Gut issues are more common than you think.
A gut imbalance is one of the key factors involved in a wider range of symptoms and health issues.
Damage to the gut lining can be caused by nutritional deficiencies, poor diet, poor eating habits, high intake of medicines and so on. When you are unable to digest your food properly, your intestinal lining becomes damaged – allowing proteins, fats and other molecules that have no business leaking into your body, begin doing just that.
This leads to bloating, diarrhoea, constipation, acid reflux, IBS, anxiety, IBD, to name a few. None of these conditions are ideal to live with, especially when they start to interfere in your daily life. Then comes ways to fix the problem and we all (I have been there myself) try to fix it ourselves.
Here are 5 common mistakes people make when they try and fix their own gut issues:
1. Using a probiotic as a magic pill: Don’t fall for the myth that if you just ‘take a probiotic!’ or ‘eat some yogurt!’ you’ll be able to heal your gut. If you have IBS, leaky gut or other chronic gut issues, a probiotic itself is not going to help you. A combination of lifestyle and dietary tweaks that suit you, will greatly benefit your gut.
2. Not paying attention to your sleep quality: Gut imbalance can cause hormonal imbalance as well. Serotonin (mood and sleep hormone) is produced in the gut, and so gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well, leading to insomnia and chronic fatigue.
3. Ignore stress levels: Stress impacts digestion, and digestion starts in the brain. High cortisol levels (stress hormone) move blood flow towards the brain, large muscles and limbs rather than towards the digestive tract. If you’ve made a number of diet related changes and your gut is not healed, work towards to reducing your stress levels
4. Eating foods that are ‘good for your gut': Everyone’s microbiome is unique, just like your fingerprint, and requires different foods for healing! What may be good for one person’s gut may cause issues for yours – like in the case of Kombucha for people who have candida overgrowth. This is also the case with dairy, whole grains, coconut oil, and other “healthy” ingredients as well.
5. Not giving it enough time: Yes, you can start to feel better within a few weeks if you follow the correct recommendations based on your lifestyle and requirements - but healing your gut takes time. Treat it like any other injury, give it time to recover. The closer you are to a healed gut, the more helpful it will be to long term health and wellness.
Gut issues are absolutely reversible. With the help of a qualified nutritionist, you too can live a life with a healthier gut!
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