This is an article I wrote for the recent New Beginnings Nutritionals newsletter. As we approach the holidays, often that means richer foods, foods you may not regularly eat, and just plain more food than you are used to. That can cause GI distress. There are many ways we can support GI health and that is the topic of this blog. Please read below for some great ways to support optimal GI functioning through the holidays and all year long.
When we talk about optimal GI health, we need to consider several things. Most importantly, although not a pleasant topic, we need to discuss how often the person is moving their bowels. Last month we covered the topic of detox and bowel movements is one way our body releases toxicity so if we are not moving our bowels at least once per day, this needs to be addressed immediately!
Left untreated, chronic constipation can lead to or exacerbate serious health problems, including diverticulitis, kidney disease, certain cancers, hyperthyroidism, and Parkinson’s disease. Science continues to confirm the relationship between the gut and brain, so a healthy gut is critical for a healthy brain. And the inability to effectively move your bowels can have an impact on that. Here are some additional resources on the signs and importance of addressing constipation.
There can be many causes of chronic constipation, including undiagnosed food allergies/intolerances, the inability to break down the proteins in wheat, dairy and soy, gut dysbiosis issues such as yeast or bacterial overgrowth, not drinking enough water, etc. But what can you trust to get immediate relief from constipation? Many people have been told to take MiraLAX and yet scores of parents have reported very scary neurological reactions in their children taking MiraLAX. Read more on that here. The common side effects of MiraLAX are worrisome too, they can include:
- abdominal cramping,
- upset stomach,
- dizziness, or.
- increased sweating
There is a much safer alternative in Oxy-Powder. This oxygenated form of magnesium is very safe and effective. Oxy-Powder can be taken indefinitely without it becoming habit forming or harmful to your body. Continuing with the maintenance helps keep your intestinal tract clean and prevents toxins from being absorbed into your body. It is important to note that the majority of magnesium in Oxy-Powder is not systemically absorbed so it is a good idea to continue supplementing with other forms of this critical mineral.
Gut dysbiosis and undiagnosed food allergies can contribute to chronic constipation and leaky gut so doing some basic testing like an IgG Food Allergy Test or Organic Acids Test (OAT) from The Great Plains Laboratory is a great place to start. If gut dysbiosis is an issue, Biocidin can be a powerful support for optimal intestinal ecology. It is also an excellent support for overall winter GI wellness. We now carry the liposomal formula that offers full systemic absorption as well as Dentalcidin to help support your oral wellness.
Our epithelial (gut) lining is a barrier for toxins, allergens, pathogens, etc. When this lining becomes compromised due to regular ingestion of foods causing inflammation and/or gut dysbiosis, that is what is referred to as leaky gut and overall health and wellness can be compromised when that occurs. Yeast overgrowth plays a role in this as yeast can become invasive and compromise the gut lining. Please read the studies below for more information on the role yeast can play in leaky gut.
- Disruption of the intestinal mucosal barrier in Candida albicans infections.
- Inflammation and gastrointestinal Candida colonization.
- Leaky gut and autoimmune diseases.
And if leaky gut is an issue – which is almost always the case when yeast is present and when multiple IgG food allergies (or sensitivities) show up in testing – the following should be done to stimulate healing. The first step is to address potential food allergies/intolerances and any gut dysbiosis. Removal of offending IgG reactive foods and treating yeast and/or bacterial overgrowth can halt further damage and reduce inflammation. Then it is important to use supportive supplements like Intesti-Mate to stimulate the regeneration of the critical epithelial lining in the gut.
There is ample research on the role of supplements such as glutamine and zinc in gut healing, especially in regards to the epithelial lining. Below are just a few:
- Role of Glutamine in Protection of Intestinal Epithelial Tight Junctions.
- Glutamine and intestinal barrier function.
- Intestinal permeability – a new target for disease prevention and therapy.
- Zinc enhances intestinal epithelial barrier function through the PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling pathway in Caco-2 cells.
- Zinc Supplementation Modifies Tight Junctions and Alters Barrier Function of CACO-2 Human Intestinal Epithelial Layers.
Supporting intestinal integrity is critical for overall health and wellness. Having a well-rounded, whole foods diet, supporting optimal bowel function and using supplements like Oxy-Powder when necessary helps to make sure toxins are being excreted. Then, addressing gut dysbiosis, and supporting the health of the gut lining is a way to ensure that your gut stays happy and healthy, even through the holidays!