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Paula Youmell, RN Functional Medicine – Natural Health Educator - Herbalist

Gut Healing in Simple Steps

From your mouth to your anal opening, all organs (all cells) need to be functioning at top notch for proper digestion to occur so the delivery of nutrition to all body cells can happen. This all begins with the selection of *healthy, whole, well raised foods and proceeds like this: 

Well chewed in mouth, slowly and consciously, paying attention to the sensual side of the food allows the rest of the digestive tract to be able to do its work digesting the well chewed food. Salivary enzymes, in the mouth, begin carbohydrate digestion. Chewing activates saliva as well as all other digestive juices along the length of the digestive tract. Stomach: hydrochloric acid primarily for protein breakdown (but also assists carbohydrate & fat breakdown) so we can use the amino acids for building blocks of growth and healing, making hormones and other biological chemicals, and so much more… High levels of HCL are required for this. Squelching the natural acid process with medication is not recommended from a holistic or functional medicine perspective. Reflux is very rarely contributed to too much stomach acid, this is a huge myth. It is from too little stomach acid and the food in the stomach cannot be properly digested. Further reducing stomach acid with “the little purple or pink pill” or any other form of acid reducing drugs is a mistake and contributes to amino acid, several minerals, and B12 insufficiencies / deficiencies to name but a few issues.

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Small intestine works to further “finish” digestion with chemical assistance from the liver – gall bladder and pancreas. Small & large intestinal microbes aid in digestion and assimilation of food’s nutrition as well as produce neurotransmitters (think happy moods & peaceful “rest & digest” existence), nutrients, enzymes, immune factors, manufacture vitamin K, work to keep balance in the gut… their jobs are many and we have not discovered all of their important functions.

Having a profound appreciation, and deep gratitude, for the work your digestive tract does with each meal makes it easier to consciously care for it, feed it well, chew food well, and get plenty of rest and sleep to assist whole body healing… Remember your glorious gut when you are passing around the gratitude.

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” -Willie Nelson

How To Fix The Gut in 4 Easy Steps 1. Whole foods 100% of the time. The body was not meant to eat (and have to deal with / process out of the body, basically detox every time you eat something synthetic / refined) manufactured “food” crap with food science chemicals, additives, and the refined substances contained in them. 2. Eliminate gluten (wheat, rye, barley), corn and oats (and perhaps all grains, remember the concept of grain mimicry). Some people need to eliminate dairy as well. Some people tolerate dairy IF:  it is from goats or sheep (A2 casein genetics)  organic & pasture raised animals  the milk is not pasteurized or homogenized (raw)  some tolerate cow’s milk if it is raw, organic, pasture raised, and A2 casein genetics (not A1 genetics) 

Dairy elimination for months to benefit the body’s healing with a re-introduction of high quality dairy later may or may not work. Paying attention to how your body reacts is key.

3. Heal & Seal the gut lining: Give this stage a minimum of 4 weeks and it may take longer depending on how long the gut’s health has been disrupted. Generally speaking, and this will vary from person to person, plan for 1 month of healing for each year of ill health. Relax into it; you are on a journey of growth and discovery. The below list is healing options for the gut lining. You do not need to do them all. Instead, pick ones that make sense to your gut intuition, will work in your lifestyle (and tastes) and add them in. I do recommend the slippery elm or marshmallow root as one choice. It helps to coat, heal & seal the gut lining. Click here for information on zonulin and gluten to better explain leaky gut.  Aloe juice to reduce inflammation and heal the gut lining.  Slippery elm and/or marshmallow root powder. Take in capsules or buy the powder in bulk and mix into yogurt (see dairy info above), applesauce, smoothies, etc. Marshmallow root is a bit more of a sustainable product as marshmallow is easier and quicker to grow to harvest the roots than growing elm trees to harvest the inner bark.  Cabbage juice  Bone broth  Cultured foods: sauerkraut, kimchi, true fermented pickles & veggies, etc.  L-Glutamine powder (esp. helpful with chronic diarrhea and gut lining healing) 3 gms to 10 gms daily in water or juice between meals. I also mix it into goat’s milk yogurt with nut butter & slip elm or marshmallow root powder. See Brain Permeability information as some people do not tolerate L-Glutamine.  Healthy fats: avocados, pasture raised butter (A2 casein), fish oil, flax - black current oil, olive oil (oils should be organic & cold pressed from a high quality company)

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Digestive enzymes can be a big help here: Betaine HCL, Bile Salts, Amylase, Protease, Lipase (Renew Life DigestMore) Completely avoid sugars, GMO foods, agricultural chemicals as they contribute to leaky gut syndrome (Intestinal Permeability)

4. Rebalance Gut Microbial Flora  After first healing the gut lining, you can then move on to adding in some gut microbial supplementation. When the gut lining is impaired, adding in microbes can contribute to the added microbes leaking into the bloodstream. This can create ill health symptoms of its own. When the gut’s microbial population is out of whack, adding in more can create a turf war. Again, ill health symptoms can occur making you feel weak, tired, foggy brained, anxious, etc.  Buy high quality gut microbial products from reputable companies. You want a product that has many different species of gut microbes in the product, the microbes are live and viable, and there are large quantities of each microbe.  When you finish one product, switch to another high quality brand.  Eat kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt (see dairy product info above), and other fermented foods that are live culture ferments. Most commercial yogurt is poor quality for many reasons and the milk is quick cultured. Remember, we want time honored methods of food prep and yogurt should be cultured for a minimum of 24 hours. Commercial yogurt (think grocery store) is fermented with GMO cultures that reduce the ferment time to 6 hours. Great for the manufacturing world to pump out lots of yogurt quickly… not good for a quality product that contributes to human health. Canned and sealed jar sauerkraut or kimchi, off regular grocery store shelves, are not live.

5. Low stress, so your gut (and whole body) can be in rest and digest mode not fight or flight. Quality probiotics recommendations are also on this link: Gut Health 3 websites to research on your own:   

Dr. Axe Dr. Hyman Dr. Mercola

*A healthy, whole, well raised foods diet restores the body’s health. Eating natural food repairs the gut lining, rebalances gut microbial health, and will basically turn around ill health. Learning to eat whole food, prepared in time honored ways is a key to restoring whole body health.

If you would like more personalized attention achieving your health goals, please contact Paula Youmell, Wise Woman Nurse™ Copyright © Paula Youmell, RN, Wise Woman Nurse™

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Gut Healing Simplified  

Simple explanation of gut healing steps to ease digestive health challenges, assist & support auto-immune disease healing, etc.

Gut Healing Simplified  

Simple explanation of gut healing steps to ease digestive health challenges, assist & support auto-immune disease healing, etc.

Profile for paula754