FYI: I am not a scientist. I am not a researcher. I am not a nutritionist or dietician. I am a Physical Therapist, an online fitness coach, and a mom that has a passion for health and learning/sharing as much as I can. The information I post is from personal research and collaboration with other medical professionals…along with some of my own opinions and experience, but is by no means a replacement for medical advice from your doctor/nutritionist/naturopath. There are multiple factors in diseases and mental illness and I would never claim to have extensive knowledge in the prevention or treatments of these; however, I feel like gut health can play such a huge role in these, so why not take the steps to improve the overall balance in your body.
Time for some truth. What you’re eating is probably either harming you or helping you. It’s kind of crazy to think a good majority of health issues out there, including some anxiety and depression symptoms, could be related to gut health! Let’s just start with a list of things they are finding to be affected negatively or positively by your MICROBIOME…a.k.a. the bacteria and fungi that line your G.I. Tract (that gut):
Acne, Anxiety, Asthma/Allergies, Autism, Autoimmune Diseases (such as Multiple Sclerosis, Bone Health, Rheumatoid Arthritis, etc), Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Dental Cavities, Depression, Diabetes, Eczema, Fertility, Gastric Ulcers, Hardening of Arteries, High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, IBS, Intestinal Infections, Obesity, Respiratory Tract Infections, Urinary and Genital Health
That’s a pretty vast list! Why is this? The biome is responsible for 70% of your immune system. There is not one system in the body that is not affected by the biome….either in a good way or a bad way. How?
Let’s talk permeability, which is the integrity of the Gastrointestinal (GI) Tract. The ability for the GI tract to absorb nutrients, vitamins, and minerals is dependent on a healthy biome lining. On the other hand, a biome that is lacking a proper balance of helpful bacteria and fungi will create an environment that does not protect against toxins. Without the proper balance and a healthy lining, the permeability is affected and the gut can leak….ever heard of a “leaky gut?” If the permeability is increased, your gut can leak substances into the body that should be kept out. What happens when these toxins leak into the body?
Inflammation plays such a role in disease process and health. Why are we getting inflammation?
Your body is reacting to the toxins leaking from your gut. These toxins have been linked to a wide variety of negative impacts in mental health, disease process, autoimmune responses and GI distress. A healthy biome has been linked to a variety of things ranging all the way from healthy teeth to improving anxiety to cancer protection.
So if our microbiome plays such a big role in our bodies, why aren’t we doing more to correct it? Research is being done out there and there is already extensive knowledge on what improves and what harms this leaky gut issue. This is such a powerful tool because it is something people can take into their own hands to try to change their health and possibly affect current diseases or prevent future diagnoses.
I will continue to go into the steps we can take to work towards a healthy gut, but having a good understanding of WHY you are making those changes is the first step to taking action and sticking with healthier choices.
Let’s continue to learn to trust our gut.