Between 60-80% of our immune system is located in our gut so it’s really important to know when we have digestive system problems.
Gut bacteria, which we have around 100 trillion cells of, play a huge role in our general health. All of the systems within our body are connected, it’s important not to think that everything is independent of the other. For this reason, it is essential that you recognize if your digestive system is out of balance and how to get your gut back to full health.
Digestive system problems can present as hormonal imbalances, autoimmune diseases, diabetes, chronic fatigue, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, eczema, rosacea and many other chronic health problems. The good bacteria found in our gut: improves digestion, strengths the immune system and manufactures vitamins that the body needs.
What are the signs of digestive system problems?
- Bloating, gas, and diarrhea
- Frequent infections
- Mood swings
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
It’s important that if you have any of the above symptoms to pay your doctor a visit to rule out anything more serious.
What can we do to rebalance and improve the state of our digestive system?
Firstly, we need to remove the bad things in our diet that will affect the gut environment. These things would include inflammatory foods and irritants such as alcohol, caffeine, and drugs.
Inflammatory foods include: gluten, dairy, corn, soy, eggs, and sugars (including fructose)
It’s recommended to do an elimination diet to identify which are the foods that are causing the most digestive system problems. Undertake this for two weeks and then add them back in and note how your body reacts.
Next, you need to replace the good. This would include digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids, these are all needed for a good and healthy digestive system.
Then, we need to restore the good bacteria in the gut, which may have been reduced or damaged by the inflammatory foods. You can achieve this by taking a probiotic supplement which must contain bifidobacteria and lactobacillus. It’s also great if you consume foods with a high soluble fibre content.
Finally, we need to repair the gut by providing it with necessary nutrients. A particularly useful one is L-glutamine, which helps the to invigorate the gut wall. Other great nutrients to take are zinc, omega-3 fish oils, vitamin A, C and E and some herbs including slippery elm and aloe vera.
We can do great wonders for our gut by eating fermented foods, these encourage the good bacteria to flourish.
Interestingly these foods were commonplace in our ancestor’s diets and can include:
- Lacto-fermented fruits and vegetables
- Non-pasteurized yogurt, cheese, and kefir
More research emerges that shows the connection between the gut and the health of the mind and body. Which, is great because you the power to heal yourself from within by avoiding inflammatory foods and eating more fermented foods and taking a good probiotic supplement.
If you are experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms of digestive system problems, go and see a doctor for a once over before embarking on these kinds of dietary changes.
By Holly W.