How To Heal Your Gut Naturally Using The 4 R’S

By Mary Kay Haines

What do food sensitivities, rheumatoid arthritis, and anxiety all have in common? They have all been associated with poor gut health due to poor diet, excess stress as well as many other factors that can negatively affect good digestive function. Over 80% of the immune system is located in the gut. 

These issues can eventually cause increased intestinal permeability or leaky gut, joint inflammation and development of certain health conditions. In order to restore optimal digestive health, it is best to learn the 4R protocol. It includes remove, replace, reinoculate and repair. 

What are the 4 R’s?

1. Remove

The first step is to remove pathogens (which are bacteria, viruses or other microorganisms that cause disease), and other inflammatory triggers such as stress, pesticides, herbicides and heavy metals.  Targeting pathogens may include a pharmaceutical regimen or antimicrobial herbal supplements. Inflammatory food should also be removed from the diet including: 

a.  Gluten, a protein found in certain grain such as wheat, barley, and rye

b.  Food additives like emulsifiers and solvents found in processed foods

c.  Food sensitivities which may be identified through the elimination diet

d.  Refined starches and carbohydrates found in processed foods

e.  Added sugar foods

f.  trans fatty acids in convenient foods

g.  dairy (depending on the client)

2.  Replace

The second step is to replace inflammatory food with nutrient dense and gut healing foods that reduce inflammation and support digestive health. A few ideas to include are:

a.  anti- inflammatory herbs and spices such as turmeric, rosemary and garlic

b. extra-virgin olive oil

c.  high-fiber foods like vegetables, fruits and nuts

d.  mushrooms as a great source of vitamins and minerals

e.  omega-3 fatty acids foods such as in wild-caught fish

There are certain dietary supplements that may necessary to support digestive function

3. Reinoculate

The third step is to reinoculate the microbiota with beneficial bacteria. Foods or probiotic supplements have been shown to improve gut health by supporting immune function, altering microbiome composition and reducing leaky gut or intestinal permeability. 

Probiotics are also found in fermented foods, such as yogurt, fermented vegetables, fermented soy products and kombucha which is a fermented tea. 

These probiotics impact human health by producing vitamins and anti-microbial compounds, increase gut microbiome diversity and function. 

4. Repair

The final step involves repairing the intestinal lining with specific nutrients and medicinal herbs that have been shown to decrease leaky gut and inflammation.  Examples of these ingredients include:

a. aloe vera

b.  glycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL)

c. L-glutamine

d. marshmallow root

e.  omega 3 fatty acids

f.  polyphenols, compounds found in plants (quercetin, myricetin, curcumin)

g.  vitamin D

i.  zinc

The bottom line:  There are many dietary and lifestyle factors that can adversely affect digestive health and contribute to a number of health conditions.  The goal for the 4R’s is to minimize those factors as well as introduce natural supplements into the gut that promote good gut health!

If you’re still struggling with how to work the 4 R’s and need one on one help, please set up a discovery call with me at 

Don’t wait any longer, get another opinion with someone who has struggled with gas, bloating and joint pain for years before figuring it out. My name is Mary Kay Haines and my phone # is 248-722-2412.  Can’t wait to help you on your journey to wellness.

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