Dr. Hagmeyer explains in detail the who what where when and why of the 4 steps in leaky gut protocol. If you have been struggling for years with gut problems The 4 Step Leaky Gut Protocol is a great place to start. We recommend that you work through this protocol with a doctor certified in functional medicine as for some individuals, they may experience herxheimer reactions. This protocol is very comprehensive and continues to be modified over the years to improve clinical outcomes. If you suffer with Leaky Gut, Parasites, gut inflammation, Gut Dysbiosis, SIBO, (Yeast) fungal overgrowth, this is my updated Leaky Gut Protocol.
4 Steps To Healing A Leaky Gut
Having a digestive system that works right is a key component to maintaining and restoring health. My 4 Step protocol (4R Gut Repair Protocol) for healing a leaky gut can often be the answer to prayers for people who suffer with SIBO, IBS, Diarrhea and a host of other chronic health problems.
The digestive system, also referred to as the gut, is responsible for much more than just processing the foods we take into our bodies. The majority of our immune system, and almost all of the chemicals our body uses to regulate mood, are located in our guts. Because of these connections between digestive health, immunity, and emotional well-being, problems in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract can go beyond the usual symptoms of pain, gas, bloating, and diarrhea.
They can actually be the main cause of various chronic health problems such as hormonal imbalances, eczema, rosacea, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis.
“Help Dr…..I’ve Tried Everything! Nothing Is Working to Heal My Gut?” Keep Reading!!!!
In Functional Medicine we use an effective approach that we call the 4R Leaky gut Protocol – Remove, Replace, Re-inoculate, and Repair. This approach can be extremely effective when dealing with dysbiosis, gut infections, yeast overgrowth, SIBO, biofilms and parasites. Here is how it works.
1. Remove (3-12 weeks)
First, identify and remove the factors or triggers that may be contributing to your symptoms, This might be stress, food allergies, food sensitivities, etc
- Stress: Stress can impair your digestion and absorption—Stress will cause a break down in the gut barrier, it will alter gastrointestinal microbiome, it will affect SIgA levels, it will alter your digestive enzymes. There are tests that look at your bodies ability to adapt to stress. These tests evaluate cortisol levels and the rhythm of cortisol secretion.
- Food Intolerances/Food Sensitivities: Develop an elimination diet plan or better yet get tested for food sensitivities/intolerances. The diet involves removing potentially allergenic foods for a length of time (the length of the elimination phase will vary based on your individual needs and protocol), then reintroducing the foods, one at a time, every two days, while monitoring for symptoms. Potentially food sensitivities include processed foods, oranges, dairy, eggs, corn, grains with gluten, pork, shellfish, beef, veal, soy, peanuts, alcohol, coffee, soda, refined sugar, chocolate, and ketchup.
- Testing for food sensitivities can save you time and alleviate the stress of knowing which foods are problematic and which ones aren’t. Delayed food reactions as those seen with food intolerances can take up 72 hours or longer before causing symptoms. This is why while elimination diets may work for allergies, they don’t work as well for food intolerances. This is why we recommend testing.
- Pathogens: Bacterial and yeast overgrowth, viruses, fungi, parasites, and other toxic substances are common contributors to gut-related symptoms. A variety of tests are available identify and remove pathogens. Infections would most likely be from parasites, yeast or bacteria. A comprehensive stool analysis can offer incredible insight into the health of your gut microbiome and determining if an infection is present. Infections can be treated with either herbs, anti-parasite herbs, anti-fungal herbs.
- I often prescribe both herbal antibiotics and anti fungal such Caprylic acid, Artemisia, grapefruit seed extracts, black walnut hull.
- The Bioclear™ Cleansing Program with Biocidin Liquid contains a convenient one month supply of Biocidin® Liquid, G.I. Detox™+, and Proflora®4R together as a kit for broad-spectrum, nutritional support to cleanse, balance intestinal ecology, and support healthy digestion and elimination.*When working with health concerns such as SIBO or other digestive issues, inflammation, chronic infections, including Lyme and other complex challenges, practitioners often recommend the Comprehensive Cleansing ProgramTM. The program contains a 1-month supply designed to work in synergy to balance and repair the GI tract, as well as support systemic detoxification. As nutritional support, these formulas help to address biofilms and promote a healthy immune response in addition to the benefits of broad- spectrum anti-microbial botanicals. Combined with a healthy diet, this program is perfect for those wanting to feel and see lasting changes, such as better energy, decreased pain, and resolution of digestive complaints. The Bioclear™ Cleansing Program is a 15% savings over the total cost of individual products.
- Program Includes
- 1 Biocidin® 30 ml liquid,
- 1 Proflora®4R 30 caps, and
- 1 G.I. Detox™+ 60 caps
Biocidin® is a synergistic combination of botanical medicines, which targets the entire GI tract, and supports microbiome balance for healthy digestion and elimination. The botanicals also have systemic applications in microbial challenges wherever they occur. Independent laboratory testing has concluded that Biocidin® has broad reaching effects, including addressing biofilms.
