questionable should definitely pack a bottle.
• Oregano works like a natural antibiotic to help protect against harmful bacteria and improve colon health.
• Uva Ursi can heal infections and inflammation of the digestive tract.
• Berberine is effective in healing bacterial overgrowth, viruses, fungi and parasites in the gut.
And of course don’t forget about probiotics to help reverse Autoimmune Disease and Digestive Health!…
They are one of the most important supplements to take to fend off bad bacteria and reinoculate with good bacteria. You can also get probiotics through another food other than yogurt which does not contain dairy (since that may contribute to digestive issues). Bio-K Plus has a high level of probiotics and can be found at most health food stores.
Other things to consider:
Remove Toxicity: Exposure to heavy metals, smoke, chemicals as well as food additives all put a toxic burden on our system. Glyphosate is the active component of Roundup (Montsanto) and is the most widely used herbicide worldwide. You may think you are eating healthy by juicing and eating loads of fruits and vegetables – but not a good idea when it’s laden with this substance! Glyphosate is highly toxic and causes major disruption to the gut. The only way to know you are truly avoiding glyphosate it is to eat organic and to avoid GMO products. Other toxic triggers to look out for are antibiotics, pesticides, tap water, aspirin, and NSAIDS.
SIBO Testing: Ask your practitioner to check for SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth). Poor digestion, bloating, stomach discomfort, bad breath etc, can all be related to this overgrowth of bacteria. While the conventional treatment is usually with antibiotic therapy using Rifaximin (Xifaxan), herbal therapy can be as effective and well tolerated.
Work on Managing Stress: Constant stress can affect gut permeability, gastric secretions and even your thyroid and adrenals. Exercise, yoga, meditation, visualization and proper sleep can help to reverse Autoimmune disease and digestive problems. Suppressed emotions literally can eat away at you (from the inside). As a ritual set aside a little time everyday to practice mindfulness. Whether it’s first thing upon rising or before you turn in for the night, everyone should do their best to find 20 minutes a day for this exercise.