6 Ways To Fix Diastasis Recti

6 Ways To Fix Diastasis Recti

I pulled up my shirt and peeked in the mirror. Twelve months after birthing twins, I still looked three months pregnant. My six-week postpartum visit with the doctor had not been reassuring. I came in worried about the pressure in my pelvic floor and expanding belly, but she just said, “Everything looks fine.”

I thought I’d feel normal again before too long, but here we were a year later. I was still struggling with toning my core, pelvic pressure, insomnia, and anxiety. I did not feel like myself.

And the worst part was, I felt like I ought to know better. I had been teaching Pilates and fitness classes for thirteen years, and training other instructors in how to teach postnatal clients for almost as long. I knew the mechanics of the pelvic floor and abdominals, but I still had no clue how to heal my postpartum body.

I knew I needed more than Pilates, yoga and strength training, suggested by a friend; I reached out to a physiotherapist Jessie Mundell, creator of Core & Floor Restore. I also signed up for The Prenatal Client with Debbie Goodman, MSPT. They both opened my eyes to postpartum physical therapy.

When I finally became brave enough to touch my stomach, I realized I had a gaping two fingers-width separation. The tissue was soft, and sit-ups and my poor diet made my stomach stick out more. Honestly, I was disgusted and determined to fix it.

What is diastasis recti?

Diastasis recti: A musculoskeletal injury, where the rectus abdominis stretches at the connective tissue, {the linea alba – a collagen cord that runs from the bottom of your sternum to the front of your pelvis} leaving a weakness in your core.

This superficial stomach muscle {rectus abdominis} has always been separated into right and left halves, but with a diastasis recti diagnosis, it is based on a 2.7 cm distance between the rectus abdmonis halves.

If your space is less than this and still feels unnatural to you, no worries, you can still benefit and decrease the area with my suggestions below.

Diastasis recti occur because of undo pressure and poor body alignment.

It wasn’t just about what I saw in the mirror. Repairing my diastasis recti, I knew, would help me stand stronger, tone my core and reduce my bloating. Here’s how I did it — and how you can too.

How to heal diastasis recti

1. Support Your Core

I began wearing a diastasis rehab splint, which is like a big Ace bandage for your tummy. (Here’s the one I used, from the Tupler Technique.) A friend suggested it to me, and although it can be uncomfortable, it supported my core and reminded me to draw in my abdominals when I was caring for the twins and jumping out of bed when they cried in the middle of the night.

I wore it day and night for six weeks. Keep in mind>>> The splint does not replace the necessary exercises you need to do to heal your connective tissue, but it helps bring support when you are caring for your family. 
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2. Roll Over.

The brace helps to close the gap between your abdominal muscles, but it also made me more mindful of how I moved — especially how I got out of bed. For most of that first year, the cries of my babies startled me so much that I jack-knifed myself up and out of bed when they needed me. But that movement pushes your core out, which can weaken your pelvic floor and make diastasis rectus worse.

With the brace on, I began rolling to one side and gently pushing myself up. This movement protects your core because you are not putting undue pressure on your rectus abdominus, which is already weakened due to the separation. This rolling to the side is how I recommend all moms get out of bed and off the floor. Forever.

3. Alignment- Untuck Your Tush

I first noticed I was gripping my tush when I was doing dishes for hours on end. The pain was excruciating; I now know the piriformis tightens to support a weakened pelvic floor. By rolling the piriformis with the Franklin Massage balls, I was able to release the hip tension I was experiencing and reduce my pain.

Lots of moms tuck or squeeze their glute muscles when they hold their kids; you might not even realize you do it but pay attention the next time you pick up a little one. Tucking the glutes brings your pelvis into a posterior tilt, which tightens your hip muscles and weakens your pelvic floor. This posture is very common with diastasis recti.

Try to release your tush muscles and draw your ribs over your hips when standing. Use a massage ball to loosen the piriformis, so the pelvic floor muscles can do their job of supporting your core and pelvic floor. This rolling is a great thing to do when you’re watching TV in the evening — you’ll release all the tension that builds up in those muscles when you’re chasing after kids all day long. See how here. 

