Today’s topic is all about gut health, which is the most common issue that I see in my offices. Gut health can get overwhelming and confusing with different diagnoses, signs, and symptoms. By the time you finish this podcast, you can take some logical and simple action steps for your health.
Anatomy: What is our gut? (03:48)
It can be called your digestive system, GI system, or GI Tract, but your gut is much more than just your belly. It’s more of a second brain that helps tell our actual brain what to do, and when I refer to your gut, I mean several different organs and body parts, like your mouth, esophagus, liver, pancreas, gallbladder, intestines (both small and large), and rectum. When I talk about Gut health this means all of these body parts are healthy.
Gut-Brain Anatomy (05:43)
This is your second brain because of how much input you get from your gut. Every time your gut is receiving food, it gives feedback to your brain. Depending on what signals your gut is sending your brain will determine how your brain will respond. If you eat something that your body does not recognize as food (e.g. processed foods) your body is going to identify this as an invader, and based on your consistent food choices this can drain your body’s energy.
Some of our lifestyle habits can affect our gut-brain, like how much you chew your food, as chewing enough helps signal your brain how to prepare for the food you ate. If the brain cannot identify what type of nutrient this is, or where it needs to go, then it will send it to the pancreas, which does a lot of work for your digestion. The more we make our pancreas work, your pancreas can develop insulin resistance which can lead to diabetes or excessive weight gain.
Signs and symptoms of Gut Imbalance (14:53)
If you have a high sugar diet with high processed food, you have most likely damaged your gut and this causes sugar cravings. Sugar is an easy, but poor fuel source. High sugar diets can cause a lot of inflammation in the body which leads to disease. To see if you are addicted to sugar, try this at home test: for a 48 hour period, and you can only have 25 grams of carbohydrates for each 24 hour period. This will help you determine: does sugar affect your mood, your mental clarity, or your physical actions? If you find that these 3 signs are greatly affected with so few carbohydrates, that means your body is addicted.
Another common test to determine an imbalanced gut is if you are gassy and bloated with diarrhea, constipation or heartburn. Another sign is if have unintentional weight change, and you have not changed anything in your diet. If you find you are meeting some of these categories, you should get with a practitioner who can help you through this process. Everyone’s health is different.
Poor Sleep (21:17)
Poor sleep is almost always related to the gut because 95% of all serotonin (the precursor to melatonin which helps you sleep) is made in your gut. If you have an imbalance in your gut, this will interfere with your ability to make Serotonin, which you’ll learn from my last podcast, that this can affect anxiety and depression.
Constant fatigue (22:16)
To get energized again, you need to ask what is specifically causing you to be fatigued? Coffee, medicine, and supplements will give you short term energy, but won’t resolve the problem. One of the big reasons your body is always fatigued is that your body is always in an immune response because of our gut does not know what is being put into our body.
Autoimmune conditions can also be affected by the types of food we eat and our gut health. The challenge here is trying to determine how to heal our gut flora (the good bacteria in our gut).
What are the two big gut destroyers? (27:07)
1) Antibiotics: If you have ever been exposed to antibiotic you are killing the bacteria in your gut. The big question when taking antibiotics is what are you going to do to grow back your gut flora? If you need antibiotics, you want to make sure you are taking both prebiotics, and probiotics during this process.
2) Glyphosate: We are just scratching the surface of understanding the dangers of Glyphosate is having on the body. This is a pesticide found in almost all GMO foods, and is also found in RoundUp. We are consuming this chemical at a significant rate now. If you want to find out if you are eating GMO foods, you can look at the sticker on your food, and if it starts with the number ‘9’, that means it is an organic food. Once glyphazig enters the body, it starts to weaken the lining of our intestine. This is why I always recommend getting organic food.
Foods to help your Gut Health (31:16)
In addition to taking a prebiotic and a probiotic when taking antibiotics, some good foods for your prebiotics to eat are onions, garlic, artichokes, bananas, apples. To get the probiotics you want to eat some fermented foods like kimchi, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut, kefir. Starting to bring these foods in today can help build up your gut flora almost immediately.
Another food group we are lacking are foods high in fiber. This help clear out your gut. Some of these foods include Brussel sprouts, broccoli, and cauliflower. Other foods that are rich in Collagen like meats and bone broth can help heal your gut.
What tests to take? (33:39)
I always recommend an organic acid test. This is a urine test that you can take at home. This will help give a really good picture of what is going on with your gut. It will help identify what tools you need, and what the best plan to help you. The organic acid test can also provide a good understanding of several other nutrients in your body that help heal your body, like confirming your acolytes levels, mitochondrial markers, and markers for your neurotransmitters. I have run stool tests, but I prefer to run organic acid tests first. This test can cost $250, so if finances are a problem, I would recommend getting with a practitioner to see what they recommend.
What are our action steps? (37:00)
1) go to a whole food diet- you can start this today by eating only from “god’s garden” (meaning it can be found in nature).
2) Go get a clinical nutritionist
3) Be Patient- this is a process. You need to clear the gut out, and then feed the body.