Monthly Archives: July 2020

Leaky Gut and healing

Is Leaky Gut Making You Sick? Learn 4 Practical Tips To Help You Recover

Digestion and assimilation of nutrients is the key to optimal health

Last week I had a client come in complaining of abdominal pain that lasted throughout the day. They described it as moderate to severe pain that got worse when they ate. Apparently this had been going on for years. But since some days weren’t so bad, and their medical doctor couldn’t find anything wrong, they did their best to push through it and carry on. For them, this meant that on some days, they just wouldn’t eat. At all. It seemed better to go hungry than to suffer from acute pain.  

I hear similar stories from clients all the time. Their complaints are different but in the end, they are all painting the same picture. They know something isn’t right with their digestive tract but can’t figure it out what. They try different things like over the counter medicines, skipping meals, or trying new diets. And when nothing seems to help, they quit trying. If they can’t figure it out, and the tests the doctor ordered all show up normal, they are left to believe there is nothing they can do. And so they do their best to live with it. 

But what if you could do something about your symptoms. Would you try again?

If you’ve been wondering why you experience stomach issues like bloating, gas, abdominal cramps, or constipation or maybe some days you’re in severe pain and running to the bathroom right after you eat, please keep reading. You don’t have to ‘deal with it’ anymore. Stop missing out on life because you feel sick all the time. And don’t buy into the lie that there is no hope. 

Symptoms like these, as well as celiac and gluten allergies, are serious. They’ve all been linked to a condition known as “leaky gut.” Studies have shown that it is not only more common than previously thought, but it is also more harmful.1 It’s time for you to get the help you need. 

What Is Leaky Gut? 

Inside your body, you have an amazingly complex digestion system. For instance, did you know that your body contains approximately 25 feet of intestine which your food has to pass through? Or that your intestinal tract has over 4,000 square feet of surface area that plays a critical role in the absorption of the nutrients? 

When your food passes from the stomach and into the small intestine, enzymes and bacteria in the intestines continue the work of digesting, extracting all the nutrients it can from the food you eat in order to convert it into the energy your body needs. 

When working properly your intestines control what gets absorbed into the bloodstream and what doesn’t. However, when your intestinal tract isn’t working properly or is damaged in some way, molecules of partially digested food, bacteria, and toxins can ‘leak’ through the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream.2 Once these toxins have ‘leaked out’ they are carried to every system in your body. The impact this has on you and your health is huge! 

Leaky gut is considered the harbinger of ill health and catalyst in the development of many chronic diseases, including food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and other autoimmune diseases.3

So what causes damage to the digestive tract?  

You probably won’t be surprised to hear that your digestive tract becomes compromised and damaged from eating “food-like” substances such as GMOs, refined wheat, corn, and processed foods. These and other low-quality foods damage your digestive lining, making your body susceptible to autoimmune conditions as well as a breakdown in your metabolism. 

Eating a poor diet will lead to excessive formation of something called free radicals that then contribute to the formation of toxins. And trust me they are something you don’t want because they set off even more chain reactions on a molecular level that are damaging to your health. And if that doesn’t sound bad enough, they are believed to be causative agents in nearly every disease.4 Combine stress with that and now you have added gasoline on the fire.

Yeah, it’s that bad. So what can you do? 

Treatment For Leaky Gut

Proper diet, digestion, and assimilation of nutrients make up one of the major pillars of health. But even if you make the switch to eating a healthy diet, if your body can’t digest and assimilate that diet, it’s useless. 

Optimal functioning of the intestinal tract requires proper mucosal integrity (a healthy lining) and a balanced microflora (healthy bacteria) which can only flourish if you eat balanced meals filled with high-quality nutrients.5

The most common treatment approach is to begin with a thorough review of your diet. From here you can begin to eliminate known dietary causes of inflammation, such as excessive consumption of alcohol and processed foods, and to explore whether you have any food sensitivities; for instance, to gluten or dairy.6 Eliminating foods that cause inflammation helps your body begin to rebuild the intestinal lining which is what prevents further leakage through the intestinal wall. That’s great news for everyone who suffers from leaky gut symptoms!

