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4 Gut Problems that Trigger Inflammation

Eating whole foods, perhaps even a plant-based diet, is guaranteed to improve your health. It’s been proven tens of thousands of time. But what if you do all that, and still have health problems?

In a recent article, Dr. William Cole says he sees many patients with issues in the microbiome. Your microbiome consists of trillions of bacteria and yeast that populate your gut and live on your skin. Eighty percent of your immune system, and 95 percent of your serotonin (the happiness neurotransmitter) are located in your microbiome. It is sometimes referred to as your “second brain,” because it governs your mood, weight, hormones and the ways in which your genes express.

Hippocrates, known as the father of medicine, famously said, “All disease begins in the gut.” That was thousands of years ago, but modern science is proving him correct. Your intestinal health underlies every other system of your body. Any chronic or autoimmune disease has a microbiome component.

If you are eating well but still have health problems, one of these four gut problems may be the culprit:

1. Leaky gut syndrome – If you have damage to the lining of your intestines, undigested particles of food and toxic bacteria can pass through the lining, creating systemic inflammation all over your body. Functional medicine practitioners believe leaky gut syndrome underlies most autoimmune disease and other health problems.

An elimination diet will help you identify adverse reactions to foods, and put you on the road to healing your gut.

2. Bacterial imbalances – A healthy microbiome must be in balance. Imbalances such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) cause many health problems, including anxiety and depression.

A functional medicine specialist can order labs to assess your microbiome levels, as well as a FODMAP test for food sensitivities. Even healthy foods can cause digestive problems for someone with FODMAP intolerance. Treatments include natural antibiotics and probiotics.

3. Histamine intolerance – Many people with leaky gut syndrome and an overgrowth of bacteria also have histamine intolerance. This condition occurs when there is a deficiency or dysfunction of the enzymes that damage histamines, the chemicals released during an allergic reaction.

4. Yeast overgrowth

It is normal to have some yeast in your microbiome, but an overgrowth, such as Candida, can create chronic inflammation and stress on your immune system. A functional medicine doctor will help you kill the yeast overgrowth before replenishing the useful bacteria.

Here are three action steps you can take to achieve optimal intestinal health:

Step 1: Take advantage of functional medicine labs. Blood and stool tests can give you a detailed picture of your microbiome.

Step 2. Analyze your stress levels. Even if your diet is excellent, stress can interfere with your body’s healing process. Chronic stress suppresses your immune system. You may want to consider making some new decisions about your life, practicing mindfulness meditation or yoga, and spending time in nature.

Step 3. Avail yourself of personalized functional medicine. Functional medical doctors know each individual in unique, and they can help you learn what works for your body.

Bringing your own microbiome back into balance will take some time and patience, but you will reap results in your long-term health.

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Category: Food, Wellness

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