What Is Gut Health?
Taking care of our health is the best way we can make sure to live a fulfilling life and maintain our wellbeing at high levels.
Whether it’s a nosebleed, a cough, an itch, or a scratch, we always make sure to address it and solve the issue right away (or at least, so we should).
However, women all over the world tend to neglect the signs of their digestive system dealing with issues. Because women’s cycles are so complex, more often than not they may find it as an explanation for their symptoms. After all, they’ve all had a period put them through either constipation, diarrhea, bloating, or anything in between. In fact, if we’re going to be honest, most of their periods have.
The digestive system helps your body get all the nutrients and energy it needs to function properly, and therefore, restoring gut health is an important step that we should pay more attention to.
The Gastrointestinal Tract
But before talking more about restoring gut health, we should learn more about what gut health really is! The system that helps nourish you is called the gastrointestinal tract, or GI tract for short.
In your GI tract, there are trillions of bacteria, which help you not only process food, but live a balanced, happy life. These bacteria form a microbiome, which, while not currently explored in its entirety, is linked with the general well-being of your gut (or lack thereof).
Your microbiome can be thrown off its balance by many factors, whether they be environmental, behavioral or food-related. When the good bacteria are overpowered by the bad bacteria in your gut, you are prone to illness.
After reading this, you may be inclined to think that it’s rare, that digestion or digestive system issues happen to everyone, and they are not a sign of a real health problem in most cases. However, statistics might just prove you wrong.
Digestive illnesses such as gastroesophageal reflux disease and irritable bowel syndrome impact 60 to 70 million Americans. And these are just two of the possible issues you can have if you don’t take care of your microbiome.
Constant stomach pain, acid reflux and bowel movement difficulties are not something you should have to live with every day of your life. Not only is it a threat to your physical health, but it can take a real toll on you psychologically, aiding unnecessary stress. Moreover, that can turn into a true negative cycle, as stress further aggravates your conditions.
The True Power Of Natural Healing
Drugs vs. Natural Remedies
Medicine has evolved over the past 50 years. Scientists and doctors providing us with drugs we could only have dreamed of only a couple of years ago. This gives us the power to heal some of the most vicious conditions.
However, drugs come with their fair share of side effects, and many times, when your issues are more severe, doctors have to choose the smaller evil: healing a part of you, while mildly risking another.
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with that when following strict doctor’s orders, many of us have become inclined to seek drugs for anything, no matter how big the problem is. Moreover, medical staff have reported many cases of patients demanding antibiotics even when they were specifically told by a professional it was not necessary.
Nature heals, and we have become more and more inclined to forget that. Our food, our sleep, and our surroundings can make a real difference in our health, not only mental, but also physical.
Whether it’s eating gut healing foods or sleeping well, there are plenty of natural ways to ensure that your gut is being taken care of. Actually, many drugs have side effects which include gastrointestinal issues, an even more of a reason to learn how to improve gut health naturally.
A great remedy for digestive concerns and aid for good bacteria, or perhaps better said the most important ones, are probiotics, which we will learn more about later on in this guide.
What Role Does Stress Play?
In order to fully understand the impact of changing our day-to-day life can have, we can take a look at what the Canadian Society of Intestinal Research says about stress: when a person fails to cope properly with prolonged stress, his, or her body becomes over-activated, disturbing regular bodily functions, including digestion.
A shift in blood flow away from the digestive tract, increased muscle tension, and immune system suppression are all physical alterations which can substantially affect people with gastrointestinal problems.
Nature Can Do Wonders
Going the all-natural route gives you the power to take your health into your own hands, to connect with your body and mind and tailor a lifestyle that fits you and your needs.
That doesn’t mean booking a consultation with a professional is unnecessary. Getting a correct diagnosis is imperative when embarking on this journey, as well as proper guidance moving forward. Together with the correct person, you can build a plan to tackle your GI tract issues without any side effects, only with the benefits that a good diet and sleep might be able to bring.
If you want to learn more about your gut and its way of functioning, here is a TEDx Talk that might interest you!
The 3 Steps To Natural Gut Healing
If you are on a journey to learn how to improve gut health, it might be easier to break your plan into multiple steps, in order to allow yourself to tackle things one at a time.
Let us introduce you to your 3-step gut healing process!
Step 1: Learn About Your Body’s Signals
Your body is always communicating with you. When you are tired, your eyes become droopy and your body feels heavy. You can feel anxiety in your chest. An ache is there to show you that something is wrong, and it needs to be checked out.
