Everyday Gut HealthJun 29, 2020 03:09PM ● By Sheila Shea
Healing the gut is central to healing the body. The gut or the gastrointestinal (GI) system begins with the mouth and ends with the anus; the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines are in between.
To heal the gut one has to heal the eating disorder, the food addiction, the binge eating disorder and constipation. One has to have control over their eating to have gut health. Change is a challenge.
In our current environment, the gut has sustained inflammation and a breach of its walls. This breach or porousness in the walls of the gut leads to distribution of the contents of the gut into cardiovascular and lymph systems. The contents of the intestines now in the blood and lymph circulate to other organs and tissues. The leaky or porous gut leads to weaknesses in other systems, such as autoimmune, neurological and metabolic.
Pathogenic microbial action initiates the inflammation and porosity. Causes of the breach and inflammation, according to Elaine Gottschall (author of Breaking the Vicious Cycle), are pathogenic microbes fermenting our complex sugars—rather than their breakdown by human enzymes. Enzymes break up our real food and allow absorption and digestion. Our enzymes do not recognize the processed food and pharmaceutical diet. If the small intestine’s enzyme system is damaged, microbes from the large intestines migrate to the small intestines and break down the industrial food and pharmaceutical products. They produce toxic microbial byproducts of acids, gasses and other metabolites. These byproducts produce the inflammation.
The gut equals the metabolism—the beginning of the transition of food to energy through digestion, absorption and elimination. The metabolism is the constant transformation of one substance to another, sometimes building, sometimes breaking down and at other times restoring and repairing.
Seventy percent of the gut is immune tissue. Another large percentage of the immune system resides in the lymph system. As long as the gut is strong, so are people. Given that 88 percent of the public has metabolic syndrome, a breach of the gut wall is that widespread.
Healing the gut is healing the immune system and metabolic syndrome. We can heal the gut through: detoxification, nutrition, meditation and movement and fasting and autophagy.
Common gut realities for people are weak gut muscles, a distended abdomen, abdominal visceral fat layered around the waist, daily bloat and gas, heartburn and too slow or fast elimination. Many people have redundant (extra length of intestines) and enlarged bowels. Colon hydrotherapy, enemas and laxatives are helpful ways to support gut muscle strength and improve elimination.
Along with water therapies, one can add cleansing herbal products to target an organ, or remove pathogens. People practice liver, bowel and kidney cleansings as well as parasite protocols. Prevention and maintenance for good gut health is a priority. When in doubt, clean it out.
Balancing the microbiome with the good microbes is a priority. Many viruses, fungi and bacteria live symbiotically within us. Gut nurturing foods include fermented foods, such as the vegetable cabbage yielding sauerkraut, as well as raw milks yielding fermented milks like kefir or yogurt.
During the COVID-19 age, scientific and medical articles show a correlation between the most serious COVID-19 cases and metabolic syndrome and hyperinsulinemia. The higher the blood glucose and insulin, the more serious the case. Victims had pre-existing high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes and/or heart disease.
In order to reverse the metabolic decline, Robert Lustig, MD (author of Fat Chance) suggests elimination of processed foods and consumption of “real foods”. The use of stocks and broths, meat, fish, eggs, monounsaturated and saturated fats and monosaccharide sugars (fruit, vegetable, fermented milk and honey) are examples of real food. The Gut and Psychology Syndrome program created by Natasha Campbell-McBride, MD, is designed to heal and seal the gut wall and reseed the good microbes.
Movement and breathing allow the abdominal core to open and strengthen.
Fasting and autophagy give the gut a rest and are key to intestinal healing. Autophagy happens when we are not eating. Our bodies repair, recycle and recreate in the quiet hours. Breaking the habits of night-time eating or constant eating is a priority. The minimum goal is a fast during the night, preferably 12 to 16 hours. Variations of fasting are described in The Complete Guide to Fasting by Jason Fung and Jimmy Moore.
Now is the time to heal the gut through cleansing, fasting, nutrient dense eating, movement and meditation. A person is on the path of regeneration and healing as they restore their GI system.
Sheila Shea, MA is director of the Intestinal Health Institute, offering natural methods to heal and seal the gut, including colon hydrotherapy (43 years of experience), detoxification programs and REAL FOOD nutrition courses and counseling. Shea has been practicing yoga since 1971 and plays tennis. Connect at 520-325-9686 or IntestinalHealthInstitute.com.