If you're suffering from digestive system problems, you're not alone.
Have you been diagnosed with Crohns disease, irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, chronic constipation, or another digestive disorder? Or do you have digestive system problems but no doctor can figure out what's going on? Have they tried putting you on medications full of nasty side effects? You wouldn't believe how often I hear from people just like you!
Would you like some natural help so you can feel better for good? I hope you’ll share what has helped you with any digestive system problems in the comments – collectively we can help a lot of people!
By the way, did you know that most people who have digestive problems also suffer from at least occasional anxiety and depression too? It's all related guys, it's called the “gut-brain connection”. That's why a lot of the below suggestions will also be found in the post on How to Fight Anxiety and Depression Naturally.
Here are a few suggestions based on what has helped so many of my readers with their digestive system problems:
***Remember, I'm not a doctor, and consulting a natural-minded health professional is a very good idea to help you with all of this. I'm just sharing what I've heard has helped SO many people.
- Learn from homeopath Joette about how to heal at the root of the cause with homeopathy, this helps chronic issues long-term: Good Gut Bad Gut.
- In the meantime, you may need to start by giving your digestive system a “break” and avoiding ALL grains and dairy for now. Do this for a month and see if you feel better. Those two are the most common inflammatory offenders that are hard on a compromised gut. Hopefully you won't have to avoid them forever, but just until you heal. Check out my post about when I did this for a month — there's support and meal plans and lots of info at that link. (Many can easily add back in raw dairy, because with raw dairy the enzymes needed to digest it are not killed off with the high heat of pasteurization.) Also, if you try adding food back in and have trouble, try the homeopathic remedy for dairy sensitivities and/or the remedy for other food sensitivities. This isn't a quick-fix, but it's one that can root out the issue over time without having to give up that food forever. It's also a great option for kids or others who you know just won't give up that food. A good way to do this is to follow the Whole30 plan for one month.
- You also need to avoid all processed foods, fast foods, junk foods, soda, and the bad vegetable oils (soy, canola, corn, etc.)–your body needs to heal and needs nutrients, don't give it any empty calories or dangerous ingredients like soybean or canola oil, MSG, etc. If you're craving that stuff it's just another sign that your gut needs healing. (Read more here Gut Health 101-6 questions about the immune system.)
You can't JUST take out the bad stuff, you need to add in nourishing foods and supportive supplements too:
- Healthy probiotic supplements are a MUST. I have a friend who struggles with constipation and will only go once a week unless she is consistent in taking these probiotics. Probiotics build up your healthy gut bacteria, which is important for everyone, especially those suffering with digestive system problems or those who need to build up their immune system. You may need to start off slow or you could get a toxic die-off reaction which is not pleasant. ***Note that for those who can't swallow pills, you can easily open up these capsules and sprinkle on food with no taste. Be sure to start off slow–with half a capsule or even less and see how you do. Then build up as you can. I take 2/day but I'm healthy, so you may want to build up to 4 or more/day depending on how you're doing. (Use the code KOP for a 15% discount when you shop at that link.)
- Cod liver oil – this provides the very important omega 3 fatty acids and is an anti-inflammatory healing food. (The KOP code works there too for 10% off.)
- From the post on the Health Benefits of Bone Broth: “The gelatin in homemade bone broth helps the lining of the intestine. Many of us today have leaky gut, diverticulitis, Crohn’s and other intestinal problems. By helping to strengthen the gut walls, this also supports immunity. It also strengthens digestion which helps you absorb more nutrients. Gelatin also helps people digest milk and dairy products.” Read Bone Broth for Rookies. Want similar benefits that you can slip into even more foods like smoothies, soups, or any sauces? Get some collagen here that has no taste and stirs into anything easily! (Just don't think you'll make broth yourself, you can buy it here — it's so good for you and shelf stable too!)
- Healthy fats like ghee, coconut oil, and pastured meats, plus animal fats like lard and tallow are so good for your gut! Cook your eggs and veggies in these fats and try to get some at each meal. “Grass-fed, organic butter also contains anti-microbial fatty acids including butyric acid, which has strong anti-fungal effects. Coconut oil and butter are not only anti-microbial, but they also help heal the lining of the gut; therefore, they are preferred for cooking, baking or eating right off the spoon.” (From How to Restore Digestive Health by Jordan Rubin.)
- If you do all of the above and are not feeling better, you may need to look into the “big guns”, the GAPS Diet, to heal your gut and strengthen your immune system.
- Have you read the book, The Maker's Diet, with the story of how Jordan Rubin healed himself of Crohns Disease by changing his diet?
- For some nutritious probiotic foods to build up your healthy gut flora more, try some homemade sauerkraut (or find some at the store that is raw, not pasteurized, preferably organic), a little with each meal makes a huge difference! If you can tolerate dairy, try making yogurt or kefir! Here's where to get starters and detailed instructions. Or read my post about how easy it is to make dairy kefir and how to make yogurt.
Reminder: I'm not a doctor, seek professional help when implementing any natural remedies. Always use common sense to find what works for you.
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