MYTHS TO BUST AND FACTS TO HOLD
Alicia Davenport explains common myths about your gut health.
Myth #1: “All disease begins in the gut” ~ Hippocrates
We are more than just flesh and bones, hence a “functional medicine” approach is required for true well-being. While digestion is the gateway to optimum physical health, it is also about how we digest life and take in energy and emotions.
Myth #2: Avoid gluten, dairy and corn only if allergic/intolerant or experiencing digestive symptoms
Eating a diet high in inflammatory foods like gluten, alcohol, and refined sugars and carbohydrates are some of the major contributing factors to today’s chronic health issues such as diabetes, heart disease, dementia and obesity. Simply eating “gluten-free” processed foods is not healthy either. Reducing the intake of inflammatory foods is key for overall optimum health.
Myth #3: A healthy intestinal system only benefits digestion and nutrient absorption.
The health of our digestive tract is crucial to the proper functioning of many of our body systems, including mental wellbeing. Gut health has a strong influence on your body’s serotonin levels, and a serotonin deficiency is linked to depression, anxiety and chronic digestive issues.
Myth #4: A leaky gut manifests the same digestive symptoms in everyone
A leaky gut is said to be caused by an overgrowth of bad gut bacteria, and occurs when the gut cell wall loses integrity, allowing much bigger particles such as toxins to pass into the bloodstream, and triggering inflammation. Studies have shown this could play a role in gastrointestinal conditions, and be associated with other problems such as allergies, asthma and auto-immune diseases.
Myth #5: All bacteria are bad and should be killed
Gut bacteria are certainly not all bad! It is home to up to 500 different species of bacteria, many of which are beneficial. Some medications, however, can affect your gut microbiome. Antibiotics should always be taken only when necessary as they don’t discriminate between the good and bad bacteria. This leaves a path for “weeds” like candida and pathogenic bacteria to grow, thus causing dysbiosis (an imbalance of gut bacteria).