Something I’m learning as I work on my overall health is just how important a healthy gut is. To feel your very best, it takes guts! And good guts at that!
While I’m no functional health doctor or nutritionist or dietician, I’m learning a lot by reading books by functional health doctors and nutrition specialists. Even in my nutrition class during undergrad, I came to learn just how important a good gut really is. A lot of recent research shows that your gut health can have a major impact on every bodily system. So if you’re out of whack, there’s a chance it could be tied to what goes on in your intestines. There are some studies that show that the makeup of your gut microbiota can affect menstrual cycles in women and even a person’s susceptibility to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s! I’ll cite some papers I recommend you check out if you’re interested in reading more about just how impactful gut health is on overall health! You may need access to PubMed to check them out though, just a heads up. 😉
If you’ve been under a lot of stress or taken a lot of antibiotics throughout your life the microbiome of your GI tract has suffered! High levels of stress can ultimately result in less production of stomach acid. With less stomach acid, you will likely suffer indigestion and also increase the risk of infection in your intestines. So, opportunistic organisms (whether that be bacteria or yeast) will then attack! When looking at antibiotics, those are medications that wipe out both good and bad bacteria in order to remove an infection. If you’ve taken antibiotics frequently, you’ve frequently exposed your GI tract to this clearing. Any organisms that have survived will see your cleared GI tract as an opportunity to divide to no end. Ultimately, in either situation, you are dealing with opportunistic bacteria/fungi/yeast that have taken advantage of a situation they were lucky to get. Your microbiome is in disarray and you may begin to observe symptoms like indigestion, bloating, and a variety of other less favorable symptoms.
So now how do we take care of dysbiosis or a disruption of the healthy microbiome? See a functional health doctor! At least, that’s my recommendation, because I have found a wonderful functional health doctor and we are working to heal my gut. At least for me, something I’ve done to begin healing is eliminate glute and dairy from my diet. We plan to reintroduce some products in the future, but there will be a specific time for that. I’ll begin a specific antibiotic soon to clear a bacterial infection in my small intestines that will be properly taken in conjunction with personalized supplementation and probiotics. Watching my sugar intake and where I get my natural sugars from has also been a huge thing in helping me feel better.
If seeing a functional health doctor is something that won’t work out for you, then there are other things to be done! You can look at different testing options offered (likely breath, stool, and urine tests). You can see what your primary care doctor recommends. You can also educate yourself through books written by functional health doctors and other experts in the field of gut health and its impact on your health and go from there. If you’ve been told nothing is wrong, but deep down you just know you’re not 100%, then be persistent. It takes guts to be pushy with people that know a lot about health. It takes guts to fight for what you need to know, but you deserve to know what’s going on and how to fix it! Most importantly, you deserve to feel your best!!
If you’re interested in a few scholarly articles or a book related to some of the stuff I’m mentioned in my post today, feel free to check out some of my recommended reads. I hope you’re all staying happy and healthy out there! Have a wonderful week. ❤️
• Roy Sarkar S, Banerjee S. Gut microbiota in neurodegenerative disorders. J Neuroimmunol. 2019 Mar 15;328:98-104. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2019.01.004. Epub 2019 Jan 9. PMID: 30658292.
• Qi X, Yun C, Pang Y, Qiao J. The impact of the gut microbiota on the reproductive and metabolic endocrine system. Gut Microbes. 2021;13(1):1-21. doi:10.1080/19490976.2021.1894070
• Beyond the Pill by Dr. Jolene Brighten – this is a great book that talks a lot about female hormones too!!