There are good bacteria and bad bacteria. The good bacteria in our intestines are an integral part of our digestion and immune systems. 80 percent of our immune system is in the gut. In addition, the good bacteria actually help digest our food and carry it into our bloodstream. Antibiotics kill indiscriminately; they kill the bad bacteria and the good bacteria. So, after a course of antibiotics our immune system is compromised, and there are a whole host of other bodily functions that don’t work properly either. We become more likely to get another infection and then another course of antibiotics breaks the system down even further.
It is possible to reverse this trend. There are a number of things we can do to repopulate the good bacteria and to heal the gut so that the right nutrients are getting to the right places. You should begin to notice improvements right away but complete healing can take months.
The first step is to start taking a good probiotic. Bio-kult is one of the best because it has 13 different strains of differt types of bacteria. http://www.gapsdiet.com/Bio-Kult_Probiotic.html If you don’t want to order online for whatever reason, there are many brands of probiotics available in your regular drugstore these days. Try to get one with as many different strains as possible. Most have only three. You can usually find ones with 5. Even if you don’t order from the website, I recommend you go there. It explains how to introduce probiotics into the system and some of the changes you might notice in your body.
Of course, you can also eat probiotic foods. Yogurt is the most common in our culture (always eat full fat plain, feel free to add some fresh fruit or a tiny bit of honey). One can also use probiotics to preserve just about anything. There are a number of lacto-fermented (probiotic) pickles now available in most health food stores. You will know them by reading the ingredient list. There will be only veggies, salt, and water. And maybe some spices and whey. Bubbies Pickles are my favorite commercial pickles; when you drink the juice you can just feel the energy.
Second, you don’t want to feed the bad bacteria with its favorite foods – sugar and processed carbohydrates. That means giving up bread, pasta, pizza, basically all grains for a number of months. I know this sounds drastic but it really has worked well for me and many people I know. If you are not yet willing to go that far, try to cut back as much as you can. There are many websites with grain-free, sugar-free bakery recipes. You can begin to expand your repetoire with some alternatives and then work towards less and less processed carbs. Don’t fall for artificial sweeteners. They are major neurotoxins and actually cause people to gain weight because they confuse the insulin system.
Then finally, we want to heal the lining of the gut and allow the cells to produce the chemicals that interact with the bacteria. You should try to eat some gelatin every day. There are two sources – you can make jello from scratch. Super easy and you avoid the sugar, dyes, and other yucky stuff in boxed jello. I will put the recipe up on my website tonight. The other is bone broth. The recipe is here http://theaharveywellness.com/bone-stockbroth. Once you have the basic recipe for bone broth you can freeze it and use it to make any kind of soup really quickly. For instance, one quart of stock, chop one head of broccoli. Boil for ten minutes or so. Put in the blender. Add cream, salt and pepper to taste. Nearly instant cream of broccoli soup that is nourishing and healing. You can sub any veg for the broccoli.
If you have trouble eating high fiber foods, like dark green leafy vegetables, avoid them for a while. Yes, they are super good for you but irritating to the lining of the gut. A good way to get the benefits of them without the fiber is juicing. After you feel like your digestion and immune system are significantly improved you can start to add them back in – starting with small quantities. If you get gas or other discomfort, don’t eat them again for a while.
I have been following this diet for over a year and I feel so amazingly better. I am rarely sick, but even better is the deep feeling of well-being that I have almost all the time.