Digestive Problems & Disorders
Approximately one billion people worldwide suffer from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) which is a catch-all term for digestive problems or distress. Yet, due to the taboo of talking about it or lack of understanding the important role our gut has in overall health, many people suffer in silence.
On top of that, being a functional disorder – an ailment that doesn’t have physical signs of damage such as inflammation or ulceration – many people do not take IBS as seriously as they would other diseases. It can be tough for those with IBS to obtain adequate treatment and care for their disorder, and it can cause disruption to social interactions, work, and overall quality of life.
Why Good Health Starts in the Gut
- Up to 80% of our immune system is in our gut (gastro-intestinal GI tract).
- Up to 80% of serotonin – the neurotransmitter of happiness – is made in our gut.
- The saying goes “You Are What You Eat”, but it’s what nutrients our body absorbs that counts.
- B-vitamins and other important nutrients rely on a healthy gut to be absorbed.
- Our gut health is critical for our brain to function.
- We have about 10 times as many microbial bacteria as human cells – a 10 to1 ratio.
- Up to 80% of chronic health problems are linked to nutrient deficiencies.
- The small & large intestine measured together and laid flat equal about 25 feet in length; the total surface area of the villi & microvilli in the intestines that is capable of absorbing nutrients is about the size of a tennis court…
Recent Medical Breakthroughs
Studies have shown that the balance of friendly gut microbes or bacteria that live in our digestive system rule the entire health of our body.
These human digestive-tract associated microbes are referred to as the gut microbiome and its role in both health and disease has been the subject of extensive research, establishing its involvement in metabolism, nutrition, physiology, and immune function.
The health of our gut or microbiome and the state of its good gut “bugs” or bacteria are our first line-of-defense against harmful viruses and bad bacteria that also safe-guard proper communication from our brain to our body, not only for proper digestion, but also to regulate mood and manage stress levels.
A healthy gut contributes to a strong immune system, heart and brain health, improved mood, healthy sleep, effective digestion, and it may help prevent some cancers and autoimmune diseases. An unhealthy imbalance of gut microbes may contribute to weight gain, inflammation, high blood glucose, high LDL cholesterol and other disorders.
Millions of nerves and neurons run between our gut and brain. Neurotransmitters and other chemicals produced in our gut also affect our brain known as the gut-brain axis. Our gut really is our second brain!
Besides IBS, some other examples of digestive issues that go undiagnosed that need attention include Crohn’s Disease, Diverticulosis, Ulcerative Colitis, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), Leaky Gut Syndrome, Celiac Disease, Irritable Bowel Disease, GERD, Candida, H Pylori, pathogens and parasites.
Signs of inadequate digestion can include bloating, acid reflux, sour or bitter taste in the mouth, thick yellow coating on the tongue, foul odor to stool, urine and/or breath, itching around the rectum, abnormal fullness or discomfort after eating, anxiety, depression, insomnia, food (allergies, intolerances or sensitivities), joint pain, muscle aches, skin problems or other symptoms and issues…
When a common “belly ache” becomes a regular weekly event, it could mean a serious gut imbalance that can have far reaching consequences for the entire health of your body. Don’t just chalk it up to having a “sensitive” stomach. Even if you don’t experience a regular “belly ache” or don’t have digestive problems, that doesn’t rule out that your gut is healthy because it’s where the majority of problems start.
Fortitude Functional Nutrition takes gut health very seriously. Different gut problems have different root causes and different steps to conquer them.
Fortitude Functional Nutrition Does Not Use a One-Size-Fits-All Protocol
Some foods, even healthy foods, can make some digestive problems and disorders worse. Healthy fats like coconut oil, avocado, olives, and fatty fish (like salmon) are important for calming gut inflammation, but it can be a problem if an individual is not absorbing fats, which is quite common when the gut is unhealthy. That’s why Fortitude Functional Nutrition encourages functional gut testing to help determine your case and your subsequent personal protocol, customized food plan and targeted supplement program to conquer it. Each client’s case is unique with individual circumstances taken into account with different steps taken.
Finding Solutions for Your Gut Issues Can Mean Vibrant Health for a Lifetime
The gut or microbiome has many crucial roles in protecting our overall health and wellness since it controls everything from immune function to nutrient absorption and hormone production to metabolic functions and cognitive processes.
Perhaps you are uncertain about how your vitamin and mineral status may be playing a role in affecting your gut health, then simply click here.
If you have been experiencing digestive problems or distress and are looking for answers, schedule an appointment with Fortitude Functional Nutrition.