Hello, everyone! Welcome to the Restorative Health Solutions blog!
Today we are going to be talking about the second piece of the leaky gut protocol, which is the Replace Phase. In the last blog, we went over the remove phase and how we need to get rid of the things that are negatively affecting the gut in order to start the healing process. After the removal phase, we need to evaluate each patient and figure out what and how much we need to “replace.”
In this part of the protocol, we are looking to provide digestive enzyme and stomach acid support (hydrochloric acid/HCL, pepsin, etc), especially for those patients with correlating symptoms. To thoroughly investigate this portion of the protocol, we like to begin by diving into the history.
How Do I Know If I Need Digestive Enzymes or HCL?
If someone needs digestive enzyme support, they likely have symptoms such as bloating after eating carbohydrates (sugar, fiber from fruits or veggies, processed food). If hydrochloric acid (HCL) support is needed, the symptoms would typically be belching/burping/bloating, sense of fullness during or after meals, offensive breath, difficulty digesting protein (feeling of the food being stuck) and/or heartburn symptoms.
The reason why it is so important to have proper digestive enzyme and HCL support is because your food needs to be broken down into its most simple elements in order to absorb everything properly. Without this process, we don’t have optimal absorption of our vitamins, mineral, amino acids (from protein), etc.
When our food isn’t fully digested, we are left with undigested food proteins. If there are undigested food proteins in the presence of leaky gut, they can sneak into the blood stream and then cause a reaction by the immune system. This leads to inflammation, but this is also the mechanism of food sensitivities.
This is why supplementation with digestive enzymes and/or HCL can have a huge impact on the reduction of symptoms such as bloating, food sensitivity reactions, burping/belching, sense of fullness quickly, etc.
Are There Any Tests I Can Do To See If I Need Digestive Enzymes or HCL?
For this part of the protocol, we rely heavily on history. However, elastase-1 is a marker that is included in the GI MAP stool test that we commonly run to gather information prior to starting the leaky gut protocol. Elastase-1 is a pancreatic/digestive enzyme marker. If it is low, the patient is in need of digestive enzymes. As for HCL, some other stool tests look at protein levels in the stool, which implies that the protein was not properly digested and absorbed. If there is high amounts of protein in the stool, you can make the assumption that there isn’t enough HCL to break down the protein.
With leaky gut, most patients need some digestive enzyme and/or HCL support before moving onto the next phase.
Once we feel like the replace phase has been properly addressed, we then go onto Step 3: The Repair Phase.
In our next blog, we will go in-depth about the repair phase, why it’s so important and what role it plays in improving immune health and inflammation.
What Can Restorative Health Solutions do for You?
At Restorative Health Solutions, we strive to get to the root cause of the symptoms/condition and help patients reach their optimal health. We also guarantee to replace the one-size-fits-all approach with a personalized plan for YOU! If you or a loved one is having any suspicions of leaky gut or is interested in getting a thorough and complete work-up, we’d be happy to help. To schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation with one of the doctors, please call 952-479-7801 or CLICK HERE to fill out our contact form.