It’s common to feel digestive discomfort (bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, nausea) or fatigue after eating, but it should not be the norm.
The gut allows nutrients to pass into the body and provides a barrier against harmful organisms. When this happens correctly, you feel energized and refreshed after meals.
If that’s not the case for you, you may benefit from a few simple guidelines known to improve digestion and ease symptoms like abdominal pain and swelling, mental fog, intestinal gas, and fatigue.
These are not rules, in that you have to follow them for the rest of your life, but becoming aware of how you eat certain foods together to improve digestion can help, especially if you suffer from digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Combining foods to improve digestion works because our food (carbs, fats, and proteins) digests at different speeds and requires different digestive enzymes to break it down. You can create a little war inside if you eat foods that have different requirements for digestion and absorption… especially if you have underlying digestive problems added to the mix.
Food combining guidelines
Leafy greens and non-starchy vegetables contain their own digestive enzymes and can be paired with any meal.
Citrus fruits, spices, and herbs are neutral foods and can be paired with any foods. Many of them aid in digestion. Use lemon, grapefruit, apple cider vinegar, ginger, garlic, oregano, basil, cilantro, and other healing herbs to add flavor and improve the health of your digestive system.
Eat fruit away from starchy carbs
Fruit, grains, and other carbohydrates (like potatoes and legumes) have a similar digestive rate, so they will compete with one another and lead to fermentation in the gut, which causes gas and bloating. The grain or starch will win this battle and the fruit will be left in the gut to putrefy and ferment while it waits its turn to be digested.
Instead, try fruit with nuts, or eat it alone. Its simple sugars will digest very rapidly. It’s best to eat it about 30 minutes to 1 hour before or after meals.
Some people also do well with fruit smoothies since the fruit is already broken down and it can be easily digested along with chia seeds, avocado, greens, and plant based proteins. Chewing your smoothies will also help you release the digestive juices necessary to digest with ease.
Eat melon alone because it has a quick fermentation process and can cause bloating when eaten with any other food.
Pair protein with non-starchy vegetables
Protein needs an acidic environment and plenty of digestive enzymes to break down and digest. It can be paired with cabbage, broccoli, greens, peppers, or other non-starchy vegetables because they have their own digestive enzymes.
Many people can digest protein well with starch. A lot of this will depend on the health of your digestive system, blood sugar imbalances, and your metabolic type. People with thyroid or adrenal disorders may need more carbohydrates with protein to help support energy.
When eating protein with a carbohydrate-rich meal, pay attention to whether or not your stomach feels heavy or you feel foggy and tired after meals. This is a sign that you had too much starch with your protein.
Pair starch with healthy fats and vegetables
Grains, potatoes, plantains, and legumes play nice together at mealtime and all need an alkaline environment for digestion. They also pair well with non-starchy vegetables.
Limit liquids during meals
Digestive enzymes are formed in the mouth when we chew our food. Drinking water or any other beverage with your meals can dilute these digestive enzymes and slow digestion. Drink water outside of meals and sip room temperature water with your meals. You can add a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar before meals and drink it about 30 minutes before you eat to improve digestion.
What if you still have digestive upset after meals?
Digestive upset can still happen if we overeat or if we don’t combine foods appropriately. It’s natural to want to reach for an over-the-counter remedy to give you a little relief.
Here’s a few more things you can try:
Raw apple cider vinegar helps rebalance the pH in your gut to help you digest better. Try 1-3 teaspoons in 4 oz of water.
Digestive enzymes before meals are beneficial if you know you have consistent issues. You may also try 2 capsules after meals that cause bloating.
Ginger tea before or after a meal can help calm nausea and bloating and relieve constipation
If you have indigestion after a meal, you can add a pinch of baking soda to about 4 oz of warm water to neutralize the acid.
Want to learn more about digestive health?
If you’re struggling with food sensitivities, low energy, thyroid disease, autoimmune conditions, or weight gain, it could all be related to poor gut health and particularly leaky gut.
