When it comes to overall wellness, maintaining your gut health is just as important as maintaining your heart health, bone health, and the health of the rest of your body. Although digestive symptoms like heartburn, gas constipation, diarrhoea, nausea, and abdominal pain are common with an unbalanced gut. An unhealthy gut can also present as food intolerances, skin rashes, arthritis, headaches, and chronic fatigue.
Your gut is its own complex ecosystem and as crazy as it sounds it is home to 100 trillion micro -organisms. The gut has a crucial role not only in digestion but your metabolism and your immunity, in saying this, it is responsible for 75% of your immune system. Most of you might not know that you only need to have the tiniest amount of food (a pinky nail size in fact) to cause an inflammatory response that can take up to 90 days for it to leave your system.
Below are some common food allergy symptoms:-
Tingling or itching in the mouth
Swelling of the lips, face, tongue or throat
Swelling of other areas of the body
Wheezing or trouble breathing
Abdominal pain or diarrhoea
Nausea or vomiting
Dizziness, light-headedness or fainting
I am sure you have all felt those “butterfly” feelings in the stomach when your nervous or your stomach drops when you get scared, this nervous feeling comes from your stomach and reacts allthe way up to the brain. Hence the gut is now being called the “second brain”. How you feel in mood can be a derivative of what is going on in your gut.
What you also need to know is when you have permeability in your small intestinal tract also known as having a “leaky gut” this is when the tight junctions in your small intestinal tract has become blunted due to bad eating habits and stress which allows toxins and undigested material to enter into the bloodstream which will send alarm bells to the first responder and that is our –LIVER! The liver is responsible for filtering out potential or hazardous materials, when he is inundated with undigested food and waste he calls on the immune system to help him out and starts attacking back and the outcome reaction can be susceptibility to food sensitivities, intolerances and allergies causing inflammation throughout the body a stress the body doesn’t need.
So let’s talk about what symptoms, signs of unhealthy gut (leaky gut) are…
Multiple food sensitives
Digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation or diarrhoea
Seasonal allergies or respiratory problems like asthma
Autoimmune diseases including but not limited to rheumatoid arthritis, Hashimoto’s, or lupus
Recurring sickness or infection
Diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia
Mood and behavioural issues like anxiety, depression or ADHD
Headaches, brain fog, and memory loss
So you are all probably saying well I might have one of these issues or more how do I fix it!
Well, it isn’t that easy especially if you have more than one of these issues my advice would be to seek professional advice from a natural health practitioner or a functional medicine practitioner.
People will be advised to say take some probiotics or prebiotics which is all well and good but you need to understand that the gut has a combination of “good” and “bad” per se, what becomes problematic are the “numbers” of which bacteria has an imbalance of the amount of thegood to bad bacteria. Having a healthy gut flora aids in digestion, absorption of nutrients and the formation of your stool. So next time don’t be shy have a look before you say good bye! I know it’s not the most common conversational point but checking out the formation of your stool and its consistency does give you an idea on what is going on in the gut. Surprising to most having the right gut flora does help your body use insulin effectively reducing your risk of metabolic disease, ie. diabetes.
So first time users of probiotics don’t go for the biggest number like 1 billion to 100 billion or evenmore, you need to understand the type of strains there is in that capsule of a billion bacteria and how you might react to it, if it is severe as in a “die off” reaction may cause fever, chills, headaches etc.
IF, you do want to start with one go for one that contains a few of the strains such as L. acidophilius or B. bifidum as well as some others see how you feel with that. Be aware of storage too, so ask the practitioner how to store them as the type of probiotic you buy will either need special storage conditions or not.
For those that think eating yoghurt and fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi is enough– it isn’t!! Especially if you have ticked a few from the symptoms above.
If you are not doing it already DRINK LOADS OF WATER!! If you are drinking water already that isgreat but be weary of the source of which you are drinking. Water is in every nook and cranny of your body and travels to your brain and it makes up the bulk of your blood as well as lubricating your intestinal tract. As easy as it is to reach for the tap water consider this when you fill up your glass do you want to drink water that contains…toxic heavy metals like lead or cadmium and with the remnants of prescription medications that people flush down their toilets when they go for a pee. Tap water is also treated with fluoride andchlorine, which can create a whole host of problems. It might be cheaper and accessible and theysay it is clean it isn’t always the best option for your gut or health.
No surprise to all of you…the next piece of advice to support healthy gut is REGULAR EXERCISE!!
Not only does training make you stronger, look and feel good as well as a whole host of long termhealth benefits but it supports the balance of microorganisms in your gut and keeps your digestive system moving!