Most of us are aware that the bacteria in our gut plays an important role in digestion. When the stomach and small intestine are unable to digest certain foods we eat, gut microbes jump in to offer a helping hand, ensuring we get the nutrients we need.
In addition, gut bacteria are known to aid the production of certain vitamins like B and K and play a major role in immune function. This is leading researchers to study the impact that gut bacteria has on our health.
Research suggests that the gut bacteria in healthy people are different from those with certain diseases. Every human being has a gut microbiota (community of bacteria) that is unique. People who are sick may have too little or too much of a certain type of gut bacteria, or they may lack a variety of bacteria.
Scientists have begun to draw links between the following illnesses and the bacteria in your gut:
Obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease: Your gut bacteria affects the body’s metabolism. They determine how many calories you get from food and what kinds of nutrients you receive. Too much gut bacteria can make you turn fiber into fatty acids. This can cause fat deposits in your liver, leading to something called metabolic syndrome – a condition that can lead to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis: It’s believed that people with these conditions have lower levels of certain anti-inflammatory gut bacteria. The exact connection is unclear, but researchers think that some bacteria may make your body attack your intestines and set the stage for these diseases.
Mental Health: According to the American Psychological Association (APA), gut bacteria produce an array of neurochemicals that the brain uses for the regulation of physiological and mental processes, including memory, learning, and mood. And, 95% of the body’s supply of serotonin is produced by gut bacteria. Which means that gut bacteria have been associated with a number of mental health problems that include anxiety disorders and depression.
Knowing the effect that gut bacteria has on our mental and physical health, it’s good to know that there are some things you can do to have a healthy gut:
A healthy diet can encourage the presence of good gut bacteria. Consuming fermented foods – such as miso and sauerkraut – increases the level of fermenting bacteria in the gut. In addition, fruits and vegetables contain fibers and sugars that can boost the health of gut bacteria.
And, eating probiotic-rich foods and taking a daily probiotic supplement also help to put good bacteria into our bodies. Probiotic-rich foods include live-cultured yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, pickles, miso soup, apple cider vinegar, dark chocolate.
Let Me Share My Gut Health Journey
My gut has been controlling my life for the last 9 years. When I was 32 years old, my body starting shutting down on me – literately! I had zero energy, was super moody and in extreme pain from head to toe. I remember laying in my bed and crying out to God to take me home already. I couldn’t handle the pain any more! I went to the Dr. and he said I was “pre-menopausal”. SERIOUSLY???? if this is what woman go through in the “pre” stages of menopause – then I don’t want to see what the full stage of menopause will do to me. I wasn’t settled and my husband wasn’t going to let me roll over and die – so we went to a Natural Path, where he did all kinds of tests on me – examined my blood and heart. After 8 hours of analysis with him, we came to the conclusion that the stress in my life was killing me and there was no “slowly” about it. I was 8 points away from needing a pace maker, as my heart was skipping beats. My blood was all caked together, making it really hard to flow throughout my body which was why I was in so much pain head to toe. My system was rejecting all the nutrients I was feeding it, I could’ve been eating like a rabbit and I would still be gaining weight. My body was trying to protect my organs by surrounding them with fat – I was weighing in over 200lbs, when my healthy weight sits around 150lbs.
The best words that Dr. said to me was “yes, you are fixable”.
It was a journey to rebuild my systems, healing my body with food and the right supplements to support my body. It was like my “nutritional bucket” was empty – so we had to refill it and that takes time. You see, when you start healing the body this way it takes time and a whole lot of Grace to get you there. I would say it was about 6 months in to a very intense rebuild before I started to feel better, and over 10 months before I could go for a walk with my family without it wiping me out for days. I started working out again and over a course of about 16 months I was back to my healthy weight and feeling amazing! So amazing in fact that I started getting a little “flexible” in what I was eating and like a blind fool that I was I started slipping back down the rabbit hole.
The last 2 years I have hit that brick wall all over again, thankfully I recognized the cries my body was making…
- Anxiety and depression at one of the highest points of my life. I would have crazy anxiety going to work, church even home where everything is suppose to feel safe.
- Leaky gut symptoms. Every time I ate, it would run through me like water. Not fun when you are out & about.
- Excessive stomach acid – which was causing my esophagus to expand, making me feel like I was suffocating when I ate anything. I couldn’t breathe and it was increasingly getting worse by the day.
- I had gained back my weight loss, sitting over the 200lb mark once again.
- No energy, couldn’t exercise without it zapping me of any energy that I had left to do my daily life tasks.
- My moods were unstable, I could snap and loose myself over the silliest things.
- Broken sleep, waking every 2 hours. Never feeling rested
Back to my Natural Path Dr. to find out that I has SIBO (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth). It was time once & for all to really listen to my body and what it needed to be able to live a healthy and fulfilling life.
My Mission (if I chose to accept it) was to repair my Gut Health
I hit that battle field with fire in my eyes and ready to take on the fight.
Some of the tools I have in my tool belt are:
- Keto Diet – I have found that Healthful Pursuit blog has been my go to resource for helping me with this new way of eating.
- Plexus – these supplements have given my gut the extra support it needs.
- Self Love – exploring my “Inner Self” has been #Priceless want to know what you need to truly Love Yourself? Contact Me for a Free Coaching Session
Over the last 6 months, I have balanced my depression & anxieties. I have lost 20lbs and counting. I have energy to exercise now and I am super excited for the days ahead!
Next week I’ll be sharing the connection between your microbiome and your diet, stay tuned!
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