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.