Your gonna need a brew for this one, settle in…………………I promise the top notch info is worth it though.
Hippocrates said over 2000 years ago “All disease begins in the gut”. And increasingly we are becoming aware of just how right he was.
More than ever today research reveals that gut health has a significant impact on our overall health, and can contribute to a wide range of diseases including skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, diabetes, obesity, auto immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, autism, depression and chronic fatigue syndrome. Scary Stuff!
Our Gut Health is reliant on two things
1)the intestinal microbiota, or “gut flora”
2) The gut barrier/wall.
Our gut flora is responsible for proper digestion, regulating our metabolism and is a major part of our immune system helping to protect us from infection. So you can see why unhappy gut flora is a big deal. Research has linked unbalanced gut flora to diseases ranging from autism and depression to autoimmune conditions.
Unfortunately, many aspects of our modern, busy lifestyles can contribute to an unhealthy gut and unbalance our flora. Such as……………..
■ Antibiotics and other medications
■ Refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods
■ Lack of fermentable fibre
■ Wheat, Dairy, Food intolerance
■ Chronic stress
Next time someone is stressing you out, tell them to stop messing with your flora!
Moving on, Leaky gut is increased intestinal permeability or intestinal hyper permeability.
This can happen when junctions in the gut, that control what passes through the lining of the small intestine, don’t work properly. Perhaps I will go into more depth on why this is another time-it’s a whole subject in itself!
This then allows large protein molecules to escape into the bloodstream. Since these proteins don’t belong outside of the body your immune system responds by attacking them. Research has shown that this can play a role in autoimmune diseases which are caused when the body’s own immune system turns on itself.
An important point to note is, as these symptoms are presented by the immune response you may not have symptoms from your gut in order to actually have leaky gut. As mentioned the immune response may be by way of skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, or indeed an autoimmune disease and more research suggests also a metal/brain related condition – depression, autism.
So if you think may be suffering from anything that could be potentially caused by your gut (in summary pretty much any health issue you have right now could come from your gut!) how do you go about fixing it????
Well firstly it’s all the usual stuff I bang on about such as cutting out processed foods, sugar and then looking at potential intolerances that will differ from person to person. However the first and most common causes are wheat/gluten and dairy so start with those before moving onto other starches, vegetables, fruit and/or spices.
A probiotic is a great way of re-balancing Gut Flora – and I don’t mean one of those stupid Yakult things off the telly! I mean a proper one.
If you prefer a more holistic approach try adding fermented foods to your diet such as Saurkraut (Those Scandinavians are onto something) or Kefir. Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir “grains” (a yeast/bacterial fermentation starter). It is prepared by mixing cow, goat, or sheep or even coconut milk with kefir grains. It has many uses as a natural pro biotic and I would recommend anyone to check out www.chucklinggoat.co.uk to read about how it’s owners began her business after using Goats Milk Kefir to treat asthma and eczema in her son and then MRSA in her husband! And you people just thought I liked Goats because they are cute, no it’s because they are magical.
If you have or are taking antibiotics is also a good idea to take a pro biotic alongside or after in order to minimise damage to your gut.
And finally find ways to manage stress in your life whether that be with exercise, yoga, meditation, or reading etc. You know how when you are stressed you can feel knots in your stomach-what makes you think this isn’t just your imagination
So I hope your gut has digested all that, I’m off to snuggle some magic goats!