I’ve had ongoing stomach issues over the past few months which lead me to research more about the gut. A lot of the symptoms seem similar to IBS or leaky gut and as a result I have experimented with eliminating certain foods and adding supplements (which I will explain later in this post).
The gut is our body’s most under appreciated organ and the only other organ that can complete with the gut for diversity is the brain. Our gut feeling really is responsible for how we feel. Having a gut feeling is more to do with a feeling for a person or scenario but, science is now showing that our gut really does reflect how we feel.
“All diseases begin in your gut.” – Hippocrates.
Gut issues should not be taken lightly and it is something that I am not willing to ignore. Gut research has shown links between your gut health and medical conditions like Parkinson’s, depression, rheumatoid arthritis, autism sand chronic fatigue. The two most important parts of the gut is the gut barrier and the gut flora.
The Gut Barrier
This is what stops what you eat get into the body. The gut barrier keeps out the nasties and excrete them through the anus. It allows what is good to be digested and absorbs by the body. This is the ideal scenario but a lot of people experience leaky gut. This is where undesirable things get through the gut barrier. The barrier becomes permeable. This results in autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes and hashimotos. Leaky gut can cause autoimmune conditions and toxins make this symptoms worse. Basically your gut barrier is not doing it’s job. Leaky gut can also show up as skin condition like eczema, vitiligo, and mental illness.
The Gut Flora
Our gut is like a miniature world. It is home to 100,000,000,000,000 micro organisms. This is 10X more bacteria than all the cells in the human body. We are more bacteria than human! The gut flora helps with digesting activity, protects against infection and is 75% of our immune system. There are numerous modern lifestyle issues that can damage the gut flora.
- Diets high in refined carbs and sugars
- Low fermented food intake
- Industrial seed oils and wheat
- Chronic infections
- Chronic stress
- Antibiotics and other medications like NSAIDs and birth control
The Gut and Mental Health
“95 per cent of the serotonin we produce is manufactured in the cells of our gut, where it has an enormous effect on enabling the nerves to stimulate muscle movement, and acts as an important signalling molecule” – Giulia Enders.
One study on gut health found mice with ‘pimped’ out gut flora kept swimming for longer than normal mice. Their blood had fewer stress hormones, they performed better in memory and learning tests and had more motivation. American Researcher Dr. Michael Gershon is looking at the possibility at producing antidepressant that only influence the gut for treatment.
Steps to Improve Gut Health
- Keep your stress down – Practice mindfulness especially when eating. Meditate, breath and spend time away from electronics in nature.
- Only use antibiotics when necessary.
- Keep clean but don’t overuse cleaning products.
- Wash your veg before you eat them.
- Avoid sugary carbs and load up on probiotic and prebiotic foods sand bone broth.
- Avoid coffee and alcohol for at least 30 days.
- Supplement with digestive enzymes, L Glutamine and
Gut health is definitely something you should be paying more attention to. It seems to be a good early indication of what is to come. Taking the precautions listed above will probably save you a lot of pain down the track.