The body is still much of mystery. We are learning new things every day and new research is constantly uncovering new things. Lately, research has been focused on gut health and it has found that an unhealthy gut can be linked to joint pain, skin irritations (eczema), mental disorders (depression and schizophrenia), fibromyalgia, diabetes, and the list goes on. So it is no wonder so much research is taking place regarding our gut.
So how do probiotics help? Our gut starts at our esophagus and includes the entire digestive system. Throughout it are over 1000 species of good and bad bacteria. Bad bacteria can accumulate because you are fighting an illness, you are under stress, you are eating a poor diet, have been on medication such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatories, or you are exercising extensively. When these bad bacteria build up it compromises the lining of our small intestines, weakening it and allowing pockets to form. As food travels through the small intestine, particles are trapped within the pockets. This food does not break down any further and sits in these pockets where toxins may start to leak out of them. As newly eaten food passes through the intestines the absorption of nutrients is compromised because of these pockets. Furthermore, the body recognizes the danger of the toxins being released and produces inflammation to combat it possibly causing allergies.
Symptoms that your gut may need some TLC are: Stomach bloating, gas, smelly poo, constipation, diarrhea, bad breath, nausea, hormonal imbalances, migraines, allergies, eczema, autoimmune disease, joint pain, depression, anxiety, low motivation. Did you know that 80 – 90% of the body’s Serotonin, the hormone that regulates appetite, sleep, memory, sexual desire and helps to regulate our moodsis produced in our gut? We are seeing a huge rise in mental disorders. Could the gut be the answer?
If you notice some or many of these symptoms what can you do? Our first defense is always addressing our diet. Eating fresh foods as much as possible and foods high in fibre are very good at flushing out the bad bacteria. Drinking lots of water. Increase vegetable intake. Eat less processed food and fast food. Maybe even giving your gut a break with a 5-day reset.
Other things to do: take steps to alleviate stress whenever possible, meditating, yoga, walking in nature, spending time with loved ones, taking time for yourself. Limit alcohol intake. Be careful of certain medications such as antibiotics, anti-inflammatories and use only when necessary. And finally, taking a good quality probiotic. Not all probiotics are created equally. In fact the bacteria you want, Lactobacillus rhamnosus and Bifidobacterium can be very sensitive to temperature changes and they may be resistant to the digestion process. Yogourt is not a reliable source of probiotic. It is a challenge to find a quality product because the regulations are weak. You are spending hard earned dollars on a product, you want it to do what it’s supposed to. There are many great companies out there that provide good quality probiotics. But how do you know which ones? I trust Usana because it is run by scientists and a founder who has personally experienced the loss of loved ones to disease and believes we can change our health by feeding our bodies with optimal levels of nutrition.
I personally have experienced the effects of not eating well and not getting enough nutrients. I suffered severe acne that was only kept at bay through medication. I experienced at least two severe illnesses a year whether it was a sinus infection, strep throat or tonsillitis! A cold would last me two months! Since changing my skin is clearer than ever, I barely get sick and when I do I am better in less than a week! My energy levels have never been better! Change wasn’t easy. I remember the overwhelming feeling when I first began to make changes! It seemed an impossible task. But breaking it down, starting one day at a time and being compassionate is key! Once you start to feel the changes in your energy and your health you’ll wonder why you waited so long!
If you are ready to make changes in your life, let me help! I offer a range of options from nutrition counselling to personal training or small group fitness/yoga. My passion is helping people discover the health they are meant to have! I offer a free one-hour consultation with no obligation to sign up with me. The first step is taking the first step!