It all starts….in the GUT!
We have done several series over the years about the importance of a healthy gut. We have discussed everything from leaky gut to healthy gut bacteria to the actual functioning of the waste removal system. If you need a refresher before you read this article, I encourage you to log onto your account, click on “your week” and search the word “gut.” It is important to remind yourself of the basics as we get into habits and often forget the “why” behind our “what.” For this series, we will be digging deeper and exploring symptoms that originate with dysfunction in the gut and what to do about them.
In traditional medicine, physicians often treat symptoms, not the underlying causes. In this series, I will be encouraging you to look critically at your symptoms and strive to understand the “why” behind your symptoms so that you can treat the problem at the source. Some of the articles will educate you on things like:
- Fodmap intolerance and how to navigate which foods are causing your symptoms
- Food intolerance v/s food allergy
- Food causes of allergy type reactions/skin rashes (especially those that are not picked up on a traditional allergy test)
- Sibo (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
- Neurotransmitter imbalances and how to balance them naturally through food and supplementation
- The gut/stress chemical connection
For today, I want to begin by giving you an understanding of how the gut functions and why it affects so many things. In recent years, the gut has been a focus of study and has been found to affect the development of conditions like asthma, auto immune diseases, type 2 diabetes, ADHD, autism, eczema, allergies, migraines, sleep issues, and mood disorders. Researchers have even found that they could make normal mice develop autism just by changing their gut bacteria. I have also seen amazing symptom reduction/elimination in autistic children by changing their diet/gut bacteria. Since the health of our gut is such a powerful player in our overall health, it is critically important that we understand the connection between the health of our gut and the overall health of our brain and body.
The gut actually is made up of its own nervous system called the enteric nervous system. This nervous system is made up of 100 million cells, more cells than are contained in the spinal cord! We all know how important the spinal cord is, so this fact alone should make us take notice as to the importance of caring for our gut. The gut and brain are connected through the vagus nerve, which spans from the brain stem to the abdomen and helps to direct many of the body’s functions that don’t require direct thought such as heart rate and respiration. The connection between the gut and the brain is bi-directional. Just as an emotional situation can give you butterflies in your stomach, eating a food that you are intolerant to can cause a reaction of depression or anxiety. I have watched clients who have struggled with anxiety their entire lives find out that it was a specific food that was causing their symptoms all along. It may sound crazy, but it is true. The gut (and what we put into it) is a powerful controller of just about everything in our lives.
STEP(S) FOR THIS WEEK:
- I want you to take the next week and read through the articles below. Make sure that you are living the 4 steps of gut health/repair. These 4 steps are the foundation of a healthy gut and will be the foundation from which we will be teaching you to make changes. To keep changes from becoming overwhelming, I want you to take a look at what you are eating and drinking and how you are supplementing before I get into the specifics of how to heal conditions through food. Starting with a solid foundation is key to not only making sustainable change but to also healing physical conditions.
- Leaky Gut Causes
- Healing Leaky Gut part 1
- Healing Leaky Gut part 2
- Healing Leaky Gut part 3