Often, improving gastrointestinal function is the first step to restoring whole-body health and wellness. The 5R Protocol is a science-based approach to restoring balance to the GI system that is offered by Metabolic Maintenance. This protocol provides a synergistic approach to improving digestive health.
Gut health has recently become a more prominent topic of conversation among medical professionals as it has become increasingly clear that the gut microbiome is affected by the food we consume. This, in turn, affects obesity, autoimmune disorders, cardiovascular disease, and mental health.
The gut microbiome is a community of different microorganisms that live in the gastrointestinal tract. When this community is disrupted due to stress, infection, dysbiosis, allergies, parasites, or toxins, local GI symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal bloating and cramping, acid reflux, and constipation can result. Other symptoms that can occur include headaches, lack of focus, moodiness, immune system imbalance, and fatigue. A gut microbiome that isn’t functioning properly can lead to problems with nutrient absorption and cause deficiencies in vitamins and minerals.
When following the 5R Protocol for Digestive Health, it is important to take things slowly and pay attention to how your body reacts. It is suggested to work closely with a licensed practitioner if you want to heal a specific condition. The healing process may take longer and have different steps than usual.
The 5Rs Protocol is designed to address problems in the GI system, and each product has been selected to address one or more crucial factors in each step. Your healthcare practitioner may recommend additional nutrient support, such as vitamins or minerals, based on your individual health during these steps. Some of those recommendations are listed for guidance.
Digestive Issues Are More Widespread Than You Think
You might feel like you’re the only one dealing with uncomfortable symptoms that keep you from enjoying your life. Approximately 60-70 million individuals in the United States suffer from digestive disorders. These can range from simple indigestion to chronic problems. Digestive issues are very common, but there are ways to heal your gut naturally.
One way to understand the real problem is to look below the surface. Many conventional doctors do not understand the cause of illness and instead focus on treating the symptoms. When women go to the gastroenterologist, they may be diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome or the more serious Irritable Bowel Disease. The doctor may also test the child for Celiac disease.
The issue with these diagnoses is that they frequently just consider what’s happening superficially – they analyze and treat the symptoms but may disregard the more profound underlying reasons. There are also many women who have digestive problems that don’t have a specific diagnosis – which can make them just as hard to deal with. Where are they coming from? There are so many possible answers. Would you be surprised to learn that your small intestine, if unwound, would stretch out to about 20 feet? There is a lot of room for error. You might not find the real problem if you only look for the obvious answers.
Prescriptions Aren’t the Answer. Here’s why:
A diagnosis of IBS, IBD, or Celiac disease does not often come with dietary restrictions or a prescription. While it may provide relief from the symptoms, it won’t fix the problem. If you stop taking the prescription, your symptoms will come back, potentially stronger than before. What are the potential long-term side effects of taking prescription drugs? Sometimes, those are even worse than your original symptoms. Instead of only looking at the immediate problem, if you take a step back and look at the whole picture, you can find a more permanent solution. More and more women are finding that functional medicine is a good way to heal their gut naturally.
Understanding the Root Cause of Digestive Issues
I Sailor, said that there are several reasons that can cause stomach problems. By the time you turn 2 years old, the bacteria in your intestines are established. An imbalance from birth could make it very difficult to bring your system back into balance naturally, especially if you had multiple antibiotics as a child. If you were never exposed to bacteria, you would be less equipped to handle it when the bad kind overtakes the good guys.
There are many possible causes of digestive issues, including food sensitivities. One example of food sensitivity is gluten sensitivity. If you regularly consume something your system can’t tolerate, all sorts of digestive issues are likely to occur. I test for food sensitivities in my practice with women who have digestive issues. This information can be useful in helping a woman know what foods to avoid without needing to try a full elimination diet, which can take several weeks and be hard to stick to. Start by removing offensive foods.
I also order a stool test for patients complaining of digestive issues, which can provide valuable insights into the patient’s digestive system. Her system may have too much of the wrong kind of bacteria, parasites, or yeast. She may not have enough digestive enzymes. We can take action on each of those things as long as we know what the issue is.
It’s also important to understand how stress affects your gut health. The “gut reactions” you experience are real and are sending you a message. If you dismiss the feelings in your gut for too long, more serious health problems can arise. The connection between stress and physical health is very close, so it’s important that you find ways to take care of yourself and reduce stress when you can.
Your Digestive System Can Impact All Other Body Systems
Women come to their doctors seeking relief from digestive issues that cause pain. Good gut health has a lot of impacts. Good gut health is important for the rest of your body to function properly. All your body systems are interconnected, so if your digestive system isn’t working well, it can have an effect on your entire body. So many symptoms can be a sign of underlying digestive issues, including:
- Bloating, belching, and flatulence after meals.
- Indigestion, diarrhea, or constipation.
- Weak or cracked fingernails.
- Skin irritations like post-adolescent acne or rosacea.
- Iron deficiency.
- Anxiety or depression.
- Chronic intestinal infections.
