Healing Starts in the Gut
Why are people getting so much better here at Mint Health ??
Many of our patients who are doing Functional Medicine are getting reversal of their health conditions??
We are seeing improved mental clarity, reversal of prediabetes and insulin resistance, reversal of irritable bowel conditions and skin rashes. Many of our patients with infertility are able to avoid expensive fertility treatments and at the same time provide their baby with a better environment in which to grow. These are just a few examples of many.
One of the main reasons that we are seeing so many success stories is because at Mint Health, we realize that we have to start with a healthy gut in order to have a healthy body. Having a gut that is functioning well is crucial for health!!! And guess what!??? Most of us don’t have healthy guts. Between toxins in our food, stress, so many antibiotics over the years, the standard foods being so inflammatory, most of us have pretty messed up bowels.
I’ll give you some examples of signs that your gut is out of whack:
Constipation?? What qualifies constipation?? Just because you are used to not pooping every day, and when you do, you don’t have pain, or straining or bloating, doesn’t mean this is normal and ok for you. Occasional loose stools, belching with meals, frequently having gas, having belly pain, having heartburn on occasion or god-forbid routinely…… these are red flag!! You gut is telling you that it is not functioning at its best!
Why is it important to have your gut functioning like a well-oiled machine??? GI issues may underlie chronic health problems that seem unrelated to digestion alone. Bigger problems like auto-immune conditions (Lupus, Sjogrens, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Hashimotos, etc), and other problems like eczema, acne, rosacea, and heart disease. How is this so? This is because our gut is necessary to absorb nutrients, to convert certain vitamins into usable forms, to help balance hormones, to detoxify excess hormones; it’s necessary for immune function and responsible for up to 70% of our immune system; we generate a lot of neurotransmitters in the gut- so a healthy gut helps with a healthy mood. Without a healthy gut, we won’t detox well, and since we are exposed to massive amounts of toxins day-to-day, we need to make sure we can effectively release them and store as few as possible in our precious bodies.
If you think about all of these things, you can now start to get an idea of why Dr. Buchert and I put SOOOO much emphasis on healing the gut.
So hopefully now you are starting to see the bigger picture, but how can we deal with all that can go wrong in the gut?
Conventional medicine may think of some of these concepts as bogus, as this stuff is not taught in medical school, or nurse practitioner school. However, we see it work again and again, and whether you are aware of it or not, there is an overwhelming amount of evidence to support this. In Functional Medicine we use a program called the ‘5Rs’ which stands for Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair, and Rebalance. When this approach is applied to various chronic health issues, we can see dramatic improvements in symptoms, and sometimes even complete resolution of an issue.
Here are the elements of the 5Rs:
1) Remove: Remove the stressors of the gut! Get rid of things that negatively affect the environment of the GI tract including allergic foods, parasites and potential problematic bacteria or yeast. This might involve using an allergy “elimination diet” (something we commonly encourage people to do) to find out what foods are causing GI symptoms, or it may involve taking medications or herbs to eradicate a particular bug.
2) Replace: Replace digestive secretions. Add back things like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids that are required for proper digestion and that may be compromised by diet, medications, diseases, aging, or other factors.
3) Reinoculate: Help beneficial bacteria flourish by ingesting probiotic foods or supplements that contain the “good” GI bacteria such as bifidobacterial and lactobacillus species, and by consuming the high soluble fiber foods that good bugs like to eat, called prebiotics.
· Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms found in the gut that are also called “friendly
bacteria.” Use of antibiotics kill both good and bad bugs (bacteria). Probiotics in the
form of supplements or food are often needed to help reestablish a balanced gut flora.
Fermented foods such as yogurt, miso, and tempeh are food sources of probiotics.
· Prebiotics are food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial
microorganisms already in the colon. In other words, prebiotic feed probiotics.
Prebiotics are available in many foods that contain a fiber called inulin including
artichokes, garlic, leeks, onion, chicory, tofu, and other soy products. Grains such as
barley, flax, oats, and wheat are also good sources of prebiotics.
4) Repair: Help the lining of the GI tract repair itself by supplying key nutrients that can often be in short supply in a compromised gut, such as zinc, antioxidants (like vitamin A, C, and E), fish oils, and the amino acid glutamine.
5) Rebalance: It is important to pay attention to lifestyle choices. Sleep, exercise, and stress can all affect the GI tract. Balancing those activities is important to an optimal digestive tract.
The Gut is Step One to getting your body in Mint Condition !
We hope that in sharing all this information with you, that you realize there are things that are somewhat basic in our Functional Medicine practice that are often not addressed in regular conventional practices yet can have a tremendous impact on overall health. And while the 5Rs may be a new concept to you and seem a little overwhelming, Dr. B and I do this EVERYDAY and can guide you and make it as easy as possible. At Mint Health,
we have the ability to do more comprehensive testing that looks at oxidative stress in the body, impaired detox, imbalanced gut (small and large intestine), detailed hormone testing (stress hormones, sex hormones, and thyroid hormones), food allergy testing, and checking nutrient levels searching for abnormalities in macro nutrients like fats and proteins and micro nutrients like your vitamins and minerals.
Taking a functional medicine approach means we will use a systematic method to peel away the layers of what is going on with you so that incrementally you can get better and BE BETTER.
So if you are seeing us on the Ob/Gyn days (Tuesday/Thursday), and you want to take a deeper dive than we are able to do with conventional medical workups and recommendations, please click on the ” Get Started
” tab below to begin your life-changing journey into Functional Medicine (these appointments are on Mondays and Wednesdays and are longer, more in depth, and offer more thorough “lab” evaluations to help us figure out YOU!).
Take a look HERE
at what some of our patients have to say about Functional Medicine!
And if you have missed some of our previous write-ups, you can access these HERE
As always, we wish you happiness and health!
Juice from 1 lime
1/4 small onion finely chopped
1 tbsp chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4-1/2 tsp cayenne
2 small tomatoes, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 clove minced garlic
Smash the avocados and then mix all ingredients. Serve with celery sticks or carrot sticks.
Also a new trick I learned with avocados- you can buy them when they aren’t ripe and refrigerate them immediately and then just pull one or two out at a time to let them ripen when you are ready. You also don’t need to buy organic avocados as very few toxins penetrate inside either way.