Is Your Leaky Gut for Real or Simply Full of Shit?

 

PART ONE: Repair

The RepairVite Program Description and Guidelines

This post and the subsequent posts in this four-part series will fully explain and guide users through this “elimination diet protocol” known as the RepairVite Program from Apex Energetics (the “Program”).  I’ve broken the Program down into four stages:

How I Repaired My Leaky Gut Using the Four R's
  1. the RepairVite Program description and guidelines (Today’s Post)
  2. the reorganization of one’s diet and habits during the protocol period;
  3. the reintroduction of forbidden foods into the diet; and
  4. the permanent reformation of one’s health.

This Program is not for the faint of heart or weak of willed. It’s definitely one of the hardest “diets” I’ve ever been on, but, in the end, it was the beginning of a transformation of my entire way of eating, how I look at food, and how I listen to and treat my body.

It was about one year ago when I first walked into the chiropractor’s office searching for a cure for my weight loss stalemate and my stomach woes.

At that point, I had lost over 100 pounds by sticking to a well-balanced, reduced-calorie diet and a strict exercise regimen, but my body had reached the point where it decided to stage a coup and revolt against my will and determination.

And, although I felt pretty good, I thought that I should be feeling better.

The symptoms that prompted me to seek help included the following:

  • Constipation;
  • Long-term weight loss plateau;
  • Fatigue;
  • Severe carbohydrate and sugar cravings;
  • Anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency; and
  • Low protein levels.

(The latter two were discovered upon the completion of a round of comprehensive blood tests. These blood tests were far more comprehensive than the usual tests run by my GP during annual check-ups.)

After a review of my lab results and my responses to an extremely lengthy questionnaire, the diagnosis came in.

It was leaky gut syndrome

An uncomfortable giggle from me ensued followed by this response:  “That sounds horrible! How did I get that? How do I cure it?”  My chiropractor proceeded to belt out a bunch of medical mumbo-jumbo that, despite taking an anatomy and physiology class in college, I did not understand. (A good layman’s explanation of what leaky gut syndrome is and its common symptoms and causes can be found here.)

What I did manage to wrap my brain around was that I was going to have to go through some sort of elimination diet protocol to repair my intestinal lining and to determine if food allergies/sensitivities were contributing to my symptoms. So, after a 45-minute appointment and some basic information and instructions, I was sent home with supplements, a packet of information and many questions (the answers to which came after countless hours piecing together bits and pieces of information I gathered from various websites and emails to my chiropractor).

The remainder of this post and the subsequent posts in this four-part series will fully explain and guide users through this “elimination diet protocol” known as the RepairVite Program from Apex Energetics (the “Program”).  I’ve broken the Program down into four stages:

  1. the RepairVite Program description and guidelines;
  2. the reorganization  of one’s diet and habits during the protocol period;
  3. the reintroduction of forbidden foods into the diet; and
  4. the permanent reformation of one’s health.

This Program is not for the faint of heart or weak of willed. It’s definitely one of the hardest “diets” I’ve ever been on, but, in the end, it was the beginning of a transformation of my entire way of eating, how I look at food, and how I listen to and treat my body.

The RepairVite Program1

A. The RepairVite Program – What is it and what does it do?

The RepairVite Program is an aggressive and complete regimen designed to support intestinal health. It consists of a restricted dietary program (to remove inflammatory triggers) and targeted nutritional supplements that are necessary for several days to support the health of intestinal membranes. The Program does the following:

  1. Repair the damaged intestinal lining;
  2. Replace the normal flora (friendly bacteria) and digestive enzymes; and
  3. Remove the infection.

B. Nutritional Supplements

1.  RepairVite® (K-60),(Caramel K-63) contains scientifically researched nutrients, such as flavonoids, antioxidants, plant sterols, glycoproteins, and saponins. The ingredients in RepairVite® (K60), (K63) —including L-glutamine and deglycyrrhizinated licorice extract—support the health of the intestinal lining as it relates to nutritional balance. In addition, slippery elm extract and marshmallow extract have a high mucilage content that soothes and supports the intestines. Aloe vera extract and Spanish moss provide phyto extracts to support healthy gastrointestinal motility and healthy secretion of digestive enzymes, while marigold extract provides natural compounds that may support intestinal comfort.

2.  Strengtia® (K-61) is a high-potency probiotic that provided beneficial bacterial probiotics and arabinogalactans to support healthy intestinal microflora.

3.  GI-Synergy® (K-64) provides a diverse set of natural compounds to support a healthy bacterial environment and a healthy intestinal terrain.

(The Repairvite Program bundled)

C. The RepairVite Diet

The Program requires a strict diet necessary for supporting intestinal membrane. The goal of the dietary program is to remove certain known dietary triggers that may cause intestinal inflammation and to provide the nutrients necessary to support healthy intestinal microflora. The dietary restrictions include sugary foods and starchy carbohydrates that promote intestinal yeast overgrowth, inflammatory proteins (dairy, gluten, etc.), inflammatory lectins, and alcohol. These all promote destruction of the intestinal membranes.

