Everything in the body is connected. It's a simple, yet complex concept to wrap your head around, but once you do, you will be able to have a better understanding of how your body functions. In this episode, you will see how your gut gets intertwined with the interconnection of your body.
THE UNDERLYING ISSUE OF DISEASE
Don’t be so quick to look for pharmaceuticals to help ‘fix’ an ailment going on in your body. Yes, some prescriptions out there can be game changers for people, but the majority of them are not! For me, I love getting to the source of what is going on in the body.
A pill might be able to fix your issue short term, but it doesn’t actually fix it for lifelong results. I want you to feel your best every day, so if your body needs some supplementation support, I am all for that as long as you are working on fixing and healing the underlying issue: your gut.
Here are a few conditions that I have found through my research that relate to poor gut function. All of my resources used are linked down below, so be sure to check those out!
The big thing that I want you to take away from this is that you don’t need to be on a prescription for a lot of these issues with the body. If something is acting up, that is your body’s way of telling you that something is wrong and that you need to dive in deeper to find the root of the problem. There is something you can do about it!
“About 100 trillion bacteria, both good and bad, live inside your digestive system.” – The University of Harvard
Based on that stat, you need to be eating and doing the necessary steps to help the good bacteria override the bad bacteria in your gut (microbiome). The bacteria in your gut help to digest your food, absorb nutrition, boost your immune function, remove toxins and much more! That’s why it’s always important to keep your microbiome in check through the foods you are eating, products you’re using and your environment.
As I was digging through more research for this episode, I kept coming across toxicity related to mold and how this related to my health issues last summer. My body crashed due to mold toxicity. We found out that our house had toxic mold in it after I was having a lot of health issues. Now, mold toxicity was probably the straw that broke the camel’s back because my body wasn’t naturally detoxing as effectively as it should. You can’t fight mold toxicity.
Mycotoxins come from toxic mold, and the worst thing about mycotoxins is that it affects the gut.
“The uptake of mycotoxin and subsequent tissue distribution governed by GI tract absorption, and the presence of microbiota at the GI tract can affect the intestinal barrier causing different (maximal or limited) bioavailability of these fungal compounds.” – Winnie-Pui-Pui Liew and Sabran Mohd-Redzwan
To break that down, if there are high mycotoxin levels in your body, it dramatically affects your GI tract absorption. This is what I experienced because my body wasn’t absorbing nutrition. I was probably eating the healthiest I ever had and I was the most malnourished I had ever been. Start being aware of minimizing the toxic load that you are exposing our bodies to, to help your gut function more optimally.
Glyphosate is another toxic load that can disrupt your microbiome. This is why I strongly encourage you to go gluten-free because the wheat gets sprayed with glyphosate (Round-Up) to make a bigger crop which can cause inflammation and havoc on your GI tract.
“Glyphosate chelates aluminum, allowing ingested aluminum to bypass the gut barrier. This leads to anemia-induced hypoxia, promoting neurotoxicity and damaging the pineal gland.” – Stephanie Seneff, Nancy Swanson and Chen Li
The pineal gland is really important for sleep, so, according to this statement, glyphosate disrupts the body’s ability to create melatonin which can dramatically affect sleep! We are starting to see how it’s all connected and why this conversation is so important. By starting to decrease your body’s inflammation and your body’s toxic load, your gut will be able to start to heal properly.
It’s not just your brain running your body, some argue that your gut is a huge part of your body function too. There is so much going on in your gut!! So much so, that you could look at it as its own organ system.
That being said, inflammation in your gut affects how your brain functions. It can be the reason behind feeling fatigue, brain fog, anxiety, depression, mood swings, lack of focus and so on!
“The gut microbiota affects brain development and plasticity by secreting various neurotrophins and proteins, such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), synaptophysin and postsynaptic density (PSD).” – Alper Evrensel and Mehmet Emin Ceylan
As you are aging, you can continue to create new wiring of the brain because of its plasticity. But if there is body inflammation causing your gut not to function optimally, then that is going to affect your brain function. You could be doing everything for your brain, but if you’re not addressing your gut, it’s not as effective as it could be.
“The vagus nerve forms a direct connection between the brain and stomach.” – Alper Evrensel and Mehmet Emin Ceylan
The vagus nerve is one of the many ways the brain and gut are connected. This shows the importance of relaxation and how it can impact your brain function and your gut function.
STRESS AFFECTING YOUR GUT (AND YOUR BRAIN AND YOUR BODY)
Stress can cause an array of dysfunction for your gut which can then lead to a whole disrupted system. A big thing that has helped me with stress is stopping periodically throughout my day and taking nice, slow deep breaths for 30-60 seconds.
“The ENS (enteric nervous system) is two thin layers of more than 100 million nerve cells lining your gastrointestinal tract from esophagus to rectum.” – John Hopkins Medicine
100 MILLION NERVE CELLS. Think of how connected our whole system is! This is why I encourage you to chew your food really well because that starts to tell your body to start to release the enzymes that you need in our stomach which will help it to digest that food. It then sends it down into your small intestine where the nutritional absorption happens, and then lastly into your large intestine to leave the body.
With 100 million nerve cells, a lot can be affected if there is constipation, inflammation, bloating etc.
LEAKY GUT, IBS + SIBO
“In pathologic conditions, the permeability of the epithelial lining may be compromised allowing the passage of toxins, antigens, and bacteria in the lumen to enter the bloodstream creating a ‘leaky gut’.” – Qinghui Mu, Jay Kirby, Christopher M. Reilly and Xin M. Luo
Leaky gut could be a source to the autoimmune issues that we see because the lining of our gut is allowing things to pass that shouldn’t pass. This causes our body to fight our own body due to foreign objects that aren’t supposed to be on that side of the intestinal wall. My whole thing with autoimmune is that it CAN be reversed! I’m a firm believer that it’s never too late to work on some of these things.