Functional lab tests and a good professional assessment can be life-giving if you have chronic digestive issues or health problems.
You’ve likely heard how inflammation can negatively affect your health, but I bet you haven’t really thought about the role it’s playing in your current health situation.
It’s sometimes referred to as a silent killer, and has a bad reputation, but inflammation is not necessarily always a bad thing. It naturally occurs in response to injury and is helpful when you get hurt or even if you over-exercise. It’s a healing response to injury that protects and heals.
The big problem is chronic inflammation that comes as a result of the amount of stress your physical body is under on a daily basis. Under the wrong conditions, your body has a difficult time healing and can lead to symptoms caused by this inflammation like:
While inflammation does play a major role in the development of chronic diseases, the great news is, we can control chronic inflammation through lifestyle and daily behaviors.
A few simple ways to naturally reduce inflammation:
1. Focus on whole food nutrition
Toss out the processed and packaged foods that are filled with sugar and non-food ingredients. Gluten, dairy, sugar, and hydrogenated oils are 4 of the most inflammatory foods. Replace these with healthier alternatives anytime it’s possible to begin naturally reduce inflammation in your body.
Opt for more nutrient dense foods like pasture-raised meats, wild-caught fish, organic fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds. Snack on fruit and vegetables and fill your plate with lots of color.
Great anti-inflammatory food sources that naturally contain antioxidants include oranges, red bell peppers, kiwi, avocados, sunflower seeds, tuna, halibut, grass-fed beef, blueberries, blackberries, and acai. Sulforaphane rich foods are also an excellent source and include vegetables such as broccoli, broccoli sprouts, and foods in the cabbage family.
2. Add herbs and spices to your meals
Spices not only add flavor, but they have great healing properties. Once you remove the inflammatory foods, you can add antioxidants to help protect your body from cellular damage.
Using antioxidants to clean up internal damage can help boost your cellular health and that means you have more energy, you feel stronger in your body, you improve your mood, and your brain works better.
This can be as simple as adding antioxidant rich spices into your food. Those are things like turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, cacao, and oregano.
3. Make sleep a priority
Aim for a 10 p.m. bedtime. Your body runs on a circadian rhythm, which is around the sun. You release the most melatonin starting around 10 p.m. And your liver and organ repair starts shortly after.
Deep sleep is responsible for making sure you feel fully rested when you wake up, and it occurs early in the evening.
REM sleep makes up the last 4 hours and it’s when your body focuses on the mental and emotional aspects of healing.
A solid bedtime routine will help set you up for successful sleep. Wind down by using softer lights or lamps instead of bright overhead lighting. This will mimic the natural going down of the sun. Turn off your technology and devices 1-2 hours before bedtime since artificial light can disrupt your sleep.
Take a few moments before bed to process your day and take note of a few things you’re grateful for so you can fall asleep in a more joyful state.
If tomorrow’s to-do list is already running through your mind, keep a notepad beside your bed to jot it down and let it go. It will be there tomorrow when you rise.
4. Spend time outside and move your body
Outdoor sunlight and fresh air helps you reset your circadian rhythm and helps you soak up vitamin D. Weather permitting, find an outdoor hobby you enjoy. You could go hiking, walking, swimming, kayaking. When weather is not permitting, bring nature indoors by using plants and stretch out on a yoga mat.
Nature has its own immune system and within a few hours of being outdoors, you can boost your immune systems for up to 30 days.
Nature also reduces stress, which is closely linked with reducing inflammation and the symptoms associated with it. Make outdoor activity a priority for a few hours per week to reset your mind and body.
When you pair daily movement with time outdoors, you will significantly improve your mood, reduce pain, increase energy, and reduce stress, which will greatly impact your overall health and reduce inflammation.
So before you pop another anti-inflammatory, give these a try.
If you’re looking for a straightforward approach to improving chronic conditions such as thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, extra body weight, or other digestive issues and hormone imbalances, research shows that working to naturally reduce inflammation in the body is a great way to improve the quality of your life and health.
