Why Gut Health is So Important
We have so many references to
our gut when we’re talking about thinking and emotions: “My gut tells
me”, “I feel sick just thinking about it”, “that’s just
nauseating”, and “gut-wrenching pain”.
And science is showing that there are good reasons for these phrases.
My gut tells me I should keep this simple – so I will. But it’s so important as an owner of a human body that you have some understanding of the importance of your gut health.
What exactly is the gut anyway? Well, it’s slang so naturally, there’s debate about where it starts and ends but the most common definition seems to refer to the intestines.
So we’ll use the common understanding. THE GUT IS YOUR INTESTINES (small and large intestines).
The gut takes in food and drink that has been initially broken down by the acid in your stomach and processes it further to EXTRACT NUTRIENTS AND TOXINS. We’re talking very small particles here at a molecular level.
A healthy gut sends them to the right organs to NOURISH AND PROTECT your body so that you can be healthy and feel good.
Here is a list of FUNCTIONS and body systems affected by the gut.
- Creation of energy
- Mental function
- Psychological health
- Hormone health
- Tissue regeneration
- Cardiovascular health
- Respiratory system
Is that everything? Probably
not but it’s really profound, isn’t it?
So I’ll just give you a couple of the more recent findings that will help you understand how important it is to take care of your gut.
First, you may have some idea of what serotonin is. To be sure it’s a hormone made by your body that most people think of as a good mood chemical that also helps you sleep. Sounds like brain stuff doesn’t it?
Seratonin does a lot more amazing stuff. It assists in digestion, wound healing, bone health, blood clotting, and sustaining libido.
But guess what. 95% OF SEROTONIN IS MADE IN YOUR GUT! And it’s good bacteria/microbes in there that make it.
Everybody has experienced certain moods that affect their stomach and intestines. Could be stomach pain, nausea, bloating, or other uncomfortable experiences that you knew came from an emotional state.
The amazing thing is that it goes in the other direction as well. Researchers recently found that GUT IRRITATION CAN SEND SIGNALS TO THE BRAIN triggering mood changes.
This may explain why people with Irritable Bowell Syndrome have a higher occurrence of depression and anxiety.
The bugs that live in your gut (a.k.a. flora/bacteria/microbes) affect multiple body systems.
Many recent studies have shown that there is clearly an INTERACTION BETWEEN GUT BACTERIA AND MULTIPLE BODY SYSTEMS. Not only in the intestines but affecting body systems outside the intestines as well.
This is an exciting new area of research that will result in therapies that promote specific bacteria to control chronic inflammation associated with many serious diseases.
You might already take probiotics now to help a digestion issue. It’s possible that by taking probiotics you are reducing inflammation in other parts of the body as well.
SIGNS THAT SOMETHING ISN’T RIGHT IN YOUR GUT may include, chronic constipation, chronic loose stool, bloating regularly after meals, acid reflux, abdominal pain, or any recurring gastrointestinal symptoms.
Conditions behind these symptoms can be Irritable Bowell Syndrome, Gut Hyperpermeability(a.k.a leaky gut), food sensitivities, parasites, and overgrowth of “bad” microbes.
There are a number of STEPS YOU CAN TAKE to try and resolve your digestive issue on your own. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Try a 3-week food elimination diet if you suspect a food sensitivity problem. The two most common irritant foods seem to be… you guessed it, dairy and gluten. After 3 weeks if your symptoms improve, reintroduce the potentially irritating food one at a time with a week in between so you can clearly identify which food is causing the problem. Other foods to consider are sugar, corn, soy, and common food additives like carrageenan and lecithin.
2. Take probiotics and increase fermented foods which are rich in probiotics to see if you just need a little assistance building good flora in your gut.
3. You can try supplements and herbs that are known to promote gut health. In this case, I highly recommend you work with a knowledgeable holistic health physician so you can optimize your probability of success. (Throwing my hat in the ring here)
4. Always, always get regular exercise, 8 hours of good sleep, hydrate well, breathe fully and do a daily self-cultivation practice to promote gratitude and a positive mindset such as meditation. These seem so mundane but these are truly the most powerful health tools you have.
As always, I’m truly grateful to you for letting me help. I’m always here for you and your loved ones.
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