What’s Up With The Gut?: why you should be concerned with gut health and what to do about it

Gut health and the concept of “leaky gut” has become a hot topic these days and for good reason. Have you wondered if poor gut health could be playing a role in your life and what you can do about it? The term “gut health” has become increasingly popular, but if you feel unsure about how this affects your health or weight, you are not alone! Let’s take a close look at this trendy nutrition topic.

What is gut health?

The term gut health refers to the digestion and absorption of the food you eat, the integrity of your gut lining and the status of the immune systems located in your gut. The state of your gut is associated with every system in your body, including your cells, organs and numerous biochemical processes. If you can’t properly break down (digest) the food you eat and/or absorb the vital nutrients your food provides,  your body will not get what it needs to maintain proper structure and function.

Why does gut health matter?

Hippocrates said over 2000 years ago that all disease starts in the gut and it turns out he was right! If gut health is impaired you will not feel your best, because of the roles discussed above. Often, poor gut health is at the root of many chronic diseases. Addressing and fixing poor gut function can improve not only diseases of the GI tract such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Inflammatory Bowel Disease but it may also improve those that aren’t as commonly associated with your digestive system such as autoimmune conditions, thyroid disease, chronic fatigue, depression and even weight management issues.

What can you do to help repair your gut health?

Here are 3 simple steps to put you on the right track to supporting the gut:

  1. Stop damaging the gut.

The first step is to remove things that may be causing inflammation in the gut. The gut will not be able to heal if you continue to come in contact with things that promote inflammation. Consider removing or limiting the following: refined carbohydrates, added sugar, highly processed foods, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, unnecessary antibiotics, low quality supplements with additives and fillers, stress, excessive exercise, and foods with the potential to cause sensitivities or allergies.  It is also important to assess for chronic gut infections that may be causing ongoing damage. This may sound like a lot, but the best way to accomplish this is to work with a Functional/Integrative Physician or Registered Dietitian who can help restore your gut health.

  1. Support the gut to heal existing damage.

The second step is to provide the gut with supportive foods and supplements that will help the healing process. Focus on anti-inflammatory foods like, healthy fats, fermented foods, and plenty of vegetables and fruit. In addition consider adding extra support by supplementing with a high quality probiotic, fish oil and L-glutamine. Talk to your Integrative or Functional medicine provider today for recommendations on supplement quality and dosing.

  1. Continue gut healthy habits.

Gut issues are not healed overnight. It takes time and consistency to see results. Trust in the process and continue to choose foods that will support a healthy gut.

Follow this easy three-step process to begin healing and move you one step closer to feeling your best. If you need extra support don’t be afraid to reach out. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness! Premier Integrative Health specializes in finding and addressing the underlying causes of chronic disease. To get more information about Premier Integrative Health vist our website by clicking here

Written by: Abby Stanley, MS RDN LD

Abby has recently joined the PIH team as a Functional Nutritionist. She is also the owner and CEO of Revive Nutrition Solutions, LLC. She loves helping others improve their health and life through nutrition an advocate for eating REAL food!