Vagus Nerve Hack | Ileocecal Valve Release | Visceral Release

If you are experiencing any kind of gut issues like bloating, constipation, diarrhea, SIBO, leaky gut, or even upper GI issues like GERD then you should give this vagus nerve hack a try, the ileocecal valve release.

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What is the ileocecal valve?

The ileocecal valve connects the small intestine to the large intestine and prevents any backflow of nutrients and undigested food into the small intestine. The large intestine is where we have most of our beneficial bacteria. So, we don’t want to have a backflow of toxic material moving into the small intestine where it is not supposed to be. This can cause a whole host of issues such as SIBO or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. The small intestine is where we’re supposed to be absorbing the nutrients from our food. Issues around this ileocecal valve can typically cause a lot of tenderness around the area.

How does the vagus nerve fit into this?

The vagus nerve modulates digestion through the migrating motor complex. This migrating motor complex is located in our small intestine and helps to move things through towards the large intestine. It can also affect the ileocecal valve. In essence, the vagus nerve influences our small intestine and ileocecal valve. 

How do you perform the release? 

While lying down, find your hip bone. Then, orient yourself to your belly button. From those hip bones, move 1/3 of the way up towards your belly button and that is called McBurney’s point. When you get to that area, sink your fingers nice and easily into the tissue. First, assess to see if it is tender? Does it feel restrictive? Once you’ve assessed the tissue on your bare skin, gently compress the tissue inward and then traction the tissue up towards the belly button. Try to hold gently anywhere from two to four minutes. You may feel a decrease in tenderness and/or some motility. Sounds are common and normal. This is a great technique to do right before bed. Try to perform on a daily basis for eight weeks. 

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Leaky Gut: The Root of Chronic Disease

Did you know that leaky gut otherwise known as intestinal permeability has been researched for nearly 30 years and is one of the leading causes of chronic disease?

You may be wondering what is leaky gut? We have an epithelial lining of the gut mucosa which functions as a protective barrier. Simply put, it helps to get the good things in and keep the bad things out. 

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In this lining, we have tight junctions. These tight junctions are regulated by a protein called Zonulin and some other proteins. 

In a healthy gut, the tight junctions allow the nutrients to be absorbed by the small intestine but keep the toxins, pathogens, viruses, and bacteria’s out. 

When we have a leaky gut, these tight junctions are altered. Therefore, the pathogens, viruses, bacteria, and so on get into the bloodstream. Once this happens, our immune system is activated.  

Think of our immune system as the detection of strangers and dangers. Once these antigens from the bacteria are crossing into the bloodstream, then our B cells are activated which can in turn attack the body. That is why a leaky gut can cause knee osteoarthritis. It is creating this systemic inflammatory response. It can cause pain, swelling, and inflammation, whether that is localized to a joint or body part or more systemic. This is also what leads to autoimmune disease.

So what are some causes of leaky gut? 

–       Food triggers

–       Food sensitivities

–       Stress

–       Imbalance of the bacteria or bacterial overgrowth

–       Intestinal inflammation

–       Poor digestive sufficiency  (enzymes, low HCL, etc) 

–       Toxins

–       Nutrient deficiencies

–       Medications 

–       Many disease states

This ultimately can contribute to more food sensitivities, malabsorption, and uptake of lipopolysaccharide, which is an endotoxin. This is something that can cause significant disruption in the body. 

What to do if you’re not feeling your best

Whether you don’t feel your best or you’re dealing with some kind of chronic health condition, please know that this could be a possibility for you. Your first step is to reach out to a professional to be properly evaluated and treated. There is testing available, however is not always the most reliable.  We are happy to help you and would love to see you virtually or in person, so please reach out for any assistance. 

Leaky gut can be the root of so many chronic diseases whether it’s elevated cholesterol, osteoarthritis, or autoimmune disease. All of these things are related to systemic inflammation. Ninety percent of all chronic disease is linked to systemic or excessive inflammation. Please make sure that you are not just treating your symptoms and taking more medications which further contributes to intestinal permeability. Rather, seek the root cause. 

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How Your Vagus Nerve Affects Your Gut Health

Optimal vagus nerve function drives your digestion, assimilation, and elimination. Let’s discuss all the reasons and benefits as to why optimizing your vagus nerve function will help with your gut health.