This is very important to keep in mind when you are planning on restoring gut health. You need to be on the lookout for what you’re experiencing, in order to pinpoint the problem, the cause and its best solution.
1. Stomach/Digestion Issues
This one is quite intuitive if you think about it. If your gut microbiota isn’t well, and your GI tract isn’t healthy, the first symptom you’ll attribute to that is any type of digestion issue: bloating, diarrhea, constipation, gas and so on.
Your stomach being upset can be a sign of IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome, a disorder that affects the large intestines that is very common. Dysbiosis, or abnormalities in gut flora, may have a role in the development of IBS in some people, according to a review published in the journal F1000 Research in July 2018.
2. Weight Fluctuation
When food is not being digested properly, due to imbalances in your gut, it is normal for your weight to be impacted. The food we consume needs to be properly processed in order for us to get all our nutrients and retain what is vital for our body.
The changes can go both ways. It has been proven that the microbiome can either prevent you from keeping on weight, or from losing it. If you are on a weight loss journey, or perhaps are trying to gain some, and you notice nothing seems to be changing, maybe it is time you considered looking more into restoring gut health.
3. Poor Sleep and Fatigue
The gut microbiota affects cognitive function, brain development, memory formation, circadian rhythmicity, and mental wellness.By assisting in the production of essential chemical messengers in the brain, such as serotonin and dopamine, gut bacteria can influence appropriate sleep patterns.
According to a study presented on Web MD, researchers have also found a difference in gut bacteria for people with chronic fatigue syndrome
4. Depression, Anxiety, and Stress
The stomach and intestines are directly affected by the brain. The mere thought of eating, for example, can cause the stomach’s juices to be released before the food arrives.
This relationship is reciprocal. A messed-up intestine can convey messages to the brain, just as a messed-up brain can do the same.
As a result, stomach or intestinal discomfort might be the result or cause of anxiety, stress, or melancholy. Because the brain and the gastrointestinal system are intertwined, this is the case.
Bad breath that won’t go away no matter how much you brush it could be an indication of a gut imbalance that has allowed specific forms of H. pylori bacteria to settle in your GI tract.
Taking care of this problem early will not only spare you further embarrassment, but also potential serious health issues, as these bacteria are also responsible for numerous stomach ulcers.
Step 2: Get To The Root Of Your Digestive Problem
Once you start noticing changes in your body that can indicate a gut issue, it is time to get to the bottom of where this problem has come from in order to understand how you can chase it away, especially by resorting to natural healing.
Diet plays a crucial impact in forming the microbiome, according to research studies, with trials revealing that dietary changes can cause large, transitory microbial modifications within 24 hours.
The kind and abundance of microbiota in the intestines are influenced by a high-fiber diet in particular. Only enzymes from the microbiota in the colon can break down and ferment dietary fiber. Fermentation results in the release of short chain fatty acids.
This decreases the pH of the colon, affecting the bacteria there and their ability to thrive in this acidic environment. Some dangerous microorganisms, such as Clostridium difficile, are inhibited by the lower pH.
Most microorganisms in the gut microbiome are heritable, according to researchers. Furthermore, a person’s genetics have an impact on the composition of the human gut microbiome, which can affect their metabolism.
Therefore, we have to be overly careful with our gut bacteria from the moment we are born. That does not mean that we can not heal it, but it’s still important information to have.
The environment, our age, the medication we take are all also factors that come into play when it comes to our gastrointestinal tract and its well-being.
Step 3: Choose The Correct Natural Remedies
Now that you’ve caught the message your body was sending you about your gut health, and you have established the root of your problem, it is time to put an end to it once and for all. Arm yourself with the power of nature and find what can bring you back to your healthiest.
A probiotic treatment is the most common solution for any gut issues, whether it’s IBS probiotic treatment, probiotics for constipation, if you’re taking it as supplements or from gut healing foods.
Since we do love lists, here’s one proposed by Medical News Today, of research-backed ways for you to improve gut health:
Consuming prebiotic fibers (prebiotics are “nondigestible carbohydrates” which probiotics feed on)
Less sugar/sweeteners consumption
Only taking antibiotics when necessary
Choosing a vegetarian diet
Avoiding certain cleaning products.
The gut is connected to the entire body, assuring a good functioning of…well…everything. Therefore, an all encompassing approach can be the best way to ensure you are caring for your gut, while also just really indulging in general self-care.
