IT ALL STARTS IN YOUR GUT – GUT HEALTH SERIES – Part 1 of 5

More than 100 million Americans have digestive problems.

Pain, cramping, bloating, burping, allergies, weight issues, constipation, diarrhea, skin conditions, depression, anxiety, and low energy are all tied in with something you may not expect – your digestion (aka your gut!). These symptoms, left unaddressed, can lead to more serious illnesses like IBS, Crohns, Fibromyalgia, Dementia, Cancer and more.

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Trust me, being diagnosed at 5 years old with Ulcerative Colitis (UC), I've learned how to listen to my body - I've been symptom free for more than 15 years and I give all the credit to the healthy habits I’ve created for myself. My goal is to help you get there too! 

THE FIRST STEP TO GETTING HEALTHY IS HEALING YOUR GUT. Excellent health all starts with excellent absorption and elimination in your gut. Your gut is connected to EVERYTHING that happens in your body.

Most of us do not recognize or know that digestive problems can cause chaos throughout the entire body, leading to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer, and more.

Health Conditions Linked to Gut
The majority of the population has inadequate beneficial (good) bacteria, excessive damaging (bad) bacteria, and a lack of bacterial diversity, all of which is fundamentally related to gut health. This is largely because of:

  • Diet – A low-fiber, high-sugar, processed, nutrient-poor, high-calorie diet, which causes the wrong bacteria and yeast to grow in our gut, damaging the ecology in your intestines.
  • Over-Medicating – medications that damage the gut or block normal digestive function – like acid blockers, anti-inflammatory medication – like aspirin and Advil - and overuse of antibiotics, anti-depressants, steroids, and hormones.
  • Chronic Stress – which can alter digestive secretion, gut permeability, blood flow, sensitivity, and even change bacterial composition
  • Exposure to Environmental Toxins – notably pesticides, PCBs, herbicides, arsenic, BPA
  • Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function – which can come from acid-blocking medication use
The health of your gut determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens, and microbes are kept out. Many times, a damaged gut, non-intentionally of course (it’s all about what we know) is a result of your behavior. Whether that means choosing: to medicate, to eat certain foods or being exposed to harmful toxins. Some, not all of us, have more genetic protection from these factors; unfortunately some of us are affected more than others when it comes to gut health.

Additionally, here are a few stats to keep in mind…  

  • There are more than 200 over-the-counter medications for digestive disorders, many of which can create further digestive problems.
  • Two of the top five selling drugs in America are for digestive problems, costing us billions and billions of dollars.
  • Visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common reasons for trips to primary care physicians.
Your gut is absolutely central to your health and IT IS THE KEY TO OVERALL WELL-BEING. There are so many choices and habits that you have control over that can benefit your body, specifically your gut!

I provide my clients with a closer look at the foods to nourish and balance their individual body, relieve discomfort, and prevent serious illness before it occurs. Keep an eye out for my next blog in my GUT HEALTH series.

If you are ready to learn which foods can help reduce stress, lower inflammation, and promote digestive healing and proper gut function schedule your free 30 minute health evaluation.

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by Crystal Baus 

Crystal Baus is certified integrative health coach and owner of HealthStyles 4 You. She focuses not only on nutrition - but also on relationships, physical activity, career and spirituality – and how those five things are connected to your health and vitality. She’ll help you take your health to the next level. For more information visit www.healthstyles4you.com.

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