4. Engage Your Pelvic Floor

I’ve taught pelvic floor engagement for over thirteen years, but what I didn’t realize is how vital the pelvic area is and how important it is to lengthen and strengthen your pelvic floor with many different types of contractions.

Your pelvic floor, an intricate web of over twenty-two muscles supporting your internal organs and your low back and is the foundation of a healthy core. It’s important to strengthen it when healing Diastasis recti because the pelvic floor brings your pelvis into better pelvic alignment, reducing the tension placed on the linea alba.

How do you engage your pelvic floor? {Listen to this audio}

A student once said; “It’s like closing both exits.” Lift and squeeze the pelvic muscles surrounding the vaginal and anal opening; It’s a figure 8 shape, and you should feel a tightening from front to back. Contract the pelvic floor 10x quick {known as quick flicks} and then lift and hold the pelvic floor for a count of 10. Repeat daily.

5. Skip the Sit-Ups

Whenever I did crunches in the first year after my twins were born, I noticed my ab muscles bulging out instead of curling in — the exact opposite of what I wanted them to do! Crunches and sit-ups place too much pressure on your core and pelvic floor muscles when they are weak. This undo stress, causes poor posture when your standing and sitting for long periods of time.

This poor alignment is the reason diastasis recti occurred in the first place.

Each pregnancy is different and your recovery can be different from everyone else.  When you can engage your pelvic floor and transversus, you may be able to do crunches and planks again!

6. Diet and diastasis recti

Barely sleeping for two years and living on Guinness for dinner was not one of my best moments in life. The sleep deprivation led to a poor diet and had me reaching for coffee and sweets throughout the day for energy.

I was practicing the right exercises, but my stomach was still bloated, and digestion was slow. A healthy gut and easy digestion are imperative to healing the linea alba, and constipation creates increased pressure in the abdomen, weakening this area causing a “pooching” of the core.

Eliminating inflammatory foods like gluten, alcohol, and dairy can help to speed the recovery by reducing inflammation and easing digestion. Whool-foods, healthy proteins and lots of water, along with a daily multi-vitamin and a probiotic can help repair digestive dysfunction from childbirth.

“The diastasis recti is just a symptom- a sign of poor mechanical nutrition.” -Katy Bowen

My twins are five years old now, and while I still have a slight separation of my abdominal muscles, the connective tissue is healthy, and I no longer have pressure in my pelvic floor or core.

Conclusion

These six steps; supporting your core, rolling over, untuck your tush, engage your pelvic floor, skip sit-ups and diet can help close the gap and help you gain valuable inner strength to last a lifetime!

Have questions? Comment below.

Warmly, Tara

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Incontinence: How to fix it with exercise.

Incontinence: How to fix it with exercise.

It’s frustrating, I know.

The Icon suggests 1 in 3 women experience incontinence. From spring chickens to silver foxes.

Incontinence is a devastating occurrence happening to women all over the world.  Often, you deal with it silently, suffering alone not knowing there is something you can do about it.

Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t have to deal with this?

Think about this for a moment.  What if this wasn’t a problem for you? What would change in your life?

Let’s see how this works.

First, What is incontinence?

You may not even realize you have it.  Ask yourself, do you have any of these symptoms?

  1. Leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, run, exercise, step or jump- at any age.
  2. Not being able to hold in urine in for two hours.
  3. The flow of your urine seems different, choppy.
  4. Dribbling
  5. Uncontrollable gas and urges to go
  6. Unable to sleep through the night seven hours without toileting {During pregnancy and after 65 years of age it is normal to get up once or twice a night.}

And, What is ‘normal’ bladder function anyway?²

  • Toileting every 2-4 hrs
  • Awareness of the need to toilet 2-4 hrs
  • A robust and continuous flow of urine for 10-20 seconds in duration
  • Urine is a light yellow color without a strong odor
  • Easy initiation and automatic completion without dribbling
  • The absence of any leakage with physical activities, coughing, sneezing, bending, lifting, exercises, getting up from sitting and reclining.
  • The absence of frequent, uncontrollable urges to go.
  • Sleeping through the night; 7-8 hours without toileting.

