Do you experience or know anyone who experiences any of the following symptoms?
- Gas and bloating
- Allergies and/or sensitivities to certain foods or smells
- Eczema, canker sores or acne
- Migraine headaches
- Abdominal pain
- Brain fog, anxiety and depression
Did you know that the above symptoms all have the same root cause in common?
Nagging and often irritating manifestations, from your brain function to your skin to respiratory system to your belly, all stem from the same place.
Any guesses to where the root cause is located? Knowing me, you might know where this root cause is…
Yep, it’s in your gut!
First let’s remember that your body is a complex and amazing one. It is an interwoven and unique system that is constantly interacting. Organs are not independent from one another, but rather work in unison together.
At first, I can understand how it might be odd to think of your respiratory challenge, or most other health conditions, as stemming from the health of your primary digestion and absorption organ; the small intestine. But when really diving into the chemical reactions that are going on inside your body, things start to become clearer. These health challenges are warning signs that the body is sending you, informing you that something has gone wrong.
By getting to the actual cause of the manifestation, we can improve the health issue instead of masking over the signs and symptoms. You have a greater chance of being successful with your health challenges when identifying, addressing and understanding the knowledge of the root cause(s).
Let’s say you are experiencing a health challenge. You might go to the doctor to try and improve the situation. Often more times than not, the health challenge isn’t improved, instead the symptoms are dealt with. Those symptoms listed are often covered up, like a band-aid. Yes, your symptoms might disappear, which is great! But whatever is causing your symptoms to appear in the first place is not rectified. This is like putting a band-aid over a gaping wound.
Instead, we need to give our bodies what they need to function properly and improve our organ or organs that are working insufficiently. Poor gut health limits the organs, and whole body for that matter, from being able to function properly.
So, how can health challenges be impacted due to your gut?
Let’s start by discussing the gastrointestinal (GI) membrane…
The GI mucosal membrane surface is the largest interface between our internal body and the external world. It covers more than 400 square meters, that’s over 200-fold greater than the surface of your skin.
Over an individual’s lifetime, a person consumes over 25 tons of food, which gives the body nutrients through the processes of digestion and absorption. The GI tract is not only responsible for digestion and nutrient absorption, but is an essential protective layer from external pathogens.
When you consume food, it goes into your mouth, down the esophagus and to the stomach. From here the gallbladder and pancreas produce enzymes that are secreted into the gut and aid in further digestion. The quality of the enzymes produced by those organs is dependent on the health of your small intestine. These enzymes are then pumped into the gates of the small intestine.
Well, there are many detailed chemical processes that facilitate what is put into circulation by the small intestine. When functioning properly, the small intestine is your main gatekeeper. It determines what will and what will not travel into the circulatory system. Therefore, it’s the health of the small intestine that allows the gatekeepers to do their job.
And if your small intestine is being compromised, you are too. You could be absorbing the many not so good “foods,” or as prolific journalist and professor Michael Pollan likes to put it “food like substances,” (such as toxins) into your body. With poor nutritional intake and absorption, the cells of the small intestine are not able to support healthy regeneration, profoundly affecting the integrity of the small intestinal barrier. The gates are compromised, thus causing symptoms to arise in numerous possible ways.
Some factors associated with poor small intestine health:
- Nutrient insufficiencies
- Excessive stress
- Gastrointestinal infections
- Food allergies
- Excessive simple sugar consumption
- Poorly digested foods
- Food additives
- Over-the-counter drugs like NSAIDs
- Foreign microbes
- Whole food exposure before the age of 4 months
Therefore, it is key to have proper GI barrier function within the small intestine so certain poorly digested nutrients and other factors do not enter where they are not supposed to be. If they enter, they cause havoc on the body causing symptoms to arise, which can also disrupt your mental and hormonal health.
Even if you don’t experience any symptoms linked to your digestive system, one of the root causes of all manifestations is usually the health of your gut. This needs to be in good restoration.
But don’t worry, if your small intestine is out of whack, there’s hope. It can be restored!
Remember, a healthy small intestine is your gatekeeper for peak health.
In our nutrition sessions we get to the root causes, giving you the tools to heal your gut and improve your signs and symptoms.
PS - Wanting new recipe ideas? Follow me on Pinterest for some yummy and creative ideas.
Hello, my name is Stacy Peterson, Functional Nutritionist and Holistic Health, Wellness and Strength & Conditioning Coach with a MS in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine practicing whole-foods nutrition and physical training to individuals around the globe.
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