Gut Health and Expensive Poop

Where does good health and wellbeing start – we could say with a mindset .. and i’d argue that our bellies are the easiest way to our brains — a mindset is much easier to achieve when you are feeding your “belly-brain” with the nutrients to facilitate success of positive cognitive changes! The mind-gut connection is very complex and incredibly powerful! Understanding your personal health pathway to facilitate this synergy can be absolutely life changing!

When I think about gut “data”, I want to get 4 points of information – 

  1. Intake
  2. Throughput
  3. Genetic susceptibility
  4. And yes, you guessed it === stress 😉 

Intake has to do with food sensitivities that are often formed as a product of our “american diet” and i’d even argue, because of our incredible “resources” – i mean, most of us can eat the same healthy thing every single day – and we as humans love routine – makes our lives easy – especially if it’s healthy routine — right? Well here, that could actually become the WRONG RIGHT HEALTHY THING:) 

We as human beings are made to eat seasonally, off the land, and migrate. Well most of us are 0 for 3! Because instead, we can actually have the same “healthy” food delivered to us every single day, we can eventually, at any point, develop hypersensitivities to certain proteins in those foods. Our immune systems change over the course of time every 7 years, so you can easily grow out of or grow into having issues with certain foods that may seem weird in the moment as you “didn’t ever have a problem” with that food before now! So what can we do about it? Well, you can do a test every so often to see what foods are reactive in you at that point in time; but moreover, CHANGE IT UP— try to mimic eating seasonally fresh things, as much as unprocessed / of the land as possible, and eat from sources other than right where you live (oh and travel and try new things constantly :). We know that our microbiome is actually very positively impacted from visiting new ecosystems so travel can actually be a great way to improve gut health. Our food sensitivity test can be very helpful in dialing in your quantity approach to reactivity meaning that instead of a full elimination diet (SO HARD), why not know exactly what to do and not do and how often and how much and create a focused approach to “resetting” our system. It can be extremely effective in not only what “not to do” but moreover what you should do more of when given choices. Educate yourself on yourself! Work with your body instead of against it, thinking you are doing something “healthy” that is actually the wrong right thing right now 😉 

Throughput analysis is done through gut mapping. Our GI MAPP is a 6 page report of everything involved in overall gut function. We ultimately need our gut to perform its best at absorbing nutrients and secreting toxins. This report looks at microbiome balance, digestive enzymes, leaky gut, inflammation and so much more. Even small imbalances can be detrimental to our overall gut health, but with personalized gut data, we can easily use supplements and nutraceuticals to facilitate gut healing and improved digestion. Moreover, we know that 85-95% of our serotonin comes from our gut and the way it is interacting with our environment so even slight improvements can greatly affect our overall brain chemistry and daily mood! 

Genetic susceptibility data shows food intolerances and sensitivities that are based on our personal dna at the cellular level. This never changes so the knowledge can be an incredible driver of overall nutritional health and well-being providing the most individualized assessment of what things your body will never do well with. This information helps us to work with our bodies and how we are made, hoping to keep the “good things turned on and the bad things turned off”! Our DNA diet report discusses things such as lactose and gluten intolerance, alcohol metabolism, caffeine and salt sensitivity, risk of obesity, bitter taste/sweet tooth, sugar and lipid metabolism, and even macro/micro nutrient requirements – ultimately, providing a personalized road-map to improved gut health and absorption of the basic vital nutrients our body’s need to function at peak performance day after day. 

Last but not least, Stress! When our body detects stress, we will create an environment to digest intake based on a fight or flight response. We will absorb and retain carbohydrates quicker and can also lead to inflammation from overproduction of enzymes to digest protein quickly. This can lead to improper absorption of nutrients and ultimately “stress ulcers” can happen over time if things are not addressed. Mainly, when looking at overall gut health – if you are not addressing the stress on the same level as the first 3 items then you are doing yourself an injustice and could continue to have expensive stressful poop!

The take-home message is that the gut is a super complicated system and has the ability to be harmful or helpful depending on how we pay attention to what we put into our bodies. Additionally, I can give my patients diets, supplements, nutriceuticals, and even medications, but if the gut is not absorbing and responding correctly, then all bets are off in terms of looking for the improvements we expect! And you may just have nothing more than “expensive poop”! 

Nutrition – know your current food sensitivities to guide choices today and tomorrow, mimic eating seasonally, off the land, and TRAVEL! 

Nutriceuticals – simple regimens for gut reset based on gi mapping has the ability to CHANGE YOUR LIFE – know your data and know what to do about it… NATURALLY!

Nutrigenics – know your dna diet to know what your body is ALWAYS made to do well and what you should stay away from as to not turn on inflammatory responses doing the wrong right thing!  

Thyroid Dysfunction (for the T from the T) 

I think the two smallest made biggest conundrums of the human being are the thyroid and adrenal glands.. Small but powerful mediators of our metabolic states and pretty much involved in every system in our bodies. AND, we definitely don’t give them the credit they deserve. 

The thyroid gland in particular hardly gets any attention until it is overtly non-functional and often difficult to get healthy once the damage of time is done. So many things affect our thyroid function, and more recently, there has been a lot of research done looking into diet and gut health as a core factor into root causes of thyroid dysfunction. The “Leaky gut” association with hashimoto’s is now greatly studied and efforts to heal the gut as a priority in supporting thyroid optimization have proven helpful in protocols aiming to support thyroid health as natural as possible. 

Thyroid generally comes on in stages of life associated with hormonal changes and/or in relation to autoimmune disease. I’ve often wondered why we traditionally treat someone differently in terms of thyroid protocols in fertility workups vs overall wellness checks. Wouldn’t anything that naturally optimizes fertility also be useful at any point in life to consider for optimizing overall health and well-being?