Intestinal health continues to be at the forefront of conversation, and this is true, given its growing correlation with the functionality of almost all body systems. While many people know that intestinal health has created a lot of noise, of the approximately 60-70 million people suffering from digestive diseases in the United States, the vast majority of people in this group continue to be diagnosed without a diagnosis. If you are used to indigestion, poor energy, immune health, bloating, persistent weight loss, skin problems, incompatible bowel patterns and mood problems as a regular part of your life, there is a chance that your digestion is at the root of the problem. If it is not stopped, it can manifest itself in a slow metabolism, hormonal imbalance, difficulty in losing fat and other health problems.
The gut, which consists of our mouth, the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gall bladder, small intestine and colon play a decisive role in maintaining the body and performing basic functions, such as:
- The breakdown of food and the absorption of nutrients in the body to stimulate metabolism and energy.
- Supplies over 70% of our immune system.
- It creates a "barrier" to protect against foreign invaders, letting in the "good guys" and not allowing the "bad guys".
- It provides its own nervous system (intestinal nervous system), which produces important neurotransmitters and hormones such as serotonin (a chemical substance for well-being) and melatonin (sleep hormone). The gut actually acts like your second brain, so when you say that you have a “gut feeling” you are absolutely right!
- Coordinates the detox process. The first exposure to toxins occurs in the intestines, and if you have constipation, you are more likely to re-absorb these toxins back into your body.
When it comes to pinpointing what can contribute to digestive upsets, the frequent use of antibiotics, birth control pills, environmental toxins, chronic stress, highly processed diets and alcohol can play a role. If these things are not managed properly, this can lead to various metabolic problems and general health problems.
The lining of the small intestine plays a large role in determining what is absorbed and what passes. When the mucous membrane is at risk due to chronic or uncontrolled stress, processed foods, food sensitivity or chronic use of certain drugs, it may become too permeable or “leaking” and allow undigested food particles, pathogens and toxins to pass to places where they are should not be Think of it as a bouncer in a nightclub; it should allow to “absorb” (absorb) the nutrients necessary for us to feel good and function normally, while preserving “not containing” (keeping in the gastrointestinal tract) undigested food particles, pathogens and toxins. Our organs have problems with optimal metabolism when their protection against toxins and pathogens is impaired, and this can lead to mild inflammation. As a result, metabolism should be relegated to the background, as the body switches to combat this inflammatory response.
Another way a leaking intestine can upset your metabolism is through poor absorption of nutrients. There are many important nutrients that are needed for oxygen delivery, the production of sex hormones, the regulation of blood sugar and the health of the thyroid gland. This means that if the mucous membrane of the intestine has difficulty in administering something and preventing it from reaching others, the absorption of nutrients and, therefore, their use may be affected.
This is especially important when it comes to thyroid health. Selenium and zinc are vital for producing thyroid hormones and turning our less active thyroid hormone (T4) into our more active thyroid hormone (T3). Not only are these nutrients (which we absorb through the mucous membrane of the small intestine) necessary for the optimal functioning of our metabolic mechanism, but the conversion of T4 to T3 is due to the presence of an enzyme found in the digestive tract. If there is an imbalance of intestinal bacteria, this conversion is reduced. With an estimated 20 million Americanswith thyroid disease2It’s important to check intestinal health, especially the intact intestinal membrane and healthy intestinal germs (good guys living in the digestive tract!). All this suggests that if someone has a sluggish thyroid gland, the problem may be associated with poor bowel health.
Hormonal imbalances associated with the intestines can also affect metabolic function. Intestinal germs also maintain a healthy hormonal balance – and we want a lot of variety with these good guys. The presence of more diverse intestinal microbes helps to eliminate estrogen through bowel movements3With regard to metabolism, excess estrogen can contribute to the accumulation of fat in both men and women. In addition, increasing estrogen levels can make it harder to build muscle. And muscle building is one of the best metabolism enhancers! When bowel function is impaired, estrogen returns to the blood circulation in the body and can lead to the appearance of symptoms such as PMS, such as irritability, bloating and cramping. If the digestive tract is more prone to constipation or there is an imbalance of good and not very good guys, estrogen is present longer than we need. Laboratory testing can give an idea of such a hormonal imbalance for both men and women, but there are some symptoms that should be noted, which may indicate problems with estrogen cleansing. Men may notice that it is harder to build muscle or even keep excess weight in the chest and / or in the middle. Women may notice mood changes and tend to hold more weight in their hips and lower body.
IBS destruction and other bowel problems:
In addition to metabolic disorders, poor bowel health can lead to digestive problems and unpleasant symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating and gas. These types of symptoms may indicate that it is time to investigate, and with proper assessment and testing, the results can show if there is a major digestive problem that needs to be fixed.
