All That Is Leaky Gut- Part 2: Recovery
In the first part of All That Is Leaky Gut (which is highlighted below and you should definitely check out before reading this) we talked about what really is leaky gut, what are the symptoms you have to look for to see if this is the reason of your health problems, some tests you can do and what are the causes that conducted you to this problem or for some people the causes that are in pole-position in the health wrecking race.
Fortunately, by knowing what this causes are we can start making lifestyle adjustments that get us in pole-position during our journey of thriving in this life.
But for the people that already fell in this intestinal permeability trap, here you will find the information and the steps recommended by health researchers and physicians to start enjoying your life again.
- All That Is Leaky Gut
Since we know that 80% of our immune system is in the gut, not taking care of it can bring havoc to our body and make life a living nightmare. That's what really happens when you have Leaky Gut also known as Intestinal Permeability or "The Disease Yo
Meet the 4R Program
Considering that leaky gut is a complex disease, it would be better to have a well-structured plan if you want to get maximum benefits in the shortest time possible.
This is what the 4R Program does by offering 4 steps- remove, replace, reinoculate and repair- carefully thought in order to make sure that the process is going to be as effective as possible.
Let's take the steps one by one:
1. Remove- 4 weeks
The first procedures are to identify and remove all the things that negatively affect the gastrointestinal tract or may lead to the symptoms.
This means managing stress,sleeping at least 7 hours every night, removing pro-inflammatory foods like the ones we talked in the first part (wheat/gluten, soy, dairy, refined carbohydrates), and also foods that you are allergic to. You can do this by taking allergy tests or simply starting an elimination diet in which you eliminate a certain food or food category for a given time and then reintroduce them to see if you have the same symptoms after eating them.
Alcohol is another thing you should cut out completely for one month and than, based on your experiences reintroduce it little by little but keeping a moderate consumption.
You may also remove or reduce as much as you can NSAID's (Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and antibiotics.
Usually, a low FODMAP diet is best for most people in this phase.
2. Replace- 4 weeks to 3 months
The second step is to make sure that your digestion is working at its best. You do this by including digestive enzymes and Betaine Hydrochloride (HCL) in your diet.
3. Reinoculate- 4 weeks to 3 months
Now our goal is to reestablish a healthy gut microbiome by restoring beneficial bacteria. Probiotics and prebiotics are our primary friends here.
We get probiotics by eating fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt, tempeh and kombucha or taking a probiotic supplement ranging between 25 and 100 billion units a day.
Prebiotics are found in foods like onions, leeks, asparagus, garlic, oats, flax seeds, nuts, strawberries or by simply taking a prebiotic supplement.
4. Repair- 4 weeks
Once you removed anything that can cause inflammation to the body, restored your gut microbiota and optimized your digestion, now you have to keep giving the nutrients your body needs in order to repair and regenerate any remaining damage and support cell development in the digestive tract.
Supplementation with fish oil, L-glutamine, aloe vera, collagen, zinc and also a multivitamin is recommended at this stage.
Go away stress!
Since chronic stress results in chronic inflammation we have to make sure that our stress levels are balanced by having daily activities that we enjoy or are scientifically proven to reduce stress such as:
- exercise ( not high intensity)
- playing with kids
- spending time with family and friends
- listening to music
- deep breathing
- hugging (at least 20 seconds for best results)
Time needed for healing
You've seen that every phase of the 4R Program has a time frame attached to it and maybe believed that it will take you exactly the same amount of time to heal from leaky gut.
Well, it depends on a few factors such as the complexity of the disease, your body's capabilities of healing and the discipline and accountability you have in following the process.
Studies suggest that it can take between two weeks and up to two years for more severe gut imbalances so patience is an important factor here too.
One thing we know for sure...
Taking care of our gut is a life-long endeavour because as a great main said...
Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live.— Jim Rohn
If you want to learn about gut health more in-depth and based on scientific research, here is a book by Dr. Michael Ruscio, in which you have the chance to get an explanation about the:
1. Importance of the gut
2. The optimum gut health diet and lifestyle
3. Tools for healing and an action plan
All of this are given with the intent to help you treat the root cause of your gut problems and not just the effects.
Final two questions
1. What are your thoughts about the 4R Program?
2. What relaxing activities you usually take part in?
This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.