gut health

Gut Health Expert

A healthy gut impacts every function and dysfunction in the human body, from digestive function, immune function, brain health, metabolic function, skin diseases to many other disease dynamics. That is why it is foundational for  functional medicine practice to prioritise healthy gut function first and foremost. Your gut houses trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi. Human beings are essentially more bacteria than cells. We host over 100 different species of bacteria, with some being classified as good and others as bad. In fact, no person has the same set of bacteria, we all contain our own unique sets. The relationship with these bacteria can either be symbiotic (life enhancing for both parties) or parasitic (life stealing). The correct ratio for health and wellness is considered to be about 85% good to 15% bad. The gut houses 70% of our immune system.

Healthy gut flora in the intestines help stimulate the immune system, feed the cells of the gut and crowd out pathogenic bacteria. The gut also signals various hormones and neurotransmitters. Serotonin, a feel good neurotransmitter, which is produced  70% in your gut. The vagus nerve connects the gut and brain, through the gut-brain axis. It communicates information from the gut to the brain or vice-versa using neurotransmitters (such as serotonin and glutamate) and gut hormones, all of which play a vital role in sleep, mood, pain, stress and hunger. Your gut relies on the good bacteria to do its job properly. Dysbiosis (increase in pathogenic bacteria) in the gut can cause many chronic diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, autoimmune conditions, obesity, cancer, and autism and so much more. Therefore you must take care to keep your gut healthy for good health. Gut health experts and gut health dieticians can help you achieve optimal balance in the gut microbiome, and achieve a thriving health, you are truly meant to live.

In functional medicine, gut health experts and gut health dieticians, use a simple approach with three phases to repair the gut. Phase one starts with removing the bad stuff- like identifying food intolerances, parasites, and infections. The phase is designed to reduce the overall inflammation in the gut and to significantly reduce pathogenic bacteria in the gut. This phase sets the tone for a gut environment that is critical for good health. Phase two is followed on by adding in essential nutrients for optimal digestion and absorption, that may have been depleted by the diet, medication, alcohol consumption, stress, or disease. We also work on building the gut lining, to make it strong and stable, using gut-supportive nutrients and supplements. In phase three probiotic or healthy bacteria are added through fermented foods or probiotics. This phase also includes the reintroduction of a few foods that were taken away during the healing protocol. It's important that we add back foods one at a time when reintroducing, to gauge if a particular food causes any digestive or bodily symptoms. Having a good diversity of food ensures the development of a good microbiome.

No matter what the issue may be, this methodical approach works by fixing the most foundational imbalance in the body, i.e., your gut, on your journey to optimal health!!

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