Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
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Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

Did you know that 70 to 80% of your immune cells are in your gut? If you catch every bug on the block, you keep your pharmacy in business by buying cough and cold products. These medications temporarily stop the sniffles, but you’re not addressing the primary source of your recurring illnesses. What is the gut-immune connection, and how do you restore gut health?

 

What is Gut Health?

Some signs of gut issues are hard to miss, like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Celiac Disease, bloating, and constipation. But poor gut health is responsible for far more than digestive conditions. 

Your gut consists of several organs, including the large and small intestines. The stomach, gallbladder, liver, and pancreas are also essential components of the gut.

Your gut breaks down food to deliver nutrients to your body, transmits messages to your brain, and fights infections. If your gut isn’t functioning correctly, it creates many problems, such as

  • Autoimmune conditions
  • Chronic conditions
  • Fatigue
  • Depression, stress, and anxiety
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Sugar cravings
  • Allergies
  • Skin problems such as dry skin, rashes, and hives
  • Unexplained weight fluctuations

Good gut health relies on a perfect balance of microorganisms and bacteria.

 

Your Microbiome

A microbiome refers to microorganisms coexisting in the same place.

Your gut microbiome holds trillions of beneficial fungi, parasites, bacteria, and other microbes. Each of these microorganisms has a specific job. Some break down foods, others produce vitamins, and some protect us against invading germs.

Your body’s microbiome is so important that it is considered an organ, like your liver and kidneys. Maintaining and restoring gut health to maintain your overall health and well-being is crucial.

 

The Importance of Gut Health 

Your gut is so essential to your well-being that every health discipline recognizes it as a critical factor in your health. From Hippocrates to modern research, traditional medicine, and functional medicine, it’s well-established that gut health remains a crucial component of overall good health.

Your gut microbiome impacts

 

  • Energy production
  • The immune system
  • Neurotransmitters
  • Vitamin absorption
  • Digestion

 

What Causes Imbalances in Your Gut Microbiome?

Some common causes of gut imbalances are dietary, and others are related to toxins, lifestyle, and medications.

 

Dietary

Your dietary choices play a crucial role in your gut’s health. Processed foods and excess sugar disrupt your microbiome. You may accidentally trigger an imbalance by ingesting chemicals and other toxins hiding in foods and drinks.

Eating a wide variety of foods encourages the growth of healthy gut organisms to restore gut health. 

 

Lifestyle

Your lifestyle plays a significant role in your gut health. Bad habits, such as smoking, impact your gut’s lining, while poor sleep and stress negatively impact your gut’s flora. 

Your gut health relies on quality sleep to remain balanced. Sleep deprivation inhibits the growth of good microorganisms and encourages harmful variations that cause diabetes and weight fluctuations.

High stress levels discourage the growth of good bacteria in your gut, leading to inflammation and sending “emergency” fight or flight signals to the brain.

And lastly, people who drink too much alcohol are at risk for poor gut health. While an occasional glass of red wine increases the production of beneficial microbes, consistent alcohol use increases gas production, disrupts your digestive system, and causes dehydration. All of these conditions lead to inhibited production of your gut’s “good stuff.”

 

Medications

Some of the biggest culprits of an unbalanced gut microbiome are antibiotics. Traditionally, antibiotics were given for every malady, from a sore throat to viral infections. What’s been discovered more recently, however, is that most commonly prescribed antibiotics are useless for viral infections such as the cold or flu.

Antibiotics aren’t picky when destroying bacteria, and they kill both beneficial microbes and unwelcome visitors alike. Since good bacteria aids in fighting the bad, taking unnecessary antibiotics complicates illnesses and lowers your body’s immune system. 

Other enemies of gut health restoration include NSAIDs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, laxatives, antacids, and even prescription medications like antidepressants and cholesterol-lowering medications known as statins. 

 

How to Restore Gut Health Naturally

The good news is it’s possible to restore gut health with simple dietary and lifestyle modifications.

 

Watch What You Eat

Modifying your diet is one of the most beneficial ways to restore gut health. Steer clear of packaged, processed foods full of sugars. Opt for diverse menus full of whole foods and fiber, and increase your fruits and vegetables. Fermented foods, including yogurt, contain beneficial bacteria like lactobacilli that help improve your gut health. But read your labels carefully; some flavored yogurts are high in sugar content.

