You may be dealing with a case of the trifecta!
It looks like you may be dealing with a case of the trifecta: poor digestion, leaky gut and dysbiosis. No wonder you are feeling the way you do! Don’t stress, let’s break this down bit by bit so you know exactly what to do.WHAT IT IS: Poor digestion is when your digestive tract is struggling to properly break down and absorb the food we eat. It could be related to a number of things like poor eating hygiene, stress, not having enough stomach acid (which, who knew?!), insufficient digestive enzymes and bile acids or maybe poor motility (how quickly or slowly food moves through your digestive tract). Leaky gut, aka intestinal permeability, is a term used to describe a compromised intestinal lining that ultimately has a hard time in its most important task: to shut out food particles, waste products and toxins from entering the bloodstream. This can lead to everything from IBS symptoms like bloating, constipation and diarrhea and food sensitivities, allergies to skin issues like eczema, fatigue and brain fog. Dysbiosis means there is an imbalance of bacteria in your gut. There are a few different types of dysbiosis you should know about: Having more harmful microbes than good ones Having low levels of beneficial bacteria Having an overgrowth of a pathogen: like bacteria, fungi or a parasite Note: all these types require different approaches so it’s vital to understand what is going on in your gut! Now all this might sound overwhelming but here's the good news: you CAN feel better with the right care and approach—you just need to know where to start! YOUR NEXT STEPS: If you haven't already, check in with your doc for any further testing or evaluation that may be necessary. Get ahead of the guessing game and get right to healing by working with a functional practitioner who utilizes functional stool testing. It provides insight on YOUR pattern of dysbiosis, looks for gut pathogens and at several GI health markers that look at gut immune function, levels of inflammation and even gluten reactivity. Practice daily stress management (unchecked stress leads to elevated cortisol (a stress hormone) which can weaken the gut barrier).Balance blood sugar - imbalanced blood sugar also leads to elevated cortisol.Having balanced meals with enough protein, fat and fiber are key to supporting blood sugar. You’ll also want to avoid going >5 hrs without eating to prevent dips in blood sugar. Fill your plate with nourishing, anti-inflammatory foodsThink brightly colored fruits and veggies, high quality proteins, anti inflammatory fats, omega 3 rich foods, whole food carbs like potatoes, root veggies, and squash Probiotic (fermented veggies, yogurt, kefir) and prebiotic rich foods (apples, bananas, asparagus, garlic to name a few) Herbs and spices like ginger and turmeric Gut health boosters like collagen, bone broth and resistant starch (cooked and cooled rice, potatoes, oats) Removing gut irritants- excessive alcohol intake, hyper processed foods Focus on HOW to eatchewing until applesauce consistency5 deep breaths before meals (to switch into rest and digest mode!) Supplements to consider: digestive enzymes, digestive bitters or diluted apple cider vinegar (1 tsp in 2 oz water to start, increasing to 1-2 tbsp as tolerated) before meals to optimize digestion & colostrum or GI fortify to support the gut lining. Working with a functional dietitian can help you uncover what's causing the disarray – through testing, they'll be able to create an individualized plan to specifically address your imbalances so you can FINALLY get to the root of the matter and heal, for good!Disclaimer: Please make sure to check with your doctor before making any changes to your eating habits or taking new supplements – the information presented here is simply for informational purposes and is not diagnostic or medical advice. Ready to dig deeper and uncover your root cause so you can heal for good? I'm here to guide you step-by-step so that you can confidently take control of your gut issues that keep you from living life to the fullest. We will use specialized functional testing to get you answers (finally!) and uncover the root cause of your gut issues, so no more guessing or crazy restrictive diets! If this sounds like what you’ve been searching for, book a free gut health strategy call. It's the best way for me to understand what you've been dealing with and the best path forward for you. I can't wait to connect!Erika Jacobson, MS, RDFunctional Dietitian & Gut Health Specialist