You are allowed to eat foods with a high fiber content, such as vegetables and low glycemic fruits. You can also eat foods with healthy essential fatty acids, such as olives, olive oil, and fish. Eating foods that are fermented will also support the health of the intestinal microflora, as will proteins, such as meats, that are not inflammatory.

You should make a strong attempt to eat frequently to maintain stabilized blood glucose levels. It is not a good idea to fast during the Program, since it may raise cortisol levels that may further compromise the intestinal mucosa. You should never be hungry during the Program; however, you may have urges to eat foods on the restricted list that must be avoided.

The complete avoidance of restricted foods cannot be overemphasized. Even small snacks or bites of the inflammatory foods can create an immune reaction in the intestinal membranes that may last for several days and compromise the successful outcome of the Program. You must stay hydrated and drink plenty of water, especially if you begin eating more fiber than you are accustomed to. Hydration will help support normal bowel function as you increase fiber in your diet.

You should eat fermented foods as much as possible because they can help provide nutrients that your intestinal microflora needs to optimize its environment.

D. Dietary Guidelines

You must adhere to these strict dietary guidelines. You are free to eat whatever you would like, as long as you stay within the guidelines. You are not calorie restricted, so eat when you are hungry.

1. Foods to Eat

a.  Most Organic Vegetables:  including anise, artichoke, asparagus, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrot, cauliflower, celery, chives, cucumber, garlic, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, mustard greens, onions, parsley, radish, rhubarb, shallots, spinach, squash, sweet potatoes, water chestnuts, watercress, yams, zucchini

b. Fermented Foods:  including kimchi, kombucha tea, pickled ginger, saurkraut, unsweetened coconut yogurt

c.  Meats: including beef, chicken, fish, lamb, turkey. Fish should be ocean caught with a low mercury content. Swordfish, most tuna, and king mackerel are very high in mercury. Select hormone-free and antibiotic-free chicken, turkey, and lamb. Select beef that is grass fed, hormone free, and antibiotic free.

d. Low Glycemic Organic Fruits:  including apples, apricots, avocados, berries, cherries, grapefruit, grapes, lemons, oranges, peaches, pears, plums.

e. Coconut:  including coconut butter, coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut oil, unsweetened coconut flakes, unsweetened coconut yogurt.

f. Noodles:  brown shirataki yam noodles (sold in Asian grocery stores).

g. Herbs and Spices:  including basil, black pepper, cilantro, coriander, cumin, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, mint, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage, sea salt, thyme.

h. Other:  apple cider vinegar, herbal teas, olive oil, olives.

2. Foods to Avoid

a.  Sugars:  including agave, candy, chocolate, corn syrup, fructose, high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup, molasses, sucrose.

b.  High Glycemic Fruits:  including bananas, canned fruits, dried fruits, mango, pineapple, raisins, watermelon.

c.  Grains:  including amaranth, barley, buckwheat, bulgur, corn, couscous, Kamut, millet, oats, quinoa, rice, rye, spelt, wheat, wheat germ.

d.  Nuts and Seeds:  including almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds.

e.  Gluten-Containing Compounds:  including barbecue sauce, binders, bouillon, brewers yeast, cold cuts, condiments, emulsifiers, fillers, gum, hot dogs, hydrolyzed plant and vegetable protein, ketchup, soy sauce, lunch meats, malt and malt flavoring, malt vinegar, matzo, modified food starch, monosodium glutamate (MSG), nondairy creamer, processed salad dressings, seitan, some spice mixtures, stabilizers, teriyaki sauce, textured vegetable protein.

f.  Dairy Products and Eggs:  including butter, cheeses, cow milk, creams, frozen desserts, goat milk, margarine, mayonnaise, sheep milk, whey, yogurt (except coconut).

g.  Soy:  including edamame, miso, soy milk, soy protein, soy sauce, tempeh, tofu.

h.  Fungi:  edible fungi and mushrooms.

i.  Alcohol:  all alcohol.

j.  Beans and Legumes:  including black beans, lentils, peanuts, peas, pinto beans, soybeans.

k.  Nightshade Foods:  including eggplant, paprika, peppers, potatoes, Tabasco sauce, tomatillos, tomatoes.

l.  Other:  canned foods, coffee, processed foods.

By now you’re probably thinking “This is crazy! What will I eat? No coffee, alcohol, or gum? The horror!” Ok, that’s what I was thinking, but I’m sure it’s true for others as well.In the next post, I’ll review the protocol that my chiropractor assigned to me and will provide useful tips, recipes, etc. for navigating your way through the stringent program.

The RepairVite Program Components:

  1. RepairVite® (K-60),(Caramel K-63)
  2. Strengtia® (K-61)
  3. GI-Synergy®
  4. The Repairvite Program (bundled on Amazon)

1 The information contained herein was provided to me by the Chiropractic Neurology & Wellness Center.