Would it surprise you if I told you that if your gut isn’t healthy, nothing in your body can be healthy? It’s no great mystery that candida, IBS, Chron’s Disease and “leaky gut” stem from digestive tract issues. It might shock you to find that if you are estrogen dominant or hypothyroid or have an autoimmune illness or suffer from anxiety or depression this probably stems from gut dysbiosis or other gut dysfunction. If you have high cholesterol or inflammation, it stems from your gut. If you suffer from food allergies you must look at what’s going on in your gut. If you are living with Autism or Aspberger’s Syndrome, gut health becomes the first line of treatment.
Hippocrates said “All diseases begin in the gut.” and though there are many other avenues to treat when something goes wrong and the body becomes imbalanced and/or dis-eased, ignoring the gut and not treating it right alongside the imbalance is a dramatic mistake.
It always amazes me what people put into their bodies, and, possibly more importantly, how they do it and then wonder why they suffer from digestive complaints. I sit in awe of the fact that many of these people complain of some pretty serious gut symptoms and still shovel in processed fake foods, rubbish meat, sodas, and God knows what else, often inhaling these foods without so much as a cursory chew. (We have a friend of the family that I seriously cannot watch eat because it’s like she unhinges her jaw and swallows faster than a baby bird or snake swallowing a a cat and her mouth is wide open at that. My 10 month old baby girl, on the other hand, opens her mouth wide enough to accept the food, spends 4 minutes chewing with her two teeth and her mouth stays closed the whole time!)
If your gut is in any state of imbalance or dysbiosis and this is not addressed it can lead to some pretty serious issues. Your gut is made of billions of bacterial colonies and when these are disturbed or the intestinal wall is banged about by too much or the wrong kind of fiber in the diet, endotoxins or subjected to many other factors these imbalances can cause:
1. Emotional health issues such as anxiety and/or depression. (Hint:: Serotonin is involved. And no, MORE serotonin is not the answer!)
2. Systemic candidiasis (candida overgrowth) due to colonies of bacteria overtaking other colonies and the balance being disturbed. Notice I didn’t say bad vs. good bacteria. There is a place for e.coli bacteria if it is kept in check!
3. Weakened immunity. Gut health directly affects our immune system and our immune system further attacks the gut.
4. Brain function decline. Gut dysbiosis causes inflammation in the body and that inflammation applies to the brain as well.
5. Autoimmune Illness such as Chron’s Disease, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Polymyositis, Hashimoto’s, etc.
6. Estrogen Dominance, Adrenal Fatigue, and Thyroid disorders. If the gut is imbalanced, the liver cannot do it’s job which means a buildup of toxicity and this taxes the entire system causing stress. It’s a never ending cycle unless the gut is healed. Infertility can also be rooted in gut dysbiosis due to the above explanations.
7. Obesity. For those of you have been reading The Detox Diva you know that when the body is stressed weight loss or even keeping the body at its perfect weight becomes a non-vital function in favor of survival.
So how do you know if your gut needs healing? Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms you might have if you have any kind of gut imbalance. You could have these symptoms after eating certain foods or they can happen after eating anything.
* Belching, burping or flatulence (gas) within one hour of eating
* Heartburn or acid reflux
* Bloating within one hour of eating
* Bad breath
* A sense of intense fullness after meals regardless of how much or little you have eaten
* Feeling sleepy after meals
* Stomach pains or cramps
* Cramping in lower abdominal region* Undigested food in stool
* Sweat with a strong odor
* Nausea or vomiting
* Food allergies
* Nutritional deficits/Vitamin/mineral deficiencies
* Constipation and/or diarrhea (often alternating)
* A history of morning sickness
* Hemorrhoids or varicose veins
* Crohn’s disease, leaky gut or Celiac’s Disease
* Itchy anus
* Cramping in lower bowel region
* Less than 1 bowel movement per day, or constipation
* Light or clay-colored stools
* History of morning sickness
* Itchy anus
* Excessive foul smelling gas coming from lower bowel
We will be discussing in subsequent posts how gut health is linked to other illness and how to heal the gut and balance the body! I look forward to helping you heal your digestion, balance your body and helping you on your path to vibrant health.