But don’t forget, you can have stress or urge incontinence or a mix of both!

What is Stress Incontinence?

Stress Incontinence is leaking caused by increased intra-abdominal pressure, such as while coughing, sneezing, heavy lifting, running or jumping.  The leak is usually a small amount of urine.  (Multiple leaks increase the total loss of urine.)

What can you do for stress incontinence?

#1 Practice breathing techniques and contract your pelvic floor BEFORE you cough, sneeze, or jump {if possible} to instantly train your pelvic floor muscles for the event.

#2 Ask yourself “why is this happening?” Are you yelling at your children? Is it when you hit the hills with your run or mile 2? When does this happen? Then you can train for the event.

What is Urge Incontinence?

Urge Incontinence is leaking in connection with a sudden uncontrollable need to toilet.  A relatively large amount of urine is lost, without control.  Urge incontinence may occur with running water, stepping into a shower or going out into cold weather.

What can you do about urge incontinence?

#1 Practice diaphragmatic breathing.  Deep belly breaths stretch your pelvic floor, making room for the increased size of your bladder.

#2 Seek out a pelvic floor PT to help with “retraining” your bladder.

Also, You can also have a combination of the two.
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Why does incontinence happen in women?

Pregnancies, surgeries, and menopause affect our pelvic floor with time and with each event that occurs. The pelvic floor muscles support the bladder, uterus, and bowel in our body.  When the pelvic floor weakens or tightens, it affects the support of the bladder and therefore leaking.

  • Physical tears or trauma during childbirth
  • Excessive jumping, running or lifting weights with a weak pelvic floor
  • Surgical repairs
  • Excessive constipation or diarrhea
  • Pelvic muscle dysfunction
  • Stress
  • Food irritants like coffee or gluten
  • Imbalance of the autonomic nervous system
  • Special populations; vulvodynia, interstitial cystitis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, pregnancy and menopause

Therefore if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, know that they can change.  A change of diet, exercise and practicing relaxation techniques can work wonders.

“What surprised me the most about the pelvic pow-HER class is that the exercises were so much more than doing Kegels.  Tara shared her knowledge of how our pelvic floor supports so much in our bodies.   I continued to do some of the exercises at home; to my amazement, it started making a difference.  I felt stronger and was having less leakage.  It wasn’t long after taking pelvic pow-HER I stopped wearing incontinence pads.”

 

So, what’s the secret to ‘fixing’ incontinence?

#1 Add Diaphragmatic breathing

Not only will the diaphragm help stretch the pelvic floor but it also relaxes your nervous system.

As you inhale, release your abdominal area and notice if you are holding any tension.

Exhale, relax your jaw, relax your shoulders.  Practice 4-5 breaths every hour if you have an overactive bladder or pelvic pain.

Practice 3-4x day if you experience stress incontinence or constipation.

#2 Stretch your pelvic floor

Your pelvic floor may be too tight or hypertonic.  By stretching your pelvic floor you release the tension and allow the pelvic floor muscles to hold your bladder up when it is full.

In this audio, I bring you through how to stretch your pelvic floor.  Put on your headphones! (Listen to the audio) You want to practice this 30-40 breaths each hour or at least 3x/day with incontinence.

#3 Engage your pelvic floor.

After you learn how to stretch your pelvic floor, you want to learn how to strengthen it.  More than just kegals, your pelvic floor can contract in many different directions! Please skip this step if your pelvic floor muscles are tight.

Three ways to engage your pelvic floor:

  • draw your vaginal area to your clitoral area and lift up
  • stop incontinencedraw your clitoral area to your urethral opening and lift
  • squeeze around the urethral opening

 

I’d love to know your thoughts.  Leave a note in the comments below.

Conclusion:

Incontinence is common but it doesn’t have to be.  With exercise, diet changes, and homeopathy you can stop the embarrassment of bladder leaking and feel amazing again.

 

Warmest, Tara

P.S. Pin the image and keep for practice.


