My husband recently forwarded me an article published in a medical journalthat linked the use of proton pump inhibitors to the development of seasonal allergies in adults. I had to choke back a chuckle. The concept was mind-blowing to him. He was so proud to be the first to alert me of the potential issue so that I could use this knowledge to protect my patients.
In the functional medicine model, the foundational role the gut plays in our overall health is kind of a no brainer.
The interaction between my husband and I reminded me not everyone fully understands the full importance of our gut health. In fact, those of us practicing functional medicine place dysfunction in the gut at the root of practically all disease related conditions.
It’s not a mystery that heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, bloating, and abdominal pain are clear signs of a digestive issue. But did you know digestive issues often masquerade as common skin disorders such as acne, rosacea, and eczema? If you are having issues with digestion it is like pouring gasoline on a fire when it comes to fueling symptoms of fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, and depression.
Gut dysfunction can even play a pivotal role in the development of some autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Name just about any disease, and a functional medicine provider can link some part of the disease process to a breakdown in gut health.
We all know that digestion helps us to extract nutrition from our food, but did you know that the gut (and the bacteria that live there) is responsible for providing 70% of our immunity and nearly 90% of our serotonin production? The gut is also a major workhorse when it comes to detoxification. More and more of us treating chronic disease are looking to healing the internal terrain of the body, including the gut, to get our patients to higher ground in restoring their overall health.
That is why holistic medical providers often start all treatment protocols with addressing the gut. At Boulder Holistic, we use the 5 R’s program to address GI issues in our patients: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair, and Rebalance.
Follow our blogto take a deeper dive into each of these steps and learn how you can begin to address the gut and regain your health. I will also explore the testing available to address digestive issues and explain how these tools can help to lead you back to wellness.
For future blogs I will break down the 5 R’s and the testing used for each step.
- Removing — microbes, food sensitivities, pathogens, GMO products, non-organic foods, mold and xenobiotic exposure in addition to addressing stress
- Replacing — digestive enzymes, pancreatin, hydrochloric acid and bile acid
- Reinoculate — with good quality probiotics, prebiotic fiber and saccharomyces boulardii
- Repair — using mucosal healing agents including l-glutamine, aloe, DGL, vitamins A,E,C,D and minerals like zinc and magnesium. Improving immune support using colostrum and immunoglobulins and inflammation with cucumin and fish oil
- Rebalance — addressing lifestyle, sleep, practicing mindful eating, as well as balancing brain nervous system with mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, meditation, heart rate variability trackers