If you've been around here for awhile, you know that I really.really.really (did I say "really"?) care about gut health.
It's been a huge focus in our household over the years, mainly centering on my struggle with candida and adrenal fatigue, and my son's struggle with life threatening food allergies and Asperger's Syndrome.
I'm really convinced that, as Hippocrates' said, "All Disease Begins in the Gut." Well, truth is, there is a lot going on besides the gut, but I think that the gut is one of the most important places to start for overall health.
But how important is it--really?
Let's find out together, shall we?
So let's think about this for a minute.
Signs of Gut Health Problems
Suppose that, on a regular basis, you have
- Belching or gas within one hour of eating
- Heartburn or acid reflux
- Bloating within one hour of eating
- Bad breath
- A sense of excess fullness after meals
- Feel Sleepy after meals
- Have Stomach pains or cramps
- Undigested food in stool
- Sweat with a strong odor
- Food allergies
- Alternating constipation and diarrhea
- A history of morning sickness
- Hemorrhoids or varicose veins
- Crohn's disease
- Itchy anus
- Cramping in lower bowel region
- Less than 1 bowel movement per day, or constipation
- Light or clay-colored stools
- Excessive foul smelling lower bowel gas
- Cramping in lower abdominal region.....
All of these can be signs that something isn't quite right in your innards.
But so what? What if your digestive system isn't working quite right. Is that really a big deal?
Yepperoonies it is.
It's a massive deal.
Think about it. If food is your body's fuel and you get at the fuel (calories, minerals, vitamins and other nutrients) by digesting the food, when you aren't digesting it right, your body isn't getting what it needs.
So your body malfunctions.
How does it malfunction and how bad can it get?
First of all, you can check out these other posts on gut health:
- Some Things I Bet You Didn't Know about Your Gut
- My Childhood and 5 Causes of Gut Dysbiosis
- Why I Don't Have Fermented Foods on My Blog
- The "Straight Poop" about Probiotics (What Works and What Doesn't)
Even though I've learned that much, I still wanted to learn more.
I decided to poke around the internet to see just what conditions are linked to gut dysbiosis (imbalance). And believe me--it ain't good folks. Check out this frightening list.
Gut Dysbiosis (Imbalance) Can Lead to:
1. Autoimmune Diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's Disease, Hashimoto's, etc.) Source
2. Systemic Candida (yeast) Infections (see notes below)
3. Poor Brain Function - Source
4. Poor Emotional Health - Source
5. Obesity - Source
6. Weakened Immune System - Source
7. And eventually--Death.
So what's a person to do?
Work on your gut health, of course!
But it's easier said than done.
I know. I've spent hours and hours perusing the internet and talking with natural practitioners, trying to make sense of all that there is to read about gut health, probiotics, digestive enzymes, fermented foods. Seems like everyone has a different idea about what is good. And what isn't. What will heal your gut and what will damage it further.
I feel like what I really need is a crash course in gut health.
PLEASE NOTE - the information that follows is about a course that is no longer available.
I'm looking for a course or other help for you all that I can confidently recommend. Thanks for your patience!
Ways to Address Gut Dysbiosis
Healthy Elimination (Bowel Movements)
Maybe you’ve heard that “Death begins in the colon”. Well it’s critical to have healthy bowel movements daily to keep wastes from wreaking havoc on your health. It is really, really important not to go more than 24-36 hours without having a bowel movement (yikes!). Did you know that constipation affects up to 28% of Americans? (I suspect that percentage is much higher). Learn how to get your bowels working optimally on a daily basis, and watch your entire health improve as well.
- Food Sensitivities, Intolerances & Allergies
Approximately 10 to 20 percent of people have food sensitivities (I personally think it's more than that). Food sensitivity reactions, called "delayed hypersensitivity reactions" and in the past called “serum sickness,” occur when IgA, IgG and IgM antibodies are triggered in response to foods, chemicals, and bacterial toxins.The most common antibody reactions are IgG reactions to mold and foods since exposure to molds and foods is quite high compared to pollens.These IgA, IgM and IgG responses are called “delayed” sensitivity reactions because the symptoms they cause can take from several hours to several days to appear.This makes it very difficult to track down the offending food or substance.Learn why food sensitivities often occur, how to test for them, and how to eliminate problematic foods. Most everyone alive today has several food sensitivities--unaware that they could be hampering their health.
- Fermented Cultured Foods & Probiotics Fermented foods can aid with digestion every step of the way. Fermentation offers immense health benefits, such as; Probiotics, Enzymes, Beneficial Strains of Yeasts, Easily Assimilated & Enhanced nutrients – such as vitamins and minerals, Beneficial acids, Predigesting/Breaking down foods for easier assimilation as well as neutralizing the harmful aspects of the given food.They also help with preserving the harvest--you get fresh food year round. The bioavailability of nutrients in our food is improved by the fermentation process. Bioavailability is how available nutrients are for our bodies to absorb.Fermented foods allow nutrients to be more easily absorbed as they essentially predigest the food for us. I'll teach you the basics on how to get started with proper anaerobic fermentation.Finding the right probiotic supplement can be tricky. I'll teach you why you may need to supplement, what some of the best probiotics are, and how to implement probiotics.
- Holistic Help For Candida Did you know that 1/3 of the world’s population is affected by candidiasis? (I think it's more.) Candida is a fungal infection of a fungi that belongs to the yeast family--which is why it is commonly called a" yeast infection." Candida is found in most everyone (in our guts and vaginal cavities) and in small amounts should still allow a person to be in good health.Normally, it's controlled by good microbes and causes no complications.It’s when the yeast gets out of control, or one goes on antibiotics or is on the birth control pill that candida can grow and get out of hand if not treated properly. Take this Candida Questionnaire if you feel candida is an issue you need to tackle. In this course, Lydia will cover a safe approach to treating candida with food and supplements.
- How To Help Leaky Gut - What Supplements To Use Anything that can overstimulate the pores in the lining of the gut and keep them open too long is said to cause leaky gut. Things like food allergies, alcoholism, Celiac Disease, certain drugs, Giardia and other parasites, Intensive illnesses, Malnutrition, Pancreatitis and many more!Learn how to find out if you have a leaky gut, why you have it, and how to heal it.
Let use this information to move (for now) away from death and on--to better health :).
What Gut Health Issue Concerns You the Most?