References:

¹Rempfer-Kuncio, Mandy’ Pelvic Floor: Function, Dysfunction, and Exercise (Postnatal fitness Specialist Academy)

²References: Hulme, Janet A.; Beyond Kegals®; Phoenix core solutions
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7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress & Anxiety

7 Natural Remedies For Everyday Stress & Anxiety

Everyone experiences anxiety at different points in life—stress, and worry are natural parts of being human. Even though it’s not unusual (anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S. today), anxiety can be isolating and hard to confront when it gets out of hand.

Most days we’re able to bounce back from stressful events, but for those who struggle with anxious feelings, daily life can feel like an uphill battle. Raising twins and running a Pilates studio taught me the true meaning of anxiety and burnout a few years back. After months of sleep-deprivation, I began studying to become a women’s herbal educator, hoping to get to the root of my struggle with anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

I quickly learned that nourishing my body with botanicals—specifically adaptogens and nervines— is key to keeping anxiety and burnout at bay.

Adaptogens are a category of herbs that help us “adapt around stress.” Their anti-fatigue effects make them particularly potent when you’re up against mental exhaustion, frequent illness, or chronic stress. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, treating yourself with any of these seven herbs will help you feel relaxed, balanced, and healthy again:

1. Ashwagandha (withania somnifera)

This is the first adaptogen I turned to when I was feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, and it’s still a personal favorite.  Ashwagandha is “known to give you the strength and stamina of a stallion”, but still gentle enough for anyone coping with anxiety. When taken regularly, it can ease shot nerves and improve sleep.

My favorite Ashwagandha product is Adrena Soothe by Dr. Aviva Romm. Try 2 dropperfuls in¼ cup of water two times per day, to reduce your stress.

2. Reishi (ganoderma lucidum)

Do you find you get sick when you finally go on vacation? The relationship between stress and illness is complex. One study shows that chronic stress can raise the risk of viral infections,  eventually manifesting in full-blown illness. Try reishi if you’re under the weather frequently, or just feel stressed out and run down. Taken regularly, reishi can reduce the likelihood that your stress will literally make you sick– so you can enjoy your vacations, rather than spending them out of commission.

Reishi has an earthy taste. I prefer Reishi Extract by Host Defense. Follow the directions on the label for dosing.  

3. Milky Oat Tops (avena sativa)

Filled with vitamins and minerals, milky oat tops are a great herbal remedy that nourishes your nervous tissue and promotes relaxation. Pairing milky oat tops with stinging nettles is a perfect combination to boost your daily energy without spiking stress or anxiety. Due to cross contamination, you may want to avoid milky oats if you have celiac disease.

My favorite way to enjoy milky oats is in a cup of blended tea. Combine equal parts of dried milky oat tops and stinging nettles. Add 1 tablespoon of the blended herbs to 1 cup of boiling water. Cover and steep the herbs for 20 minutes for a medicinal infusion, then strain and add a little raw honey for flavor.

4. Chamomile (matricaria recutita)

Just one cup per day of this well-loved tea can reduce menstrual cramps, shift your mood, and ease digestion. Safe for children, our family enjoys a cup of chamomile tea most nights to reduce our collective stress.

My favorite recipe for the whole family: Blend dried chamomile, lemon balm and milky oat tops together. Then add 1 tablespoon of the mixed dried herbs to 1 cup of boiling water.  Steep for 10 minutes. Add honey for flavor and double check the tea has cooled before serving to children.

5. Lemon Balm (melissa officinalis)

If you’re prone to ragweed allergies, skip chamomile and enjoy a cup of lemon balm tea. This delightful citrus-flavored tea is known as the “gladdening herb”.  As a nervine and mild anti-depressant, lemon balm promotes relaxation and reduces nervous energy.

To enjoy: Add 1 tablespoon of the dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water and let steep for 10 minutes. Add milk and honey for flavor.

6. Motherwort (leonurus cardiaca)

From motherhood to menopause, Motherwort is a true gift for women. It shouldn’t be used during pregnancy but should be your first go-to-herb after birth. Motherwort’s calming qualities can help with everything from heart palpitations to extreme anxiety. Taking motherwort throughout the day can release tension and reduce panic attacks, and it’s a great solution for falling back to sleep if you wake up frequently during the night.