leaky gut

4 Practical Tips To Heal From Leaky Gut Syndrome

  1. Keep a daily food journal. Start writing down what you eat and drink. You can use an actual journal, small notebook or you can keep track on your computer or smartphone. The method doesn’t matter as long as you are keeping track of the date, what you had to eat and drink, and how your body feels. This will become a valuable source of information. It will reveal exactly what causes your symptoms. Which means no more guessing. It also helps you to become mindful of how your body feels when you eat certain foods. 
  1. Start to eat more high-quality foods like fresh, whole fruits and veggies, meat, fish, and healthy fats. Begin to cut back on processed foods of all kinds. If you struggle with this, you can start slow. Remove one unhealthy food item a day. But be sure to replace it with a healthy alternative. 
  1. Drink plenty of water. Chances are you’re dehydrated. Most people are and don’t even know it. If you’re not sure how much you should drink, check out this link for a water consumption calculator. It’s fast and easy. 
  1. Get help from a pro. Talk to your naturopath about your symptoms today. There are so many options, non-drug treatments, and advanced laboratory testing available to determine causes.

There is hope. You can restore balance to your gut microbiome. 

We are here to help you. Call today and schedule a consultation.

Endnotes

1.  “Human gut-in-a-dish model helps define ‘leaky gut,’ and ….” 10 Feb. 2020, https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/02/200210095316.htm. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

2.  “Toxins From the Gut – NCBI.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4566437/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

3.  “Integrative medicine and leaky gut syndrome – In Medpharm.” https://medpharm.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/20786204.2010.10873997. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

4.  “Leaky Gut Syndrome, Dysbiosis, Ama, Free Radicals, and ….” http://www.ayujournal.org/article.asp?issn=0974-8520;year=2009;volume=30;issue=2;spage=88;epage=105;aulast=Sharma;type=0. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

5.  “The Impact of Diet and Lifestyle on Gut Microbiota and Human ….” 24 Dec. 2014, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4303825/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

6.  “Putting a stop to leaky gut – Harvard Health Blog – Harvard ….” 21 Nov. 2018, https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/putting-a-stop-to-leaky-gut-2018111815289. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

Digestive Health

Digestion Issues: What’s Wrong With My Digestion & How To Fix It?

Why your body has problems digesting fat and protein

Are you having digestion issues? It seems to be a universal desire–to be fit and healthy, to feel energized, and never get sick. We want to look good, feel young, and be happy. With all the fitness centers, exercise programs, fad diets, and weight loss programs, why is it so hard to achieve or maintain good health? 

Why You Need To Eat A Balanced Diet 

There’s no denying the direct link between our health and the food we eat. What we lack is understanding how the food we eat is being digested. When you understand how your body works and what it needs then the practical steps to take back your health become clear and easy to do. All you need is a little knowledge and some good old-fashioned, practical know-how. 

You’ve heard me say before that food is fuel for your body. And that the type of fuel you put in is as important as putting the right fuel in your car. Your body needs macronutrients to properly fuel every part of your body. So it’s important to understand macros and the role of eating balanced meals consistently. Otherwise, you are burning your body out. 

So What Are Macros and Why Do They Matter?

Macronutrients, or macros, refers to the large amount of nutrients your body needs in order to survive and function properly. Nutrients are the substances that provide nourishment that is essential for good health. The three macros your body needs are fats, proteins, and carbohydrates.1 

Why macros matter has to do with the role they play and their source. Are the macros coming from high-quality, whole food sources, or are they coming from processed, low-quality foods? It matters because input equals output

Input Equals Output

When you consistently eat a well-balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein (if you choose to eat those), healthy fats, and water, you’re giving your body exactly what it needs. Your body then rewards you with energy, vitality, and wellness. That’s because it can digest and process those macronutrients easily. When that happens, then all the other necessary chemical reactions can take place in your brain, your glands, your bloodstream, and every system has the fuel it needs to perform at its best. Giving you optimal health and well being. 

On the other hand, if you consistently eat a low-quality diet of mostly processed foods, your body will suffer.2 It simply cannot sustain your health. Think of it like this. How well can a car run if the fuel is watered down or tampered with? It’s just not going to perform like it should and sooner or later, it’s going to break down. 

Here’s what’s happening in your body when you eat the wrong macros. 

  1. Your digestive system has to work harder to process low-quality foods. 
  2. Your body has less than optimal resources to do the work because it’s depleted of healthy macros already. 
  3. There is little useful nutrition in fried foods, or foods with saturated fats and trans fats, or sweetened drinks, refined sugar, and refined grains. 
  4. You experience painful digestive problems.