If you’re looking for a personalized plan to address your overall health in a more natural way, you can check out the details of my services here.
The gut-hormone connection is real. By healing your gut inflammation, it’s possible to naturally balance hormones.
A word of caution: Be careful with band-aid approaches that cover up digestive symptoms and hormone imbalance with things like birth control and over-the-counter remedies. We get ourselves in trouble when we focus on temporary relief instead of long-term resolution.
Let’s talk about how to naturally balance hormones by healing your gut and improving your liver health.
My Own Journey to Balancing My Hormones
One of my early childhood health-related memories was when I started my menstrual cycle. I was so embarrassed and didn’t know how to handle it. I tried to hide it – even from my mom.
My periods were so painful that I would lay on a heating pad most days and pop Midol like candy. By age 12, I was prescribed the pill! You know the one – birth control.
Over time, I moved from one magic pill to the next to control these symptoms. I ended up on a vaginal ring and then the depo provera shot. By age 27, I met with my functional medicine doctor after being off birth control for about a year and was told I was in perimenopause, meaning my hormones were fizzling out. I had not seen my cycle in 3 years.
My personal challenges as a child spurred my interest in this gut-hormone connection. It started with severe constipation, which I now know causes excess estrogen to build up in the system and causes estrogen dominance, which in turn causes those heavy cycles and severe PMS symptoms.
It was a vicious cycle that led to birth control and caused a lifetime of fungal infections and irritable bowel by the time I was in my teens because I never addressed the root. Even after natural hormone therapy with bioidentical hormones, my digestive issues and hormone imbalances got worse.
After doing the research and accessing the right lab tests that I use with clients today, I was able to heal my digestion, balance hormones naturally, and now I feel better than ever.
As I reflect back on my health journey, it’s evident that I’ve pursued health most of my life. You may feel the same. Oftentimes when we struggle, it drives us to find answers. I’m happy to say I was able to do that and I’m healthier now than ever.
But I have to be honest! This journey hasn’t been filled with rainbows and sunshine every day.
Standing on the other side, I look back and see that my health issues were compiled over time, and not something that happened over night.
We live in a toxic world, eat toxic foods, have toxic relationships, and those things all create a toxic body.
This is possible for you too, as I see it happen in the lives of others every day. If you’re experiencing digestive issues or hormone imbalances today, know that your body didn’t wake up one day and decide to start acting crazy. It’s been building up over time and even since childhood.
Today, we’ll discuss how these systems are connected and the signs you should look for when trying to determine if there’s a possible imbalance for you too.
What are the symptoms of hormonal imbalance?
Hormone imbalance can ramp up your appetite, decrease your sleep quality, and have a major effect on your mood and sex drive. This was my life.
Medications like birth control can also cause disruptions in the gut, so you end up with symptoms like:
Anxiety or irritability
Irritable bowel, bloating, or constipation
Nutrient deficiencies from poor diet
Fluctuations in weight
And much more!
The Gut-Hormone Connection
When you control inflammation in your gut, it becomes possible to balance hormones and shed excess body fat naturally.
You may not be on birth control, but if you’re experiencing digestive issues and feel like your hormones are out of whack, I want you to know about the gut-hormone connection, because it could be the culprit. A huge piece of this connection starts with your liver.
When it comes to the liver, we usually focus on its role in detoxification. Your liver performs about 200 important functions that impact hormones, cholesterol, protein synthesis, blood purification, and more.
When your liver is working efficiently, it purifies the blood, regulates metabolism, stores vitamins and minerals, and even protects you from infections.
Even if your labs appear to be normal, you still may have a sluggish liver. We’ll talk about the liver in a minute.
The First Step to Balance Hormones
When you want to balance hormones naturally, you must address the entire body. The symptoms are not the problem. They are a result of the problem.
Try some of these foods that balance hormones:
Break up with sugar to prevent the bacterial imbalances and fungal overgrowth it causes.
Eat more fiber rich foods, especially those in the cruciferous family to help with estrogen detox – broccoli, Brussel sprouts, asparagus, and kale are some of my favorites.