Motherwort has a bitter taste, so I find it’s best taken as a tincture.  Follow the directions on the label for your dosing.

7. Lavender (lavandula officinalis)

My favorite way to use lavender is as an essential oil. Tap diluted lavender essential oil on your wrists or spray it in the air to soothe stress immediately. Lavender is known to help induce sleep, which makes it a perfect remedy for unwinding before bed.

To enjoy: Dilute lavender essential oil with water and add to your body products, spray on your pillow, or tap on your wrists as an organic, soothing perfume.  

Have you used botanical remedies before? Which ones work for you? Share in the comments section!

Obsessed with natural remedies, Tara Gregorio is a Certified Women’s Herbal Educator located in Cold Spring, NY. She loves helping women reduce their medications with botanicals. Her favorite herbal recipes can be found on Pinterest and Instagram.


This article was featured in the Icon in March 2019. women's health

What is a tincture?

What is a tincture?

Want to know how I’ve managed to avoid conventional medication for over ten years now?

Teas and tinctures are my chosen medicine that has helped me reduce medications and heal my gut.

Here is everything you need to know about tinctures.

Tinctures, what are they?

Tinctures are concentrated, a liquid extract made from herbs, water & alcohol.  They are quick acting and a convenient way to take herbs. Most tinctures are hydroethanolic extracts-that is a combination of water and alcohol. The combination optimizes the extraction of the plants with both water and alcohol-soluble constituents are desired in the final product. 

Tinctures have a long shelf life, frequently lasting many years.  The alcohol content preserves the tincture from bacteria and fermentation, even when left at room temperature.  Store in a cool dark place and keep out of reach from children.

Why use tinctures?

Tinctures are a safe, fast, effective way to use herbs and seek their medicinal benefits. They are not, however, used when the nutritional aspect of herbs are being sought.  For this, one should use teas, infusions, decoctions, and syrups.

What is a glycerite tincture?

Glycerin is used to prepare “alcohol-free” tinctures, and to preserve and sweeten the taste of liquid extracts called- glycerites.  Children under 1 year of age, may prefer this for its sweet taste. Some of the children’s tinctures Tara creates combines a glycerine with a tincture to sweeten the taste.

Are tinctures safe for babies? 

Borrowed from Herblore: Herbs and herbal products should not be given to babies under 6 months of age, as their digestive systems are not mature enough to handle much more than breastmilk (or formula if its necessary).  To give herbs to an infant, its best for the breastfeeding mother to take a full dose of the herb and it will pass to the baby through the breastmilk. ¹

Are tinctures safe for toddlers?

Tinctures are part water, part alcohol.  Giving your child 7ml, they will receive 50% water and 50% alcohol.  When added to water and juice they receive even less.

Tips for giving tinctures to children

  • Babies can receive the tincture through the mother’s milk or in a bottle.
  • Toddlers love taking tinctures with a fun straw or a syringe.
  • For pregnancy and children, you can pour boiling water over the tincture to dissipate the alcohol.   Let cool completely and add juice for children to disguise the taste if needed.

When to take a tincture?

Tinctures are taken based on the urgency of your symptoms.  For sinus infections, you may have to take it 3x day for 3 days.  For stomach complaints, you can take before or after eating. 

What is the dosing for a tincture?

Dosage depends on the weight and age of the person being treated.   An adult dose is 60 drops.  To treat an acute condition you can take a tincture 1-3x day. 

Age — Dosage

  • Younger than 3 months — 2 drops
  • 3 to 6 months — 3 drops
  • 6 to 9 months — 4 drops
  • 9 to 12 months — 5 drops
  • 12 to 18 months — 7 drops
  • 18 to 24 months — 8 drops
  • 2 to 3 years — 10 drops
  • 3 to 4 years — 12 drops
  • 4 to 6 years — 15 drops
  • 6 to 9 years — 24 drops
  • 9 to 12 years — 30 drops
  • 12 and older —30-60 drops

How do I take a tincture?

