Do you trust your gut and the signs it sends you? Those spasms that seem to know right from wrong and true from false before your brain can even catch up? “What’s your gut telling you?” people often ask.
SIGNS FROM YOUR GUT. DON’T IGNORE THEM!
Personally, I’ve always struggled with the idea of following my gut instinct over my voice of reason. I remember when the book “Blink” by Malcolm Gladwell came out, and every Oprah and their mother were talking about it. I too was fascinated by his take on how first impressions may hold more truth than in-depth analyses. I thought to myself, “You see? Stop overthinking and just follow your instinct.” Easier said than done when you’re Gemini, the most cerebral sign in the whole zodiac. (Sorry, I had to throw in that bit of science.)
Astrology aside, snap judgments may easily backfire. However, there is a fundamental truth and unique value in listening to your gut when it comes to your health.
GUT HEALTH IS EVERYTHING
“All disease begins in the gut,” as Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine, used to say. And as Annie Lennox used to sing, “Who am I to disagree?”
Keeping a healthy gut often means keeping a healthy body and mind. It is that crucial to our overall wellness. But for some strange reason, modern medicine has mostly strayed from that simple notion, neglecting our precious, fragile guts.
Today, we take too many antibiotics, even when they are not necessary, killing our good gut flora along with the bad bacteria. We take band-aid medication for ailments that could easily be fixed with a change of lifestyle. We eat processed food that belongs in a lab, not in our kitchen. We’ve become slaves to sugar cravings and easy-fix pills.
All that is contributing to the proliferation of bad bacteria in our gut, breaking the flimsy balance in our microbiome. In more severe cases, as for people with autoimmune diseases like myself, the dysbiosis between good and bad gut bacteria leads to the destruction of the lining in our intestines, a phenomenon known as “Leaky Gut”.
WHAT’S YOUR “LEAKY GUT” TELLING YOU?
In the article “Is Leaky Gut Syndrome A Real Condition? An Unbiased Look” published on healthline.com, Becky Bell, MS, RD perfectly sums up what Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) is about:
“Leaky gut, also known as increased intestinal permeability, is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins are able to “leak” through the intestinal wall. Mainstream medical professionals do not recognize leaky gut as a real condition. However, there is quite a bit of scientific evidence that leaky gut does exist and may be associated with multiple health problems.”
Spoiler alert: as the not-so-proud owner of a very leaky gut, I’m sure LGS is all too real. When I asked my GP if “Leaky Gut” might be the source of my autoimmune diseases, he rolled his eyes and shook his head. You’d think I asked if babies came from storks. Hopefully, the medical field will soon drop that kind of attitude.
5 WARNING SIGNS OF A LEAKY GUT
So, if your conventional doctor doesn’t believe it’s real, how do you know if you have Leaky Gut? There are several signs; some may vary depending on the individual. The following 5 are fairly common:
You sleep 8 hours and still feel sluggish and lethargic during the day. Your body feels like lead and you drag yourself around with the vigor of a sloth.
- Poor immune system
You seem to get sick all the time, regardless of seasons and circumstances. Infections like UTI become a monthly occurrence, and your doctor’s office becomes a second home. You’re repeatedly prescribed antibiotics that will kill more good bacteria, thus making your problem worse. So, you’ll get sicker and end up in your doctor’s office again, where you’re prescribed more antibiotics, which will kill more good bacteria, thus making your problem worse. So, you’ll get sicker…
- Brain fog
“Why did I walk into the kitchen?” “What was I saying?” “I know I’m forgetting something.” Sounds familiar? That’s brain fog, my friend.
- Skin Rashes
I don’t just mean eczema and psoriasis. You are also susceptible to mystery skin rashes that look like special effects from a sci-fi movie. They come and go with no rhyme or reason and seem to have a mind of their own.
(Spoiler alert: there is a reason).
- Bowel Problems
This is the most socially impairing symptom of them all. It makes any activity like travel, getting ready for work, exercising, sex, and enjoying life in general so much more challenging. I’m talking bloating and enough gas to fuel a jet, with bouts of diarrhea and constipation.
SO WHAT’S YOUR GUT REALLY TELLING YOU?
If you have even 3 out of those 5 symptoms, don’t ignore them. Keep in mind that leaky or not, your intestinal lining is only one cell thick, and it needs love and care. So if you have mystery symptoms and ailments, listen to your gut and give it the break it needs and deserves. You might not have an autoimmune disease, but you can certainly use some downtime to rest, regenerate and repair. Here’s what you can easily do to feel better in a matter of days or weeks.
5 EASY STEPS TO A HEALTHY GUT
- Stop eating junk food.
That includes processed food, sodas, energy drinks, foods to which you are particularly sensitive (whatever bloats you and makes your bathroom visits smell toxic). For your own sake, make this a rule and keep your unhealthy cravings for sporadic cheat days.
- Stop eating refined sugar and refined carbs.
Eat more leafy greens and choose better carbs like sweet potatoes.
- Eat natural probiotics
Try things like kefir, natto, kombucha, or even better make your own homemade fermented vegetables.
- Take daily probiotics supplements.
- And finally, try to eliminate caffeine and alcohol.
I say try because this is the advice where almost everybody says, “No, thanks! My gut is fine the way it is.” Seriously, though, try to do it just once for yourself. You’ll love the way you feel.
IN GUT WE TRUST
Gut health might be complicated, but the solutions are often natural and simple. It is really up to you to listen to your body and understand your symptoms. Remember, just a few easy changes in your daily choices can make a huge difference in the way you live and feel. Come on, you’ve gut this! 😉