Why is Gut Health so important?
It might be hard to believe, but the state of your gut affects EVERY aspect of your health, from weight loss and immunity to mood and skin health. If you’re trying to get pregnant, you need to know this, too, to safeguard your baby’s future.
There are a myriad of symptoms and conditions that are linked to digestive issues. Much of the problems arise from dysbiosis, which is where the levels of bacteria in the gut are out of balance. That might mean there are too many ‘bad’ bacteria in the gut or simply insufficient numbers of the protective, ‘good’ bacteria.
Hold that concept in mind while I run you through ten reasons you’ll want to take care of your gut – even if you don’t experience symptoms of digestive distress.
1. If you have any conditions linked to too much oestrogen, like endometriosis or fibroids, you should know that if you have dysbiosis, instead of getting rid of it, the body is likely to keep recirculating oestrogen tagged for detoxification. The more oestrogen in your system, the worse your gynae symptoms are likely to be.
In fact, if there is any hormone imbalance of any kind, the gut is a key piece of the jigsaw if you are looking for a solution. It’s worth noting, too, that if your gut is not good, menopause symptoms will be evil!
2. An imbalanced gut is bad news if you’re trying to lose weight. Oestrogen is an obesogen, which means it can make you gain weight. If your gut bacteria are out of balance, you could absorb 15% more calories from your food.
3. There’s also a growing amount of research that suggests your gut bacteria actually influence food cravings and metabolism, too.
4. Listen up if you’re that person who is always ill or gets everything worse than everyone else … About 75% of your immunity is governed by your gut. If your digestive system is healthy, chances are you will be generally healthier, too.
5. Not happy with your skin? Eczema, psoriasis, rosacea, acne are just a few skin issues linked to poor gut health. Much of this is down to permeability of the gut (sometimes called ‘leaky gut’), where your digestive tract is damaged and things that shouldn’t normally pass through are now able to, like bad bacteria, gluten proteins and other undigested food particles, causing widespread inflammation and a huge array of heath problems.
6. This is true for hay fever and food intolerance, too, for very similar reasons.
7. The state of your digestive system is important for regulating your mood and for your mental health. The gut is often referred to as the ‘second brain’. That’s because, embedded in your intestinal wall are 500 million neurons that make up your enteric nervous system (ENS). Your ENS plays an important role in the production of 30 different neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters, like serotonin, are chemicals responsible for regulating mood. At the very extreme end of the spectrum, an imbalance of bacteria in the gut has also been shown to be a factor in autism, ADHD and other brain conditions, such as epilepsy.
8. If you have any kind of autoimmune disease you will want to get your gut sorted out because, where you have one of these conditions, the door is open to any of the others. There are over 200 autoimmune conditions, but some of the most common include Hashimoto’s disease (underactive thyroid), rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, coeliac disease, type 1 diabetes, systemic lupus, pernicious anaemia, and so on. There are a number of potential causes of autoimmune disease, but "leaky gut” or intestinal permeability is considered a frontrunner.
9. Bad breath – typically linked to dysbiosis or bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. Athlete’s foot or thrush are linked to candida, a yeast in the gut. Candida, you might also be interested to know, has a giant list of other possible symptoms, including mysterious aches and pains, that feeling of being hungover when you’re not, depression, fatigue, anxiety and brain fog as well as a host of tummy issues.
10. If you have babymaking on your mind, you need to know that the little person you grow will get your gut immunity. If you have a healthy and balanced gut environment, then they will too. As the mother, you are the gate keeper to your child’s health. That’s because, in pregnancy, you set your baby’s inflammatory set point. If your gut flora is out of balance, there’s a 15% increased risk of gestational diabetes and also a higher risk for group B strep.
I wonder how many of those points resonated with you? Help is at hand if any of these are the case. Maybe you already know that I offer 1:1 nutritional therapy sessions where we can work together on sorting out any of the above but if you want to discuss in greater detail how I can help you, I offer a 20 minutes free consultation on Saturday afternoon at Light Centre Belgravia.