We first want to remember that the vagus nerve is 80% of our parasympathetic nervous system. Think of this as our ‘rest and digest system.’ For us to have optimal digestion, we have to be in a calm and safe state.

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As we remember from the anatomy of the vagus nerve, it exits the brainstem, innervates muscles of the face, throat, and branches into the ear. It innervated the SA node of our heart and most importantly, it innervates our entire digestive tract. That is why it is so imperative that when we see gut motility and health issues, we want to look more closely at the vagus nerve.

For example, if someone is experiencing chronic stress or trauma, this may contribute to poor gastric motility and enzyme activity that ultimately leads to gut health issues.

8 Ways Vagus Nerve Is Involved In Your Digestion

We are going to discuss eight different ways that the vagus nerve is involved in your digestion. 

1) Upregulates Breakdown of Solids

The vagus nerve upregulates your mechanical breakdown of solid food. This is important because most of us are eating solid foods of course unless you have some kind of medical condition that warrants you to eat softer foods.

Being able to break down our food before it enters the entire digestive tract is important. Otherwise, we can have a whole host of symptoms from reflux, to bloating, flatulence, and so on. 

2) Stimulates Secretion of Saliva 

When food enters our mouth, that is our first step in the digestive process. We have our salivary glands that release salivary enzymes. This is helping to break down the food before it enters the esophagus. 

3) Stimulates Release of Digestive Enzymes and Bile

It stimulates your digestive enzymes coming from your pancreas as well as bile from your liver. These are very important in breaking down the food appropriately so it can continue to pass from the esophagus to the stomach, small intestine, and large intestine to be ultimately excreted. 

4) Allows for Accommodation of Food in Stomach

Optimal vagal tone allows for the proper accommodation of the food in the stomach. This is where hydrochloric acid and pepsin help to break down the food even further, especially our protein. 

5) Slows Gastric Emptying

This is important because we do not want the food to pass through the system too fast. Slow emptying will make sure we are getting proper absorption of the nutrients from the food that we are eating. 

6) Coordinates Motility of Intestines

When food comes into the small intestine, that is where we are absorbing our nutrients. Then the food has to pass through to the large intestine and ultimately excreted via the rectum.

Our migrating motor complex is very critical in the small intestine, which creates a wave-like action to help move the food through to the large intestine; this is an essential function that is dependent on the vagus nerve.

7) Decreases Inflammation and Intestinal Permeability  

Intestinal permeability is also referred to as leaky gut. When we do not have proper function of the vagus nerve, proper motility, and proper assimilation of the nutrients, these tight junctions in the epithelial lining of the gut lose their integrity.

This allows pathogens, toxins, undigested food, and bacteria to move through the bloodstream igniting the immune system causing an inflammatory response. This can cause a whole host of chronic health conditions. 

8) Increase Satiety

If you have optimal vagus nerve function and tone, you’ll be able to easily recognize when you are hungry and when you are full. When this is disrupted and you have a low vagal tone, often you will see this is difficult to determine. You may eat too much or you may not eat enough. This is a simple, but important, concept in terms of weight loss and overall health and performance. 

As you can see, the vagus nerve has a tremendous impact on our digestive system. It is innervating the entire digestive tract.

If you are experiencing chronic stress, low vagal tone, frustration, anger, worry, anxiety, or you’re in a freeze state, your gut health can be deeply affected. Many gut issues such as the leaky gut, IBS, and SIBO  are linked to some of the above. It is important to think of this from a global, integrated perspective.

In order to improve our gut health, we also have to improve our vagus nerve function. Please make sure you check out all my videos on vagus nerve hacks, so you can begin to regulate your own nervous system. 

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

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How To Do An Elimination Diet

Do you suffer from chronic allergies, eczema, or even some digestive issues that seem to be continually unresolved?

You’ve tried everything from topical creams for your skin, supplements, and more, but you just can’t seem to get to the underlying root cause of why you’re having a specific health condition. Perhaps you’re suffering from some other kind of health condition or autoimmune disease? Maybe you are suffering from MS, Parkinson’s, or other chronic health conditions, even things like diabetes and high cholesterol?

Performing an elimination diet, or even a modified elimination diet, can be a very powerful tool in uncovering some of the potential food triggers. Food triggers can be commonly overlooked as a potential driver for these specific health issues, so stay tuned for how to perform that. The elimination diet has been used for decades by allergists, functional medicine practitioners, and dietitians. 