 

Prebiotics and Probiotics

Prebiotics and probiotics encourage the growth of healthy microbes in your gut. Some prebiotics and probiotics are known to reduce cholesterol and insulin, which will help reduce your risk for diabetes and heart disease.

 

Many fruits and vegetables contain prebiotics, but probiotics are available as supplements.

 

Do a Drug Inventory

If your medicine cabinet looks like a shelf at your favorite pharmacy, you must do an inventory. Do you have multiple over-the-counter pain medications and antacids? If you’re taking these medications frequently, you’re treating your discomfort’s symptoms, not the causes.

Find a functional medicine doctor near you to uncover the root causes of your health issues, including frequent headaches, heartburn, inflammation, and pain.

 

Lifestyle Changes

There are a few minor adjustments to your lifestyle that will make a significant impact on your journey to restore gut health.

  • Get better quality sleep
  • Stop smoking
  • Increase your physical activity
  • Find ways to reduce your stress levels
  • Reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake

 

Restore Your Gut Health with 5 Journeys

5 Journeys understands the connection between gut health and your well-being. We provide a comprehensive approach to restore gut health from our team of nutritionists to our functional medicine providers, supplements, and customized wellness plans. When you schedule your discovery call, you’re taking the first step in becoming a healthier, more energized, and happier you. Ready to get your personalized road map to health? Let’s get started!

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Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test looks for the inappropriate presence of bacteria in the small intestine known as Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth or “SIBO”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Breath

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

COST

$85-$225 depending on insurance coverage. 

Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

At Home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Urine

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$699

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. Repeat test prices $249

Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the genetic profile for multiple health indicators. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Blood Spot

COST

$319

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted

COLLECTION INSTRUCTIONS

Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This company can test for lyme, babesia, bartonella and additional tick-borne illnesses. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

SPECIMEN TYPE

Blood

COST

around $1600 (depends on panel selected)

INSURANCE

Fully covered by Medicare. May be reimbursed with PPO plans.
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of harmful mycotoxins (toxins produced by molds).

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$299

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates a wide range of environmental toxins that may be leading to harmful health effects.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$199

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins.
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

Blood work for blood count, urinalysis and vitamin levels.

LOCATION PERFORMED

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

NOTES

You often have to fast for these tests-please check your providers notes.

COST

Depending on the test, deductible or copay may apply.

INSURANCE

Depends on insurance coverage, deductible or copay may apply.
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

Glyphosate (“Round Up”) is a pesticide that is widely used and this test indicates the body’s levels.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

Glutathione for 1 week, then bath or sauna.

COST

$99 ($69 if performed with mycotoxins or environmental toxins).

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted $30 discount given if done with mycotoxins or GPL Tox.
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates many measures including micronutrients, antioxidants, minerals, detox, overview of gut function, omegas and toxic exposure. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home.

SPECIMEN TYPE

Urine

COST

$179 – $400

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

INSTRUCTIONS

Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the gut function and indicates microbiome balance, overgrowth, infection, inflammation, parasites and digestive efficacy. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Stool

COST

$179-$425 depending on insurance coverage.

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS

No probiotics for one week.

VIDEO INSTRUCTIONS

Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the full menstrual cycle, female hormones, and adrenal profile.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Urine

COST

$160-$329

INSURANCE

Depending on insurance coverage. Fully covered by Medicare.

NOTES

Must be off hormones in order to do the testing.
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is specifically for a tick-borne illness called “Bartonella”.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

BLOOD FLUID

Blood

COST

$260

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test evaluates the presence of potentially harmful heavy metals stored in the body.  Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

SPECIMEN TYPE

Urine

COST

Testing: $79 x2 paid to Doctor’s Data
DMSA: $38 paid to Johnson’s Compounding Pharmacy

INSURANCE

Not covered by Insurance
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test measures saliva cortisol testing throughout the course of one day and informs us where there might be an adrenal imbalance.

LOCATION PERFORMED

At home

BLOOD FLUID

Saliva

COST

$80

INSURANCE

No insurance coverage

Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally
Your Ultimate Guide to Understand and Restore Gut Health Naturally

WHY DO WE DO THIS TEST?

This test is designed to look at food sensitivities (IgG immune responses). It is available in both a 99 or 184 panel. Click here for more information.

LOCATION PERFORMED

In office

SPECIMEN TYPE

Blood

COST

$129-238

INSURANCE

No insurance accepted