Episode 83 – Gut Problems DON’T Always Mean Gut Symptoms
Today I’m talking about the importance of gut rejuvenation, and why I start here with almost EVERY woman I work with. I teach you the importance of gut lining integrity, your microbiome, how your immune system plays into all this and the gut-brain connection.
Michelle Rogers, ND, MSAOM, FDN-P
Over the past several years, I’ve created the most accessible, streamlined and effective virtual practice working with high-achieving women entrepreneurs, go-getters, and other badass women all over the world.
I intentionally blend my background of Functional, Naturopathic, and East Asian Medicine with my extensive experience in the online business world to help provide my clients with the personalized blueprint and strategy they need to get the mental focus, energy and business strategy required to share their gifts, better serve their clients and show up even more for the people they love.
Hey there, Michelle here with another episode for you. Today I’m chatting about gut health, but probably not in the way you think.
Most people think that you have to have gut symptoms — things like constipation, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting to have a disturbance along your digestive tract.
The fact is, that just ain’t so.
If your gut health is compromised, you can actually have systemic symptoms — symptoms that might seem completely unrelated to gut health.
Things like hormonal imbalances, PMS, headaches, migraines, skin issues, sleep issues, and a TON more, and the reason is because there are four main parts of the gut that can affect our entire body.
- The gut lining
- Gut bacteria
- Enteric immune system
- Enteric nervous system
Now, the gut lining is important for several reasons, mainly because it acts as the main protective barrier between the outside world and our inner world.
When it’s functioning at its best, it acts like filter — only letting certain nutrients though, but keeping larger food particles, toxins, pathogenic bacteria, yeast and parasites out.
BUT, when our gut lining is compromised, we can end up with something called intestinal permeability, or leaky gut.
This is when the cells start to get loose and lazy — they don’t stick together as well as they should, so food particles and pathogens can get through, which activates the immune system causing inflammation on a systemic level.
This can lead to food sensitivities and even autoimmunity, if not addressed.
Also, when our gut is “leaky”, we end up having more exposure to various allergens and an increased risk of toxic exposure, because these elements can slip through the gut lining.
All of these things can cause excess inflammation, confusion in our immune system (which may or may not lead to autoimmune conditions down the line), AND it can put a lot of stress on our adrenal glands, which directly impacts our hormonal communication systems, including our estrogen, progesterone and thyroid function.
And guess what? You can have all of these inflammatory effects happen in the body WITHOUT having any overt digestive symptoms.
That’s why SO many people are walking around with chronic illness and supposed “mystery” symptoms, because their gut health is being overlooked.
So, that’s just the gut lining, now what about gut bacteria?!
There used to be circulating estimates that bacterial cells outnumbered our human cells 10 to 1, but after doing a little updated research myself, it looks like that ratio is actually closer to 1.3 to 1… or basically equal parts.
Which, honestly, is STILL pretty impressive!
Our gut microbiome makes up a huge portion of that number and they are responsible for
- Helping our body digest certain foods that the stomach and small intestine haven’t been able to breakdown.
- They help with the production of some vitamins in the B and K family.
- They help us keep other microorganisms in check.
- And they play an important role in the immune system by creating an additional protective barrier between our vulnerable inside world and the potential insults we can bring in by eating and drinking.
This is why you’ve seen such a huge push and even mainstream commercials touting the benefits of probiotics.
Unfortunately, not all probiotics are created equal — there are issues around viability of certain strains, which strains are better for various conditions and whether or not we should even be taking probiotics on a daily basis.
In my practice, I use them therapeutically, while we’re doing a comprehensive gut healing protocol, but I don’t usually recommend them long-term.
Alright, let’s move on to the enteric immune system — enteric just means gut-related, so it’s your gut associated immune system — technically called GALT, which stands for gut associated lymphoid tissue — which is actually REALLY important, because about 60% of your immune system is in your gut.
SO, as you can imagine, if your gut is inflamed or irritated, it’s going to put stress and strain on your immune system distracting it from other invaders that might be attacking your sinuses, lungs or skin!
This is important, because if you’re someone who constantly has a stuffy nose, or catching all the colds and flus or it takes you forever to get over being sick — I HIGHLY encourage you to address your gut health.
You can take ALL the immune boosting syrups, teas and potions, but if you don’t address your gut health, you won’t get very far.
Alright, finally the enteric nervous system — aka our second brain — your enteric nervous system actually contains more neurons than your spinal cord. Pretty cool, right?
So, why is this important?
Well, major neurotransmitters like serotonin, dopamine, glutamate, norepinephrine and nitric oxide are in the gut along with about two dozen different brain proteins called neuropeptides.
This means that your gut is constantly communicating with your brain!
AND, your brain is the control center for the body. Depending on the chemical messengers that are being sent and received through neurons, the brain sends messengers to the rest of the body, which affects every single cell and tissue you have — this includes your organs, your ovaries, your heart, your muscles — along with things like your mood — your level of depression or anxiety.
THIS is why I always start with the gut.
THIS is why I created my gut rejuvenation program.
During this 4 month program, we do comprehensive functional tests to assess your gut health, microbiome, immune function, and food sensitivities, so we can create a personalized healing protocol that works for your body, instead of against it.
We’re able to identify which herbal antimicrobials are best, which probiotics you need, whether or not you need enzyme support and whether or not we need to address leaky gut.
We remove the inflammatory triggers that have thrown off your gut function, heal your gut lining and set you up with a personalized food plan that is tailored to your metabolic type.
If you’re interested in learning more, let’s set up a time to chat to see if this program is the right fit for you.
Just head to wellthywoman.co/chat to hop on my schedule.
Alright, in SUMMARY, gut health is ESSENTIAL to every other aspect of your health because of
- The gut lining
- The microbiome
- The gut immune system
- The gut nervous system
Alright — that’s a wrap for this week – if you found this episode helpful, please share it with someone you love.
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So, tune in next week for more awesome and actionable info!
Chat with you then!