Gut Health: 11 Illnesses You Probably Didn’t Think Are Connected to Your Gut
Symptoms related to poor gut health can be as obvious as abdominal pain, bloating after meals, reflux, or flatulence, but also less obvious like headaches, fatigue, joint pain, and immune system weakness. But did you know that gut health is also related to mental health conditions such as depression? Find out more about the 11 illnesses you probably didn’t think are connected to your gut. You might be surprised!
Gut Health = Overall Health
1. Mental Health Conditions
Although it might be hard to comprehend how your gut health has anything to do with your mental health, they are most definitely lined and referred to as the ‘gut -brain axis’. In fact, your gut is referred to as the ‘second brain’ in medical literature. Conditions such as anxiety, depression, even bipolar disorder and schizophrenia have been linked to gut health due to an unhealthy microbiome.
Here’s a great article from Psychology Today in regards to the mental health and gut connection.
If you are feeling blue, here’s a good article from Jen Reviews, A Blueprint When Feeling Blue: How A Mental Health Diagnosis Can Be Empowering.
2. Autoimmune Conditions
As you probably already know, the past 100 years has seen a huge rise in autoimmune diseases. In fact, there are already approximately 100 recognised autoimmune conditions and approximately 40 more illnesses that have autoimmunity as a component to the condition. Around 80% of your immune system actually resides in your gut, therefore, it comes as no surprise that a damaged microbiome is a massive issue in regards to Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS) as a precondition for autoimmunity.
3. Poor Immune Health
It should come as no surprise that if you find yourself often unwell, that microbiome health is a key component to resolving your health issues. Low immune system health is largely due to weak microbiome health. It is a breeding ground for opportunistic bacteria, fungus and yeast or even parasites.
4. Type II diabetes
This is a degenerative disease that is going nuclear on the epidemic scale. It has been recently linked to microbiome disturbances. In fact, a study found that transplanting the microbiome of diabetic mice into healthy mice made them diabetic as well!
5. Heart disease
A possible connection in regards to microbiome and cardiovascular disease was recently found. This is due to a specific bacteria that produces higher levels of TMAO (trimethylamine-N-oxide). This is linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke. Although it is still unclear which microorganism actually produces more TMAO, researchers are hoping that, in the future, manipulation of microbiome species can help in the prevention and treatment of heart disease.
7. Weight gain and obesity
An imbalance of bacteria in the microbiome has been shown to cause weight loss resistance and obesity. Studies in mice found that overweight mice had a higher amount of the Firmicutes bacteria, while thin mice had a higher proportion of Bacteroidetes. In the human cases, the beneficial bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosus was found to be helpful for weight loss in microbiome factor in weight gain cases is a key component for many to lose weight their body has been holding on to for years. Toxicity also has a huge role in regards to weight gain and obesity as some toxins live in fat cells, making weight loss difficult, until toxins are released.
Want to find out how toxic you are? Why not take our ‘How Toxic Are You?’ Quiz.
8. Acid reflux
Millions of people suffer from acid reflux, or the more serious GERD. These problems are correlated with a microbiome dysfunction called SIBO, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth.
A fascinating study out of the University of North Carolina suggests that damage and inflammation of the gut severely decreased the variety of bacterial species in the microbiome. This loss of microbiome diversity allowed a pathogenic bacterial overgrowth of E. coli. Eighty percent of mice with E. coli infection developed colorectal cancer.
10. Constipation or diarrhoea
This is obvious, but digestive problems are so common, it’s important to mention. One study found that there was significantly lower amounts of the bacteria Prevotella and increased levels of Firmicutes in constipated patients. Interestingly, the conventional probiotics that people take, Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria, were not decreased in the microbiomes of the constipated patients.
11. Asthma and chronic sinus infections
Dysbiosis of microbiome bacteria and an overgrowth of Corynebacterium tuberculostearicum, was shown to be a frequent underlying culprit for asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS).
And these are just the tip of the iceberg in regards to gut health and how it affects our overall health – both physical and mental!
Toxic Overload & Gut Health
Toxic overload is one of the main contributing factors to gut health being out of whack. And when I say ‘out of whack’, I am being modest. Our livers are basically full of toxic sludge. Our intestine and colons? Impacted with up to 25 lbs of toxic faeces – causing all sorts of issues.
Leaky gut syndrome and toxicity go hand in hand.
Between a combination of being born toxic (a study showed newborn babies had 287 toxic chemicals in them -some of which were banned 30 years ago), the fact that the average woman is putting approximately 515 toxic chemicals on her body – a day, to our contaminated water, toxic plastics that are used for food – and baby bottles – and carpets, cars, perfumes…it is endless.
Take the How Toxic Are You Quiz to Find out Your Personal Toxic Body Burden Score
Topping Up on the Good Bacteria
On top of doing a cleanse every few months, another way to top up your ‘good’ gut bacteria is by eating and drinking probiotics. (This does not mean the little drinks you get out of the supermarket! They’re really not that powerful!).
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir are excellent sources of probiotics that line your gut with the healthy stuff! Why not try our homemade Scrumptious Sauerkraut with Ginger & Garlic Recipe? It’s super easy and super yummy, too!