I have suffered from a lifetime of digestive issues. Stabbing pain in my abdominal wall that took me to the ER on more than one occasion. Doubled over endlessly, crying uncle, or to God, “please take me!” I always knew that I collected my stress in my stomach, however I had no idea the mechanism of why I would have such severe stomach pains every time I was upset, until I learned that there are millions of nerves in there. Wow! Who knew?
I tried to solve my stomach aches in various ways. Cutting out hormone-filled meats, dairy, gluten, lectins, wheat, unfermented soy, pea protein, and while all those greatly assisted, it was what I added to my diet that assisted me the most, and I’ll get into a few of those little nuggets of sweet-stomach magic shortly.
Since the intestines have a nervous system of their own, the ENS, or Enteric Nervous System, the gut is considered is the second brain of the body, with a system of approximately 100 million nerves found in the lining of the gut. The gut is not a freely acting enterprise of its own, with one sole purpose of aiding digestion, it is instead a co-quarterback in regulating the body’s inflammation and immunity. As a team player to the brain, the gut brain communicates to the brain upstairs through endocrine, immunity, and neural pathways.
I couldn’t believe what I am about to tell you, when I learned of all the areas of impact that that the gut reached!
Research suggests that poor gut health is a determining factor to an inflammatory disorder known as depression!!! What? Seriously? I have been depressed over half of my adult life and was never able to figure out why! I took anti-depressant, upon anti-depressant to solve an issue that the drugs only exacerbated. And there is more... this list is shocking!
Antisocial behaviors, autism, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ADD, schizophrenia, epilepsy, type 2 diabetes, anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, constipation, IBS, Crohn’s, SIBO, leaky gut, acid reflux, candida, GERD, gastritis, ulcers, autoimmune illnesses, poor immune health, sleep disorders, chronic fatigue, brain fog, mental fatigue, stress, weight gain, obesity, bad breath, dermatitis, acne, rosacea, bloating, gas, psoriasis, and many other diseases of the body are indeed connected to gut health.
It has been said that a healthy gut equals a healthy life. Whoa, is this a true statement! I used to be so constipated, giving myself hemorrhoids and a toilet-full of bloody water to eliminate; ever prayerful for just one action packed stool a day. I even invested in the Squatty Potty, to position myself just right for the perfect air-drop-hole-in-one movement!
Believe it or not, your bowel movements can tell you a LOT about the health of your body and are the biggest sign of digestive issues, hence maintaining a healthy gut is the only way to regulate your elimination. As much as I would try to create the perfect circumstance for the removal of stools, it still wasn’t enough.
As a competing track and field athlete, I regularly contracted bronchitis in the great asthmatic valley of Fresno County, therefore I consumed vast amounts of antibiotics in order to stay on the track competing—this was the start of the great microbiome war.
Once I learned of the bacterial combat I had created within, I began adding probiotics into my diet, the good bacteria, to balance what I had killed off in the antibiotic war ring of my gut. Once implementing this new strategy is when I saw level-one of the greatest changes within my body. But it wasn’t enough to take a 50 billion bacteria-count probiotic a day, since my new army of bacteria was lacking the fire power to take over the whole land of intestinal destruction.
I was still feeling the basketball in my belly of a nine-month pregnancy after many of my meals, so I went on a mission to learn every possible way to improve my overall gut health. I began to include miso, apple cider vinegar, Kim chi, Kombucha, ginger juice, turmeric, HCL supplements, and so much more. I’d love to let you in on more of the secrets I’ve learned through trial and error and we’ll find out together if they will work for you too!!!
In love and light,