To take a tincture, you would drop the suggested amount in a 1/4 cup of water and drink.  In emergencies, you may place the tincture directly on your tongue. 

How do store tinctures

Ideally, they are kept in a cool location away from direct heat and light and keep away from children.

Where to buy tinctures

I love the following companies:

Conclusion

I believe tinctures will be our new medicine.  They can aid digestion, reduce unwanted symptoms, and reduce antibiotic use.  Tinctures can also ease anxiety and depression.  They are quick and effective, place a dropperful in your water bottle and feel confident knowing you are supporting your body throughout the day.

Do you use tinctures as medicine?

Comment below and let me know what has been successful for you.

Warmly~ Tara


¹ https://herblore.com/overviews/childrens-dosage-guide

How The 4R Approach Helped Me Heal & Allowed Me To Eat Gluten Again

How The 4R Approach Helped Me Heal & Allowed Me To Eat Gluten Again

As I sat down for lunch with my very hungry five-year-old twins, I noticed they accidentally put mayo on my son’s turkey sandwich.  I thought, “he is not going to eat this.” I kindly asked them to make another sandwich and I enjoyed the turkey sandwich with mayo on white bread.

I would have never imagined this would be me six years ago. 

I’ve struggled with diet my whole entire life.  When I was young, I would break out with acne on the back of my arms.  My stomach would bloat out and my digestion was terrible.

In college, I would turn bright red after a few drinks and would never know what foods would upset my stomach.

As I got older, I began avoiding foods.  I avoided meat, dairy, and then eventually discovered the gluten-free diet worked for me.

My stomach felt better, but I still never felt “right”, I was always confused with what are the best foods for me.

In 2009, I finally saw a light at the end of the tunnel.  I met an Ayurvedic doctor who helped guide me toward an Ayurvedic Vata diet which consisted of eating warm, cooked foods, along with teas to aid digestion and soothe anxiety.

During my pregnancy, I was able to eat anything I wanted.  I happily added gluten and dairy back into my life.  I fondly remember sitting down to eat two pieces of pizza-alone-when I was seven months pregnant.  I practically cried at how wonderful it tasted.

As the years passed and I was able to take care of my health again, I noticed I had to return to the gluten-free lifestyle I had before having children, but this time it was much harder to accommodate as I now had an instant family of four to feed.

When I began searching for courses to help me heal my postpartum depression, I found Dr. Aviva Romm’s Women’s Herbal Educator certification.  With shaking hands, I enrolled in her online course hoping she could guide me out of this fog I entered after having twins.

What I received was so much more than I ever imagined.

Dr. Aviva Romm taught me why I was experiencing so much pain and anxiety.  Too many doses of antibiotics as a child and young adult, along with my monthly Advil was taking a toll on my gut health and, in turn, my anxiety.

Antibiotics and medications change our gut microbiome, making it difficult to digest certain foods like dairy and gluten. When you heal your gut and reduce medications, you may be able to add gluten back into your life again.  Or you may choose to never eat it again.

Are you struggling with what foods to eat as well?

The root of your problem may not be the environment, your genetics or all in your head, it may, in fact, be in your gut.

If that rings true to you.  Read on.  

Our “second brain, the gut, contains some 100 million neurons; when this system is compromised or “inflamed” disease sets in. As a women’s herbal educator, I always ask you to send me your diet first.  What you are eating (or avoiding), can be an indication of what supplements you may need to heal your gut. 

10 Signs You May Have “Leaky Gut Syndrome”

  1. Digestion problems-bloating, constipation, and/or diarrhea
  2. Food intolerance-avoid meat, dairy, and/or gluten
  3. Seasonal allergies
  4. Skin complaints; acne, skin rash etc.- your back, your tush, and the back of your arms included
  5. Autoimmune disorder
  6. Tired/ poor concentration
  7. Anxiety & depression
  8. Candida overgrowth
  9. Cannot lose weight
  10. Your joints ache

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What is the 4R approach?