What Can Cause Leaky Gut:
“Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common condition characterized by abdominal discomfort associated with altered bowel movements.” – John Hopkins Medical
I find that IBS and leaky gut are both used as a blanketed statement for gut dysfunction. If you are given that ‘diagnosis’, let it be a sign that something is going wrong with your gut and you need to improve your gut function.
“Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when there are excess bacteria in the small intestine. SIBO often happens because of lack of movement of the small intestine.” – John Hopkins Medical
SIBO can lead to malabsorption which is why a lot of the times with SIBO there is bloating.
FOODS TO AVOID
Here is a list of foods that I suggest avoiding if you are experiencing GI distress, inflammation, mood swings or anything else I have addressed:
This is a big one for so many to take out of their diet because of the inflammation it causes. Keep in mind that gluten stays in your system for about 90 days, so have it cut out of your diet for a while to really see if it’s what’s causing a problem.
Sometimes, switching over to organic dairy or ghee can be really helpful because there is no casein or lactose. With dairy-free, however, you have to watch the additives.
Not to say you can’t have a little bit here or there, but keeping it minimized as it can cause inflammation to the body.
FRUCTOSE + HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP
That right there could lead you to want to eat more sugar!
Get that out because it’s an excitotoxin to the brain. You tend to find it in foods that are dairy-free.
Especially xylitol! Coming from a GI perspective, if you notice that you react to xylitol, that could be because you have SIBO.
This, along with other similar chemicals, has got to go. MSG can hide in other chemical terms that you find in the nutritional information. So, if you don’t know what it is, don’t eat it because it could be causing problems in your brain (because it’s an excitotoxin) and gut.
ALCOHOL, CAFFEINE + CARBONATION
Now, everyone’s body is different, but I am going to put this out there because the problem with alcohol, especially wines, is that it can be tainted with dyes and chemicals. And this can be true with caffeine too! If you’re fine when you have a little alcohol + caffeine, that’s fine, but if you’re experiencing gut issues right now, they have to go.
Only take unless absolutely necessary because it kills all the good stuff in your gut. With 100 trillion bacteria in our gut, you don’t want to be killing the good guys! Read through the next section below to see what you can start doing to improve your gut, which will improve your immune system so you hopefully don’t have to take antibiotics.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO IMPROVE GUT FUNCTION
Activated charcoal can help to bind toxins and can help your body to eliminate more of them. A couple of things with the binders, you want to avoid taking them with medications and supplements because they could bind to them and then your body doesn’t get to absorb them.
Always start with one and see how your body responds to it. I think activated charcoal is great to take right before bed when you want to get some extra toxins out of the body; however, wait to take it until two hours after you eat. And if you have other supplements you take before bed, maybe move those up a couple hours so you can see the full benefits of the activated charcoal.
The only time I suggest taking activated charcoal with food is if your body is reacting to something you ate because it can help to pull out whatever was in there. It’s also great to take when going out to eat and eating a little less healthy than desirable or to help relieve an upset GI tract.
Also, don’t overdo it. It’s good to take breaks and if you find yourself starting to take it on a daily basis, take a break here and there for a day or two before you take it again.
COLLAGEN POWDER SUPPLEMENT
You know that I love collagen for fascia, but I also love it for your gut because what is your gut made out of… FASCIA! Collagen can help to prevent and minimize leaky gut. My three recommendations are...
LIPOSOMAL VITAMIN C
This is a big one to help improve immune function. Vitamin C, in general, is good for so many things in the body, but specifically adding liposomal vitamin C can be even more powerful. If you take the liposomal, it has phosphatidylcholine in it, which is great for your brain.
BRAIN OCTANE OIL
I love to add this to my coffee, but I recommend waiting on the brain octane oil if you have a sensitivity to coconut right now because it’s derived from coconut.
This has been very helpful for many, but it is a source from dairy. A lot of these recommendations are experimental pieces, so see how your body reacts and don’t be afraid to mix it up because they are only supplements. And always make sure to consult with your doctor if you are taking any medications to make sure they won’t react.
EAT A VARIETY OF FOODS + AND LOT OF VEGGIES
This is where fiber comes into play. For me, eating raw vegetables does not sit as well with me as opposed to when I cook them. It’s all about listening to your body and just because you can’t eat raw vegetables today, doesn’t mean you won’t be able to in the future. Eat the vegetables that make you feel good and cut out the ones that are causing bloating because it’s adding irritation to your gut.
Start eating foods that are high in prebiotics daily because they help to feed that good bacteria in your gut. Prebiotics come from food and this is where eating variety becomes very helpful. Some veggies I suggest are:
Quantity is also something to take into consideration when eating all of these fibrous foods.
HIGH PROBIOTIC FOODS
Eat more of the fermented foods, pickled foods and cultured foods and take an added probiotic as needed.
I am a big promoter of eating fermented foods because they are so beneficial for so many people… but not everyone. What I mean by this is that some are able to eat fermented foods every day, but for others, it might feel better to only add them in three times a week.
I mean, duh, but try switching out 8-16 ounces of your water with an organic, low-sugar green drink or celery juice on a regular basis.
This can help your stomach wake up and create more of the juices that you need to digest your food and is also good for your microbiome. If you’re reacting to a lot of raw foods, try adding some bitters after you eat.
You could do all of the things in the world to help your gut function, but if you are stressed, your body is stressed and nothing is getting better. I highly suggest listening to my mindfulness episode because it can help teach you what a little body awareness can do for your stress.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE
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