In this article you will learn:
Practically everything there is to learn about healing your gut
What the research says for common digestive problems
How to listen to your gut (literally) and heal so you can poop like a deity
In this article we will review all of the priorities for healing your digestive center. In the words of the famous Dr. Bernard Jensen, Father of Colonics: “Death begins in the colon.” What this morbid quote also means is that life begins in the colon, too. This is why healing your center should be your first health priority. Use the following points along with your functional medicine doctor (or team) to develop a specific action plan that addresses your particular needs and your Manipura (3rd chakra) will shine bright for many years to come.
1. Get an idea of your stomach acid levels. The best way to do this is through a
Heidelberg stomach acid test, but if you can’t find anyone in your area or it’s too expensive there are other means, although they aren’t as accurate (like the baking soda test) and may be inconclusive. There is a theory that blood type associates with stomach acid levels, with A being the weakest and O being the strongest. Observe how you react after heavy amounts of protein and fat and notice what foods, if any, cause you upset.
2. Get screened for irritants to your digestive tract so you understand what to avoid. A food allergy panel is a basic start, but companies like Vibrant Wellness offer in-depth tests on wheat, dairy, seafood and lectins that all serve as valuable tools to inform you of any problem areas. If you have a moderate reaction to these foods, limit them or find a way to process them down so that you can minimize inflammation. For
example, removing the seeds of tomatoes or cooking them if you react to tomato
lectin. If you have a high reaction, even though it’s not an allergy, I would remove this
food and find a substitution. Personally, I would limit or eliminate wheat regardless
and limit your dairy intake to just grass-fed butter, ghee and healthy protein options
like kefir or grass-fed whey.
3. Establish a baseline of your gut health with a stool test. Make sure that it gives you comprehensive data on the population breakdown of your microbiome, the
inflammatory markers in your gut, whether you have parasites and other important
pieces of information. Again, Vibrant Wellness has a Gut Zoomer that is incredibly
thorough, but there are other brands out there that provide quality testing. Once you
have your baseline, tweak your eating and supplementation accordingly and retest in
6 months or sooner (depending on how bad your initial baseline was) to see the
Based on what you find in your first stool test, you will customize your eating and
nutrition protocols for the next go around. A good test that’s worth the money (like
the Gut Zoomer) will give you a detailed breakdown of your gut microbiome and
levels of inflammation and other important chemicals like pancreatic enzymes, short
chain fatty acids, whether you have undigested types of food, what type of bad
bacteria is growing out of control and so on. Sometimes, even with taking probiotics,
you may have certain specific strains that are low. This is normal because your gut is a
constantly evolving environment that is responsive to what you eat, do and put in
In these cases, see if you can find them in isolated supplements online or buy
something that has a high dose of those particular bacteria. I don’t eat dairy, and
occasionally I had to get probiotics containing specific strains found only in yogurt or
kefir, like lactobacillus bulgaricus, because I was deficient in them.
For other types of bacteria that aren’t available in supplement form, diet and lifestyle will be the main way to go about realigning yourself. Remember that high sugar and fat feeds Firmicutes, and soluble fiber (especially beans) feeds Bacteroidetes. While both are
important, you want more of the latter because they support a healthy metabolism.
What I also like about the Gut Zoomer is that Vibrant will provide you with health
conditions that the bacteria in your gut are related to. Based on which bad ones are
out of control or which deficiencies you have in the good ones, you’ll know what
trends your gut is taking you toward and how to intervene appropriately.
4. Include some gut-supporting supplements into your routine. I take a comprehensive digestive enzyme supplement to help break down my food along with the occasional betaine HCL with large meals since my stomach acid is naturally lower. If you take betaine HCL, make sure to dose it correctly and monitor yourself over time. Generally, you can start with 1300-2000mg and see how that feels. If you have a burning sensation in your stomach, drop down by one pill and try again. It is best to take this supplement halfway between meals or right after, as doing so beforehand may irritate your stomach or reduce the natural
acid it produces in response to food stimulus.
Besides these supplements, I also take probiotics, butyrate, lactoferrin and boswellia
to reduce inflammation in the gut and promote a strong microbiome. The OHS
supplement Opti GI is a light cleanse and also great for restoring the gut lining. You
can take it with meals or on an empty stomach morning and evening. I may also bring
in Optimal Acute in the morning and evening along with bromelain on an empty stomach to help clear away any biofilm present in my intestines, although be aware that bromelain may aggravate stomach ulcers.
Some additional supplements to consider that are all research-based interventions
for treating inflammation, ulcers, gastritis and dysbiosis are:
— The herb, forskolin, can stimulate stomach acid production significantly.(1)
— Boron, or more specifically boric acid, has anti-ulcerative effects.(2)
— Chamomile has been studied for its potential anti-ulcerative and anti-inflammatory
properties on gut tissue.(3)
— “Vitamin U” or methylmethionine, sourced from cabbage juice, is a great
option for gastritis.(4)
— Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (try saying that 3 times fast) is excellent for
— Marshmallow root(6) and slippery elm(7) are also non-toxic, highly beneficial
natural foods that heal the soft tissues in your body and digestive system and
can be used long-term
— Gamma oryzanol, a compound from rice bran oil, has shown great promise
at treating ulcers and gastritis.(8)