Path to Health and Healing

Why Does Gut Health Matter?

02_Scott Dankof_DP_Autumn Falls_Web 500pxCan your digestive system or gut, as it is often referred to, be a reflection of your overall health?  It most certainly can be and likely is.  Good health starts with stress management and a healthy digestive system.  Eating the wrong foods devoid of good nutrition will play havoc with your health.  It is just a matter of when.  Much of our food today has been genetically modified, laced in pesticides, and then is further altered into packaged foods full of preservatives and chemicals.  Sadly, when you look at many food labels today there are many things on the ingredient list that you can’t pronounce and belong in a chemistry lab rather than in your body.  Adding fuel to the fire is the overuse of antibiotics and prescription medications.  

This assault on your digestive tract will compromise the protective barriers that help to keep you well.  It does this by creating stress and inflammation and the wearing down of the microvilli within the small intestine and a lowering of secretory IgA.  This weakens the normal immune defenses.  Your health begins to deteriorate after years of abuse.  You wake up one day and wonder what happened.  You have developed food sensitivities, maybe repeated infections, and allergies.  You are tired, overweight and feel like a hormonal mess.  You are depressed and you can’t sleep. aGuess what?  It is highly probable this mess began in your gut.

Food sensitivities are another factor that has become a big problem contributing to inflammation in your digestive tract.  The hard part is trying to figure out what foods may be a problem. Likely the number one food sensitivity is gluten.  So start there and eliminate all gluten containing foods from your diet for one month.  Many foods and even makeup have hidden gluten in them.  The whole grain foods you are eating in the name of good health can actually be contributing to your health problems if you are one of the millions that do have gluten sensitivity. Grains such as wheat, rye, barley, kamut, and spelt contain gluten.  Some examples of grains that are gluten free are quinoa, rice, cornmeal, tapioca, amaranth, and flax.  There are also lots of good cookbooks on the market to help you.  

If you start feeling better, you have a gluten issue.  This is an under diagnosed and unappreciated factor contributing to inflammation and disease.  Symptoms I often will see when I suspect someone has a gluten sensitivity may include fatigue, difficulty losing weight, fluid retention, joint pain, headaches, hormonal imbalances, and change in mood.  

Fix the gut and you will likely see your health begin to improve.  How do you do that?  By limiting your exposure to things that will weaken your natural defenses within your digestive tract.  This begins first and foremost by eating a healthy diet rich in organic vegetables, fruits, nuts, healthy oils such as extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil.  Try eating fish a couple days a week, such as wild salmon or tilapia.  Eat close to the earth.  Eat real foods.  Know the ingredients you are consuming. Avoid eating as much packaged food as possible.  I know it can be more expensive to eat this way.  Ask yourself though, what is the cost of having heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or arthritis?  These are just some of the many conditions linked to your diet. Don’t believe me? I encouraged you to watch this documentary:

“Hungry for Change” at http://www.hungryforchange.tv/free-worldwide-online-screening

Why Does Gut Health Matter?
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9 thoughts on “Why Does Gut Health Matter?

  1. This is so true. I was frustrated for years why I had so much trouble loosing weight when I was eating healthy and exercising regularly. I was also retaining fluid in my legs. When I began to focus on a higher protein diet with no bread I began to lose weight and my stomach problems decreased a great deal. I discovered by accident it was the gluten.

    1. Angie, Good for you for not giving up! Gluten is a very under diagnosed and unappreciated cause of many health problems. We all have to be are own health advocates. Way to go! Laura

    1. Your very welcome. My goal is to increase people’s awareness about those things that can be affecting your health and to give you tools to help you do something about it.

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