The Importance of Digestive Rehabilitation

An Unhealthy Gut

The digestive system is responsible for providing every nutrient that the body needs in order to maintain health and grow. Every nutrient. Yet, it is often the last place that we look when treating disease. Destructive bacteria and fungus consume the protective mucus layer and expose the microvilli directly to food. This produces a huge immune response that not only beleaguers the immunity system, but it also can lead to self-destruction of the epithelial tissues responsible for proper digestion. What we are saying is that a gut in poor condition can NOT support a human by providing a state of good health. Let me say that again. You cannot have a healthy human with an unhealthy gut.

Because of the widespread and pervasive use of preservatives in our foods and the drastic increase in modified foods in our diet, people today, especially in modern countries, have more digestive problems than any other generation. This is an epidemic in the United States where food is more highly processed and less nutritious than anywhere else on Earth. The high sugar and carbohydrate intake is a fuel that promotes the fungus (like Candida) that we have growing in our gut. The preservatives in food that are designed to kill bacteria in the bread, cereal, canned, and dried food products are killing the good bacteria that we need in our gut. Further, widespread and over-prescribed antibiotic use disrupts the body’s bacterial balance resulting in numerous digestive related problems.

While there is a rising effort to stay away from processed foods and reduce our carbohydrate and sugar intake by eating healthier local organic produce, we are still a nation plagued with disease and obesity because of our dietary habits. We have to learn to both correct and then maintain healthier alternatives and lifestyles. It is just as important to repair the debilitated state in which we now find our guts as it is to support the other systems of our body.

If you have tried probiotics, then you know that they can have a positive effect. You have also seen them all too often fail to make a significant change at all. But why is it that taking expensive probiotics for months has no apparent effect? Allow me to shed some light on why that might be.

If your front yard was a huge crabgrass/weed patch, would you sprinkle thousands of dollars of high-quality seed on it expecting a beautiful lawn to emerge? Of course not. You would first get rid of the weeds. The bacteria and fungus in an imbalanced gut have covered every square inch of livable space. They protect themselves with exotoxins and make it virtually impossible for any new bacteria (the good ones from your probiotics) to grow and survive. There’s “no room at the Inn.”  The expensive probiotics either die or just move on down the tube. This provides no net-gain.

Gut Rehabilitation

Consider this three pronged approach to the gut rehabilitation process. The first step is to get rid of the weeds; kill off as many of the bad bacteria and irritating fungus as possible. The second step is to reseed the gut with good bacteria that will aid in digestion and keep out the fungus.  Thirdly, we need to repair the damage that has been done to the epithelial lining of the intestines by the fungus and bad bacteria. This can be done holistically and naturally.

Three Steps

1) Kill bad bacteria and fungus

2) Reseed with good bacteria

3) Restore the integrity of the gut

Kill Bad Bacteria and Fungus

In order to accomplish the first step, we need a broad-spectrum antimicrobial that is biocompatible yet kills bacteria and fungus significantly. An enhanced aqueous silver colloid of better than 40 ppm will accomplish this nicely. It is best taken on an empty stomach and in bolus dosing of 2 ounces every 2 hours. This can be continued for two or three days with one 8 ounce bottle per day being consumed. It should be remembered that mixing a colloid of silver with anything containing salt will ruin it, and food tends to make it less effective. Taking the colloid on an empty stomach and not eating for an hour afterwards maximizes the effect. After two or three days of this protocol, you will have attenuated the bacteria and fungus in the gut significantly.  Another side benefit of this is that the level of H. pylori in the stomach will also be dramatically reduced. While you won’t “sterilize” the gut (it’s simply not possible in this manner), you will make room for important beneficial bacteria to live and thrive. Making room for the new and beneficial bacteria to thrive is of critical importance.

Reseed with Good Bacteria

Once you have knocked down the population of bad bacteria and fungus in the gut, it’s time to reseed with the probiotic of your choice. This will reestablish the fauna of bacteria necessary to support proper digestion and nutrient extraction from food. The probiotic ingestion should be continued for at least a month. It is not critically important to have the most expensive probiotics available. A healthy gut has over 200 types of bacteria. Most probiotics have only a few dozen types. In some very severe cases, a fecal transplant may be indicated. However, the most important task is to make sure that you have provided a good environment in which the good bacteria can multiply and thrive. You will have provided this environment where they’re not fighting to survive when you cleared out a lot of the bad bacteria and fungus in the previous step.

Restore the Integrity of the Gut

The third step is to repair the epithelial lining. The years of antibiotics, preservatives, and sugar have allowed a fauna of pathogens that have been eating away at the intestinal lining 24/7 for years. This tissue needs to be healed. The reduction in the mucus layer caused by candida overgrowth leaves the microvilli unprotected. This allows direct food contact to the digestive tissue and feels like an invasion to the body. This causes the immunity system to live in a continual state of heightened immune response. This inflammation severely reduces the body’s ability to fight actual infections, and the constant inflammation will cause a host of other systemic symptoms. The body will be sending white blood cells down to the intestines to fight the infection by digesting the cells that they believe are infected. The body will be needlessly consuming itself. There are many names for this condition but few practitioners who address it appropriately.

The Solution

In order to facilitate the healing, one should take a mixture of herbs that are designed to: heal the tissues, increase mucus to protect the region, and reduce the local inflammation. This will facilitate the reconstruction of the epithelial lining and restoration of the insulating mucus layer.  We would suggest the following: Plantain, Licorice, Aloe Vera, Peppermint, Marshmallow root and Slippery Elm bark. These can be encapsulated or made into a tea. Again, taking the capsules or drinking the tea on an empty stomach is best. When food is regularly being introduced into the gut, encapsulated herbs are better than tea as they will tend to be released in the area most in need of repair.

Of course building new tissue requires some very basic building blocks. Take 2,000 mg of Vitamin C, 10,000 IUs of Vitamin D, and a good B-complex daily. Taking 250 mg of magnesium will also help to support the mucus layer.

The GI tract is critical not only to absorption of nutrients through digestion but also to the proper operation of the immunity system. A non-functional or poorly functioning digestive system can cause a myriad of health problems as it produces nutritional deficiencies and a compromised immunity system. Diseases such as arthritis, autoimmune disorders, and many skin conditions have been traced back to problems of the gut. Obviously, conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, SIBO, and Chron’s are problems of the gut. Without a digestive system, one would die. So why then is it hard for us to appreciate that with a poorly working digestive system we will be in poor health?

Kill, reseed, restore. Put the gut back on track and watch health improve.

Published with permission from Mr. Steven R. Frank. The author’s opinions are their own, and DC Aligned does not take responsibility for content statements and opinions. You should seek expert counsel in evaluating opinions, treatments, products and services. For more information, see our Editorial Policies.

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