Over 2000 years ago, Hippocrates, a great physician, said ‘All disease starts in the gut’ and now research is starting to reveal that good overall health starts with a healthy gut. You’ve probably heard of the term ‘leaky gut’? To make it simple, things like an imbalance in gut bacteria, medications such as NSAIDs and antibiotics, long term stress and a poor diet- processed foods, foods low in fibre, foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, can damage the gut lining and can affect the good residential bacteria. Chronic inflammation of the gut wall can eventually lead to tiny pin prick holes. Where the gut wall is meant to be a barrier, it now lets undigested food particles, toxins and bacteria, back into the bloodstream and cause havoc on the body.
Gut problems can present as:
- Inflammation of the skin, such as eczema and acne
- Lower digestive complaints such as bloating, flatulence, diarrhoea, constipation
- Food allergies and/or sensitivities
- Low mood and anxiety
- Auto immune conditions
- Frequent infections
So what can we do to heal the gut and get it back to its optimal functioning?
● Remove foods that you notice you react to and other inflammatory foods like gluten, dairy and sugar. Start a food journal, where you can, mark down what foods you eat and if you react to them.
● Chew your food slowly and thoroughly. This makes sure that you're breaking it down enough so its; easier for the rest of your digestion to happen more efficiently.
● Manage your stress. If you can't eliminate the stressor, try things like meditation or listening to music to help you relax.
● Rule out any parasitic infection by seeing a healthcare professional for testing.
● Add probiotic foods to your diet. Probiotics selectively stimulate the growth and activity of our own beneficial gut bacteria. These can be obtained in fermented foods like Kefir, Kombucha, Tempeh, and Sauerkraut.
● Chose a high potency probiotic to help replenish the guts good bacteria and to fight off the unwanted bacteria.
● Repair the gut lining with the amino acid L-glutamine.
Our Naturopaths can help identify triggers, help relieve symptoms and assist your gut on its healing process, by making personalised herbal formulas, recommending supplements and tailoring your diet to your needs.
Sheridan Lee (Adv Dip Nat)