RN Advice: GUT HEALTH

Posted on September 30, 2012 by

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Gut Health: More than a Daily Movement

“All disease begins in the gut” ~ Hippocrates

Wow! Hippocrates said that more than 2,000 years ago but we are just coming to understand just how right he was.  Over the past 2 decades, research has revealed that gut health is critical to overall health and an unhealthy gut contributes to a wide range of diseases.

Our gut has trillions of good bacteria that facilitate the break down of food into nutrients to be absorbed into the blood stream.  These bacteria, also called probiotics, detoxify and protect us from infection. Unfortunately, our modern lifestyle directly contributes to the growth of unhealthy gut flora with:

• the use of pharmaceuticals especially antibiotics

• diets of refined carbohydrates, sugar and processed foods

• dietary toxins like wheat and industrial seed oils, and

• chronic stress and infections.

We all know that if we are stressed or our gut is not happy, our bowel habits change.  We feel bloat, diarrhea, constipation or symptoms of irritable bowel disease.  But the thought that gut health is linked to diabetes, obesity, mental health, rheumatoid arthritis or thyroid disease initially seems far fetched.

Research has shown when the intestinal barrier is permeable (“leaky gut”) large molecules and toxins escape into the bloodstream.  Since these molecules and toxins do not belong outside of the gut, the body mounts a systemic inflammatory response.  The symptoms we experience may not be only digestive but can also present as eczema, depression, arthritis, allergies, heart failure or other autoimmune diseases.

To address these diseases, it is important to start with the restoration of the gut bacteria.

• ELIMINATE toxins (sugar and processed foods)

• EAT a diet of quality protein, complex carbohydrates and Omega-3 fats.

• MANAGE stress and get plenty of rest.

• DRINK 1+ gallon of water per day.

 Our gut is the first line of defense in disease prevention and we hold the key:

EAT CLEAN!

Posted in: RN Advice