Core to a Functional Medicine practice is the ability to assess and heal the gut.
Our gut, mostly meaning our stomach, and small and large intestines is the main entry point for our body’s interaction with our environment. In our small intestine, there is only a single cell lining, held together by junctions, that separates us from the outside world.
Our gut is responsible not only for digestion and absorption of nutrients, but for a lot of other functions too
Underneath the single cell lining is your body’s largest immune system – the GALT (gut associated lymphoid tissue). Here antibodies are created, and inflammatory molecules can be produced to circulate throughout the body.
On top of the cell lining, we find a large part of our Microbiome (the bacteria, fungi, parasites, and even viruses that live normally in our body). Our Microbiome in itself has multiple important functions and we will go into more detail on this topic in an upcoming blog. The Microbiome can protect our cell layer, assist with the production of vitamins, and send signals to our immune system.
The gut and the brain communicate
In the lining of the gut we find a neuroendocrine system – where 90% of our serotonin is produced. The gut and brain communicate. What happens in the gut does not stay in the gut!
A functional medicine approach includes repairing the gut using the 5 R’s
Remove: Remove food sensitivities, toxins, overgrowth of bad bacteria or yeast.
Replace: Digestive enzymes, nutrient deficiencies
Re-Inoculate: with the right balance of good bacteria
Repair: the cell lining and junctions
Rebalance: stress, sleep, and exercise can all affect the health of our gut and microbiome.
The 5 R program is very personalized
At Root, we are able to order advanced stool testing after consultation with Dr Erica Armstrong or Kelsey Stricklen, RD to personalize your gut healing protocol. We partner with our patients to select only the most beneficial testing with transparent pricing. Over the next month we will go into more detail on gut health, our program, and how we use functional medicine labs.
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