We all know the saying “listen to your gut” but have you ever taken it literally? Let me explain what I mean.
Your gut is the sun in the solar system of the rest of your body. All of your body systems around and are affected by the health of your gut. Your stomach is responsible for the breakdown of food and your intestines are responsible for the absorption of nutrients and vitamins. With poor functioning of the stomach, gall bladder, pancreas and intestines, we will have low energy production, slowed metabolism and blockage of millions of enzymatic reactions that help us make hormones, brain neurotransmitters, immune cells and so much more. And this is just the tip of the ice burg.
Your gut is part of detoxification, helping to eliminate toxins and keep our “roadways” from getting traffic jammed. The production of bile acids in the gall bladder help us to eliminate extra cholesterol as well as excess hormones, thereby contributing to hormonal balance and heart health. Bile acids also play an important role in feeding the healthy bacteria within our gut.
95% of serotonin is made in the gut, hence playing an important role in the “gut brain connection” and healthy mood balance. 70% of the immune system is located in the gut, known as mucusal immunity. This gut microbiome (more commonly known as probiotics) has evolved over millennia and provides benefits to us in many ways. It plays a role in maintain gut barrier function, producing vitamins, protecting against potential pathogens and contributing to metabolism, estrogen balance, blood sugar regulation and detoxification.
It is undeniable that your gut health is important and largely responsible for the health of the rest of your body. WIthout gut health, it is hard to achieve whole body health.
If you are a patient of mine, you likely know that I work to optimize your digestive health at every appointment and it is often the first thing I treat on the initial visit. I quite literally want to know all about your poop, gas, burps and bloat. Without good gut health, your mental wellness, hormones, skin, metabolism, immune system and so much more will suffer.
Read on for some tips on how to begin supporting your digestive health. But “tips” are never truly a substitute for a one-on-one consult with an individualized treatment plan. No size fits all when it comes to your health.
Dr. Melissa Bingeman
Dr. Melissa Bingeman, ND is passionate about mental health, hormones and gut health. She has a virtual and in-person practice in Kitchener, Ontario.