Eventually, other systems in your body break down, such as your hormonal system, neurological system and immunological system. 

Digestion Issues

How do I know if I have a digestion Issues with fat or protein? 

If you have frequent bouts of diarrhea, bloating, or feel queasy after meals, or if you have abdominal pain and cramping after you eat, it’s likely that your diet is to blame. These are just some of the signs that you’re having digestion issues with fat and protein. Low-quality diets deplete your body of the enzymes necessary to break down these nutrients. 

This may surprise you. Statistics show that over 62 million people have some type of digestive issues.3 Symptoms can vary from discomfort to pain, from diarrhea to constipation, from weight loss to weight gain. Abnormal stools, skin rashes, and gallstones are also common. Your symptoms may change from day to day causing you to think it’s random. The truth is, the common element causing all these digestion problems is diet. 

Why Fad Diets Fail

No matter what fad diet plan you have heard about or tried, they all require restrictive eating plans. They restrict what you can eat, how much you can eat, and even when you can eat. Harsh diets are also known for depleting your body of the vital enzymes needed to digest and process your food. Without the necessary nutrients and enzymes, you are at risk of burning out your metabolic rate which only makes your health worse.4 Obsessive calorie counting can lead to a lack of nutrition.5 Methods like these are not sustainable long-term so you end up gaining back the weight you lost. Fad diets fail you, but you feel like a failure instead. 

For these reasons many have turned away from dieting and turned towards a more practical approach that some call intuitive eating. I like to think of it this way. Intuitive eating is when you take two ingredients and mix them together to make smart decisions on how and what to eat. What are those two ingredients? Common sense and awareness of your own body. 

Counting Calories

Calorie counting has its place, but don’t get stuck there. Too often people get hung up on this and become obsessed. That’s never a good idea. 

Your body needs a certain amount of calories each day to function. And every body is different, so you need to figure out how many calories per day is right for you. The idea is to know how many calories you need to eat per day and stay within that limit while eating healthy foods. But watch out! Don’t think you can get away with eating your 2,000 calories in chips and pastries and call it a day. Instead of choosing foods based only on caloric value, think instead about choosing high-quality, healthy foods, and minimizing low-quality foods.6 Then take note of how you feel after eating and throughout your day. Do you feel good, full, satisfied? 

When you notice signs of improvement, whether that’s having more energy, mental clarity, weight loss, or just an overall sense of wellbeing, keep going. These are encouraging messages from your body saying, “Thank you!” 

You’re in Charge! 

There are things you can do today to start taking steps to regain your health. And the good news is that they don’t require any fad diets or extreme cardio workouts. Food is your tool for good health. Use it. 

  1. Figure out how many calories you need and then make better food choices. We have a metabolic health scale, the InBody 570, which helps determine your metabolic caloric rate. 
  2. Continue to switch out the processed foods for whole foods and take notice of how you feel. Being aware of how foods affect you gives you both the knowledge and the motivation to choose the best fuel in your body. Giving yourself the optimized energy you want to live life to the fullest.
  3. Call us for help.  Whatever your need is, we are here to give you what you need, to support and guide you. Because we understand that getting healthy and staying healthy takes work and resources.

At Holistic Family Practice we offer educational classes and support about digestion Issues for the whole family. Check out our website for more information or give us a call. We’re here for you!  

Endnotes

1.  “Human Metabolism, Energy, Nutrients | Learn Science at ….” https://www.nature.com/scitable/topicpage/nutrient-utilization-in-humans-metabolism-pathways-14234029. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

2.  “The Best Diet: Quality Counts | The Nutrition Source | Harvard ….” https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/best-diet-quality-counts/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

3.  “Digestive Diseases Statistics for the United States | NIDDK.” https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-statistics/digestive-diseases. Accessed 1 Jul. 2020.

4.  “Major fat-burning discovery – Harvard Health.” https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/major-fat-burning-discovery. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

5.  “My Fitness Pal Calorie Tracker Usage in the Eating … – NCBI.” 18 Aug. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5700836/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

6.  “The Best Diet: Quality Counts | The Nutrition Source | Harvard ….” https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/healthy-weight/best-diet-quality-counts/. Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.