by Hannah Aylward: Have you ever just felt off?
You could be going through a period of time when your energy is down, brain seems foggy, stomach is rumbling, pants keep getting tighter and skin just won’t seem to clear up. Or maybe your anxiety is higher than normal and your mood seems uneven. Have you just gotten some bad news from your doctor, given a new diagnosis or been put on a new medication?
You may be wondering, ‘What could be causing these uncomfortable symptoms?’
The truth is: most health conditions are linked to the gut. If random health problems are arising, and you are feeling lost and confused, listen to your gut.
We know that the gut houses most of our immune system making it a critical part of the body, because we fight off disease with a strong immune system. Oftentimes, we think to strengthen our immune system with vitamin C and herbs (which are amazing supplements), but this can only go so far. Think of it like this, if you are standing on a tack, taking an Advil will help manage the pain, but it is not getting to the root cause of the issue. You will need to continue taking Advil, and most likely increase your dosage to continue managing the pain. However, your foot isn’t hurting because you have an Advil deficiency. If you identified the root cause of the issue which is that a tack is still in your foot and removed the tack from your foot, the pain would eventually subside. Your body would begin to heal itself. Ahhh, beautiful.
New research shows that an imbalance in the good and bad bacteria in the gut cause inflammatory responses in mice that are linked to age-related conditions such as stroke, dementia and cardiovascular disease. Therapies that target the bacterial composition of the gut, through changes to diet and pre- and probiotic supplements, may lead to a healthier aging population. Other research has shown poor gut health is linked to hormonal imbalances, allergies, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, diabetes, liver disease, obesity, autism, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema and rosacea, and more.
So I encourage you to take a moment and evaluate where you stand today. If you are not living your most healthy and vibrant life, this could be your missing link. Here’s the thing, you can’t eat a diet high in processed carbohydrates, sugar and inflammatory foods, live a high-stress lifestyle, take a fair amount of medication and support your gut health at the same time. These actions don’t add up. The frequent late night sweets and go-to pizza dinners are affecting way more than your waistline. They are increasing your risk for disease.
We may not want to admit these things, but in order to live well, we have to be accountable for our actions. To make a much larger picture a bit smaller: Is the slice of pizza worth sacrificing energy and longevity?
This isn’t to say that we can eat vegetables and ward off every disease out there, don’t get me wrong. But if we want a shot at feeling better now, with a good chance of minimizing most disease, it’s time we start nurturing this intelligent bacterial ecosystem.