Today I want to help simplify the complex topic of gut health.
If you have pursued natural health in any way shape or form, you have probably heard of the term “gut health”. The gastrointestinal tract and digestive system is often referred to as “the gut”. The entire system includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon and rectum. The gut is where approximately 80% of the immune system is housed.
The gut is responsible for: absorbing necessary nutrients, fighting disease, excreting toxins, processing food and distributing each part accordingly for the body to utilize for maximum capacity. It is the master hub that sends signals to the rest of the body to give instructions on how to store fat, how to burn for energy, regulate brain function, stabilize mood, help with blood circulation, support the immune system and lower inflammation. The two most important variables that determine gut health are “gut flora” and “gut barrier”.
Gut flora diversity: Gut bacteria is an incredibly complex community of tiny organisms that live inside your intestines that help digest food and keep your body healthy. The gut is the home to 100 trillion microorganisms which is 10 times more organisms than all the human cells in your entire body! It is the house for human cells, yeast, fungi and microbes. Gut diversity comes from eating a balanced diet of a diverse rotation of healthy food. Did you know that your gut has the power to change your DNA? The genes in the microbiome outnumber our genes in our genome by 100-1. Up to 90% of all disease can be traced back, in some way, to the gut.
Good gut bacteria: Generally when we eat a healthy diverse diet, maintain low stress levels, exercise and take care of ourselves, our gut bacteria is healthy and promotes optimal physical and mental health (there are always extenuating circumstances). In a healthy GI tract, food is completely digested, nutrients are absorbed, and components without nutrients are eliminated.
Gut Barrier: The intestinal walls are lined with a mucosal barrier that ensures proper absorption of nutrients and also protects food particles and unhealthy bacteria from seeping into the bloodstream. An unhealthy GI tract often reflects a weakened mucosal lining which comprises the protective barrier subjecting someone to a host of health problems.
Bad gut bacteria: Bad gut bacteria leads to leaky gut, depression, anxiety, suicidal ideations, food allergies, bloating, obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, hypertension, autoimmune disease, respiratory disease, neurological disorders (Alzheimer’s, dementia, ADD, ADHD, autism, learning disabilities, depression), kidney and liver disease, osteoporosis, heart disease, infertility and pregnancy complications.
Do you struggle with any of the following symptoms?
- Food allergies/intolerances/sensitivities
- Indigestion/Acid reflux
- Stomach pain or discomfort
- Poor immune system
- Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea
If you checked yes to 2 or more of these symptoms, there is a good chance there are some gut issues that need to be addressed.
Dr. Hilu’s blood test will reveal specifics regarding your gut health.
Taking control really is possible, and it’s something I want to encourage you not to leave unattended any longer. You can make gut health changes that will bring a lasting difference in your overall health journey.