6 Surprising ways that gut issues may affect your health
Do you suffer from digestive issues? Do you also experience non-digestive symptoms such as depression, weight gain, insomnia, acne or PMS? Did you know that the gut can have a hugely far-reaching impact on your health? Your gut can affect everything from energy, skin and even your mood. To illustrate this critical concept, today, I wrote an article highlighting six ways that gut issues can affect our health.
Let's jump straight in and find out how the brain can affect our mood.
The Gut and the Brain
It is curious that when I treat clients for small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or SIBO, they experience improvements in mood as well as their digestive symptoms.
Enter the gut-brain connection. Did you know that can scientific research shows that treatment with probiotics can help anxiety and depression? Other evidence shows that brain health can improve through dietary modification.
Interestingly when I eat gluten, my main symptoms are anxiety and depression.
The Gut and Metabolism
Problems in the gut can influence your metabolism leading to weight gain. Research shows that an imbalance of the gut bacteria associated with many metabolic diseases. Furthermore, scientific finding shows that treatment with probiotics can lead to improvements in metabolism.
There is also evidence showing that feeding good gut bacteria may help reduce elevated blood sugar, which is a precursor to diabetes.
The Gut and the Thyroid
An unhealthy gut can affect the thyroid. The most common cause of hypothyroidism is Hashimoto's, which is a type of autoimmune disease. Hashimoto's can cause symptoms of fatigue, hair loss, weight gain and depression.
Evidence suggests that a diet that limits inflammatory foods can help Hashimoto's Disease. Furthermore, there is some evidence that the treatment of h.pylori, a bacteria found in your stomach, can help with Hashimoto's disease.
The Gut and Sleep
Did you know that gut inflammation has been shown to cause insomnia? Evidence suggests that reducing inflammation in the gut improves sleep. Of course, when you sleep better, everything else feels better.
The Gut-Skin Connection
There is a saying in Naturopathic Medicine that "the skin is a reflection of the digestion." Skin conditions such as acne have been shown to improve after the removal of inflammatory foods and after treating bacterial overgrowth in the intestines. Many other skin conditions originate in the gut and require more than skin creams or antibiotics to resolve them permanently.
The Gut and Sex Hormones
The bacteria in the gut play a crucial role in the breakdown of sex hormones. This role is especially critical for women as reduced hormone metabolism may lead to an excess of estrogen. Excess estrogen can cause symptoms such as PMS, Depression, weight gain and accelerated ageing.
Inflammation in the gut can also cause higher testosterone in women and higher estrogen levels in men. Often, treating an underlying gut issue will improve hormone-related symptoms.
Men should be able to estimate if the symptoms of higher estrogen levels are showing receding hairline or mature hairline — Hair Guard has a really good guide on this — and to commit to finding the solution only if it is necessary.
What Do You Think?
Do you think that an underlying gut problem might cause your symptoms? Did treating a gut issue help resolve other non-digestive symptoms?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment.
Do You Want To know more?
If you need extra help, you can book a free in-person, phone or video Functional Medicine Discovery session with me. Book online HERE or call 613 230-0998.
During the session, we will briefly talk through your symptoms and discuss whether my Functional medicine approach is right for your needs.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. Please do not apply any of this information without first speaking with your doctor.
Dominick Hussey is an Osteopathic Manual Practitioner, a Functional Medicine Practitioner, a PDTR Therapy Practitioner and the Co-founder of Ottawa Holistic Wellness.