Gut Health

 It is common knowledge that the gastrointestinal tract houses all digestive function, but many do not realize that the gut also contains about 70% of the immune system.  Think about it, and the premise makes sense.  The GI tract is designed for the absorption of outside substances; therefore, it must be able to fight off harmful invaders.  This defense system is multi-leveled.  The mucosal lining is vital for absorption but also produces mucus, which is very effective at neutralizing harmful microorganisms.  This layer also connects directly to the lymphatic system, a massive producer of immune cells.  Additionally, the gut is conducive to the growth of friendly bacteria (often called flora) that provide further defense against destructive organisms.

Sometimes this balance of protection can be thrown off.  Chlorinated drinking water can wipe out legions of good bacteria, leaving room for aggressive microbes or yeast to grow.  Improper diet can feed fungal infections, making them more persistent and widespread.  Inflammation due to yeast, allergies, or autoimmune responses creates extra space for infective forces to enter the body’s tissue.

Many of our patients suffer from some sort of problem in the digestive system, and we have multiple angles from which to treat these issues.  They frequently benefit from dietary protocols designed to detoxify the system.  Other diet changes combined with antifungals can destroy yeast and prevent it from growing.  In certain instances, allergy treatment reduces inflammation and fixes all manner of troubles as a result.

Promoting gut health often requires certain nutritional supplements which we make available in our facilities.  Our GI protocol often includes items like these:

  • Glutashield – This powder supplement from Ortho Molecular Products contains ingredients that soothe irritated tissues and stimulate the body to produce mucus in the stomach and small intestine.
  • OptiCleanse GHI – Ostensibly a protein shake, this product from Xymogen is full of nutrients.  It is particularly helpful first in using ginger root to reduce inflammation and increase digestive efficiency and second by healing tissues and restoring protective barriers with glutamine.  It is also an effective gentle detoxifier.
  • Probiotics – Probiotic supplements contain colonies of healthful bacteria and are vital in restoring lost gut flora that the body so badly needs.  There are many different kinds, mixtures, and concentrations, depending upon the needs of the patient.
  • Activated Charcoal – When taken as a supplement with plenty of water, activated charcoal absorbs toxins and other microbial waste, carrying them safely through and out of the digestive system.  We like the one made by Integrative Therapeutics.

Any of these items, frequently combined with other protocols, may factor into a treatment plan, which, in following the nature of our practice, is tailored to the individual needs of each patient.