The bowel is the sewage system of our body and as such is a vitally important aspect of good health.
Gut Dysbiosis & Leaky Gut
This is a subject I talk about often with my clients because gut health has far-reaching ramifications throughout the body. For example, when we’re looking at mental health, skin conditions, low immunity, infections, food intolerances, autoimmune disease, to name just a few, the gut is implicated. What’s more, underlying gut issues can be hard to spot, but they can wreak havoc in your body.
I’ve seen first hand time and time again how frustrating it can be for people who are struggling to find answers to chronic health problems. The majority of people who come to see have already been down the medical pathway, without answers.
A very common example is someone suffering from migraines, who is given powerful pain medicines, which they take each time the migraine arises. What is often overlooked is the underlying cause – and bowel health is very commonly the culprit in such cases. Another example might be chronic cystitis, where there is an overgrowth of bad bacteria and leaky gut fuelled by antibiotic use. Another common example is depression. In all these cases treating the underlying bowel issues is vital for proper healing.
Inside your gut live trillions of live microorganisms or bacteria. In fact there are three times more bacteria than cells in your body. These come together to form your microbiome. Much of the bacteria in the gut is healthy or good bacteria that are essential for good health. Having a healthy microbiome impacts your body’s ability to digest and synthesise nutrients, as well as less obvious functions, such as immune regulation, metabolism, brain function and mood, among others. A healthy gut has a strong barrier, efficient in keeping the contents of the gut, such as its bacteria, food particles and toxins, from leaking back into the bloodstream.
The bacteria in the gut can become disrupted or imbalanced, known us gut dysbiosis. Many things can impact the microbiome, from antibiotics and medications to stress and an unhealthy diet. Leaky gut occurs when the gut barrier is compromised and becomes porous. This in turn allows small particles, such as partially digested food or bacteria, to leak across the bowel wall and enter the bloodstream. Because the body doesn’t expect to see these in the bloodstream it launches an immune response. Furthermore, increasing research into this area is highlighting the link between this continuous immune response and inflammation causing a predisposition to a wide range of diseases.
How to address Gut Dysbiosis and Leaky Gut
What you eat and drink, the exercise and fresh air you have on a daily basis, and your use of pharmaceuticals – especially antibiotics, are all factors in the health of your gut. There are lifestyle choices you can make at home, which are beneficial.
In addition, you can follow a specific program of remedies to restore your bowel wall health and help correct the balance of bacteria in your gut.
- Supplements: There are natural remedies which help to repair the integrity of bowel wall in the case of leaky gut, such as glutamine, mastic gum, slippery elm, and more.
- Probiotics: To rebalance the intestinal flora, or balance of bacteria, probiotics can be used. There are a range of probiotics available, from spore forming to individual strains for specific conditions. In addition, consuming fermented food, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, cultured yogurt or kefir is an excellent way to increase healthy bacteria in the gut. It is always worth getting good advice about probiotics to make sure you are taking the strains and forms that are best suited to your health needs.
- Prebiotics: These lay the foundation for the probiotics to flourish, and come in many forms, such as raw vegetables, fruit and dietary fibre. Additionally, these can be supplemented.
- Digestive enzymes: These can be supplemented to help the body break down food compounds and increase nutrient absorption.
- Bone broth: This is rich in collagen, as well as other nutrients, that help to repair leaky gut and gut inflammation.
Testing for gut health
Underlying gut issues don’t always present with obvious signs, leaky gut is a good example of this. A good way to detect leaky gut is with iridology, which is available at my practice.
In addition, in cases that are stubborn to clear up, we can arrange a stool test. This is beneficial because it will give a detailed report and specific treatment protocols.
Very often however, testing isn’t necessarily needed and from experience and clinical assessment of your symptoms, the condition and underlying cause can be alleviated.
Call me on 01379 308707 to find out more
If you’re not opening your bowels at least once a day your body will be getting gradually more and more toxic. This is a problem that needs to be addressed.
A slow acting bowel can leave you feeling bloated and sluggish, but if the constipation continues then any one of the many side effects can manifest, such as allergies, asthma, backache, cramps, acne, eczema and psoriasis, depression, fatigue, headaches, haemorrhoids, indigestion, insomnia, irritability, low concentration, memory loss, menstrual problems, infertility, nausea, poor appetite, prostrate trouble, lymphatic congestion, weight gain … the list is endless. If it goes on longer term, this can result in more serious health conditions arising.
THE PROBLEM WITH LONG-TERM CONSTIPATION
Long-term constipation can contribute to serious health issues, such as diverticulosis and cancer.
Diverticulosis is just one of the many issues arising from constipation, where increased bowel pressure causes sac-like herniations, which often become filled with trapped faecal sludge that can become infected and cause local ‘rotting’ of tissue and leaky bowel, causing toxicity and disease in the body.
