If you’re dealing with any type of health issues (headaches, psoriasis, anxiety, poor sleep, etc), I always turn to the gut. Why? Because the gut controls all! Our microbial genes outnumber us by 300 times, so if you’re dealing with any type of microbial imbalance, you’re also dealing with health issues.
If you’re trying to balance hormones without addressing the gut, you’re not going to get very far. You have a fancy little enzyme called beta-glucuronidase, which helps maintain estrogen levels. When your gut is happy and microbes are well balanced, your beta-glucuronidase is also happy. However, when there’s an imbalance, then a deficiency or excess of estrogen happens, which leads to a hormone imbalance. When estrogen levels become wonky, then you’re running down a road towards osteoporosis, weight gain, brain fog, PCOS, and other issues.
Did you know that approximately 80% of your immune system is housed within your gut? So then of course it would make sense that if you continue getting sickgut h, or if you have a hard time recovering, then your gut may be to blame. Similarly, many autoimmune diseases are caused by an imbalance of bacteria (also known as dysbiosis) or pathogens. Oftentimes if you’re dealing with some type of autoimmune disorder, we can find part of the problem by running a GI Map, which is a comprehensive stool test that looks at the ‘big picture’ of gut health.
Ever wondered why your zinc levels are always rock bottom? Or why you have a really hard time with iron absorption? Or even that your poop is often floating? It’s not just “your body” or the fact that you’re getting older (I hear that one a lot). It’s that your body isn’t absorbing the nutrients, then oftentimes, it’s because of something going on in your gut.
Constipation and Diarrhea
While these seem minor to many (yes, I’ve had clients honestly tell me that they poop once a week…not good), they are actually a MAJOR problem and a sign that something is going on in the gut. Sure, stress can be a huge component of bowel issues. But, chronic constipation or diarrhea often means there is some dysbiosis. And if you’re eating a healthy diet and still dealing with these issues, then you can guarantee there’s an issue in the gut.
Oh yeah, sleep starts in the gut too. Research shows that circadian rhythm (your internal alarm clock) and your gut microbiome are directly connected. So if your gut microbes are off, then you’re often dealing with some circadian rhythm issues…which for many leads to poor sleep. Another fun fact (ok fun for me as a nerd at heart haha) is that certain pathogens can impact neurotransmitters. So if you have 1 small little pathogen in your body, that’s enough to give you a solid case of insomnia. Just another reason to run a GI Map and see what’s going on.
So, if you think your health issues are unrelated to the gut…think again. While not everything starts there (sure, there are other factors at play), it’s always the best first place to start. And if you can’t tell, my favorite test to run is the GI Map 😉