- Painful joints
There are many parts of your body that rely on a strong and healthy digestive system, so it is essential to know how to heal your gut naturally. You CAN improve your gut health and heal any underlying issues!
5R Protocol for Digestive Health
Step 1: Remove
The company focuses on eliminating pathogenic bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses from the GI system. Problematic diets and food intolerances can create unbalanced gut terrain.
Each of the following can influence GI health:
This was observed in a study where the levels of circulating immune cells were monitored in mice. In a study observing levels of circulating immune cells in mice, it was found that stress decreases the ability of the immune system to ward off pathogens. The balance of intestinal microbial populations can be changed by stress, which reduces digestive secretions and alters the transit time of food through the digestive tract. This can allow for increased influence from problematic bacteria such as Clostridium.
There are many common medications that can have a negative effect on the balance of healthy bacteria in the microbiome, which can, in turn, affect the absorption of nutrients that are essential for good GI health.
The globalization of food sourcing and processing has led to an increased risk of pathogens and contamination, both when traveling abroad and at home. If there is an imbalance of microbes, it can lead to health problems. Using botanical agents that kill pathogens can help create a balance of healthy microbes. There are several plant extracts that can be effective against microbes. Some examples include barberry, Oregon grape, garlic, black walnut, and olive leaf. Happy Belly® contains a combination of herbal extracts and caprylic acid to rebalance the intestinal microbiome and relieve dysbiosis symptoms.
Step 2: Replace
This refers to when you need to supplement your digestive factors or enzymes because your body isn’t producing enough of them. Stress has the opposite effect on the digestive process and can result in a decrease in stomach acid and digestive enzymes.
In order for food to be properly digested, there must be enough acid and enzymes present. This will break down the food and also reduce the chances of an immune reaction to proteins and complex carbohydrates. If these large molecules aren’t broken down properly, it can cause problems with fermentation. If you have an enzyme insufficiency, you may feel full for a long time after you eat, have indigestion, feel bloated, or have gas. Enzymes such as proteases, lipases, and disaccharidases may need to be replaced, in addition to factors such as hydrochloric acid and pepsin.
Step 3: Reinoculate
Introducing beneficial probiotic bacteria to the intestines helps to crowd out pathogenic bacteria. The presence of healthy microflora in the gut is beneficial as it increases the availability of vitamins, breaks down toxins, and produces short-chain fatty acids that support the health of mucosal cells.
Probiotic supplements help to restore balance to the gut microbiome, which is the collection of all the microorganisms that live in the digestive tract. A wide range of health issues have been linked to an imbalance of microbes, but having a stable and diverse microbiome is associated with good overall health.
Adding a variety of different types of microbes to your diet provides many benefits. There are many effective probiotics that can be used to reinoculate the intestinal tract and promote GI restoration, including Lactobacillus strains acidophilus and Plantarum, as well as Bifidobacterium strains breve and lactis.
During Reinoculate, prebiotic nutrients are another consideration. Food ingredients that selectively stimulate the growth of beneficial bacteria are called prebiotics.
Step 4: Repair
When harmful influences have been removed from the digestive tract, and healthy bacteria have been restored, it is time to REPAIR the GI mucosal cells. Over time, chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, exposure to toxins, food sensitivities, imbalances in gut bacteria, infections, and inflammatory bowel disease can damage the gut lining, making it more permeable. If you want your mucosal barrier to be in tip-top shape, make sure you’re supplementing with the right nutrients.
L-Glutamine is an important nutrient for healing mucosal tissues. It can cause the genes involved in the growth and differentiation of cells in the small bowel mucosal brush border to be expressed.
At the end of the REMOVE phase, choose which products to use for the REPAIR phase and continue using them for 4-8 weeks.
Step 5: Rebalance
The GI system cannot be healthy unless the whole person is in balance. A healthy diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep, and stress management are all key factors in maintaining and improving one’s health.
Since the gut is where most of the body’s immune system is located, reducing stress levels may improve one’s gut health, which in turn may improve their overall health. To complement your stress management practice, supplemental nutrients and botanical extracts can mitigate cortisol elevations and can improve neurotransmitter release along with the enteric and central nervous system for healthy digestion.
When you’re stressed, your digestion changes, and you don’t absorb nutrients as well. MetaCalm gives you the amino acids you need to create mood-enhancing and calming neurotransmitters.
Understanding How to Heal Your Gut Naturally to Live Life to its Fullest!
All of this talk about gut health and its impacts on other conditions may seem overwhelming. Knowing what information is helpful is the best way to learn how to heal your gut. If you understand what is causing your problem, you can begin to solve it. If you don’t know what is causing your symptoms, you can’t address the problem, and you’ll never feel your best. It’s time to take control of your life and do what’s best for you. Stop waiting for someone else to fix your problems – you have the power to change your life, so go out there and do it! Accepting anything less than feeling your best is not something you should settle for. I hope you will use the 5-R protocol to improve your gut health.