01 Feb The 5R Gut Program
Gut Health – Establishing a fabulous microbiome and clearing up nasty bugs that drive symptoms.
Is it SIBO? LIBO? Food Intolerances? Helicobacter? Parasites? Worms?
We have in house tests, functional tests and expertise that have helped literally thousands of patients work this out.
We can help you too!
Symptoms of unhealthy microbiome include:
- Anxiety or depression due to poor serotonin production via commensal bacteria.
- Bloating due to gas and fermentation.
- Brain fog due to excess glucuronidase.
- Fatigue due to micronutrient deficiency & sluggish metabolism.
- Any disease involving inflammation or ending in ‘itis’ such as arthritis.
A properly functioning digestive system is critical to good health. In fact, problems with the gastrointestinal (GI) tract can cause more than just stomach aches, gas, bloating or diarrhea.
GI issues may underlie chronic health problems that seem unrelated to digestive health, including autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes, skin problems such as eczema and acne rosacea, and heart disease (just to name a few).
So in the bigger picture, how can we deal with all that can go wrong “down there”?
The 5R Gut Program
We use a program that goes by the simple acronym of the ‘5Rs’: Remove, Replace, Reinoculate, Repair, and Rebalance. The 5R program can lead to a dramatic improvement in symptoms, and if you are able to comply with the diet and supplements, even complete resolution.
The elements of the 5R program are described briefly below.
Remove stressors: 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” to find out what foods are causing GI symptoms or it may involve taking medications or herbs to eradicate a particular bug. We use a lot of ‘gut kill’ protocols at NatMed. At this stage I will often do microbiome testing.
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.
Help beneficial bacteria flourish by ingesting probiotic foods or supplements that contain the “good” GI bacteria such as bifidobacteria and lactobacillus species, and by consuming the high soluble fibre 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 kills both good and bad bacteria. Probiotics in the form of supplements or food are often needed to help re-establish 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, prebiotics feed probiotics. Prebiotics are available in many foods that contain a fibre 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. Another good prebiotic source is a supplement called “fructo-oligosaccharide” or FOS.
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 (e.g. vitamins A, C, and E), fish oil, and the amino acid glutamine.
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.
How to get started
You will need to book in for an initial history appointment where I take comprehensive notes of your symptoms.
After this, you will likely see our Nurse practitioner for Medicare tests such as vitamin A, Vitamin D, faecal parasites and functional liver tests such as homocysteine. This saves you hundreds of dollars in testing.
After this, in-house testing is performed using our diagnostic equipment which can show indications for various digestive issues and food intolerance issues. We have over a quarter of a million dollars of equipment and we are the only clinic to give you access to this at no additional charge on top of your consultation fee.
Functional testing using microbiome screening: There are several options available and if this is necessary, I will advise which test to have and when you should have the test done.
At this stage, a three-month program based upon the five R’s is designed. You will receive a twenty-to-forty-page report with each stage outlined.