I am interested in achieving maximal GI tract health, and I am concerned that I have been continually re-injuring the damage done by 20 years of SAD. I am wondering what the optimal strategy is for restoring gut health as fully as possible.
Background: For as long as I can remember, and continuing into eating paleo, I've had almost constant low-level diarrhea. I've also had bad gas, which has been partially but not fully alleviated. I was beginning to suspect hypochlorhydria, so I started supplementing my meals with Now Foods Super Enzymes. With the enzymes and strictly paleo foods (excluding nuts) I've eliminated the gas problems, but the diarrhea remains. (Also of note: low B vitamins on my recent lab work.)
Diet: I eat a high-fat diet, with high-protein on weight training days, and infrequent carb refeeds with tubers. Primarily meat and animal/coconut fat, fermented milk products, vegetables, occasional chocolate/nuts/fruit/tubers. One meal/day intermittent fasting on average, with substantial randomness. One of my major fat sources has been milkfat, including from heavy cream. I was formerly cheating with wheat occasionally, but I'm now firmly convinced I must remain gluten-free forever, and the last cheat was a few months ago (so I might still be healing). Unfortunately I have been drinking beer occasionally, so that could be another gluten source. Not all of my meat/milk products have been pastured.
So where do I begin, and then when do I reintroduce various foods?
I'm not a big supplement fan, but is there anything I should consider?
Via Art Ayers @ Cooling Inflammation
Also eat small amounts of many different kinds of raw vegetables with each meal (building diversity of the gut flora). Use plenty of herbs and spices.
If diarhhea is accompanied with constipation that might suggest dehydration.
Although reduction of some foods might help on the short run I believe it will be difficult to reestablish diverse gut flora with a non diverse diet.
I wish you all the best,
First, I think I should start with an all-meat diet. Stick to pastured ruminants, wild game, wild-caught fish and bone broth. No eggs or any dairy during this step. Everything fresh, eaten raw or cooked with low heat methods. This seems to be the most eliminative diet I can think of.
I'm not entirely sure where to go from here, or how long to stay on this step.
Items to reintroduce (not in this order):
Pastured non-ruminants, eggs
Coconut oil, coconut products
Ghee, pastured butter, pastured cream
Fermented milk products
Vegetables (nightshades separately? maybe crucifers? anything else to consider?)
Canned food (coconut milk, wild-caught fish are so handy!)
High heat cooking
I don't think I need fruit ever again, and I'm better off without chocolate...
The first thing I would do is try to stop the diarrhea completely. When I was occasionally eating gluten I was having problems with diarrhea, but what works for me in a diet of just bananas, applesauce, and mashed pumpkin until you get at least one diarrhea-free day. Then switch to all-meat/eggs PLUs good bone stock and l-lysine..and do that until you have at least three gas-free days. Then start following the Cooling Inflammation protocol of Dr. Ayers- paleo diet (no cheats) + probiotic supplement + "good" fiber. This gentle, then fiber-less, then rebuilding approach has worked for me. I was diagnosed with IBS. I know people with IBD have to often do these stages for much longer and that different things work for different people though.
Hopefully your diarrhea with resolve soon. The inability to form normal, dense, non-floating stools indicates a lot regarding gut dysbiosis. Loose stools also can occur from certain(cheap) magnesium supplements (oxide or citrate; malate and chelated are the best forms).
The above link is one of the best explanations on gut health and how to heal. All the above responses above ARE TOTALLY EXCELLENT TOO!
I would consider the high value of: --more fiber if you are not allergic to metamucil/psyllium 1-2 tsp daily w/lots of water (psyllium is safe for both constipation and diarrhea) --cessation of all dairy (elimination diet -- then add back later in 2-4 wks) --gut vitamins and cofactors (vitamin D, omega-3, glutamine, B-vitamins activated low dose like Ultrabotanical or Jarrow's since you mentioned your lab was low, trace minerals)
Our gut (stomach and intestines) are the size of a TENNIS COURT. When it does not function properly, it screws the immune system and additionally nutrients are not absorbed or very minimally which subsequently affects all energetic pathways and organ function (esp liver, pancreas, gallbaldder, thyroid, adrenals, immunity, gonads, heart and brain).
Hope you better soon! -G
Have you tried Barlean's Greens? http://www.barleans.com/greens.asp
Seriously- I had the same issue with diarrhea. Now totally gone. One of the trainers (who is a die hard paleo guy) suggested it to me. Drinking it tastes a little it like smelling a farm- but it works.
You said "low B vitamins" and given your IBS, I'm assuming you mean B-12.
Low B-12 is serious, so yes, you need to fix your remaining gut issues so that you can absorb all the nutrients from your diet. B-12 absorption is especially difficult with IBS and/or hypochloridia. You may want to be tested for the cause of your B-12 if it persists once your IBS is abated.
Strict paleo is great but a good probiotic might really help you quickly. Try NOW Foods Gr8 Dophilus (under $10 from iHerb.com):
And consider getting a B-12 shot from your doctor. Have your B-12 and ferritin levels checked again soon.
Probiotics and the gut 3 Answers
What is the problem with loose stool? 7 Answers
When is Leaky Gut cured? 3 Answers