Our gut health is influenced by numerous factors, turning our bodies into intricate hubs where eating habits, food intolerance, hormonal balance, stress levels, and restlessness play pivotal roles in how we process, break down, and digest food.
While medications are often touted as aids for digestion and chronic diseases like IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) or constipation, there are natural ways to nurture your gut health. We'll explore tips and strategies to restore your gut, enabling proper digestion and addressing root causes.
So, what sets Functional Medicine Nutrition apart? It's the focus on the whole person rather than just their symptoms. It's about helping, not merely treating. This approach considers how different bodily systems interact with food habits, lifestyle, and external factors.
Functional medicine nutrition employs various assessments, such as stool tests, blood work, medical history, symptoms, and dietary habits. Though results may take time, the good news is that there are treatments available! Consider incorporating a quality probiotic, adjusting your meals, and supplementing with vitamins and minerals to support hormone balance and overall well-being.
When it comes to food, certain choices can enhance your gut health:
Fiber-rich foods like avocados, apples, and ground flaxseed promote regular bowel movements, preventing constipation.
Probiotic-rich foods such as sauerkraut and fermented items support beneficial gut bacteria, a fundamental aspect of gut health.
Antioxidant and omega-3 fatty acid-rich foods like berries, carrots, salmon, and pistachios combat gut inflammation, contributing to overall wellness.
Now, let's discuss physical ways to improve your gut:
Lowering stress levels: Stress management techniques like meditation and mindfulness, or joyful activities like walking or dancing, can promote gut health.
Limiting processed foods: Reducing your intake of heavily processed foods supports a healthier gut by providing nutrients and promoting diversity.
Prioritizing sleep: Aim for 7-8 hours a night to prevent sleep deprivation, which can affect gut health.
Regular exercise: Engaging in 30-60 minutes of daily physical activity can reboot your system and enhance gut function.
How we feel externally is often a direct reflection of what's happening inside, in our gut. Armed with knowledge and resources to enhance your gut, remember that small changes can yield significant benefits, like the story of Carrie, who fixed her hormones or the case of Sharon, who finally found the root cause of her digestive issues and managed to fix them with a Gut Health Program.
Sharon's story is something I've seen time and time again. After years of struggling with bloating and acid reflux, she underwent an invasive procedure that is fairly commonly recommended for digestive issues: Gall bladder removal. The result? Well, it didn't worked. This is not uncommon either. Most of my patients that have gone through this procedure experience no relief afterwards.
Even more, removing the gall bladder means there's no place for the bile to collect which means that some fatty and high-fiber foods become more difficult to digest and people end up experiencing even more inflammation due to this. And all Sharon needed was a Gut Health Program!
As you can see from Sharon's testimonial, understanding what aids your gut is vital, but it's equally important to identify what can disrupt gut balance and cause inflammation. Highly processed foods, excess sugar or stress and anxiety, can be very detrimental to gut health and it might be difficult to leave to break the cycle of inflammation that is wrecking our gut health.
If you would like a quick assessment of your gut health, want to know more about a gut health program or have questions about your symptoms, let's have a talk!