The Health of your Gut…More important than you think!
The digestive system is the root of all health. It’s where you get nutrition for every cell in your body, including support for your immune system. If it is irritated, inflamed or constipated, it cannot do its job, and your health will steadily decline as a result.
No matter what the issue, symptom or complaint, I begin restoring the gut. A good healthy foundation begins with strong digestion and elimination. Complaints of frequent bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation or difficulty with digestion are all signs of dysbiosis, an imbalance in the gut flora.
Your intestines are lined with a thick layer of over 750 trillion bacteria, yeast and other microorganisms called flora. There are between 300 and 1000 different species in your gut weighing approximately 3-5lbs. When the intestines contain a balance of good and bad bacteria this is called symbiosis. When the balance is upset (more bad bacteria than good), this is called dysbiosis.
The delicate balance that makes up the ecology of the intestines can be disrupted fairly easily. The most common factors that contribute to dysbiosis and gut problems are the chronic use of antibiotics. Antibiotics wipe out the good bacteria and weaken your immune system. Antimicrobial drugs, antifungal drugs, painkillers like aspirin and ibuprofen, steroid drugs like prednisolone and hydrocortisone damage your gut. Birth control pills, sleeping pills and heartburn/acid reflux medications damage your gut. Chronic use of any of these can lead to severe problems. Poor food choices, diets loaded with processed foods and sugar damage the flora and contribute to an increase in bad flora. In other words, sugar feeds the bugs!
Dysbiosis and digestive issues can induce disease by altering nutrition patterns in the body and weakening your immune system and can actually be handed down from one generation to the next. If your mom had poor digestion or gut issues and now you have the same, it’s not in your genes it’s in your gut! Good gut flora is the key to a strong immune system. Your health is riding on your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and eliminate waste.
Signs and symptoms of dysbiosis, malabsorption and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Bloating, belching, burning, flatulence after meals
- Indigestion, diarrhea, constipation
- Nausea or diarrhea after taking supplements
- Allergic reactions like asthma
- Rectal Itching
- Dilated capillaries in the cheeks and nose in the non-alcoholic
- Adult acne and or other skin irritations like rosacea and eczema
- Iron deficiency
- Chronic intestinal infections, parasites, yeast, unfriendly bacteria
- Undigested food in the stool
- Greasy stools
- Skin that bruises easily
- Fatigue/lack of energy
- Chronic vaginitis (vaginal irritation)
- Gluten and/or casein intolerance
- Allergies and sensitivities to foods, odors and chemicals
- Brain fog/poor concentration & memory
- Muscle weakness and fatigue
- Low sec drive
- Hyper acidity/acid reflux
- Depression/mood swings and irritability
- Chronic sinus problems, headaches and migraines
- Alcohol intolerance
- IBS- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Chronic athlete’s foot
- Chronic yeast infections
It is estimated that two thirds of women suffer from gastrointestinal problems!
If you suffer from digestive and gastrointestinal problems, I recommend that tests be done to evaluate the flora of the intestines and to establish if there is a parasite infection, systemic yeast, and/or food sensitivities (the latter often accompanies digestive problems). With these tests results as a guide, it is determined what specific nutritional changes need to take place, whether blood tests should be done for food sensitivities, and what particular supplements need to be added to the dietary regime. If food sensitivity is suspected — usually dairy, wheat, or sugar — I recommend eliminating the potential allergen from the diet for a period of time. Most likely you will need a combination of healing supplements to aid in the healing process. Taking the necessary steps to heal your gut is worth it. The level of your health depends on the health of your digestive tract!