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By Columnist Trudy Cadoo – Senior Naturopath:


Photo credit: Improving Human Intestinal Health via photopin (license)

Do you often feel tired and bloated? Do you struggle with digestive problems or do you have an autoimmune issue? Have you tried to lose weight with different diets and workouts and nothing seems to work for you? If you have answered “Yes” to any of these questions, then I believe it’s time to take a look at your gut.

“All Disease Begins in the Gut,” Said Hippocrates

The wisdom of Hippocrates, the father of medicine, is now over 2000 years old, and has certainly stood the test of time. With modern-day science giving us a much clearer understanding as to why.

The human gut contains 10-times more bacteria than all human cells in the body. The gut flora promotes normal gastrointestinal function, provides protection from infection, regulates metabolism and comprises more than 75% of our immune system. Researchers are finding dysregulation of the gut flora to be linked to diseases ranging from autism and depression to autoimmune conditions and inflammatory bowel disease.

“Leaky gut” is a term used for an increased mucosal permeability in the small intestine. The lining of the gut wall is often subjected to a wide variety of insults from substances such as alcohol, caffeine, spices, medicines and environmental chemicals.

Signs and Symptoms of Leaky Gut

  • Digestive Issues – Gas, Bloating, Diarrhoea, Weight loss;
  • Gut infections, SIBO, Candida;
  • Allergies / Intolerances;
  • Hormonal Imbalances – PMS, PCOS;
  • Autoimmune Disease;
  • Fatigue – Fibromyalgia;
  • Mood imbalances – Anxiety, Depression, ADD, ADHD;
  • Skin issues – Eczema, Acne, Rash;
  • Immune Deficiency – Frequent colds;
  • Brain Fog;
  • Muscle / Joint pain;
  • Excess Weight, Obesity, Diabetes; and
  • Osteoporosis, Osteopenia.

5 Steps to a Healthier Gut

We have the potential to make a world of difference by simply following these 5 steps:

1. Cut out sugar – Sugar nourishes pathogenic bacteria, yeast and fungus in your gut. Think of it as food for the bad types of bacteria and other organisms. It’s hidden in everything so start reading labels closely.

2. Avoid antibiotics when possible – Antibiotics don’t discriminate between the good and the bad bacteria, they will kill all bacteria in the gut causing a disruption in the micro biome, even causing some species of gut bacteria to go extinct. There is going to always be cases where antibiotics are absolutely essential, in these cases replenish the good bacteria with a probiotic.

3. Eat real food – Avoid processed foods. Eat how nature intended, unprocessed, whole food – fruit, vegetables, meat, whole grain, optimal to make it organic where possible.

4. Add probiotic and prebiotic foods to your diet – Probiotic foods contain naturally occurring good bacteria that “seed” your gut, like kimchi, fermented vegetables, natural pickles. Prebiotic foods such as asparagus, artichoke, leafy greens, garlic, onion and chicory root are full of natural fibre and feed the good bacteria. Supplementing with a good quality probiotic can be of great benefit also.

5. Manage your stress – As a society, we spend too much time in a state of stress. “Not only does stress change the bacteria levels in the gut, these alterations can, in turn, impact our immunity,” said lead researcher, Dr. Michael Bailey. The solution? Practice stress-relief techniques and take steps to manage stress levels. Here are a few methods I recommend to get started:

  • Take a yoga class.
  • Practice meditation for just five minutes day.
  • Listen to calming music.
  • Turn off electronics and connect with friends and family.
  • Set an intention for the day in the morning.
  • Get good quality sleep.

About Our Naturopathic News and Review ColumnistTrudy Cadoo - Logo

Trudy CadooTrudy Cadoo is a Senior Naturopath at Brisbane Livewell Clinic, Wavell Heights. She believes that health is more than the absence of disease. It is the balance of many factors including mental, emotional and physical well-being. Trudy uses a wide range of diagnostic tools to identify and treat presenting problems.  Trudy specialises in helping busy professional women gain more energy, increase their immune system and feel more vital and in control of their health.

Disclaimer: The information published in this column are based on the author’s own professional and personal knowledge, and opinion. This information and opinion are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any manner. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding any medical condition and consult a qualified medical professional before beginning any nutritional program or exercise program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on InShape

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