Include naturally detoxifying foods for your liver like lemon, grapefruit, beets, dandelion greens.
And finally, talk to your doctor about healthy alternatives to medications that are harming your liver and get a second opinion if necessary.
How to Naturally Balance Hormones by Addressing the Liver
Clients like Erica often ask me to investigate hormone health because of low libido, weight gain, and loss of muscle mass. Specific questions allow me to determine whether the gut may be playing a role in this imbalance.
Many times these clients have been on birth control or some other form of hormone therapy and even things like antidepressants for years and complain that they’ve stopped working.
Here’s what happens:
Your liver goes through several phases of detoxification to make the toxins more water soluble using oxygen. The liver then uses enzymes to burn up these toxins. And the toxins are easily expelled through the liver and kidneys.
During this process, the liver produces more toxins, which sounds like we’re going backward, but it’s a necessary step as toxins are being pulled out of the system.
Your methylation pathways are responsible for detoxifying estrogen.
When methylation is slow, excess estrogen can build up in the body, leading to many of your hormone related symptoms.
This pathway is an issue for many of my clients, as it was for me. When we address the liver through proper detox and support the body in a natural way, it’s likely that the body will be able to make sufficient amounts of hormones without the support of pills, injections, or pellets.
4 Clues Your Liver is Causing Hormone Imbalance
Your liver is responsible for producing bile, which breaks down fat (including fat soluble vitamins) during digestion.
The gallbladder stores this bile until you need it to help break down food. When this process doesn’t work efficiently, you may experience nausea, indigestion, and bloating after meals.
Pain in the upper right corner of your abdomen, underneath your rib cage is another sign that your liver is inflamed.
Hormonal imbalance symptoms
Low testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone levels can show up as low libido, hair loss, fatigue, increased body fat, poor sleep, and decreased bone mass.
The enzyme aromatase converts testosterone into estrogen. With too much conversion, low testosterone can be an unwanted side effect that often leads to further hormone imbalances and even heart disease.
The liver plays a critical role in ridding excess hormones (like estrogen) from your body.
When there’s a buildup of these estrogens, symptoms are exacerbated and you may end up gaining weight and feel over-emotional.
Skin related issues
Your skin becomes a detox pathway when toxins build up in the system and the liver isn’t able to process those toxins out. As a result, your skin starts to clog, causing conditions like acne, rosacea, rashes, psoriasis, dermatitis, and eczema.
You may use topical creams to put out the flame, but many times the problem is a congested liver. Once you cleanse the liver, these conditions are more likely to heal.
Bad breath or white coating on the tongue
If you stick out your tongue, look in the mirror, and see a white film, it may be another indicator you have a sluggish liver.
This white coating leads to bad breath. You may try to scrape the coating off in an attempt to fix the problem. But unless you address the root, the white coating will return.
Your mouth, gut, and liver are all part of your digestive tract and play a role in digestion. This white coating is a sign that you’re not digesting your food well, and a sign of yeast or bacterial overgrowth in the gut.
If you want to look at the current state of your hormones to address the root cause, you can purchase the DUTCH testfor hormones and I’ll include an interpretation and offer guidance with next steps to address what’s causing your imbalances.
What makes Dutch hormone Testing different is that it captures more information about your hormones in one simple test. It offers a uniquely comprehensive look at the hormones, showing risk factors for conditions such as prostate or breast cancer, for example.
This in-depth look at the hormones allows you to better address the underlying cause of imbalance, rather than using a hormone or medication to put out fires related to symptoms. It offers insight so you can address the cause in a more natural way.
Is bacterial overgrowth causing your health issues?
When we think about our health, we don’t always consider that digestive issues could be the root cause. But I have to agree with Hippocrates who said, “All disease begins in the gut.”
Are you aware that you have about 10 times the amount of bacterial cells than human cells? A lot of this bacteria is in our gut where we digest our food. However, if the bacteria is overgrown in the wrong place or in the wrong amounts, it can wreak havoc on our health.