The Merck Manual (American Medical Industry Standard text for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Disease) states that in 1950 only 10% of adults over the age of 45 had diverticulosis, by 1955 that had become 15% and by 1972 was up to 30%. By 1979, 45%, so you see where this has gone and is still going.
Just keeping the bowel moving is for some really difficult, and there are those who have suffered since birth/small children. Others have simply acquired a sluggish bowel over time through food devoid of fibre, not enough water, and so on. Constipation is a progressively degenerating disease. So if you can slowly alter this you will be surprised by not just how well you feel but how many other symptoms and illness just gradually slip away. This won’t all happen overnight of course, but the immediate ‘poisoning’ that goes on with re-absorbed faecal matter (leaky bowel) will start making you feel very different quite quickly.
Remember also that backed up waste matter not only invites microbes to multiply it will attract parasites and worms.
The fibre that is found naturally in foods is often lost during the ‘processing’ of plants into ‘food’. Fibre helps the bowel transport material but there is another important aspect about soluble fibre in that it generates good bacteria. It is a ‘pre-biotic’ meaning it provides food for good bacteria to grow and thrive on. Without it the bowel will become sluggish, slower, less movement will be triggered, all with constipation as a result.
It’s not just a case of what is lost in processed foods, but also what is added. Excess sugar, including high fructose corn syrup, will induce bowel inflammation long term.
WHAT NATURAL REMEDIES CAN DO
Overall the goal is to:
- Promote regular, healthy and complete bowel movements.
- Strengthen and stimulate the muscular movement of the colon.
- Neutralise and eventually cease bloating, gas and digestive upset.
- Bowel movements becoming softer and easier to move.
- Help retrain the bowel alongside better foods and water etc (or just keep helping a strongly genetic leaning towards constipation).
Contact me if you have any questions about this and I can help guide you with the things that you would need to do to optimize your bowel health, and in so doing help to protect your health going into the future.
Diarrhoea, IBS & Crohn’s Disease
There can be many causes of these conditions, from food intolerances, auto-immune disease, to viruses and parasites. Identifying the cause and then correcting this is key to treatment. There is often a simple explanation and it is particularly important to address these now because of the havoc that can be caused elsewhere with ones health because of a a bowel that is having trouble digesting food, absorbing nutrients and eliminating waste.
If one experiences these conditions repetitively then your body will not be clearing waste and toxic material efficiently and this will open the door to illhealth in a variety of possibilities from skin problems and respiratory illness to headaches and toxicity related illness.
Call me on 01379 308707 to find out more
Common food intolerances are on the rise today and about 25% of the people who come to see me are in fact experiencing this. It can make you feel tired, rundown, and can also affect digestive function. Many of my clients don’t realize that they are sensitive to certain foods until we do some quick testing during the appointment. Intolerances are on the rise partly due to how different our food is today compared with even just a few decades ago. Agricultural methods such as with genetically modified foods and the processing that changes foods from its natural state make it harder for us to digest and will contribute to extra burdens on the body to deal with. In addition the types of food we are eating are very different too. The digestive system usually take the brunt of this but other systems, such as the lymphatic system and our skin and mucous membranes, often are affected too. In addition, our bodies are subjected to drugs, vaccines, and additives etc in our food.
Some basic food sensitivity testing can be carried out in an appointment. Additionally, there are specific remedies that can be applied.
Call 01379 308707 to find out more or to book your appointment
Gas, Bloating & Acid Reflux
These conditions can be markedly improved by adjusting one’s diet and giving the digestive system support with natural therapies. These are signs of a digestive system under stress, so correcting this for long-term health is beneficial.
With acid reflux the assumption often is that the stomach is producing too much acid, but often enough it is the opposite, where the stomach is not producing enough acid and digestive enzymes so that food then stagnates and putrifies in tthe stomach and results with acid reflux, but there are clear cases where acid reflux is distinctly worse after certain foods. This is why it’s so important to isolate the underlying cause case by case. Stress is another factor that can make quite an impact on Acid Reflux.
Call me on 01379 308707 with any questions
I often see people with gallstones and gallbladder colic. Often they have had scans which don’t always show up the gallbladder as a problem, yet they are suffering from typical gallbladder pain. This can present as upper abdominal cramps, nausea and pain that radiates to the back and sometimes up to the back of the right shoulder. I use a diagnostic technique to confirm this and then treat the problem with natural remedies. This technique will also identify if the gallbladder is likely to be a problem in the near future too.
One of the more memorable clients I treated with gallbladder pain and gallstones, took the remedies I recommended over the course of a few weeks, which he wanted to do prior to a scheduled surgery to remove the gallbladder. He came to see me three weeks later and was able to cancel the surgery because he was no longer in pain.