Eat gut healing foods, sleep well, take supplements if needed, and most importantly, contact a specialist if you are experiencing symptoms of any sort.
Going the all-natural route is even more effective when you are doing it guided by a healthcare professional.
Learn about a possible natural remedy for your digestion issues, from the first-hand experience of an aerobic instructor! You can find out more about it in this article.
A Probiotics Guide
The probiotic treatment has been mentioned again and again during our guide, and for good reason. They are great at restoring gut health, as well as providing many other benefits. It’s only fair that we give them their moment in the spotlight and highlight exactly how amazing they are for natural healing.
Probiotics are living bacteria and yeast that are beneficial to your overall health, particularly your digestive system. We normally conceive of these as disease-causing microorganisms.
However, your body is brimming with microorganisms, both beneficial and bad. Because they preserve your gut health, probiotics are typically referred to as “good” or “useful” bacteria.
When doctors instruct you on how to improve gut health, they will most likely help you out with a probiotics guide for your particular problem, whether it be probiotics for constipation, or an IBS probiotic treatment.
While most of us think of probiotic supplements as the main focus in terms of treatments, the beauty of these bacteria is that they can be found naturally in the things we eat. So, if taking pills is not your thing, there’s definitely a way of adjusting your diet to up your probiotic intake.
Probiotic Foods For Digestion
Or, a probiotics guide —food edition. Let’s take a look at some things that can be added to your diet for a better digestion, according to WebMD
It’s one of the most well-known sources of probiotics. Probiotics have been shown in studies to aid people with lactose intolerance. They may also assist with gas, diarrhea, and other stomach issues; therefore, it’s a good idea to be added as an IBS probiotic treatment for example.
If you’re having gut issues, and you want to add something extra for your gut apart from your probiotic supplements, it may be easier to adjust your diet than you think.
Next time you’re making a delicious sandwich, pay more attention to what kind of bread you are using, as sourdough is a great source of probiotics.
Select the unpasteurized variety. Pasteurization kills active, beneficial bacteria, which is why most store products are pasteurized.
Sauerkraut and kimchi, a spicy Korean dish similar to sauerkraut, are both high in immune-boosting vitamins that can help fight infection.
A very popular breakfast in Japan, it has many benefits for your immune system. Made from fermented soybean paste, it has B vitamins, protective antioxidants and is filled with probiotics.
In case you haven’t noticed the pattern just yet, fermented foods are the stars of a probiotic-filled diet. This fermented milk is also full of other helpful yeast types.
Choose naturally fermented pickles without vinegar in the pickling process if you’re looking for probiotics. The growth of beneficial bacteria is aided by a sea salt and water combination, which is why sour pickles aid digestion.
Other types of dairy foods, such as cheese or buttermilk, are also recommended, as well as tempeh, another dish made from fermented soy beans.
What Can Probiotics Treat?
We’ve talked a lot about how to improve gut health, from taking probiotics for constipation to IBS probiotic treatments. Now, let’s answer an important question: what can probiotics treat exactly, outside of digestion?
Various pieces link gut health to mental and emotional well-being.
Supplementing with Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus strains for 1–2 months can help anxiety, sadness, autism, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and memory, according to an analysis of 15 human trials.
Another study tracked 70 chemical employees for 6 weeks. Those who ate 100 grams of probiotic yogurt or took a daily probiotic capsule saw improvements in their overall health, depression, anxiety, and stress.
They do so by reducing the level of bad cholesterol and lowering blood pressure.
By breaking down bile in the intestines, certain lactic acid-producing bacteria may lower cholesterol. Bile is a naturally occurring fluid that aids digestion and is primarily composed of cholesterol.
Probiotics can prevent bile from being reabsorbed in the gut, where it can enter the bloodstream as cholesterol, by breaking it down.
Certain probiotic strains have been shown to help children and newborns with eczema.
In one study, infants who were given probiotic-supplemented milk had less eczema symptoms than those who were given milk without probiotics.
Some probiotics may also help persons with milk or dairy allergies lessen their inflammatory responses.
Do You Believe It Is Time To Improve Your Gut Health?
You shouldn’t delay restoring your gut health any longer. You’ve answered the question “what can probiotics treat?” and learned more about natural ways of healing as well as probiotic supplements, now there’s only one step left.
In fact, the most important step is to book your consultation with a professional that can help you start your gut healing journey!
Find out what supplements and diet changes your body needs in order to return to your healthy and comfortable self! Book your appointment with us!