Heal Your Gut

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Heal Your Gut

Did you know that your digestive tract has over a thousand of different organisms?  Under normal circumstances, the bacteria in your gut is harmless, although when something upsets your stomach, it can easily throw off the delicate balance of your gut which can cause you to have various symptoms and even cause illness.  I am not going to go into a lecture on how the bacteria works, but a bacterium does help in food digestion, unifying and creating vitamins and using enzymes that our own bodies can’t physically produce.

The gut flora also provides protection from infection, regulates your metabolism and comprises more than 70% of immune system.  An imbalance in your gut flora can manifest in your body in many different ways.

Research now tells us that the health of our gut is critical to overall health.  In fact, an unhealthy gut can contribute to various diseases.  Many researchers, functional medicine doctors and holistic health practitioners (including myself) believe that supporting and restoring intestinal health is extremely important, but many of the time it is overlooked.

Some illnesses caused by lack of good bacteria or a leaky gut

  • Allergies and asthma.
  • Yeast infection
  • Eczema
  • Aches and pains
  • Auto-immune disorders
  • Fatigue
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Lactose intolerance
  • C-difficile
  • Depression

Gut Imbalances can be caused by

  • Pharmaceutical drugs – especially antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medication
  • Antacids
  • Stress
  • Inadequate fiber in the diet
  • Diets high in refined carbohydrates, sugary and processed foods
  • Steroids
  • Chronic infections
  • Dietary toxins including wheat

Antibiotics, too much stress, drinking too much alcohol, toxins, eating too much sugary foods or processed foods are all things that can cause your digestive tract to go out of balance.

If you have chronic health conditions, pain or an auto-immune disease, food sensitivities, allergies, frequent yeast infections or gut issues, it is critical that you get your digestive tract into balance and heal it as well.

Have you heard the term ‘leaky gut”? I personally had not heard about it until I was seriously looking for solutions to calming my immune system since I was dealing with debilitating acute pain and inflammatory flares characteristic of dealing with rheumatoid arthritis.

A leaky gut is a term used when the intestinal barrier becomes permeable to large protein molecules and the food particles escape into the bloodstream.  Since these proteins don’t belong in the bloodstream, it triggers an immune response which can cause various symptoms such as joint pain, skin rashes, brain fog, and digestive problems… just to name a few!

In fact, it has been repeatedly demonstrated in several studies that the integrity of the intestinal barrier is a major factor in auto-immune disease. A critical thing to understand is that you don’t necessarily need to have digestive symptoms to have leaky gut.  Remember that it can manifest in many different ways in the body.

Here are a few easy ways to heal your gut

  • Start taking a high quality probiotic which you can find in health food stores.
  • Reduce your exposure to toxins by eating whole foods, green leafy vegetables every day, organic as much as possible.
  • Reduce or eliminate sugary, processed foods.  Remember that bad bacteria feeds itself on sugary and refined foods.
  • Eat fermentable fibers such as sweet potatoes, yam and yucca and fermentable foods such as: kefir, natto, kimchi and sauerkraut
  • Take time to relax and reduce your stress level.

“There is a solid theoretical basis for why probiotics should help prevent… and even reverse cancer.  Probiotics produce short chain fatty acids in the colon, which acidify the environment.  Lower colon pH is associated with lower incidence of colon cancer.  Probiotic bacteria reduce the level of procarcinogenic enzymes….” (Michael S Donaldson, Director of Research, Hallelujah Acres Foundation)

Healing my gut was critical to calming my immune system and avoiding acute painful flares. Healing your gut is just 1 important step you can take to Jumpstart Your Healing. In my Jumpstart Your Healing, Detox Challenge – 6 weeks program, which I am excited to share with you soon, we will look in depth at how the health of your gut is crucial to feeling your best and how you can heal your gut as well!

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