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How To Do An Elimination Diet

Ninety percent of all chronic health conditions are associated with excessive or persistent inflammation. Food is one of our five potential inflammatory triggers. Here are the steps to an elimination diet.

1) Identify Current Potentially Inflammatory Foods

Let’s first identify what the potentially inflammatory foods are. These can be things such as gluten, dairy, corn, soy, peanuts, alcohol, sugar, processed meats, red meat, alcohol, shellfish, coffee, and/or chocolate. All of these things can be potentially inflammatory for you, but that doesn’t mean that every one of them is.

When you’re thinking about performing an elimination diet, the first step is to evaluate how many of those foods you’re eating daily. Now please note that there are other categories of foods. These include oxalates, histamines, nightshades, and even grains that all could be inflammatory for the individual person.

2) Prepare for Elimination

Now that you’ve identified how many of those foods you’re eating on a regular basis, the next step would be to begin to slowly transition out of some of those foods and into other anti-inflammatory foods.

Rather than just purely eliminating these foods, we want to think about optimizing our health with phytonutrient and antioxidant-rich foods. To prepare for the elimination diet, you should pick a start date, so that you have it on your calendar and you know exactly when you’re going to be starting this particular journey. 

3) Elimination

The elimination diet is performed for three weeks. That means you’re eliminating all of these foods for an entire three-week period, so that means 100% elimination of these foods.

4) Reintroduce

After you have performed the three-week elimination diet, now it is time to reintroduce. You will reintroduce one food at a time. You will reintroduce that food twice in one day. For example, if you were having dairy you would have yogurt in the morning and perhaps cheese at night. Then you would wait three full days after that, without having any more dairy or any of the other foods you’ve eliminated.

You’ll track all of your symptoms: digestive issues, sleep issues, urinary issues, skin issues, joint muscle pain, and any other symptom that comes up. This will tell you if any of these foods are an issue for you. It is important to recognize your symptoms don’t necessarily have to be immediately after you eat the food. 

What To Do After Performing An Elimination Diet

Now that you’ve performed the elimination diet and reintroduction process, you can begin to continue with one food at a time. This way, you can identify which food triggers you might have. What are the things that are causing your skin issues? What are the things that are causing your digestive system, and so on?

Now, there’s always a root cause beyond that. If you find yourself having many food triggers and you’re almost sensitive to all of them, then there’s most likely an underlying issue. That is something that is still going to need to be resolved because your immune system is hyperreactive.

In my opinion, it is also one of the simplest things that you could do. It gives you complete control and ownership over what you’re putting in your body and what is appropriate for you.

You can use this Food Reintroduction Tracker below:

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Chew Your Food To Heal Your Gut

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5 STEPS TO HEAL YOUR GUT

Do you experience food sensitivities and triggers? Perhaps you might have been told that you have a leaky gut or SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth)?

Maybe you just have chronic inflammation or a health condition and you’re not sure where to start with healing your gut? But, you know how important it is to heal your gut. So let’s dive into how you could do that.

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Our food supply has changed so much since the end of World War II and our agricultural industry is very different than it used to be. We have many more GMOs, herbicides, and pesticides that are used in our food. We also have much more processed food, and therefore that has greatly impacted the health of our microbiome.

In addition to that, we have more stress, more sugar, more antibiotics, a lack of sleep, and lots of caffeine. All of these things are attributing to systemic inflammation and poor gut health. Just one round of antibiotics can shift your microbiome forever.

5 R Approach to Heal Your Gut

1) Remove

We want to remove any potential triggers. This could look very different for each person but here are some examples. This could be doing an elimination diet to remove potentially inflammatory foods. It could also be a modified elimination, like removing gluten and dairy. It could include antibiotics, anti-microbials, or antifungals to eliminate some kind of infection like SIBO or yeast overgrowth.

Removing stressors if you are maintaining a high-stress lifestyle can be very important in your healing.  You can’t remove the stress of course, but you can begin to manage and reduce the stressors in your life.

Ideally, you want to have a health professional to help you during this process. They can assist you with looking at all things that are happening in your life: sleep, stress, movement, relationships, and social aspects.

2) Replace

 Now that we removed all of these potential triggers, you’ll want to replace them with proper nutrients and anti-inflammatory food, and phytonutrients. Maximize your fruits and vegetables, olive oil, and healthy fats, for example. This can also include supplementation as well.

