Ok let’s talk gut health for a moment shall we? It’s a bit of a popular term these days, but what does it mean and how do we improve it?
Well, simply put, gut health is the state of your entire digestive tract, from stomach lining, to intestines, to gut bacteria. This isn’t just about digestion, the gut sets the tone for your immune system, your brain function, your skin and more. If your gut health is subpar then many things follow suit.
Your nutrient absorption abilities will take a hit if you have damaged intestinal lining, or an imbalance of the micro organisms that make up your gut flora. You may suffer with loose stool, constipation, reflux, upset stomach, and various digestive intolerances. Your skin may show the toll with ailments like excema, acne, or psoriasis. Your brain health may be affected, a variety of issues like autism and ADD have been shown to be connected with poor gut health (whether as a result or a cause, but research is showing that improvement occurs when gut improvement occurs). Weight loss or weight gain may be hampered as an imbalance of bacteria affects your glucose absorption, hormonal balance and more. Mood may be altered, as your gut bacteria both create and affect various nuerotransmitters.
I could go on…
So, how do we improve gut health? It’s the question for the ages. Research is still being done on the types of bacteria we need in abundance, and how to keep levels in balance. Understanding of “leaky gut” and at what point in maturation the gut lining becomes less permeable is growing. Knowledge of which environmental and nutritional substances positively affect your gut and negatively affect your gut is being consistently expanded.
But we do know a few things for sure:
In short, if your health is subpar, look to the gut first. Begin creating habits that benefit the gut and eliminating habits that harm it. I’m always open to chat about ideas that will benefit your particular situation. Reach out anytime.