Most of us do not recognize that digestive problems wreak havoc over your entire body leading to allergies, arthritis, autoimmune disease, rashes, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders, autism, dementia, cancer and more. So having a healthy gut means more than just not being annoyed by a little heartburn, bloating or gas. A healthy gut is central to your entire health. It is connected to everything that happens in your body.
Even in a perfect world, our gut has a hard time keeping things balanced. But in our world, there are many things that knock our digestive system off balance. What are they?
- Our low fiber, high sugar, processed food, nutrient poor, high calorie diet that makes all the wrong bacteria and yeast grow in the gut leading to a damaged ecosystem.
- Overuse of medications that damage the gut or block normal digestive function – things like anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, acid blocking drugs, steroids.
- Chronic low-grade infections or gut imbalances with overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, or yeast overgrowth or parasites, or even more serious gut infections.
- Toxins damage the gut such as mercury and mold toxins.
- Lack of adequate digestive enzyme function – which can come from acid blocking medication use, or zinc deficiency.
- Stress can alter the gut nervous system causing a leaky gut and change the normal bacteria in the gut.
It is so important to understand that many diseases that seem totally unrelated to the gut, such as eczema or psoriasis or arthritis, are actually caused by gut problems. But by focusing on the gut you can get better.