5 R's to Restoring Gut Health

gut check Mar 04, 2020

The root of all health and wellness can really be tied back to the state of your microbiome.

Gut Bacteria Balance

Beneficial bacteria must outnumber the pathogenic bacteria to really be in a state of well-being.  When I work with my clients 1:1, one of the first things we address is gut health.  If there are any imbalances, it will be harder to address the other health concerns or symptoms without getting the gut to a happy place.  And it definitely takes a little detective work and open communication with my clients to fully understand the symptoms they are experiencing.  In fact, we talk about poop a lot - how often you’re going, what it looks like, does it smell terrible, etc. Some might say it’s the shitty part of my job (pun intended!).  I even had one client tell me that it’s oddly weird how comfortable she is talking to me about her poop!  

How do I address a gut bacteria imbalance?

While there are a number of reasons why one’s gut health can be compromised (you can read about some of those reasons in my blog about Gas and Bloating), there are always 5 steps we take to restore proper gut health.

  1. Remove

    • Eliminate foods that are triggering a negative response.  This can be done by trial and error or by just eliminating the common allergenic foods (gluten, dairy, soy, and possibly eggs, legumes, nuts/seeds, nightshades)  Or you can do an IgG food sensitivity test. While your gut is inflamed, it’s possible to have a lengthy list of foods to avoid until healing has occurred.  

    • The elimination phase will last at least 4 weeks but may require 12 weeks or more to give your gut time to begin functioning properly.

    • Active measures should also be taken to remove possible pathogens.  A stool sample test may need to be performed if the relief of symptoms does not occur.  Medical intervention may also be necessary.

  2. Replace

    • Typically, a person experiencing gut dysfunction is also experiencing nutrient deficiencies due to a poor diet.  A multivitamin may be recommended to bridge the gap.

    • Digestive enzymes may also be beneficial to aid in the digestion of food.  

    • Replace inflammatory foods with foods that are nutrient-dense that are rich in fiber.

  3. Repopulate

    • Introducing beneficial bacteria will be necessary.

    • Prebiotics and fiber provide an environment for bacteria to flourish.

    • Fermented foods are also a good source of probiotics but are sometimes contraindicated with certain gut protocols.  You can work with a nutritionist for guidance.

    • Depending on the state of the GI tract, this phase may need to be delayed a bit while gut healing occurs.

  4. Repair

    • While it’s easy to want to jump back into old habits once you start feeling better, a complete repair could take 9+ months due to the years of inflammation and imbalance. (You can view my basic gut healing supplements here or you can work with a nutrition professional for a more tailored recommendation). 

    • Continued supplementation may be required in addition to nutrient-dense foods.

  5. Rebalance

    • Stimuli and lifestyle must also be addressed.  Reducing stress and beginning a self-care practice is imperative to gut healing. 

    • Sleep and getting the circadian rhythm set will also help create long-term success.

    • Movement and activity should also be incorporated to support GI health.

Once the condition of the gut is addressed and these steps are taken to restore gut health, you will really begin to notice your symptoms subside.  Again this is not a quick fix that happens over a few days or weeks but can often take months or even years. It’s not always an easy journey and can be harder on your own. Working with a certified nutrition therapy practitioner can offer support, guidance, and accountability. 

The information available on this website is for general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should not rely exclusively on information provided on the Website for your health needs. You can read more about our disclaimer here.


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