I've just been looking over some of my older blogs and realised just how much more I know about gut health now. Between then and now I have learnt so much; through research, seminars, webinars, conferences and especially my patients. So many of my patients consult with me because of complex gut disorders, usually after many 'mainstream' investigations and lots of dollars later.
It is those patients at the 'thin edge of the wedge' that really allow me to sharpen my clinical reasoning skills and further expand my knowledge, for which I am hugely grateful.
Gut problems are some of the commonest conditions I treat, a subject I find absolutely fascinating and an area hugely satisfying to work in. If you've ever had a tummy bug, chronic bloating, constipation or persistent diarrhea you will know how much your quality of life can be affected. Imagine having some form of gut pain or discomfort year in year out, it's actually very common but so unnecessary and often simple to remedy.
But what can go wrong? (no pun intended)
How long is a piece of string?
We can have food allergies, food intolerances, functional disturbances, food chemical sensitivities, good bowel flora in the wrong part of the gut, bad bacteria in the stomach, small and/or large intestine; excessive or not enough motility (movement) of food and faecal matter.
We can also have parasites, candida overgrowth, amoebic infections, intestinal permeability, fructose malabsorption, IBS, lactose intolerance, Coeliac's disease, fussy eaters, low appetite, reflux so severe it feels like a heart attack..
I treat these conditions all the time, sometimes we need further tests but usually we can work out what the problem is just by talking about what symptoms you experience.
Sometimes it IS so simple
Just an hour long chat could have you well on the way to "Normal" again.
An analogy I use a lot when talking to my patients about gut problems is a garden one. Sure you can import a whole lot of fabulous plants but they will only do as well as the soil they depend on. The health of your soil has a profound impact on your garden. Ultimately, the health of your gut bacteria will determine your nutrient levels, immune function, mental health, cardiovascular health and ultimately, your quality of life.
Keep Your Bowel Flora Happy
By far one of the most important things you can do for your health is feed your bowel flora well.
Eat 5-6 serves of different coloured vegetables each day.
Seek prebiotic foods - flaxmeal, artichokes, onions, legumes, beans, & asparagus.
Consume ferments - sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt and/or miso daily (avoid if amine intolerant).
Take additional fibres - psyllium, flaxmeal, oatbran, ricebran.
Eat bitter foods - rocket, endive, radicchio (pictured) - helps maintain ideal pH & motility.
Cut back on sugar, meat, refined carbohydrates and poor quality fats and oils.
Usually with longstanding or severe conditions the above guidelines can be implemented though a bit of extra guidance may be needed to get your gut health back on track sooner.
What have you got to lose? Just an hour long chat could have you well on the way to "Normal" again.
Need to talk more about your specific gut issues? Book online today.
Try this easy fibre rich, bowel flora feeding breakfast recipe