But if the bacteria is working in the right direction, then it can actually be very beneficial. The key to all of this is balance. So how do you avoid health issues stemming from bacterial overgrowth? Let’s dive in!
7 Tips To Avoid Health Issues Stemming From Bacterial Overgrowth
Topics of digestion and the gut can be difficult to comprehend. For instance, our digestive system can cause symptoms that aren’t even related to digestion.
When you think of digestive issues, you likely think of bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and indigestion. You may even think about disease processes like celiac, Crohn’s disease, colitis, or irritable bowel syndrome.
What you may not know is that an unhealthy gut can negatively impact your liver, your immune system, and even your brain. In fact, the gut has the ability to impact every organ system in a positive or negative way.
It’s important to realize that an unhealthy gut can show up in several forms. Some of these include:
Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
When I work with clients, we address the microbiome imbalance. And when we do, the body begins to heal.
Hippocrates said it well, but I’d like to add that if all disease begins in the gut, then that’s where healing must begin too.
To help you, I’m sharing a number of things that I’ve learned from experience to help build a healthy gut naturally.
1. Remove Inflammatory Foods
Processed foods or foods that you have sensitivities to are causing inflammation every time you consume them. If you know you’re reacting to a certain food, then simply remove it from your diet. Whole foods – the ones God made – should make up the bulk of your diet.
2. Chew Your Food
No matter what you’re eating, chew your food to the consistency of salsa. Doing this helps release digestive enzymes into the food, which helps you break down the food for better digestion. Your stomach doesn’t have teeth, so this is the mouth’s job. Furthermore, digestive enzymes are released in the mouth, not the gut.
3. Keep Your Bowels Moving
It’s important to make sure your bowels are moving. If you struggle with constipation, there are some tricks that can help naturally. Try to implement neural activation techniques like gargling, singing, or deep breathing. These exercises wake up your brain and remind it of its role in intestinal mobility.
4. Address Bacterial Overgrowth
If you have bacterial overgrowth, then you’re going to want to work to bring those bacteria into balance. This may be a great time to bring in healing herbs or probiotics to do the job. This depends on your unique situation.
It’s not a question of whether you have a leaky gut… The question is, how bad is the leaky gut? We all deal with stress, and when you consider the inorganic foods, medications, environmental toxins, or infections – those make things worse. When we work to restore the gut lining, this helps prevent inflammation in the body. Additionally, this can prevent other disease processes from occurring.
6. Ensure Optimal Stomach Acid
Making sure you have optimal amounts of stomach acid to prevent future infection or bacterial overgrowth. Optimal amounts of stomach acid also ensures better digestion. You can improve stomach acid on a regular basis by consuming foods like ginger, apple cider vinegar, lemon, and fermented foods.
Indigestion after meals can be a sign that you have low stomach acid. To find out, you can use apple cider vinegar as a test. If taking a small dose before meals improves indigestion, then it’s a sign that you may have low stomach acid.
7. Eat A Balanced Diet
Using the principles listed above, you can create balance in your diet. Health is not about deprivation. In reality, it is more about making good choices 90% of the time and leaving yourself 10% wiggle room once you’ve reached your goals. This gives you the freedom to be human and allows you to remain in health.
You’re Created For More Than Dealing With Gut Issues
New bacteria are being discovered inside our gut every day. While we’re learning more and more about these new species, we will likely never know everything.
But bringing balance to your gut is simple. Focus on maintaining a good healthy diet, reduce physical and emotional stress, use supplements to support as needed.
Infections and viruses, even things like the common cold and flu, can influence our gut health. But the stronger the gut is, the stronger our immune system will be.
Ready To Honor Your Body & Live The Life God Intended For You?
Contrary to popular belief, you can’t improve your gut health by simply taking probiotics and increasing your vegetables. This is why so many people feel worse after changing their diet. Oftentimes, we are adding more bacteria to an already overgrown system – which causes more bloating, constipation, and gas, making the imbalance worse.
