How's your Gut?
Its no secret that gut issues are becoming more prevalent. You only need to look at menus in the cafes and restaurants and you will see catering for all sorts of gut conditions. There are gluten, dairy, and nut free, low carb, high protein, in fact the range of retail gluten free products has increased incredibly in recent years. And even though you might think it looks like a trendy, healthy way of eating, if you suffer from an issue with your gut you know all too well its far from sexy!
But behind the gluten free muesli, cauliflower rice and turmeric smoothies is a gut gurgling just waiting to let out a fart hopefully you are alone, always planning where each bathroom is every time you leave the house, being asked if you’re expecting a baby as you watch your belly expand. It is an exhausting life and unfortunately is becoming more common in this modern world.
Although there are differing reasons for an individual’s gut issues there are some practical tips that may help you to settle that gut and hopefully make it a happier belly.
Many people have been on a merry go round seeking help from their doctors and have experienced many opinions only to still be facing those sometimes-debilitating symptoms.
Did you know that your gut extends far beyond your stomach? In fact it is approximately 8.5 metres long if stretched out. It starts at the mouth and finishes at the anus. Digestion actually begins in the mouth with salivary enzymes breaking down carbohydrates and from there foods become broken down and nutrients absorbed in the small intestine. This also houses (or should be) your beneficial bacteria which are involved in the process of breaking down the foods and also maintaining your immune system. Unfortunately, the lining of the gut is a lot less dense than our skin and if it becomes compromised can allow small particles of foreign particles from undigested foods, toxins and bacteria etc. into the bloodstream. This is called intestinal hyperpermeability or Leaky Gut. When this happens, it is like opening the door to the bloodstream letting these foreign elements to flow into it. This begins the cascade of inflammation which ultimately leads to many different disease conditions. These can be intestinal and extra-intestinal, auto-immune, inflammatory and neoplastic diseases. It is imperative to re-establish the intestinal barrier function to help reduce the symptoms of these conditions.
So how do you know if you have a leaky GUT?
Some typical symptoms include cramping, bloating, nausea &/or vomiting, constipation &/or diarrhoea. Of course, these are localised symptoms but what about the more discreet signs you might be experiencing? According to Belinda Reynolds (Bioceuticals Education Manager) you may also experience a fogginess in the head after eating, sluggishness, fatigue, skin rashes, joint pain and even hormonal imbalances.