This method addresses the underlying causes of gut imbalances and restores harmony, helping to alleviate symptoms and maybe even disease.

The program suggests you: Remove> Reinoculate> Repair> Reintroduce

heal your gut

How do you heal your gut?

  • Remove all triggers: i.e. all allergens and cross reactors like gluten and dairy.
  • Get off medications (with Dr.’s approval and replace with natural remedies ).
  • Reduce your stress with meditation, exercise, and botanicals.
  • Heal your gut lining with the 4R approach below.

1. Remove

Take out what ails you.  The top allergens are wheat, corn, eggs, dairy, peanuts, and soybeans. Add in whole grains (like quinoa and rice), organic vegetables, fruit, and healthy fats. Remove all allergens for 4-6 weeks or it may take up to a year to heal your gut with an auto-immune disease.

Encourage whole, organic foods if able and consider shopping the perimeter of the grocery store.

2. Replace

After 2-4 weeks on the Elimination diet, Introduce a good quality digestive enzyme containing protease, lipase, amylase, and pepsin.  This is safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women, too. I like Enzymedica, you can buy it here. 

Adding bitters, like  Urban Moonshine Bitters will trigger the digestive system to produce digestive enzymes, secrete bile and balance HCI levels in the stomach.  Take bitters 10-15 minutes before your meal.
If you have a lot of nausea with meals or when you take supplements, you might also need some additional stomach acid in the form of a supplement called Betaine HCl, or try 1 Tbs. of apple cider vinegar in water with your meals. 
{click on links above to see the companies I love}

3.  Reinoculate

Wait 2 weeks for the elimination diet or up to 6 weeks.  Adding in a probiotic can give you gas and bloating if you do not remove the allergens first.

Add a good quality probiotic to restore your gut flora.  I like Klair probiotics.

You want it to have a minimum of 5 billion CFU in each dose, and a good range of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacter species.
Fermented foods such as miso, sauerkraut, and kimchee can also be a helpful advantage to your gut, add it into your diet 3-4x week. Although very delicious, kombucha can be high in sugar so consider using sparingly. 

4. Repair

Include the following supplement for 6-weeks or more to repair your gut. The following supplements can be taken for up to 6 months to help to heal the intestinal lining:

  • Tumeric- I personally like to take turmeric in a blended tincture like Adrena nourish
  • Aloe vera
  • Marshmallow root powder
  • DGL licorice (aloe and licorice are not for internal use during pregnancy; these are fine for children) are some of the most effective herbs for healing the gut lining.
    • They are best taken in capsule or extract form, though turmeric can also be added to foods.

Do you get heartburn?

  • DGL or diglyceride licorice is a great alternative to tums and does not raise your blood pressure. DGL licorice is available as chewable lozenges and thus may be the simplest one to give to kids. Klair labs has one here or Pure encapsulation combines aloe, slippery elm, and marshmallow root together!

Zinc.

  • 5-10 mg/day for children 4-7 years, 10-20 mg/day for children to age 12, 25-40 mg/day for older children and adults.

An antioxidant supplement

  • Look for one containing vitamins A and carotenoids, C, E, and selenium. 
  • These are often found in a multivitamin.
  • Pregnant women should get these from their prenatal vitamin only.

Fish oil:
I prefer Carlson’s Lemon fish oil.  

  • My kids like the Nordic Natural berries for kids.
    • Fish oil is important for general health in pregnancy and breastfeeding, too.
  • L-Glutamine Powder
    5-10 gm of powder twice daily for one month. (Much less for kids but talk with your child’s doctor before using and don’t supplement in pregnancy).

Here are examples of other practitioners using the 4R approach for healing

Conclusion

If your struggling with digestive concerns and find you’re avoiding foods, there is hope.  The 4R approach is more than an elimination diet.  It can heal your digestive tract and reduce bloating, gas, diarrhea, and constipation for years to come.

Warmly~

Tara

{Keep in mind, I am not a doctor.  Please consult your doctor before adding any supplements to your diet.}


References:

{1} https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/Pages/digestive-diseases-statistics-for-the-united-states.aspx

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