There's a lot of talk now about gut health, and rightly so. The gut is one of the most important areas of your body when it comes to health. Around 70 - 80% of your immune system resides within your gut, so if your gut isn't in a good state, your immune system isn't going to be either.
Another fact about the gut, is that it is where 95% of your serotonin is made. Serotonin is the "feel good" neurotransmitter that is often lacking when someone is depressed or anxious. Again, if your gut isn't healthy, your serotonin levels may be affected leading to anxiety or feeling low.
Then there's the more obvious things you can notice if your gut isn't in good shape....I.B.S.- type symptoms with alternating constipation and diarrhoea; bloating; pain and discomfort; nausea; flatulence; skin conditions...and the list goes on.
So what can cause an unhealthy gut?
One of the things that affects the gut, is stress. Chronic (long term) stress has the ability to change the physiological functioning of the gut, as well as the makeup of your microbiota. When the balance of the flora in your gut is altered, this can lead to the overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria, while reducing the range of the different types of bacteria. When this delicate balance is altered, it can lead to things such as GERD, IBD, IBS, and more.
Another big player in gut health is your diet. What you put in your mouth every day either feeds the microbiota in a healthy way, or it creates inflammation in your gut which then leads to the delicate, healthy mucous layer in the gut wall to be broken down, which consequently sets the stage for disease processes to occur. The tight junctions in the gut wall begin to open up and you end up with gut barrier dysfunction, commonly known as "leaky gut". Leaky gut has been identified as the culprit in a host of different health problems including auto-immune conditions, allergies, arthritis, even depression and mood disorders.
What can you do to heal your gut?
I'm going to give you 3 things you can implement straight away that will begin the process of getting your gut in better shape....
Remove junk food, sugar, and non-organic wheat products from your diet, and include at least 800 grams of vegetables (mostly above ground veges), and 2 pieces of fruit EVERY day.
Include probiotic foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, cashew cheeze, kim chi, and other fermented foods in your diet each day.
Identify and remove (if possible), sources of chronic stress. If removing them isn't feasible, find ways to manage them well.
These 3 strategies alone can make a huge difference to the state of your gut health, but if you find it's still not enough, or you feel like you need help, I'm here for you. Please reach out and contact me, and we can work out your own personalised strategy.