Did You Look At it?

Well, you should have.

Your poop can tell you a lot about the state of your digestive system.  What comes out of your body can tell us a lot about what is going on in your body. When we talk about the perfect poop, we call it a perfect “brown banana.” It should be about that diameter and length, soft yet formed, a medium brown in color and have a natural banana-like curve to it. But as we know, that’s not how we all poop.

Is your poop oily and floating? You could be having a hard time digesting fats (gallbladder). Loose?  Your good bacteria and bad bacteria might be out of balance.  Hard and rocky? Could be low stomach acid. Is there food in there? Show off (but not in a good way).

So, how are you doing? Time for a gut overhaul? Here is an outline of what I refer to as my “4-R” Gut Restoration program. In about 4 weeks, you have the potential to experience the perfect brown banana, too!

  1. Remove things that may be causing gut distress. For many of us, these are sugar, caffeine, alcohol, dairy, and gluten. For others, it’s raw vegetables (although cooked should be fine). Eggs may be a culprit in some cases, too. Certainly, any food you commonly see in your stool you’ll want to take out too. In addition to foods that cause distress, you may also have too many bad bacteria or yeast that may have overgrown. I recommend Grapefruit Seed extract to help with this – an anti-microbial that can help eliminate some of the excess.  My go to product is called GSE pro and I recommend starting with small doses – just 2 in the morning right when you wake up and 2 at night right before you go to bed.  After 3 days, increase to 4 in the morning and 4 at night.  Three days after that, increase again to 6 in the morning 6 at night.  Don’t worry – they are very small capsules and you’ll be able to gulp them down all at once.  Continue this for the full 4 weeks.
  2. Replace is making sure you have the good stuff in, like foods with lots of fiber. Good recommendations are cooked or raw vegetables (if you can) and fruits. If you’re not big on those types of foods, you’ll want to consider a fiber supplement like Herbulk if you have looser stool or Metafiber to help soften hard, broken stool. In some cases, you may need to replace digestive enzymes. These include enzymes to break down carbohydrates, fats and/or proteins, betaine to help stimulate stomach acid, or ox bile to help support gallbladder function. A comprehensive digestive enzyme combination that covers them all is called Digestin. Take 2 with each meal or just one if it’s a smaller meal or snack.
  3. Re-inoculate with a probiotic that contains good strains of bacteria like Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium that help break down fiber and provide short chain fatty acids to maintain healthy intestinal cells. My favorite probiotic that I use myself is called Ultra Flora Balance with 15 billion good bacteria in every capsule.  I take one a day. For those with loose stool, I recommend 2 per day.
  4. Repair your gut with the most abundant amino acid in the intestinal cells – glutamine. I most often prescribe the product Glutagenics and recommend 1-2 tsp per day until the container is empty.

I do believe the gut is the corner stone of health, and it’s been said that “Death begins in the colon.” While we can attribute some truth to that notion, I think it’s more important to emphasize that health begins in the colon too. Even my husband and I participate in a “gut overhaul” at least once a year to make sure we’re on the up-and-up. So, if you haven’t seen many brown bananas lately, perhaps it’s time for YOU to do a gut restoration program!