ProFlora Spore Based Probiotic Replaces Beneficial Flora- Spore-forming probiotics are commensal bacteria found in our gastrointestinal tract, which occur naturally in healthy soil. Endospores are undamaged by antibiotic therapies and stomach acid, making them the perfect addition to Biocidin® protocols, and are often favored when addressing SIBO.
GI detox- Removes Debris, Mops Up Toxins, and Helps Restore Microbial Balance. A new upgraded binding formula to support enhanced clearance of endotoxins, metals and xenobiotic compounds. Removal of debris and toxins is essential when restoring microbial balance to the G.I. tract.
2. Replace 6-8 weeks
The next step in the leaky Gut protocol is Replace. Just as important as eliminating trouble in the gut, we want to reintroduce the essential ingredients for proper digestion and absorption. These digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid and bile acids that are required for proper digestion. Often these enzymes have been depleted by diet, drugs (such as antacid medications), diseases or aging. (Read how antacid medications make you sick).
Work with your Functional Medicine physician to determine supplements that could support your healing, such as:
- Digestive enzymes including protease, lipase, amylase, and pepsin as well as Brush Border Enzymes. Brush border enzymes are super important when filling a low FODMAP diet because these enzymes are specifically designed to break down sugars. and carbohydrates.
- Hydrochloric acid-Betaine and Pepsin provides two essential components of healthy digestion: hydrochloric acid (HCl) and the digestive enzyme, pepsin. Hydrochloric acid is vital for the proper digestion of protein and the absorption of vitamins and minerals (especially vitamin B12, calcium, magnesium, copper and zinc). HCl also plays an important role in signaling the pancreas to release digestive enzymes.
- Pepsin is one of the first enzymes to initiate protein digestion and works in synergy with HCl to provide complete protein digestive support. Betaine & Pepsin contains 1,040 mg betaine HCl USP and 208 mg pepsin per serving.
3. Reinoculate (6-12 weeks)
The Third step in the 4R Leaky Gut protocol is to reinoculate your gut with good bacteria to help regain a healthy microflora balance. Intestinal microflora are microorganisms that live in our gut and are helpful in aiding digestion and nutrient absorption. This can be accomplished with a variety of foods and supplements:
- PolyPhenols-flavonoid-rich polyphenols-citrus-based Non Fiber prebiotic formula that provides flavonoid-rich polyphenols to promote a healthy gut microbiota composition while protecting the gut mucosal barrier and enhancing gut immunity. This is a safe option for individuals with small intestinal bacteria overgrowth (SIBO).
- Fermented foods: These foods include tea, pickles, sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, yogurt, kefir, and kombucha. Careful if you have histamine intolerance or SIBO.
- Prebiotics: These are non-digestible plant components that nourish the body’s microflora. They include:
- Oligosaccharides and Fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS): Types of carbohydrate found in some fruits and vegetables, including leeks, onions, asparagus, jicama, bananas, garlic, and Jerusalem artichokes; also available in supplement form
- Arabinogalactans: Arabinogalactans are a type of soluble fiber; small amounts can be found in carrots, radishes, pears, corn, wheat, and tomatoes, although if you’re looking for a meaningful amount, they are available in supplement form
- Soluble fiber: Fiber that easily dissolves in water; found in sources such as oatmeal, beans, apples, pears, strawberries, nuts, flaxseeds, psyllium, cucumbers, and celery
- This is one of my favorite probiotics to use with patients.
- Probiotics: Probiotics are live bacteria that aid the digestive process and keep our gut health and intestinal function strong. I recommend using this probiotic to start with Ortho Spore IG. Orthospore IG contains two of the most well know and clinically researched soil based bacteria. namely Bacillus coagulans and B. subtilis species. You can learn more about soil based probiotics here
4. Repair (up to 12 months)
Fourth step to resetting a leak gut includes repair. This is the most critical step in healing the gut. In this step you are repairing the lining of your gut through good nutrition and supplementation that heals the lining. This can take up to 12 months or longer in cases where harsh medications have been used. In addition to an allergen-free, healthy diet, a variety of foods and supplements may help to reduce inflammation and support cell growth in your digestive tract:
The gut has the capability to repair itself when fueled with the proper nutrients. Other nutrients that are key components to gut repair include
- Zinc Bysglycinate
- omega-3 fish oils,
- Vitamin D
- L-Glutamine, NAG, Aloe, DGL. All of these can be found in Glutashield
Whatever problems you may be experiencing related to gut health, the 4R Leaky Gut Program should be one of the very first steps toward good health. I have personally seen chronic and inflammatory illnesses completely reversed very quickly by using the 4R method.
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