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Gut Health and Weight Loss and Hormonal Impact Part 1

WE ARE ONLY AS HEALTHY AS THE FOOD WE CAN DIGEST

This means that if the gut isn’t functioning well (optimally) then it really doesn’t matter how good the food is that we eat. We will have deficiencies. This is why GUT Health is a major corner stone for optimal health.

  • Endocrine system: depends on essential nutrients (healthy hormones) in order to function properly.
  • Immune system: highly dependent on the gut for proper functioning.
  • Nervous System: again, highly dependent on the gut for proper functioning. In fact, there are more nerve cells in the gut than in the brain

Gut-Brain Axis

  • Motility, secretion, nutrient delivery, microbial balance
  • Neurotransmitters, stress, anxiety, mood, behavior

HPA Axis

  • Hypothalamus: gland in the brain which produces CRH
  • Anterior Pituitary: gland in the brain which produces ACTH
  • Adrenal Cortex: Endocrine gland (on the kidneys) which produces cortisol

So “at the end of the day” in relation to the gut, cortisol affects:

  • How the colon moves
  • What it absorbs
  • How much and what kind of mucus it produces
  • The microbiome and can slow down the entire system to enable the body to be able to deal with stress and what not

This stress response helps the human being to survive in a life threatening situation. The habitual stress response, say due to a relationship issue or unhappy job, can greatly impact gut health and overall health negatively.

Interesting side note: the stress response, as shown above, impacts gut health. The opposite is true. You can develop leaking gut which in term allows gut flora can affect the HPA axis in a negative way. Additionally, bad bacteria and fungus can affect all of the functions mentioned above. This becomes a vicious (aka VICIOUS) circle. Downward spiral. Perfect storm.

The Gut and Nervous System are INTIMATELY connected.

Insulin and Blood Sugar Management: a healthy GI track helps the blood sugar management system. An unhealthy GI tract can increase insulin insensitive. For the endurance athlete specifically, this can negatively impact burning fat for fuel. So sugar cravings go up and belly fact sticks around or becomes more prevalent.

Estrogen: Your gut flora can influence your levels of estrogen. Estrobolome, a gut bacteria, produces or breaks down estrogen. The liver breaks down estrogen (or deactivates) and sends it into the GI tract to “get rid of”. Unfriendly gut bacteria can reactivate inactive this estrogen. This can impact estrogen/progesterone balance. (Or affect testosterone levels). Also, the stomach produces estrogen-like molecules. Which increases appetite. It is so interesting in that when someone consumes BPA, which produces an estrogen like molecule, even in the presence of food, the appetite increases. So please avoid plastic produces that have BPA.

Progesterone / Testosterone: Hormonal balance is affected by Lipopolysaccharides (LPS) which is a toxin produced by unfriendly gut bacteria. LPS has more of an impact when LEAKY gut is present, as LPS crosses the gut barrier and can affect ovaries and decrease progesterone production. Which affects the ever important balance of estrogen to progesterone. LPS may also play a role in PCOS by increasing insulin and testosterone levels. Additionally, LSP has been shown to negatively impact the immune system and be a contributing factor to many autoimmune disorders.

Thyroid Gland: LPS may also affect Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Again, this goes back to the research on how unfriendly bacteria impact the immune system and the cascade affect of that. You can think of it like, the LPS causes the body’s immune system to attack itself.

Uterus / Endometriosis: Endometrial lesions (uterine cells growing elsewhere) interfere with the gut’s ability to keep waste products moving, contributing to SIBO and microbiome imbalance. It does this in that these lesions are sticky and cause parts of the bowel to stick together, to the abdominal wall or other organs.

Continue to Part 2 for the Basic Gut Health Protocol

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Gut health, weight loss and hormonal balance part 2

Basic Gut Health Protocol

  • Reduce Inflammation-causing agents / toxins
  • Balance the good bacteria in the gut
  • Increase Digestive "Fire"

FIRST STEP: REDUCE INFLAMMATION

  1. Reduce wheat, dairy, soy, corn, refined sugar. Also, conventionally grown meat.
  2. Reduce inflammatory substances: alcohol, antibiotics, birth control pills, synthetic drugs. These damage the gut flora, leading to a weakened gut lining and leaky gut.
  3. Drink Bone Broth: Heals and seals the gut, helps to fix leaky gut. Check out these instructions of making your own bone broth. It isn't difficult.
  4. Increase Gelatin or collagen: helps to heal the gut lining and improve the muscus layer. Adding collagen (as a powder) to your smoothie is easy. Check out this recipe.
  5. Introduce L-Glutamine: Heals the gut lining. Feeds the lining in the gut. FYI - Can be over stimulating to brain cells.
  6. Consume Turmeric: reduces inflammation, though needs fact and black pepper to be fully absorbed. Such as coconut oil.
  7. Introduce zinc carnosine and quercetin supplements (amino acid and antioxidant that helps to produce organs). Zinc carosine helps to heal cells.

SECOND STEP: BALANCE THE GOOD BACTERIA

  1. Eat fermented foods: improve the health of the gut flora. Note, if you are sensitive to histamines (allergies) then skip this step as fermented foods generally have a lot of histamines causes allergy type reactions.
  2. Take probiotic capsules: 10 to 50 billion CFUs per day taken with food. Start smaller, with 10 billion CFUs a day to avoid bloating, skin rashes, gas, other common side affects.
  3. Take digestive enzymes: easiest and most beneficial step to start. Juice Plus has digestive enzymes in them already. Take before.
  4. Chew food thoroughly: chewing starts digestive enzymes. Plus it will slow you down enough to eat less, meaning that you body has the time to tell you that you are no longer hungry, hormonal signals.
  5. Add fiber to their diet. 35 - 45 grams each day. Again, start slowing to avoid constipation, gas and bloating. 12 - 24 hours is the correct transit time. ;)
  6. Consume resistant starch (pre-biotic): selectively stimulates the good bacteria. Lentils, chick peas, potatoes that have been cooked and cooled. Like from the crock pot.

THRID STEP: Light Digestive Fires (stomach acid)

  • Reflux, burping, etc are signs that you need to change up the digestive "fires" or change the stomach acids
  • Lemon Juice: hottish water
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (15-30 before meals, or after meals to fix reflux) . Liquid apple cider vinegar can be harmful for the teeth. Pill supplementation is available and beneficial.
  • Digestive Bitters: Increases the digestive "juices"
    • Dandelion
    • Fennel
    • Ginger
    • Beet Root (good for cardio vascular
    • Goldenseal root
    • Milk Thistle (healthy for the liver as well)
    • Peppermint
    • Wormwood
    • Yellow Dock
  • HCL or hydrochloric acid
    • More advanced step and is recommended that you work with a functional medicine practitioner.
    • Read more here
    • DO NOT take with any anti-inflammatory medicines. Greatly increases the risk of bleeding or ulcer.

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