As we get older our digestive enzyme activity begins to decrease. That can be one factor in some gut issues. Using supplementation to support you during this time can be very beneficial because many times you’re not absorbing the nutrients as you should, especially in the case of leaky gut or intestinal permeability.

The protective barrier of the epithelial lining in our gut becomes less protective and then pathogens can come into our bloodstream causing an immune reaction. When you have SIBO, you’re not absorbing the nutrients in the small intestine like you should be. These are just a few reasons why we might need supplementation.

3) Reinoculate

This can be with probiotics. Bifidobacterium and lactobacillus are two of the primary strains that could be very beneficial in contributing to this anti-inflammatory effect and increasing the diversity of the bacteria of the microbiome. You can supplement and then you can also work towards increasing fermented foods regularly in your diet. If you’re not able to consume a small amount regularly, ideally daily, then it may be best to supplement in addition to that. If you’re able to eat it on a regular basis, then that’s the best approach.

4) Repair

Specific nutrients, as well as medicinal herbs, have been very beneficial in healing the gut lining. Things like glutamine, 14 grams per day, have been very beneficial in healing the epithelial lining of the gut. Also, things like licorice, vitamin D, omegas, and much more can be given to begin to help repair the gut.

5) Rebalance

This is where you want to look at all the aspects of your life critically and make the appropriate lifestyle shifts to bring your body back into its most optimal state of wellbeing. 

You want to remember that this approach could look very different for each person. The timeline can look very different for each person as well.

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

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Chew Your Food To Heal Your Gut

Do you experience bloating, digestive issues, constipation, diarrhea, and/or just don’t feel right after a meal? Did you know how important chewing is in your digestive process and how it could help heal your gut?

In order for us to have proper digestion, we have to be in a parasympathetic state; think rest and digest. If we are in a fight or flight mode, for example, our blood flow is moving away from our digestive system.

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Chewing is one of the things that actually helps calm the nervous system. That is one important aspect of why we want to chew our food very well before digesting it. The saliva that is produced in the salivary glands produces digestive enzymes, and these enzymes help break down the food in the mouth, and as it moves into the esophagus.

The first enzyme is called lingual lipase which helps break down our fats. The second is amylase which helps break down our starches. And the third is called lysozyme, which is an antibacterial enzyme. This is important for preventing dental cavities and other infections in the gums.

The more chewing that we do, the more salivary enzymes are released. This influences not only our autonomic nervous system because we need these specific cranial nerves for chewing and swallowing, but it’s also influencing the enteric nervous system, which is our gut. That is, in fact, its own nervous system.

So when this is happening, we’re getting an increase in smooth muscle contraction, intestinal secretions, the release of some of these enteric hormones, and dilation of blood vessels. It is very powerful when we begin the process of chewing thoroughly. 

5 Things You Can Do To Maximize Chewing

What are five different things you can do to maximize your chewing, and digestive process?

1) Breathe

Before you sit down to eat, try taking at least three diaphragmatic breaths. You want to think of calming your nervous system, bringing blood flow to this area, and bringing yourself to this parasympathetic state so that you can enhance your digestive process. 

2) Allow for at Least 30 Minutes of Meal Time

Give yourself plenty of time to be able to sit down, eat your meal, and enjoy the experience rather than rushing your meal. This will also prevent you from overeating because you’re giving your body enough time to tell the brain that you are full. 

3) Non-judgement

This is a mindfulness practice, but it’s also important for digestion. When we’re judging ourselves, our food, and the environment, unfortunately, we are typically not totally present, and we’re not being mindful of our food. That often takes us out of that parasympathetic state. So, encouraging a positive eating experience lends itself to optimal digestion. 

4) Avoid Water Before Meals

Drinking water before meals can dilute the stomach acids, so it optimizes our natural enzymatic activity. 

5) Chew 20-30 Times

Chew your food at least 20 to 30 times. In our Ayurvedic medicine, chewing at least 30 times has been extremely beneficial.

 If you’re thinking about healing your gut, start with chewing your food.

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Is your anxiety or depression coming from your gut?

Is your anxiety and/or depression coming from your gut? So many people are suffering from anxiety and/or depression, so it’s important to look at the connections between the gut and the brain, and the gut’s influence on mood and behavior. This is an important aspect of looking at mental health and addressing some underlying physical causes. 