IBS considered a “functional gastrointestinal upset”, which means that it is not necessary that the gastrointestinal tract is physically damaged, but it does not behave as it should. Finding relief can be a tedious journey and frustration when medications or laxatives do not seem to help. Although for many of my clients this may seem like a dead end, I would like to make sure that this is not the end of the road when I give a few more recommendations. Since foods with a high inflammatory effect can set the stage for IBS-related symptoms, including wheat, dairy products, soybeans, corn, peanuts, and eggs, adopting an exclusive diet and testing for food sensitivity can help confirm potential sensitivity or intolerance that this problem may contribute. And that which cannot be inflammatory for one person can create a lot of digestive stress for another. Another area that should be given priority is stress management – our guts are closely connected to our adrenal system (the glands that control our response to stress) and the nervous system, so when stress hormones are high, you can be sure that you will experience some of these bowel-related symptoms. Although initial testing and evaluation may lead someone to a diagnosis of IBS, it can also reveal other potential problems and imbalances in bacteria that occur in the digestive system.
Intestinal dysbiosis is one example and can occur when there are too few beneficial bacteria or excessive growth of pathogenic or harmful bacteria. As a general rule a healthy person should have a wide variety of microbial species and a minimal or non-existent amount of pathogenic bacteria. These harmful pathogens have the ability to affect the intestinal mucosa (in this case, the intestine runs!) And cause an imbalance of intestinal bacteria that can cause mild inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis, Crohn's), SIBO, nutrient deficiency and digestive stress. Overuse of antibiotics, a processed diet, decreased immunity, slow mobility and stress can help diagnose intestinal dysbiosis.
Small intestinal bacterial growth (SIBO), which can sometimes be a byproduct of intestinal dysbiosis, when bacteria migrate up into the small intestine. While there are nerves, neurotransmitters, and muscles that play a role in moving food along the digestive tract, there are many situations and habits that can impair motor skills and accelerate changes in SIBO development. Some of these include diabetes, medications, antibiotic abuse, low stomach acid, and a processed diet. When this type of bacteria is located in a place to which it does not belong, it begins to break down food earlier and releases gas as a by-product, which can cause a lot of bloating, cramping and changes in the intestines. If you think this may be a problem, SIBO can be determined using a breath test, which is prescribed by doctors and specialists in functional medicine. From a nutritional point of view, certain dietary changes, such as limiting fermentable carbohydrates and fiber types, can help alleviate some of these symptoms, although herbal or conventional antibiotics are often used to remove bacteria.
Healthy Bowel Protocol
No matter where you are depending on your bowel health, it doesn't matter if you have been struggling with digestive problems for a while, have you been recently diagnosed or just want to develop healthier habits, consider the following protocol steps to maintain a healthier Lifestyle. bowel.
one) Restore effective eating habits.
Digestion functions most optimally when our body recognizes the food we eat (real, not artificial, processed food), when we are less stressed (sit down without distractions), and when we slowly chew food. When eating, try to chew 15-20 times per bite. This process will support the digestive enzymes in our saliva, which are designed to break down food for optimal absorption of nutrients.
2) Adopt a stress management plan.
Stress is one of the main factors affecting the functioning of the lower intestine, an increase in inflammation, and an increased risk of developing chronic conditions and diseases. Although there are some stressors that we cannot control, we can always better measure and reduce our stress. Go for short walks throughout the day to get away from your table. Minimize screen time. Enjoy yoga or try Pilates. Treat yourself to a massage or take part in a daily mini-meditation session. These practices will make a difference in the world!
3) Identify and eliminate intestinal irritating foods.
Start injecting more nutrients and dietary fiber (vegetables!) And identify your own specific intestinal irritants – gluten, dairy products, FODMAPS (a group of fermentable carbohydrates), nuts / seeds, sugar alcohols, artificial fibers, etc. Food Sensitivity Test can help identify foods that may be inflammatory for your body (ours also analyzes your nutritional status, which can affect bowel health and vice versa). The exclusion of these products, followed by slow administration, will help determine which products can be returned back and which should be avoided daily.
four) Feed good gut bacteria and fill in the blanks.
Re-introduce sources of healthy bacteria into the intestines to maintain optimal microflora balance. For this:
(1) Add a probiotic to support various intestinal bacteria and your immune system.
(2) Turn on digestive enzymes to support the production of stomach acid + enzymes to effectively break down food and absorb nutrients.
(3) Consider adding L-glutamine to repair the intestinal mucosa and leakage (this is an amino acid that is the preferred source of fuel for intestinal cells).
If you have learned to live and normalize some of the symptoms and problems associated with the intestines that we have overcome, know that you can write to our team of nutrition experts about any questions regarding intestinal health and the steps you can take to help optimize your digestive health.
– Amy Chris, Nutritionist, Life Time Lab Testing
This article is not intended to cure or prevent disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. The use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the reader's choice and risk.