No one is immune from the occasional stomach ache. However, prolonged or irregular issues with your gut and stomach could be the signs of serious digestive problems that require medical attention.
Furthermore, serious stomach issues can reach beyond the digestive tract and lead to issues all over your body if it is not properly balanced.
Some examples of digestive issues that may require an in-depth look at other areas of health include Crohn’s Disease, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Irritable Bowel Disease, Leaky Gut Syndrome, a Microbiome Imbalance, Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, and more.
Symptoms of these and many other issues can also include constipation, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, acid reflux, and new food allergies
One of the most common questions we get surrounding digestive health is:
What Causes Leaky Gut?
Here are some of the major causes of leaky gut…
- Food Allergies, Sensitivities & Intolerances – This seems to be a recurring theme with a lot of health challenges & THIS is WHY I am a fan of testing! We need to remove foods that are harming your intestinal lining and ultimately causing an immune reaction. Just as we must stop adding fuel to a fire, we have to stop adding things which lead to an activation of the immune system.
- Stress – Elevated stress hormones put a complete stop to digestion since your body diverts the blood flow from the GI tract for you to deal with the stressor (work, relationships, finances – whatever your stressors may be). They also put an extra burden on our detox system since even our hormones must be detoxed out of our body.
- Incomplete Chewing – This allows larger than normal proteins into the bloodstream. Which is not where they are meant to be!
- Low Levels of Pancreatic Enzymes – Digestive Enzymes are so important & are imperative in the digestive process. Once you have intestinal permeability this will only worsen the issue.
- Dysbiosis – Having an imbalance in the microbiome will weaken your GI system, making it less effective, prone to inflammation, and weakening your natural defense system.
- Large meals – Overeating will overwhelm your digestive system.
- Medications – Prescription antibiotics are indiscriminate killers – they kill the good AND the bad. Frequent use of NSAIDS such as Advil, Motrin, Aleve etc. can often damage the gut lining.
- Alcohol – Alcohol compromises gut health, particularly on an empty stomach. Alcohol abuse makes people much more susceptible to a compromised gut.
What Is The Solution To Healing The Gut?
This is the other question we are asked on a regular basis. While an individual approach is best, there is a core foundation for tapping into the healing power of our body. It is a simple 3-step process:
- Remove triggers, such as harmful foods.
- Implement a customized strategy
- Supplement when needed
The easiest way to do this is through an elimination diet but, there are limitations to that. Many foods will have a delayed reaction which can make it difficult to pinpoint which food or foods are problematic. Which is why I often suggest looking into dietary antigen and food sensitivity testing if an elimination diet has not resulted in a reduction of symptoms such as skin issues, bloating, constipation, and neurological imbalances such as depression or anxiety.
To develop a strategy requires looking at the body holistically and natural ways to support healing. Again, removing stressors and triggers is key. As for supplements for digestive issues, leaky gut, IBS, Crohns, and such, it really needs to be an individual approach and to only supplement when needed and for very specific purposes.
At The Functional Perspective, we collaborate with a select group of health providers across the country to help you get to the true root cause of your adverse GI health. When dealing with a compromised digestive system, now is not the time for a one size fits all approach which is why we offer a complimentary consult to ensure our individual approach is a good fit for you.
Our functional health trained team is here and ready to discuss the symptoms and causes of your digestive health problems. Together we can map out an effective action plan. We will look at areas such as nutritional issues, toxic exposures, a gluten allergy, or inflammation and the most important area of all: Stress.
Our team will help guide you in restoring your health as quickly as possible before any damage to digestive organs occurs.
If you have been experiencing symptoms that may be connected with digestive problems and are looking for answers, schedule an appointment with The Functional Perspective today!