The gut-brain connection is fascinating, and it is essentially our bidirectional communication between our gut and brain. It has multiple pathways, including the hormonal, immune system, and nervous systems. For the purpose of today, let’s focus on two aspects: the hormonal and nervous systems.

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The hormonal connection is based on neurotransmitters which are essentially chemical messengers; we also refer to them as hormones. They are signaling from the gut to the brain and the brain to the gut. We have 90% of our serotonin, which is our hormone that provides feelings of happiness, located in our gut. 50% is the dopamine in our gut, which is our feel-good hormone. We also have GABA, gamma amino butyric acid, which decreases feelings of stress and anxiety. All of these are located in our gut! Therefore, gut issues, infections, inflammatory diets can influence our mood and behavior. 

Our gut bacteria form these neurotransmitters, so different strains of bacteria will influence these different neurotransmitters. For example, Streptococcus and Enterococcus produce serotonin. Escherichia produces norepinephrine, dopamine, and serotonin. Bacillus species also produce norepinephrine and dopamine. Bifidobacterium produces GABA. Lactobacillus species influence our acetylcholine, which is important for relaxation response, and GABA. 

The nervous system pathways of the gut-brain connection, on the other hand,  primarily exist through the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve originates from the brainstem; it’s the 10th cranial nerve, and it’s actually a pair of nerves. It innervates muscles of the face, throat, heart, respiration, digestion, and our entire elimination track. It is one of the most important nerves of our digestive system. Therefore, we are influencing this gut-to-brain connection when we are either stimulating the gut from a viscera and/or probiotics or vagus nerve stimulation exercises such as breathing. 

It is imperative that we begin to look more closely at these powerful connections and that we look beyond the genetic and environmental components to see why someone may be experiencing anxiety and depression or other mental health issues. Things such as leaky gut, SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), systemic inflammation, inflammatory foods, and the standard American diet will undoubtedly influence these neurotransmitters and the vagus nerve. This attributes to changes in our serotonin, dopamine, and GABA levels, thereby impacting our mood and behavior. 

What can you do about it? Find a functional medicine provider to help you navigate the physical causes of anxiety and depression. You could also start with testing: leaky gut, SIBO, stool testing to look at your microbiome. 

You can also start by making small changes. Focus on eating an anti-inflammatory diet, optimizing your sleep, and working on stress reduction connections.

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

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What Should You Eat For Chronic Pain? | Nutrition for Chronic Pain

Do you suffer from chronic pain? Perhaps you’ve had pain for greater than three months, and you’re not sure how you can support nutritionally? Fortunately, there is so much high-quality evidence to support how diet therapy can make a profound difference in chronic pain.

Chronic pain is associated with pro-inflammatory states which are linked to peripheral and central sensitization. This is when the brain perceives that there’s pain, and even a heightened sense of pain with very little stimuli, yet there is no tissue damage.

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Additionally, the mitochondria, which is essentially the powerhouse of our cells, are also associated with chronic pain. The damage to the mitochondria can be driven by how we eat. Consuming pro-inflammatory foods, such as the Standard American Diet—the Western Diet—which is rich in sugary foods, alcohol, processed meats, and enriched grains, can contribute to inflammation and even damage the mitochondria. Therefore, with the Standard American Diet, there becomes an imbalance between our essential fatty acids, which we need for optimal health, and pro-inflammatory markers. That’s where a specific diet therapy comes in.

The first thing we want to do is address the inflammatory markers. The Mediterranean diet is one of the best and well-researched diets that has been shown to decrease inflammation. Think of a diet comprised of fish, legumes, olive oil, low in grains, and high in vegetables – also referred to as an anti-inflammatory diet.

5 ways that you address your chronic pain through diet

1) Decreasing Inflammation

The best way to do this is through an elimination diet. Eliminate the potentially pro-inflammatory foods for at least three weeks and then slowly reintroduce them, one at a time. These include gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, coffee, tea, corn, soy, processed meats, red meat, chocolate, tea, coffee, and shellfish. If you don’t want to do a full elimination diet, you can do a modified version—eliminate gluten and dairy, for example. These two definitely can play a role in inflammation, and specifically chronic pain. If you’re eating a lot of sugar, this is also a great place to start. Sugar is a massive pro-inflammatory agent, so decreasing sugar in your diet would be very beneficial.

