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Healing the gut naturally: the 5Rs

"We are not designed to be stressed, toxic, Inflamed, infected, malnourished, & unrested and yet still easily thrive, grow, reproduce, be thin, feel well, eat anything we want, enjoy perfect BMs, and have great sex. This combination would not be natural.” These are the words my functional medicine teacher would say often with each of her lectures and wow how powerful those words are and so true when we examine how we are living and the causes of diseases.

Disease begins in the gut and that is why when there are issues in the Gut, it will affect many other processes in the body which is beyond digestion.

Here are some reasons why gut dysfunction can also cause whole-body dysfunction.

1.The gut is the entryway for essential nutrition to fuel every cell in the body.

2. The gut is the exit path for most toxins and waste – of exogenous and endogenous origin.

3. Home to more than two-thirds of the immune system, surveilling our intake, outflow, and microbial balance.

4. The gut houses its own nervous system which generates neurotransmitters used throughout the body.

5.The gut and brain connect via a highly interactive vagus nerve with 90% of the nerve fibers going from the gut to the brain.

So as you can see, you don’t want to mess with the gut!

There is however order of operations that we can implement to heal the gut for a better health. It is also known as the 5Rs. Here they are below

1. Remove first. (e.g. stress, crap food, constipation, harmful microbes, allergen/sensitivity foods, foods that feed undesired microbes).

2. Replace (e.g. digestive enzymes, stomach acid support, bile acids, herbal remedies to boost immune system insufficiency, adrenal and/or thyroid support)

3. Reinoculate (e.g. probiotics, prebiotics, cultured foods, dietary fiber increase)

4. Repair (e.g. villi regeneration, nurturing mucosal layer)

5. Rebalance (e.g. stress relief, long-term diet changes, attitude/mindset/beliefs)

The Order of operations is important. You have to peel an onion layer by layer. Stages of the 5Rs will nearly always overlap each other. Duration and approach will need to be customized for each unique case.

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