Women across the world are becoming more open about infertility, miscarriages, pregnancy, and birth.
But one thing that isn’t often discussed is the correlation between gut health and fertility.
Today, I’m honored to share with you a very special client case. Becky came to me malnourished, with digestive issues. She was on antacids for an 8-year digestive issue. During her 2-year struggle to conceive, she entered perimenopause – the phase a woman goes through right before entering her menopausal years.
A woman goes through no cycles or irregular cycles for about one year prior to entering into menopause. When a woman’s cycle stops for one year, medical professionals consider them menopausal.
While this was the case for Becky, she was young and wanted another baby. Instead of giving up, she came to me to evaluate her body and hormones. Unfortunately, her hormones were extremely depleted.
But there is power in nutrition and the right healing protocols.
Case Study: Becky’s Gut Health And Fertility
There is also a very strong connection with gut health and fertility – one that I know very well from my own hormone and gut battles.
And you can see that she was dealing with both gut and hormone issues, according to her symptoms.
Symptoms That Indicated Her Fertility Issues
Becky’s main symptoms were indigestion and difficulty gaining weight. She was fatigued. She had no menstrual cycle. Her biggest wish was that she would be healthy enough to get pregnant.
If you looked at her hormones, you could see that she was in menopausal range. When we did cycle mapping, she didn’t have any rise in her female sex hormones – estrogen or progesterone. Those two hormones are both vital to make a baby and maintain pregnancy.
Hesitancy Before We Got To A Solution
Even with her symptoms and my experience helping women heal their gut health (and usually supporting their fertility), Becky still experienced some hesitancy.
First, she was nervous about the financial investment to heal her body. There’s nothing I can say to make you feel at ease except for offering testimonials. You need to decide if you are worth the risk. Are you willing to risk some money to find a long-term solution?
Next, she had a feeling of doubt. Would this really work for her and help her reach her goal of getting pregnant?
Finally, she wanted results fast – overnight fast. The results weren’t coming in quick enough to meet her unrealistic expectations. She got nervous and began to question the process. Health is not a linear process. There are ups and downs along the healing journey. We can not rush healing. When we attempt to create overnight results, we add unnecessary stress on the body – slowing down the healing even more. Thankfully, Becky learned to rely on the process, reduce her stress and trust her body more.
What We Did To Solve Her Infertility
Like I previously mentioned, healing doesn’t happen overnight. There are many things that we went through to determine the problem and find a solution so she could experience healing.
Proper Nutrition & Supplementation
First, we focused on nutrition. Your body craves nutrients in order to have balanced gut health.
When Becky’s hormone test came back at the beginning, we knew her hormones were struggling. With proper nutrition and supplementation, we worked to wake up glands that produce hormones in the body. The hypothalamus and pituitary glands are key players in fertility (in addition to the ovaries).
Next, we worked to reduce her stress levels with meditation, stress reduction techniques, and breathing exercises. This beautiful lady tried to get pregnant month after month only to fail. By the time she reached me, she was super discouraged, worried, and stressed. And that’s the worst combination for the body if you want to get pregnant.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, “the risk of depression, anxiety, and distress is high for infertile patients.” Moreover, “25% to 60% of infertile individuals report psychiatric symptoms and that their levels of anxiety and depression are significantly higher than in fertile controls.”
Stress is one component to infertility. So Becky worked to reduce stress. Even if this didn’t move the needle in her journey to get pregnant again, it put her in a healthier place with her heart, mental health, etc.
While working to reduce her stress levels, we started a protocol to reduce toxins in her body and her environment. When the gut is overloaded with toxins, it impacts the entire body. Read here how to reduce your toxic load.
Next, we began to fuel her body with movement – the right type of movement for the goals she had in mind.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to an exercise plan. If you want to discover the right steps to take for your healing journey, schedule a discovery call today.
Finally, I gave her a little hope.
You may know someone like Becky. They’ve tried everything to get well. Maybe, they’ve even been told that nothing can be done. By the time many of my clients connect with me, they have a similar story to Becky. They are left with no hope. Nothing else could be done – or so they are told.
