The Holy Trinity. The Three Tenants. The Triple Pillars. The Triangle. The Three-Pronged Attack. Whatever it’s moniker, there are usually three basic components to a road back to health from digestive and fatigue problems. Simply put these are:
Getting your diet right and tight is number one, and will usually yield some interesting initial results. Where there is a digestive problem, food can be both a culprit in the cause and continuation of a problem. It’s important to approach the diet side of the treatment not as a quick fix, but as an educational experience to find the right balance of foods and nutrients for you long term.
Our modern Western diet is very unnatural, so it’s no wonder so many more people are experiencing digestive ailments in an age of grain-dominated, trans fat-fill convenience food and drink. Alot of people think that as long as they don’t eat fast food from high-street chains every day then their diet is pretty ok, but the truth is that if you are buying anything pre-made in the supermarket then it is likely to be laced with sugar, gluten, lactose, artificial sweeteners, salt, and starches, not alone artificial flavouring and preservatives , bleaching agents, and other nasty chemicals that have no place in our digestive tract. Clean natural food is the only way to soothe an irritated or damaged digestive system, so a diet will likely be necessary to establish healing and long term new eating habits.
There are hundreds of diets out there for all sorts of conditions, but after my 2 years of research and experience these are the diets that seem to have the highest success rates in treating digestive disorders. These diets focus on protein and fat as the main source of nutritional energy, excluding starch in order to starve bad bacteria in the gut and to soothe intestinal inflammation.
Specific Carbohydrate Diet
Gut and Psychology Syndrome Diet
Stoneage/ Paleo Diet
Autoimmune Paleo Protocol
There are countless websites and books dedicated to these diets, and many practitioners that use them. Check out my blogs on each one, and send me your comments, questions or experiences on the diets.
2. Appropriate Testing and Supplementation
If you have a digestive disorder then it’s likely you will be experiencing some nutritional deficiencies, and or other irregularities like hormonal imbalances, or intolerances. It’s really important to identify specific problems, which can be done through blood and other tests through a practitioner. Dr Sarah Myhill, a private practitioner with a fantastic website dedicated to explaining and offering treatment options for loads of health problems, lists some of the basic tests and supplement options available. Click here! When you’ve ready to act and get on the road back to health, find yourself a good functional medicine practitioner and get testing!
The most important things with supplements is quantity and quality. Don’t take more than is recommended, build up amounts slowly as some supplements may cause an initial reaction, and do not skimp on quality. Do not buy supplements from places like high-street ‘health’ stores or pharmacies, who usually sell very weak concoctions and include additives in the tablets that can aggravate or even cause digestive problems e.g sugar and starch are used as bulking agents. Buy at local health stores and online suppliers. Trusted brands include Solgar, Lamberts, Biocare, Allergy Research Group, and Body Bio – but always check the ingredients for things you should be avoiding.
Being based in Cardiff, my go-to places for supplements (and organic food) are Beanfreaks and Health with Herbs. A fantastic online supplier is The Vitamin Service, who often dispatch orders the same day and have a huge range. A surprising number of supplements are also available on Amazon.
Digestive disorders can lead to significant toxic burdens on the body. Suffering from dysbiosis myself, I can tell you first hand that the symptoms of toxic buildup can be acute and debilitating. There are also all of the environmental toxins to take into account. If you are living in the modern world, it is likely that you have quite a few stores of toxic material in your body that could be causing ill health, so a detoxification regime is suggested to get rid of the stores, and to avoid the production of more toxins and the intake of them from the environment – food and non-food sources. Check out the separate blogs on different methods of detoxing, but here is a short list of detox methods I have incorporated into everyday life:
Dry Skin Brushing
Detox baths – Epsom Salts, Bicarbonate of Soda, Cider Vinegar, or Seaweed
Vitamin and Mineral supplements
Organic food, drink and supplements
Household cleaning products changed to natural products – every room of our flat is like an advert for Ecover 🙂
Chemical-free deodorant, shampoo and soap
By finding the right diet, supplements and detox methods for you, you should be able to work out a robust structure for treating your illness and then maintaining health once it has been regained.
Simple! Or, horribly complicated, frustrating and downright impossible to figure out, as I’ve found at certain points over the last two years, but one must keep going.
As Thomas Edison said, “Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”