Gastro Health and Detoxing Part 1

Gastrointestinal function and ecology is the core of human health. Imbalances affect our overall well-being.

GI Tract Facts: The total GI mucosal surface is made up of many microscopic crevices. There are more bacteria in a gram of stool than there are stars in the known universe. The microbes constitute a very metabolically active area of the body, second only to the liver. The total weight of bacteria located in the colon of the average person equals about 5 pounds. The digestive organs manufacture nearly a gallon of juices per day to help digest and utilize the food we eat.

The GI Tract is especially sensitive to emotional turmoil.  Over 30 gut hormones have been identified, many act as neurotransmitters. Chemical exposure, parasitic infections, antibiotics, disease…..can overcome the gut and take years to repair.

Refined food and sugar, excess fatty and rich foods, overeating and failure to chew your food properly, drinking too much with meal, food chemicals, pesticides, environmental toxins, use of alcohol, caffeine, nicotine, use of prescription drugs or OTC drugs, lack of fiber and whole foods in the diet……brings on many diseases we humans face.

Nutrients for Healing the GI Tract:

  • L-glutamine is a non-essential amino acid used as fuel by active cells, particularly the enterocytes. Needed to heal the GI tract during disease.
  • Pantothenic Acid (vitamin B5) is necessary for protein synthesis and ATP energ producion. Involved in tissue healing. Works with vitamin C to handle stress and support the adrenals.
  • Vitamin C is essential for collagen formation, which is the basis for tissue repair, wound healing, and general tissue strength.  Works as an antioxidant.
  • Vitamin A is needed for normal growth, function, and repair of cells. 
  • Vitamin E is essential which defends cell membrane and functon, helps to protect active enzyme systems within the cells.  
  • Zinc is essential to tissue repair and enzyme function and cell replication.    
  • Selenium is very important for chemical detoxification. Protects GI tract cells from damage and allows repair.  
  • Quercitin has antihistamine and anti-inflammatory effects, useful in reducing food allergy reactions and helps to repair tissue. 
  • Essential Fatty Acids maintain cell membranes an protect and healcells and tissues. Good sources include flax seed oil, fish oils that are cold pressed and unheated.   
  • Inulin is a storage carbohydrate found in onions and artichokes that acts as fuel for colon cells and promotes healing and energy generation.   
  • Aloe Vera is soothing and healing to the GI tract mucosa and tissue.
  • Licorice Root has an anti-inflammatory effect and is particularly helpful in ealing ulcers and other stomach inflammations.  
  • Comfrey Root soothes and heals the GI tract. Only use small amounts over time.  
  • Glutathione, L-cysteine, and N-acetylcyteine provide fuel and act as a protective supporter for GI mucosa and cellular enzyme activity.  
  • Fiber especially soluable, protects an promotes proper movement of feces without irritation.  
  • FOS (fructooligosaccharides) fuels colon bacteria and protect colon cells from infections. Some yeast and bacterial strains use FOS as a food source. 

Calories from fresh fruits an vegetables,whole grains, seeds, and legumes are needed to repair damaged or inflamed tissues and maintain energy levels during the GI tract healing.   Eat whole foods. Drink no more than 4 oz. of liquids wih meals as it can dilute digestive juices.   Chew your food thoroughly.     Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily, plus herbal teas.   Exercise.  Maintain regular elimination.      

Who should detox? Almost everyone needs to detox and rest their body from time to time.  Some more frequently than others.

Common toxicity symptoms include headache, fatigue,congestion, backaches, aching or swollen joints, digestive problems, allergy symptoms, and sensitivity to environmental agents such as chemicals, perfumes, and synthetics, coughs, wheezing, tight/stiff neck, high blood fats, itchy nose, circulatory deficits, angina pectoris, frequent colds, irritated eyes, immune weakness, sinus congestion, fever, runny nose, nervousness, sleepiness, insomnia, dizziness, mood changes, anxety, depression, skin rashes, hives, nausea, indigestion, anorexia, bad breath and constipation.

Spring and Autumn are the best times to detox.

Reasons for Cleansing:       

Prevent disease, reduce symptoms, treat disease, rest the organs, purification, rejuvenation, weight loss, clear skin, slow aging, improve fertility, improve flexibility, and to be more creative, motivated, productive, relaxed, energetic, spiritual, and relationship focused.

In the upcoming weeks I will have more details associated with detoxing and how to go about it safely. Will learn how to detox from sugar, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine and chemicals.

Noting your addictions is a serious undertaking.  Going “cold turkey” from sedatives, stimulants, narcotics, and alcohol can have very serious consequences, including seizures.   

All material in this particular blog and upcoming blogs are taken from the book, “The Detox Diet” by Elson M. Haas, M.D.



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