How to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself with Dr. Alejandro Junger

In this episode of The Functional Medicine Radio Show, Dr. Carri’s special guest Dr. Alejandro Junger explains how you can restore your body’s natural ability to heal itself.

Dr. Junger was born in Uruguay. He graduated from medical school there in 1990 and moved to New York City for his postgraduate training. He completed three years of training in Internal Medicine at NYU Downtown Hospital and three more years of fellowship in Cardiovascular Diseases at Lenox Hill Hospital.

The drastic change in lifestyle and diet resulting from his move to New York City soon showed up as irritable bowel syndrome and depression. Becoming a patient of the system he was practicing was such a shock that it started his journey in search of an alternative solution to his health problems.

His findings are the subject of his first book “Clean: The Revolutionary Program to Restore the Body’s Natural Ability to Heal Itself”, where Dr. Junger describes how he became aware of the toxicity of our planet. He also explains how detoxification and cleansing have been around for thousands of years, but the knowledge has been lost, and right now it’s more important than ever to reclaim this information. Most importantly, “Clean” is a manual for readers to learn how to turn on and work with their own detoxification systems to restore and maintain optimal health.

Main Questions Asked:

  • Can you share your personal health journey?
  • What is the ‘gut’?
  • In your book ‘Clean Gut’ you talk about the root cause of disease. Can you tell us more about this?
  • What are some of the most common toxins were exposed to from our food?
  • Can you describe your Clean Gut Program?
  • What are some success stories from the Clean Gut Program?
  • Who should do a cleanse?
  • Who should NOT do a cleanse?
  • How often should we do a cleanse?

Key Points made by Dr. Junger:

  • After moving to New York and working crazy hours during his medical training and eating ‘fast foods’ he slowly started to lose his health.
  • He gained weight, started having allergies, and was diagnosed with depression and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • It was through cleansing and detoxification that he was able to restore his health – and more!
  • The gut includes: the intestinal tube; the intestinal wall; the nervous system within the intestines; the immune system within and around the intestines; and the intestinal bacteria. It’s very similar to the roots of a plant.
  • Health and disease originate in the intestines.
  • We’re putting a lot of things in our intestines – what we eat and drink – that nature never designed to be in the intestines. This is why humans have diseases that are not seen in any other animals on the planet.
  • Leaky gut upsets the immune system and the nervous system and triggers the downfall towards chronic disease.
  • If you take a bird’s eye view of a supermarket you’ll see that 90% of what is sold comes in a box or bag or wrapper.
  • These things have chemicals/preservatives in them that keeps those ‘foods’ from rotting. These are similar to antibiotics because they kill the good bacteria in your gut.
  • The Clean Gut Program is based on the 5 R’s.
  • Remove = remove the things that shouldn’t be in your diet: toxins, chemicals, gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee, grains and sugary fruit.
  • Restore = restore the good nutrients we need.
  • Reinoculate = reinoculating your gut with good bacteria.
  • Repair = repair the wall of the intestines, or the leaky gut; L-glutamine can help this.
  • Relaxation = relaxation is usually forgotten about and stress can destroy the functions of your body.
  • Many problems have greatly improved or and completely resolved after cleaning up the gut, including autoimmune diseases.
  • Detoxification programs and gut repair programs are contraindicated for patients on specific medications that need to be tightly controlled (such as the blood thinner Coumadin, antiepileptics, antisezure medications, insulin dependent diabetics), advanced cancer patients, and women that are pregnant or breastfeeding. Everybody else can benefit from a detoxification or gut repair program.
  • For the general public it’s best to do a 21 day detox program once a year.

Resources Mentioned:

Dr. Junger’s website

Book – Reclaim Your Energy and Feel Normal Again

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