 2) Calorie Reduction

When we are consuming fewer calories than required by our basal metabolic rate, then we can not only increase our brain’s ability to generate new neurons by decreasing free radicals, but we can also increase ATP, the energy source of the cells, and we can increase our number of mitochondria. These all could play a huge role in inflammation and pain.

3) Intermittent Fasting

Intermittent fasting, an eating pattern that cycles between periods of fasting and eating, can help turn on genes that help cells survive by reducing inflammation. There are many different ways to include intermittent fasting in your life. Fasting from seven o’clock at night until seven o’clock in the morning would be a 12-hour fast. You can slowly increase that to a 16 hour fast, or you can do 24-hour fast two days a week. There are many options to suit your lifestyle and it is strongly recommended to start slowly.

4) Specific Nutrient Supplementation

Omega 3’s, vitamin D, vitamin E, vitamin B-12, and magnesium have all been shown to impact chronic pain. There are other nutrients that also help specifically with chronic pelvic pain, such as vitamin E, B1, and B3. 

5) Gut Health

Seventy percent of your immune system is in your gut. If there is an inflammation issue, we should start in the gut. So, do you need to include prebiotics, probiotics, or do you need a specific gut health protocol? If you are not managing gut health properly, then you are not managing chronic pain and inflammation well, either. 

These are just a few of the ways that we can use diet to influence chronic pain.  When we have that central sensitization of the nervous systems, our brain still perceives that there’s pain, yet there is likely no tissue damage. Our nervous system is heightened, and we can begin to associate chronic pain with pro-inflammatory markers. We can use diet to decrease inflammation and optimize our micronutrient, antioxidant, and phytonutrient profile to begin to bring our body back into a state of balance and healing. 

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

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What do your gut bacteria do? | 10 Functions of Gut Bacteria | Microbiome

Everyone talks about the microbiome and gut bacteria, but why is it so important? What are the actual functions of the bacteria?

Before we get into the 10 functions of your gut bacteria, let’s talk a little bit about the anatomy. The small intestine which is 18 to 25 feet of our intestine, should be a relatively sterile environment. The large intestine, however, is where we house the majority of the bacteria, especially the beneficial bacteria. When we get something like a small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), it is in essence where the bacteria have now been relocated and overpopulated into the small intestine where it is not supposed to be. We have trillions of bacteria in our gut, and we have a thousand different species. There are also 5,000 different bacterial strains. With that said, everyone is unique, however, there are combinations of collections of bacteria that are present in healthy individuals.

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10 Functions of Gut Bacteria

So, let’s get into the 10 functions of gut bacteria and why it is so important that you have an optimal balance.

  1. Nervous System Modification

This is a really powerful function of our gut bacteria. We want to think of three key neurotransmitters which are essentially are chemical messengers that are formed from the gut bacteria.

  • Serotonin: This is the key hormone that stabilizes our mood, feelings of well-being, and happiness. Ninety percent of our serotonin is located in our gut.
  • Dopamine: Fifty percent of our dopamine, our feel-good hormone, is located in our gut.
  • GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid): This is an inhibitory neurotransmitter that decreases feelings of fear and anxiety and produces a feeling of calm.

All of these are associated with this amazing gut-brain connection.

2. Breaks Down Food Compounds

Essentially, the gut bacteria metabolize the food and medications that we consume.

3. Pathogen Resistance

Think of our gut bacteria as one of our protective mechanisms. It will protect us from pathogens and toxins.

4. Protection Against Any Epithelial Injury

It protects against infections, just like it does with toxins and pathogens.

5. Bone Density Modulation

The gut bacteria can influence our bone density.

6. Promotion of Fat Storage

The gut bacteria can influence the hormones that store fat. Additionally, the Standard American Diet (SAD), that is, the western diet, is influencing gut bacteria, which has been linked to obesity.

7. Immune System Stimulation

Seventy percent of our immune system lies within our gut. So when we have optimal gut bacteria, this gut bacteria is influencing how our immune system responds to foreign invaders, toxins, and pathogens that they might be exposed to.

8. Promotion of Angiogenesis

When we have more blood vessels in the gut, this can be very powerful for future advances in treatments for gut infections.

9. Biosynthesis of Vitamins and Amino Acids

Water-soluble vitamins are plentiful in the diet, but also can be synthesized by the gut.

