Monday, May 18, 2015
7 Steps to Healthy Hormones - Step 2: Fix Your Gut
Creating Healthy Hormonal Balance is a series of steps. After we have looked at LifeStyle Habits (see last week's post), we then want to look at our guts.
The digestive system is really the corner stone of our wellbeing, as it is involved in so many processes. New research is showing that your gut health plays a significant role in hormone regulation so if you have leaky gut or a lack of lining your intestinal wall it can also cause hormone imbalance.
If your gut health is poor, you can end up with impaired immune and nervous systems, and it can also wreak havoc with hormonal function throughout the body. This is because our gastrointestinal tract is loaded with neurons that release the same neurotransmitters found in the brain. This is why you have "gut feelings" and any upset to this equilibrium can throw your body and mood into chaos.
To adopt a new approach to the eating for hormonal balance, this can be done by starting with the "Four Rs" - Remove, Repair, Restore, and Replace.
Step 1: Remove
In this first step, remove the offending foods and toxins from your diet that could be acting as stressors on your system. This means caffeine, alcohol, processed foods, bad fats, and any other foods you think may be causing issues, like gluten and dairy. All of these all irritate the gut in some form and create an inflammatory response.
Step 2: Repair
The next step is to begin to repair the gut and heal the damaged intestinal lining. You do this by consuming an unprocessed diet and giving your body time to rest by providing it with substances that are known to heal the gut, like L-glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, antioxidants (in the form of vitamins A, C, and E), quercitin, aloe vera, and turmeric.
Step 3: Restore
This involves the restoration of your gut's optimal bacterial flora population. This is done with the introduction of probiotics like Lactobacillus acidophilus andBifidobacterium lactis. A probiotic is a good bacteria and is ingested to help reinforce and maintain a healthy gastrointestinal tract and to help fight illness. In general a healthy lower intestinal tract should contain around 85% good bacteria. This helps to combat any overgrowth of bad bacteria. Unfortunately in most people these percentages are skewed and this allows for the gut health to drastically decline. The human gut is home to bad bacteria like salmonella and clostridium, which is fine as long as they are kept in order and don't get out of control.
Step 4: Replace
This involves getting your bile salts, digestive enzymes, and hydrochloric acid levels to optimal levels to maintain and promote healthy digestion. This can be done by supplementing with digestive enzymes and organic salt to help make sure you have enough hydrochloric acid.