If you think your gut might be making you sick, you’re not alone. More than 100 million Americans have some form of digestive problems. Issues like irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn, reflux, diarrhea, gas, bloating, and constipation are just some of the wide variety of common ailments that can be traced to poor gut health.
What Is A Gut?
When we say “gut” what we are really referring to is your digestive system, including the stomach, intestines, esophagus and also the diverse collection of tiny microbes that live therein. You might think that all microbes are bad, but only a few cause disease. The majority of microbes have a positive effect on our health, peacefully coexisting with us and benefiting us in many ways.
You Are What You Eat
There is some truth to the saying “you are what you eat.” This is particularly true for your gut, which processes everything you consume. A healthy diet positively affects your gut microbiome and helps everything work better, while some foods can negatively affect it.
Prebiotic foods are foods that feed the friendly microbes existing in your gut. Some examples of prebiotic foods are onions, leeks, garlic and asparagus. Other foods, like yogurt and kefir, contain actual microbes which can replenish the gut. Known as probiotics, these foods are especially important when rebuilding your gut flora after it has been depleted by low-fiber diets high in sugar and processed foods.
Environment, Medications, Toxins and Your Gut
Beyond just eating, there are many other factors which can affect our gut health.
Many of today’s medications prescribed to heal us can damage our digestive function. Antibiotics, anti-inflammatory medications (like ibuprofen), acid blockers (like Nexium and Prilosec), steroids, and more are all detrimental to the balance of microbes in your gut. Environmental toxins (like mold, pesticides, and heavy metals) and other chemicals can harm your gut as well. Even stress can cause negative changes in the normal microbial balance of your digestive system.
More Than Just Digestive Issues
So, now you know an unhealthy gut causes a myriad of digestive issues. But, because almost everything is controlled or affected by your gut, there are many other conditions that can be traced to poor gut health.
Most people might be surprised that depression is one of these gut-related conditions. Brain function is directly affected by the gut microbiome and studies have shown those with a healthy and diverse diet that promotes a healthy gut tend to have less depression, anxiety, and cognitive impairment. Another condition that has been linked to gut health is multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, a neurological condition affecting nearly 1 million people in the United States. Movement, balance, vision, and more are affected by MS and research has shown that the immune function of people with MS appears to be linked to microbiome health.
Imbalances in the gut microbiome often lead to damage to “leaky gut,” or a weakness of the gut lining that can allow toxins and “bad” bacteria to leak into the bloodstream. Leaky gut can cause inflammation throughout the body and has been shown to contribute to heart disease, Alzheimer’s Syndrome, Parkinson’s Disease, Diabetes, and a host of autoimmune diseases.
Take Control of Your Gut
So, if your gut IS making you sick, what can be done? Luckily, there are many actions you can take to improve your gut health and get yourself back on track.
One of the best ways to take control of your health is to improve your diet. Customized Diet and Supplement Plans, like those from the Matzinger Institute of Healing, can be specifically tailored to your unique situation for maximum benefit. Another great tool is something called a Hydro Colon Cleanse with Lipids, which effectively removes toxic products, abnormal mucus and bacteria from the bowel ensuring improved absorption of vital nutrients and strengthening the immune system. If you are interested in supplements selected by Dr. Matzinger specifically for healing the gut, check out our Gastrointestinal Health Supplements.
If you think your gut might be making you sick, let Dr. Matzinger and her team at Matzinger Institute of Healing put their knowledge to work for you and be your trusted advisors. Call Dr. Matzinger and her team at MIH today for a free consultation and find out more about how we can help you take control of your gut health.