I believe in my clients and my number one goal is to help them reach their heart’s desire – whether that’s to avoid disease or get pregnant.
And I will stand beside them until they have the tools they need to succeed.
After we made a dent in her healing journey, I will never forget the phone call I received when she told me she had her first cycle. We were both ecstatic. What a miracle!
When we give the body what it needs, it gives us what we want in return.
And that’s exactly what happened with Becky. Her next cycle was 6 weeks later. While that’s not perfect, it was an amazing start.
Two cycles in a row. Another miracle!
Becky continued supporting her hypothalamus and pituitary glands for a few months. She then decided that she was going to work with her doctor to go through traditional fertility treatments to seal the deal.
Get All The Tools To Heal Your Gut Health and Fertility
She had all the tools she needed for me to stay in health while she was pregnant.
My work was done.
I love hearing about the ending, so I asked her to contact me as soon has she had any news about a pregnancy.
Then, I received a message from her that she was four months pregnant!
These are the moments I would not trade for anything in the world. There is so much freedom in living a life of health.
While I cannot promise that everyone will live disease and symptom free, my goal is to make sure my clients have everything they need to be as close to that as possible.
Miracles do happen.
Do you believe that one conversation can change a person’s life?
We’re all in a different place when it comes to our gut health. Today, I want to give you some guidance on how to heal your gut naturally.
You may be working with a practitioner or a naturopath.
You may also be on your own journey.
In all of the misinformation and wealth of information, it’s easy for someone to fall off the path.
You see, we are constantly in kill mode.
We hear that our gut issues may stem from infections – pathogens like parasites, bacteria, fungus…
Instead of investigating why they are there, we decide that they simply shouldn’t be… and this is when we go into “kill mode” trying to kill off all the bugs.
Unfortunately, what we don’t consider is that this is one of the worst things that we can do. When we look at a healthy gut, we need to remember that all of those things – pathogens, parasites, bacteria, fungus, etc. – matter. The population of our gut should be composed of the good guys (symbiotic), the bad guys (pathogenic), and the in-between guys (commensal) bacteria. Commensal bacteria can go either way and bring balance inside the gut.
A 6-Step Protocol to Heal Your Gut Naturally
While this natural gut healing process does require some help (i.e. lab testing and an expert), I know some self-healers who want to try to do it on their own. If you want more support or don’t know where to start (even with this guide), please schedule some time with me here. I want to help you get on the right path towards healing, and quite frankly, I don’t recommend trying to heal your gut on your own.
#1 Assess What’s Going On Inside The Gut With Labs
If you want to assess what’s really going on inside the gut, it helps to have the right labs. These tests will reveal an overgrowth of bacteria, parasites, fungus, or yeast. They will also provide insight into the health of your Intestinal lining.
How do you know when you need labs? You may have any of the following obvious gut issue signs (and these may indicate that you have some fungal overgrowth):
Skin issues like rashes or itchy skin
White coating on the tongue
Vaginal yeast infections
Yeasts infections where sweat is collected (usually under the breasts or in the folds of fat)
#2 Open Up Drainage Pathways
Next, you’ll want to open up those drainage pathways. One of the worst things that we can do is go in and start putting a bunch of killing agents – in the form of natural or prescribed antimicrobials.
Even higher doses of healthy herbs can cause a detox reaction if we don’t open our drainage pathways first. As a result, toxins cannot escape from the body. The lymph, liver, and bowels play a huge role in drainage.
So if you’re experiencing a lot of constipation, for example, you don’t want to ingest a bunch of killing agents or herbs.
First, you want to open the pipelines to get things flowing through your body. If you avoid doing so, you’ll experience toxic overload. The bacteria will start getting mad at you for throwing all these herbs at them. Consequently, they’ll start to create a real mess in your body.
You want to open the drainage pathways so your body can dispose of the toxins as they’re brought up.
