If you are reading this because you or a loved one is suffering with stomach or intestinal issues, you have come to the right place.
We here at Drummond Chiropractic have decades of experience with conditions like IBS, GERD, ulcers, and more. The gut is involved with more than just digesting, absorbing and voiding our food. It is imperative to our good health.
Before you try the any supplements (including the supplements mentioned below), check with your health care provider to confirm they are appropriate for your specific condition.
You may be surprised to learn your GI concerns are more than about what you eat. It may be from a weakened pancreas, or damaged lining of the GI from medications or exposure to toxins, or from an imbalance in your flora. You may need colostrum (which aids healing of the gut), probiotics (which are the good bugs vital to GI and immune health), or a digestive enzyme with your heaviest meal of the day (to aid digestion).
Regardless of the cause of your GI health issues, our goal is to get to the root cause, develop a game plan to get you more regular and feeling great! Bonus: we can bill insurance.
The main supplements for gut health:
PROBIOTICS for gut health
GOOD BACTERIA ARE ESSENTIAL to the well-being of your gut and immune system. If you don’t have good gastrointestinal floral health, your immune system will suffer, leading to health issues. Having a healthy amazon of bacteria in your gut is imperative to your overall wellness. The best way to feed the flora in your gut is by eating a variety of vegetables and grains. But that’s not always enough.
Why Take A Probiotic Supplement? Can’t We Get Good Bugs From Food?
Unlike fruits and vegetables fresh from the garden, store-bought food is “dead.” It has been over-washed and over-pasteurized, removing the good bugs along with the bad. Then it’s transported long distances to your grocery store (so the food is half rotten by the time you purchase it). The fruits and veggies may have been coated with chemicals to preserve the look of freshness, but the nutrients have broken down while the plants sit in their crates during transport and on store shelves.
So even if we eat fresh produce from the grocery store, these foods don’t provide a significant source of probiotics (the good bugs in your GI tract). And because the nutrients have already started to break down, these foods don’t provide a steady replenishment of nutrients to feed us and our good bacteria (probiotics).
Additionally, many of us do not eat a wide enough variety of foods to sustain a healthy gut flora. Marry that with taking antibiotics, which kill our good bugs, and you have a recipe for disaster.
The Contradiction Of Taking Probiotics And Antibiotics At The Same Time
I believe if you have ever taken an antibiotic, you are likely deficient in probiotics. You may not be symptomatic, but you are not well.
Antibiotics kill bacteria. This sounds good, right? Unfortunately, besides killing the bad bacteria, antibiotics also kill the much needed probiotics (the good bacteria) in our colon.
If you have to take an antibiotic, remember, it kills good bugs along with the bad. I recommend that you take probiotics (in the form of a supplement) while you’re on an antibiotic and after you’ve finished the medication to help replenish the good bacteria. A lot of doctors say not to bother taking probiotics while taking the antibiotic because the antibiotic will kill them.
Although it is true that antibiotics kill probiotics, a probiotic supplement can replenish the probiotics faster than the antibiotic can kill them. This way, the good bugs can overrun the bad bugs (because antibiotics make your gut vulnerable to a hostile takeover if not replenished with good bugs).
I advise patients with lowered immune systems or any signs of GI stress to take probiotics.
The source of your probiotics is very important. Buy them from a supplier that is good about making sure the probiotics did not get too hot or cold during shipment. (They should be shipped in temperature-controlled environments during the hot and freezing seasons.) Remember, probiotics are living organisms. If they get too hot or cold, they will die and not help you. We are able to sell our probiotics at a low cost because we save on shipping by shipping our probiotics in the spring and fall when we do not have to worry about the bottles being exposed to extreme temperatures, and do not have to pay for AC shipments.
I recommend purchasing supplements with at least seven different species of probiotics. If the supplement just has one type of probiotic, it is less likely to help you because you need a variety of species in your intestine. The most common type of probiotic in a pill is acidophilus, which is found in yogurt; so if you eat yogurt, this is the least likely good bug you will be deficient in.
Choose a probiotic supplement with an enteric coating; this coating helps protect the good bugs from the stomach’s digestive juices, which kill bugs (otherwise we would get food poisoning with every meal).
I take my probiotic with food so the bugs have plenty of food to eat and are buffered from the digestive juices they have to pass through to get to the lower GI.
I take probiotics every day because when I don’t, my skin tends to break out in acne. I would rather have too many good bugs than not enough. I’ll just poop out the excess. For me, it’s worth the small cost to keep my intestines and skin healthy.
DIGESTIVE ENZYMES for gut health
I DON’T LIKE TO BLAME much on age, but as we age, our body’s ability to make complex biomolecules like hormones (like the human growth hormone) and digestive enzymes (the juices that break down food so we can absorb the nutrients) decreases.
So as we get older, our ability produce hormones and digestive juices decrease. Pancreatic dysfunction results in low digestive juices, so your food doesn’t digest fully, irritating your digestive process. You can easily correct this by taking digestive enzymes (bio-chemical substances that help your body break down food) when you eat heavier meals. Oftentimes, if an elderly patient tells me their bowel movements are slowing down or if a young adult says they have severe constipation, I tell them to take digestive enzymes. It can make a world of difference.
Allopathic doctors are often so busy looking for disease that they forget that malnutrition can cause your symptoms. If you are low in magnesium or other minerals, the bowel muscles cannot function properly. Just like you can get cramps in your legs, you can get cramps in the smooth muscle that moves the fecal material through your intestines, leading to constipation. Similarly, the bowel muscles won’t work properly if you have too much of some minerals. If you are too high in calcium (eating too much cheese or taking too much calcium supplementation), you can experience constipation. Abnormal contractions of the intestinal smooth muscles can lead to diarrhea, constipation, or both.
If an elderly patient reports that their bowel movements are slowing down, I advise they take a digestive enzyme capsule with their heaviest meals. Often, that really helps.
Make sure the digestive enzyme supplement you purchase contains amylase, lipase, protease, HCL, and bile.
· Amylase digests the sugars in your food.
· Lipase digests the fats in your food (a vital process for emulsifying and absorbing fat-soluble vitamins).
· Protease digests proteins.
· HCL is an acid that aids in the initial digestive process.
· Bile emulsifies (breaks down) fat into small particles, not only so it can be absorbed but also so fat-soluble vitamins can be absorbed.
We carry digestive enzymes in our clinic
If you are not in Bloomington, Indiana and are looking for a reputable source for supplements, check out Fullscript:
Colostrum Powder for gut health
- Colostrum-LD® is the only substance clinically proven to heal and prevent Leaky Gut Syndrome.
- Most physicians agree that Leaky Gut Syndrome is a primary cause of chronic disease.
- The LD Difference: Colostrum-LD remains biologically active at the cellular level with maximal effectiveness (up to 4X more effective than regular colostrum).
- Colostrum-LD is the only colostrum certified to contain a minimum of 25-30% Immunoglobulins, 1.5% Lactoferrin, 1.5% Growth Factors and 4.5-5% PRPs (colostrum’s most powerful bioactive component).
Available at Drummond ChiropracticClick Here to Learn More about colostrum and how it can help your gut health
For more supplements that can help
To learn more, check out my book: "Combat Irritable Bowels"
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To learn more about IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) and home remedies, click the button below to be directed to our IBS web page.