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Healthy Gut = Healthy Body

Are you confused by Gut Health, Prebiotics, Probiotics, Fermented Foods, Sauerkrout, Kombucha etc. I don't blame you at all. So I will explain it all in this article so that you can understand why all the buzz terms and how to easily implement it into your day to improve your gut health - FUSS FREE.

What is gut health? Gut health refers to the balance between good bacteria and bad bacteria. Up to 80% of how immune system is found in our gut and many vitamins are manufactured in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. In Chinese Medicine, we believe the digestion is the powerhouse to the entire body as we strongly believe all organs are interconnected to form one human body. Simply looking at your health in segments (ie: digestive system, reproductive system etc) will only lead to more health concerns.

What contributes to poor gut health? There are so many factors that contribute to an unhealthy gut. As a health practitioner, I’m not just focusing on the symptoms the person is presenting with but what was happening prior to the symptoms presenting. This is actually the most important information to gather as often that will identify the reasons behind the disease. I strongly believe, it is absolutely essential to treat the cause otherwise just treating the disease often means the illness will re-present itself as the cause has not been addressed. Here are some ways to upset your gut flora (the balance between good and bad bacteria):

  • Poor Diet – fast food, sugar, alcohol, caffeinated foods and drinks, refined carbohydrates, excess processed foods.
  • Lifestyle Factors – late nights, excessive partying, recreational drugs.
  • Emotions – stress (excessive emotional stress will impact the adrenal glands that often leads to adrenal fatigue > this leads to digestive upsets, foods intolerances, auto-immune disease and so on)
  • Illnesses – require medications that upset gut flora such as antibiotics, plus an illness can result from poor gut health so impact the healthy balance within the gut.
  • Childhood illness – this is not meant to make any one feel bad but if a child is born c-section, is fed unhealthy foods or is dealing with an illness that requires them to take medications then their gut health will most prbably be compromised. The great news is that this can easily be rectified and there is no need for stress or be concerned. Look at the child's illness an insight into their health and deal with the situation with the right diet to improve gut health, probiotics and overall improving general wellbeing to alleviate the health concern.
What symptoms/diseases develop from poor gut health? Typically, people would think poor gut health would cause digestive issues but in fact the diseases that can manifest are much more varied. Each of us have individual weaknesses due to our genetics and when genes are switched on our gut health can really impact our ability to manage and treat the diseased body. Diseases include:
  • Skin problems - such as eczema, psoriasis, acne, sensitive skin, unexplained skin rashes.
  • Auto immune diseases
  • Diabetes
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Emotional disturbances
  • Infertility
  • Reproductive health issues
  • Headaches/migraines
  • Food intolerances/allergies
  • Stool changes
  • Bloating
  • Cravings for sugar/salty foods
  • Weight gain/loss (unexplained)
  • Digestive diseases – IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, etc
  • Chronic health issues
How do we improve our gut health?
  • Diet – fermented foods (Kefir, Kombucha, Sauerkrout, Yoghurt), clean eating, avoid packaged food, refined carbs/foods – Fresh is always best.
  • Supplements – probiotics (get advice from a health practitioner as different types of probiotics are best for specific conditions), other supplements are useful for your specific health status.
  • Address stress - if you can't minimise it, then use tools to manage it such as meditation, yoga, positive visualisation, walking barefoot on the grass (parklands) or sand (at the beach).
  • Deal with the initial symptoms before the disease presented.
  • Deal with the disease itself that has presented
This can be quite overwhelming to do on your own so look for some guidance in a health practitioner as managing this on your own and buying medicines over the counter (even natural supplements) can be harmful if not overseen by a qualified health practitioner. Remember even water is a chemical so to look for things that are natural doesn't mean that are specifically useful for your situation.