Todays post was inspired by all the questions I keep getting regarding gut health and how to heal the gut. After going through my Functional Diagnostic Nutrition program and learning about health in a whole new way I learned how important it is to test not guess when it comes to health issues. In FDN we run functional lab work to get to the root cause of health issues. It may not be what you think and almost always it leads us back to the gut. Did you know that 70-80% of our immune system is found in the gut? I would have never guessed that. When I ran labs on myself for part of the course I discovered that all my labs pointed to gut issues. When I went in to doing the labs I was pretty confident- cocky to be exact that my labs were going to be really good because I ate clean, exercised and didn’t have many health complaints, I had no problem sleeping, my weight was ideal, yes I was tired but figured it was from working too much well that is not what my labs said! I was in shock...stage 3 adrenal dysfunction...aka metabolic chaos! I was shocked!
As I quickly learned stress plays such a huge part in all of this and when I am talking stress I am talking about the external stressors -the kind we all know about and worry about- financial, work, life and I had a lot of that going on! Also the internal stressors that we may not be aware of such as toxins (environmental, cleaners, cosmetics, lotions, candles to name a few), parasites, bacteria, medications, food sensitivities and so much more. All of this leads/points to a leaky gut! Just because you may not have “gut” issues (bloating, constipation etc) doesn’t mean anything- it can show up as skin issues, fatigue, brain fog, ADD/ADHD, poor memory, irritability, depression, anxiety, diabetes, sinus infections, allergies and so much more. Some people don’t believe in ADD, ADHD and fibromyalgia but they are real. They are not a “true” diagnosis, they are a symptom of something else causing these issues. All point back to gut health!
I would say about 80% of the population has leaky gut. Leaky gut is when the tight junctions in the gut villi that control what passes through become loose and allow food particles to cross that barrier and get into the bloodstream. This is what causes the body to start building antibodies against itself- hence all the autoimmune diseases we are seeing and did you know that almost all of autoimmune diseases respond amazingly when you heal the gut and remove the inflammation!
This is great news but the not so great news is that most people are not willing to give up their foods, lifestyle etc, they are afraid they will be deprived and would rather take a pill which saddens me. In reality you have to think that this did not happen overnight, this is a direct result of eating the wrong foods, poor lifestyle choices, chronic stressors and over time the body just can’t keep up and starts to break down. I have found that the majority of my clients have tried everything else before coming to me because they were not willing to make the changes they need to make to heal themselves, they either were not aware of it or just didn’t know where to start. It doesn’t have to be overwhelming, you can take baby steps.
Here are some steps you can take now to start healing your gut and restoring it.
Ever notice that when you use traditional cleaning products your hands get super dry and your chest feels heavy and wheezy? Maybe even headaches after? For me, I stopped using those a long time ago due to the awful smells and my go to was vinegar and water, although that doesn’t smell the greatest either😝 Not only do these products smell bad, they are full of harmful chemicals that wreck havoc on the body from hormone dysfunction to gut issues.
Here are some examples of toxic cleaners to avoid!
1. Air fresheners- The fragrances (even those marked unscented) can trigger asthma and allergies.
2. Cleaning products with artificial fragrances- The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health has found that one-third of the substances used in the fragrance industry are toxic, yet because the formulas used for these fragrances are trade secrets companies aren’t required to disclose the ingredients used.
4. Antibacterial products- The ingredients used to kill bacteria in these soaps can can encourage the development of drug-resistant superbugs.
5. Corrosive drain cleaners, oven cleaners and toilet bowl cleaners- These are the most acutely dangerous cleaning products on the market. The ingredients in these cleaners can cause severe burns on the skin and eyes, or if ingested to the throat and esophagus.
After learning about all of this I am so glad I stopped using traditional cleaners. Today I tried something new. I made my own cleaner with vinegar, water, Onguard and Lemon essential oils from Doterra. So easy! My place smells amazing and feels super clean! I highly recommend trying this. 👍
For the longest time I have been resisting essential oils because a lot of them can be toxic for cats. They lack an enzyme in their liver to break them down, I took this to the extreme and pushed them away completely for years, until now…they just kept coming up for me and it was always this same company! I took that as a sign!🙂
Current situation another free lab test😀 I am participating in another lab study on neurotransmitters- I get to do these from time to time because I use this lab as part of my Functional Diagnostic Nutrition training. I love this work (FDN) because it gets to the root cause of the health issues instead of just throwing supplements and medications at something, you actually know what supplements and things you need to do to HEAL it instead of masking the symptoms and I love that you can do these labs at home and mail them back to the lab. Easy peasy! I think the hardest part for me was not having coffee ☕️ for a day before or my protein shakes and avocados!
My interest in this is the brain gut connection and how your gut can influence how you feel! it all starts with GABA and Serotonin. Did you know that 90% of serotonin is found int he gut? When the levels are off this can cause either constipation or diarrhea. ...
So what are neurotransmitters? They are chemical messangers between nerve cells and other cells in the body. They can affect a wide variety of physical and psychological functions including heart rate, sleep, appetite, mood and fear.
There are 6 types:
Amino Acids- GABA, glutamate
Monoamines- epinephrine, norepinephrine, histamine, dopamine, serotonin
Gasotransmitters- Nitric oxide, carbon monoxide
Its quite complex as you can see! When they are not working right a lot can go wrong. The play a huge role in neural communication, influencing everything from involuntary movements o learning and mood. They can also be affected by medications.