Alternative Methods To Open Up Drainage Pathways
Remember, opening up drainage pathways doesn’t have to always be with a supplement or a herb.
You can use the following methods to naturally assist in opening your pathways:
Castor oil packs
#3 Purge The Bad Guys
The third thing you want to do in the gut healing process is the pathogen purge.
You’ve already assessed and figured out what’s going on through lab testing. You’ve already started to open up your drainage pathways. Now, it’s time to purge the bad guys – or the bad bacteria in your gut – with (what some like to call) killing agents.
So let’s talk about how to purge the bad guys.
I hear from many people that, “wild oregano is a great killing agent”. While wild oregano is wonderful, you don’t want to take this herb for months on months (with no end in sight). Wild oregano wipes out the entire population of the gut, as harsh antibiotics do. Instead of using it without care, use it in microdoses – a little more than what you would find in food.
Unfortunately, I see people abuse this incredible herb by taking it for months with the goal of killing, killing, killing – often without thought of what they are killing.
While you’re taking heavy doses of these herbs, you may feel a little bit better. That’s why so many people stay in that killing phase so long. The transition is as
important because there are three types of bacteria in the gut – the good, the bad, and the commensal bacteria.
Remember, the commensal bacteria can go either way. During the transition phase, we’re actually training the “soldiers in your gut” to take a specific route. We want them to turn healthy or take the route that brings balance in the gut.
#4 Work On Your Leaky Gut
Once you’ve purged the pathogenic bugs and started the transition, you need to start healing leaky gut. It’s not a question of do I have a leaky gut?; it’s a question of how bad is my leaky gut?.
Truth is… We all have a leaky gut in small amounts. It comes from toxins, pesticides and herbicides on our foods, stress, medications, etc. Many things enter into the gut and weaken the stomach lining.
Ideally, you want your gut to be sealed with tight junctions, allowing for all the nutrients (vitamins, minerals, amino acids) to pass through the microscopic holes in your gut.
When those tight junctions become a little loose, foods, different medications, etc. pass from the gut into circulation. Here’s what happens: everything makes you sick no matter what you eat.
As a result of the food passing into circulation, your body is going to have a severe inflammatory response. Your food doesn’t belong in circulation. So it makes sense why the body would attack in this manner.
The next step to balance the gut is to add in good bacteria (i.e. probiotics). But if you do this too early while you have a bunch of pathogenic bacteria, you’ll get an upset stomach. In general, this means you’ve introduced an overload of bacteria to your gut.
That’s why you need to focus on quieting down the bad bacteria first before you introduce healthy probiotics. Should you take probiotics forever? If you’re eating a halfway junky diet, then you may need to take probiotics forever. The key with probiotics is if you’re eating a healthy diet with fiber-rich vegetables and fruits, you do not need to continuously take probiotics. Your gut is already populated with good bacteria.
#6 Deal With Your Emotions As Part Of The Gut Healing Process
Your emotions are key to the gut healing process. When you’re going through a gut cleanse like this, you may have moments when you feel like an emotional wreck – feeling overwhelmed, crying, etc.
My clients used to email me during their detoxes… “Chelsie, should I be feeling like this? I’m crying all the time and feel like I’m releasing all this emotional stuff!”
The truth is… If you’re getting a good cellular cleanse, this is very common.
After learning the hard way, I now remind my clients regularly to expect a rush of emotions in the healing process. I’m a big believer in the emotional aspects of healing. A lot of times, our signs and symptoms are a sign that we cannot release or we cannot let go of all things from the past. We may not even be thinking about those on a regular basis. Oftentimes, when people are dealing with fear and anxiety, they are not able to trust the process of life.
People that are dealing with parasites often feel like their life is under attack.
If you do any kind of physical cleanse for your body, prepare yourself for those emotions to come up. When you release the physical and emotional toxins, you’ll experience true freedom.
You have to learn to feel in order for your body to heal.
These emotional places are really important. Whether it’s me, a trusted friend, or a counselor, find someone that will walk you through the emotional aspects of healing.