The #1 problem that is plaguing the western world that is responsible for digestive issues, skin flare-ups, ulcers, allergies, chronic inflammation, stubborn weight loss, hormonal imbalances, thyroid disorders, chronic fatigue, food intolerances, and even mood disorders like depression and anxiety is Leaky Gut.
Another major problem the western world is facing is chronic stress, with 75 to 90 percent of all doctor visits being tied back to stress related illnessess (huffpost).
What do these two shocking facts have in common? The gut and the brain are in constant communication.
The father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, had it right when he said “all disease begins in the gut”, but centuries later we’re still not listening. Today we’re bombarding our gut with toxic foods and lifestyle choices that lead to what we now call “Leaky gut”.
To understand leaky gut we need to first understand how the digestive system works. Your digestive system goes from mouth to anus and as food passes through the gastrointestinal tract it breaks down and absorbs different nutrients along the way. When it gets to the small intestine, most of the nutrients are taken in. The lining of your intestines are made up of these tight junctions that are held together by proteins. When those junctions loosen, we start to see problems occur.
These tight junctions are the barrier between your intestines and bloodstream. When the junction gets loose, it allows undigested food particles to pass through the barrier, setting off an alarm in the body which in turn sets off an immune response.
The result? Chronic inflammation in the body that can lead to the long list of symptoms listed above.
Some of the major causes of leaky gut include:
When looking at our modern lifestyle, all of these are generally working together which is a recipe for disaster.
One thing I help my clients realize is the impact that their brain has on this equation and how with simple shifts in diet and lifestyle you can become the expert in your own health and heal your leaky gut for good.
When most people start to suffer from digestive issues they begin by looking at their diet, which is a great start but it’s not necessarily enough.
What we don’t pay enough attention to is the impact our stress has on the strength of the gut barrier. When someone becomes stressed, the digestive system shuts down. Due to evolution, our body turns into fight or flight and the last thing it needs to focus on is digesting food when your body is preparing for battle.
When stressed the mucus lining of the gut weakens, thus resulting in “leaky gut”. This is why in the Healing to Happy Program, we take a look at food intake as well as what can be contributing to heightened stress levels.
I often have clients come back to me stating that they’re not stressed or that they manage their stress by going to the gym, which is great! We all know that physical exercise is necessary for optimal body and mind but at the end of the day exercise is stress on the body and even if its good, it’s still stress.
Now I’m not saying stop hitting the gym, but I am bringing awareness to the fact that if you’re looking to heal your leaky gut you need to find ways to tap into your parasympathetic nervous system, also known as your rest and digest.
On top of cutting out the inflammatory foods in your diet such as processed foods, processed, sugar, gluten, dairy, and soy, it’s important to find a way to tap into the rest and digest. We want to pay attention to not only what we’re eating but how we’re eating.
Are you stressing over emails while you eat? Are you scrolling through social media and forgetting to chew your food? Are you eating while on-the-go? These are some of the common things I find with many clients but there are some simple actions you can start doing today that can help you heal your leaky gut from the inside out. Such as:
Adding in small shifts daily to help your body relax as well as eliminating the inflammatory foods will help to cut down stress in your body and help to rebuild that gut lining.
For more information on how to repair your gut, check out www.healingtohappy.com or check out my Free 3-Day Gut Reset to start healing your gut today.