10. Metabolism of Therapeutics

This is ultimately how we process our medications and supplements. So keep in mind, that if you are planning to take things, you have to make sure that your gut is optimized so that you can metabolize these appropriately.

Now that you know the functions of gut bacteria, you know how important it is to optimize it. You can do that through numerous things, and you can see some other videos for different suggestions to optimize your gut health. But, we do want to think about everything from prebiotics, the fiber that the probiotics feed on, probiotics whether that’s through fermented food or supplementation, and then, of course, stress management, a high-fiber diet with 25 to 35 grams a day, drinking plenty of water, eating a whole, natural food diet to ensure that you are optimizing the diversity of your gut—that is one of the key things that your gut loves, diversity.

Reach out for a 15-minute FREE discovery session to see how we can help you on your journey.

For more content, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel here.

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WHAT SHOES TO WEAR FOR FOREFOOT PAIN

IS YOUR GUT PREVENTING YOUR WEIGHT LOSS?

Did you wonder how your gut and your gut bacteria can be impacting your weight loss? Research proves time and time again that the Standard American Diet (SAD diet) is something that promotes inflammation in our gut and changes the colonization of our gut bacteria and gut flora over time. Even as simple as one energy-rich meal such as a Big Mac and French fries can release lipopolysaccharides, an endotoxin, into the bloodstream, contributing to this immune response.

The second thing that we know for sure is that when you are in an inflamed state, your hormonal, lymphatic, and GI system will be greatly impacted. Therefore, it will affect your ability to lose weight.

In essence, you have to optimize gut health, balance the bacteria, and feed the gut good bugs, what it needs and craves, which is not the Standard American Diet. I’d like to go over five key things that you want to think about for optimizing your gut health so that you can lose weight.

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1) Decreasing Omega-6’s and Increasing Omega-3’s

Omega-6 fatty acids are a type of polyunsaturated fat found in vegetable oil, canola oil, and palm oil commonly found in packaged and processed foods. Even healthy food can contain these ingredients. These omega 6’s can impact your overall health and contribute to inflammation, therefore your gut. Not only do you want to decrease your omega 6’s, but you also want to increase your omega 3’s. Think of your fatty fishes, walnuts, and flaxseed. All of these can be beneficial and working on increasing these healthy fats will have a positive effect on your gut flora. Make sure to prioritize getting healthy fat with every meal.

2) Include Fiber

You want to consume 25 to 35 grams of fiber per day.  Most Americans fall short of this. If you are eating a high plant-based diet, and you’re getting some grains, seeds, and nuts in; you should be well on your way to getting the appropriate amount of fiber.  If you’re not, then supplementation would be advised.  Think of your fiber as your prebiotics. In order for us to have the positive effect of the beneficial bacteria of probiotics, they have to feed on the prebiotics.

3) Include Fermented Foods

That could be fermented sauerkraut, kimchi, or kefir. You do want to make sure that they contain active live cultures that have beneficial probiotic. If you are not consuming fermented foods regularly, you could consider supplementation to ensure you’re populating your gut with good bacteria.

If you already have existing gut issues, consult with a functional medicine practitioner to ensure you are taking the right one at the right time.

4) Eat More Plants

You want to make sure you have 60-70% of your plate coming from plants. This does not mean to exclude your healthy lean proteins, it just means eat more plants. Fill your plate with a variety of colors because this is exactly what the gut feeds on. This is what it wants and craves. Make sure that you are eating enough variety, because the more diversity in your foods that you have, the better your microbiome diversity will be.

5) Reduce Stress

Stress is one of the biggest drivers for gut bacteria changes. Not only is it well known that it causes inflammation in the body, but it is impacting the gut flora. Even just the thoughts that you have can impact your gut bacteria. Begin to identify what stressors you have and how can you manage stress in your life. You’re not going to get rid of stress, but how can you become more mindful and grounded? How can you respond with clarity and creativity? Use different techniques to be able to cultivate this in your life, so that you can manage the stressors that come your way.

So there you have it, five different ways that you can begin to influence your gut bacteria, microbiome, and 70% of your immune system in order to optimize weight loss. If you’re a person that has been dealing with weight gain, and you recognize that there are some gut issues, start here! It is imperative to have optimal gut health for everything else in your body to function well.

If you need help on your journey, please reach out!

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