Stop Struggling with Gut IssuesJun 29, 2020 03:10PM ● By Jean Read
Many people experience frequent bloating, gas, abdominal or pelvic pain, sluggish digestion, constipation, diarrhea, brain fog, lack of energy or excessive fluid in the abdomen or legs. These common issues could be caused by the foods we are eating, leaky gut issues, poor microbiome health, stress, poor sleep habits, antibiotic use, food sensitivities, adhesions and more.
Most of these symptoms can be alleviated with simply changing the diet. Keep meals simple and eat a small amount of animal meat (beef, buffalo, chicken, turkey or fish), along with two vegetables. Leave out the bread, cheese, milk and desserts for two to four weeks and see what symptoms are alleviated. Most people will experience resolution of 50 percent or more symptoms.
For those who do not get relief of their symptoms, there could be other causes. In most cases, people benefit from guidance by a functional nutritionist to help discern what foods or other habits may be causing these symptoms and learn how to support the body in returning to normal gut health—resulting in normal gut function and relief of the above mentioned symptoms.
Those with these symptoms and any history of abdominal or pelvic surgeries might find that adhesions could be causing some of the symptoms. Interestingly, once someone has had a pelvic or abdominal surgery, they are 50 to 100 percent likely to develop adhesions, which is scar tissue formation that occurs in the fascia that surrounds all the tissues and organs in the body. Most surgeons recommend returning to surgery for release of these adhesions, but surgery is the cause of adhesion formation.
There is another alternative called visceral manipulation, combined with myofascial release techniques. Studies have shown that using these combined techniques by highly trained physical therapists can relieve most of the gut symptoms. Often, multiple sessions are needed to get started, followed by monthly or bi-monthly treatments, depending on the situation. The cost of returning to surgery can average around $7,000 or more. Treatments (15 to 20) over a one-year period can average less than $2,000 and keep patients mostly symptom-free.
For those that may have leaky gut and brain fog, it is clear that these two are connected. While some people can do their own research and fix this on their own, it is best to contact and work with someone trained in functional nutrition. This person can help identify foods, drugs, stress, alcohol and other poor habits that have resulted in the current symptoms. They will guide in how to repair one’s leaky gut. This will include changing dietary habits, improving sleep habits, reducing stress, incorporating breath work and exercise and starting on some great probiotics. Including fermented foods will also be essential to keeping the gut and digestion in a healthy state.
Most people don’t understand how a leaky gut can be linked to brain fog and decreasing memory. This is a long discussion, but to keep it simple, here is a quick peek into the connection. The microbiome (the bacteria that live in the gut) helps digest food, as well as crowd out bad bacteria in the gut. The gut bacteria help by making dopamine and serotonin that is needed by the nervous system. The gut bacteria make other nutrients needed for blood coagulation, immune function, balance of the hormones and more. A healthy gut makes for a healthy brain.
When having gut symptoms, don’t settle for antacids and a decline in health—reach out for help. There are many professionals in the area that can help alleviate these symptoms and return the body to a state of wellness.
Jean Read is a physical therapist of 30 years who has studied functional nutrition and is the only AZ health practitioner certified with the Wahls Protocol for MS, neurological and autoimmune symptoms. Connect at 956-566-5443. See ad, page 16.