What happens when your gut doesn’t function properly?
Problems with your gut can lead to more than just stomach aches, gas, and bloating. Your gastrointestinal system is a highly complex system involving trillions of living organisms alongside your own human cells.
A problem with your gut can cause symptoms to arise that may seem totally unrelated to the digestive system, like skin conditions, autoimmune disease, diabetes, and heart disease.
What can we do to help our gut?
In functional medicine, we reference the five “R”s:
By following the 5R system, you may be surprised by how much your mind and body change for the better.
Get rid of stressors. A stressor is anything that hurts the gastrointestinal tract, like allergens, inflammation, and invaders, like bacteria, parasites, and yeast.
There are many ways to go about this. The elimination diet can help you identify foods that are harming your gut. There are many ways to reduce inflammation, which you can learn about through research. A functional medicine practitioner can help you target harmful bugs using supplements and/or medications.
Your digestive system uses a slough of different chemicals to do it’s many complicated jobs. Ensure that things like digestive enzymes, hydrochloric acid, and bile acids are properly replenished, since these things can be replated by medications, diseases, again, and other factors.
Support your gut biome by eating probiotic rich foods, but more importantly, eat foods that nourish the bacteria already present, like fiber.
Key nutrients allow the gut lining to repair itself after sustaining damage. When nutrients like zinc, vitamins A, C and E, amino acid glutamine, and omega 3 fatty acids are lacking, the gut suffers. Replenishing these compounds will allow repairs to take place.
All of these interventions will help your gut, but they won’t be enough to compensate for poor lifestyle. Just as your gut affects nearly every other bodily function, the converse is true: almost everything you do affects your gut.
Sleep, exercise, and stress remain as important as ever, not only for gut health, but for the health of every system in your body.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, it may be time to see a functional medicine practitioner. The “five R’s” is an excellent place to start when looking for ways to make your gut healthy again and we can help you with that! MaxWell Clinic offers comprehensive evaluations on our patients’ health as well as personalized treatment plans based on each individual’s needs. Contact us at 615-370-0091 and see if MaxWell Clinic is right for you.
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