I had first started learning about gut health after I had my miscarriages. I was desperate and went to see a naturopathic doctor. I was 26 years old and discovered that I had post-menopausal progesterone levels. This shocked me, but it also explained a lot of the symptoms I was experiencing. One of the other issues that my naturopathic doctor discovered was that I also had a severe intestinal infection. This infection was wrecking havoc on my hormones and my whole body. Disease and illness often begins in an unhealthy gut (intestinal tract). So, how do we know if our gut is healthy or not and what do we do about it?
Start with the signs…..
Signs That You Need to Heal Your Gut
- Bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation
- Anxiety & Depression
- Skin Issues (eczema, psoriasis)
- Autoimmune disease
- Frequent Infections
- Memory/concentration issues
- Difficulty sleeping
- Stomach aches
- Mood Swings
The Best Ways to Heal
- Collagen – I have been using collagen almost everyday for over a year now and I am such a firm believer in the benefits. It aids in digestion and the amino acids help heal and repair the intestinal lining.
- Cut out inflammatory foods – The best way to learn which foods cause inflammation is through an elimination style program. You remove foods/products that are known to cause inflammation for a period of time and then one by one, you re-introduce them. The one that I have had the best experience with is the Whole 30 program.
- Probiotics – There are a lot of different opinions out there about the effectiveness of probiotics. After doing my own research and seeing the results in my family, I now understand that you also need a prebiotic. The best way that I can describe it is that the prebiotic surrounds the probiotic, enabling it to make it past the acid in your intestines so that it can be properly absorbed. Our family uses a prebiotic, probiotic combo.
- Reduce Stress – This stresses me out just thinking about it lol! But seriously, we live in a very high stress world and it is having a tremendous impact on our health. Stress has been known to contribute to high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and obesity. It has a huge impact on not only our minds and emotional health, but also our physical health. Take the time to do things that you love, things that help you relax. For me, this is reading my Bible and praying, hiking outside, taking an epsom salt bath etc.
- Healthy Fats – A lot of things have changed when it comes to including fats in our diet. I know that in my house growing up “fat” was a bad word and most of the food in the pantry was labeled ‘low fat”. Now we have a better understanding of what types of fat are bad and we also know that healthy fats (avocado, coconut oil, salmons, nuts, seeds etc) are so incredibly beneficial. Many healthy fats are known to be anti-inflammatory which is great when you are trying to heal your intestines. Healthy fats also help keep your bowels moving which helps you remove toxins from your body.
Include These in Your Diet to Improve Your Gut Health
- Coconut Oil – it has antimicrobial, antiviral, antibiotic and anti fungal properties
- Turmeric – it is a natural inflammatory, can be taken in capsule form
- Bone Broth – A great source of L-Glutamine, amino acids
- Garlic – it is a natural prebiotic, especially when eaten raw
- Grass-fed Yogurt – contains a high amount of probiotics
- Wild Caught Salmon – a great source of Omega 3 Fatty Acids
- Lemon – helps aid in digestion and detoxifies the body
There can be a lot of different factors that go into why you might not be feeling well, but as a nurse, I have seen so many doctors prescribe medication before they look into the source of the problem. This is nothing against doctors, this is how we run our medical system. I do believe that you can start to change your health by focusing on the gut. Be an advocate for yourself and find a doctor or naturopathic practitioner who will help you take the right steps toward health.
*Disclaimer – I am not a doctor, this information is based off of research and my own personal experience.
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