top of page
Search

How to Improve Gut Health Naturally

Updated: Mar 26

I’ve found there are two types of people: Those who love to talk about poop and those who avoid that conversation at all costs . I’m not sure when it happened but my husband and I end up talking about often! Just ask anyone who has ever hung out with us, ever.


Did you know that the gut is responsible for WAY more than just digestion?


  • About 100 trillion bacteria reside in the gut and they produce metabolites that have health effects

  • Primary function is the digestion, absorption of nutrients and the excretion of waste

  • 70-80% of the body’s immune cells are concentrated in the gut

  • There are 100 million neurons located along the gut which produce various neurotransmitters that regulate mood and satiety

  • 95% of the body’s total serotonin is located in the gut


Signs that your gut is unhealthy – Beyond what your poop is telling you (healthline.com)


1. Upset stomach

Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.


2. A high-sugar diet

A diet high in processed foods and added sugars can decrease the amount of good bacteria in your gut. This imbalance can cause increased sugar cravings, which can damage your gut still further. High amounts of refined sugars, particularly high-fructose corn syrup, have been linked to increased inflammation in the body. Inflammation can be the precursor to a number of diseases and even cancers.


3. Unintentional weight changes

Gaining or losing weight without making changes to your diet or exercise habits may be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An imbalanced gut can impair your body’s ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar, and store fat. Weight loss may be caused by small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), while weight gain may be caused by insulin resistance or the urge to overeat due to decreased nutrient absorption.


4. Sleep disturbances or constant fatigue

An unhealthy gut may contribute to sleep disturbances such as insomnia or poor sleep, and therefore lead to chronic fatigue. The majority of the body’s serotonin, a hormone that affects mood and sleep, is produced in the gut. So gut damage can impair your ability to sleep well.


5. Skin irritation

Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut. Inflammation in the gut caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased “leaking” of certain proteins out into the body, which can in turn irritate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema. 


6. Autoimmune conditions

Medical researchers are continually finding new evidence of the impact of the gut on the immune system( Trusted Source). It’s thought that an unhealthy gut may increase systemic inflammation and alter the proper functioning of the immune system. This can lead to autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks itself rather than harmful invaders.


7. Food intolerances

Food intolerances are the result of difficulty digesting certain foods (this is different than a food allergy, which is caused by an immune system reaction to certain foods). It’s thought that food intolerances may be caused by poor quality of bacteria in the gut. This can lead to difficulty digesting the trigger foods and unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea.


So where do you fall in all this? I spent many years ignoring my SLOOOOOOW digestion. I don’t even know when it started it’s been so long. It became clear that I needed to pay attention to be what my body was trying to tell me. So again, If you have :


  • Constipation (BMs less that 3 times a week, or hard pellets)

  • Frequent Diarrhea

  • Abdominal bloating and discomfort

  • Heartburn

  • Weight changes (and you are not trying) or weight WON’T BUDGE with trying

  • Fatigue

  • Food cravings

  • Mood issues

  • Headaches


Then your body IS TRYING TO TELL YOU SOMETHING!


A few things you can try in order to get you started to a healthier happier gut today.


  • More sleep. 7-8 hours

  • Eat slower. Chew, chew chew.

  • Lower your stress.

  • Hydrate. You knew I’d say that didn’t you!?

  • Prebiotics and probiotics. Check out my favorite company and get 15% off with my code Wellbeing15. https://justthrivehealth.com/collections/probiotics

  • Decrease your sugar and processed foods.

  • Deep and slow breathing to stimulate the vagus nerve.


Personally, what has worked for me won’t necessarily work for another. However what has worked is adding a probiotic, a supplement called L-glutamine that helps heal the gut lining, avoiding gluten and limiting dairy, frequent low impact exercise such as walking or light weights/body weight exercise, gobs of water and getting plenty of fruits and vegetables.


Starting late this spring or early summer I will be offering workshops at a local yoga studio. These will be centered around weight loss, gut health, and increasing your energy while decreasing stress. Enter your email in the Join My Community section if you want to be notified of these events!


Thank you for being here and reading all of this to the end. Gold star baby!


Xo, R

Comments


bottom of page