Did you know…the gut is also called our “second brain”?
This is because what goes on in the gut affects sleep, mood, and overall wellness, as part of our enteric nervous system.
There are between 400-600 million neurons in the gut (100 million in the small intestine alone)!
Compared with about 1 billion neurons in the brain, it explains why the gut plays such an important role in our feeling of well-being.
Let’s examine a few areas where gut health (or lack thereof) can affect us in a big way:
The intestines contain the largest number of microorganisms in our body’s microbiome.
We have bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa, where the majority are good for us, but a minority of them are causing disease.
When the natural balance of the microbiome is disturbed, that’s what shakes things up and we get sick.
Psychology Today says, “It doesn’t take long for poor sleep to affect your gut.” They cited a small study, which showed that after just two nights of sleep deprivation, the types of beneficial bacteria in the gut were decreased significantly.
They also mentioned that “Unhealthy gut may be a link between poor sleep and cognitive decline.”
In a group of people ages 50-85, when they got better quality sleep, their cognition was improved, along with more beneficial gut bacteria.
Poor sleep also causes issues specifically having to do with, but not limited to, mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder.)
Also, before you go to sleep, don’t stress out your gut by eating heavy, hard-to-digest, sugary and calorie-filled foods.
Instead, if you’re hungry, try a cup of cottage cheese with peaches, or a banana with peanut butter.
Another fun fact is that there is 400 times more melatonin in the gut than in the brain.
This is the hormone that helps regulate sleep patterns. A melatonin deficiency could also contribute to leaky gut, which will be discussed at number 3 in this article.
So the final word in sleep having to do with gut health is this: Make sleep a priority!
Keep the microbiome in your gut in tip-top shape by eating healthy foods focusing on a plant-based and fermented-foods diet, exercising regularly, and adding probiotics into your supplement routine.
Also known as heartburn, is one of the most common complaints people have, and they usually try to alleviate the symptoms by taking an antacid or medication (OTC or prescription.)
But this is simply putting a band-aid on the problem, acting as a temporary solution, and not solving the underlying issue, which begins in the gut.
Stress, poor sleep, poor immune function, poor dieting, and not knowing what you’re sensitive or allergic to within your diet can all decrease something in the stomach that’s known as hydrochloric acid, or HCl for short.
We need HCl to break down the protein that we ingest.
Stress is a perfect example of something that can lower HCl. If we don’t have enough HCl, that protein putrefies within the stomach. It goes undigested and bacteria has to eat it up to try to break it down.
It’s that bacteria that’s sending the HCl flying back up the esophagus. It’s not that too much stomach acid is burning in the esophagus; it’s actually too little.
This can be remedied with proper supplementation and paying attention to your diet.
Other possible causes of acid reflux that are easily controlled by you are:
- Being overweight
- A high-carb diet
- Drinking too much coffee or soda
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Eating highly acidic foods like tomato sauces
Leaky Gut—is small holes inside the small intestine.
This can be caused by eating foods that are pro-inflammatory for your body.
Leaky gut causes toxins and bacteria to leak into the bloodstream.
It not only causes inflammation, but it can also make your immune system switch to high alert, making you feel miserable.
Many people don’t know what foods they’re sensitive to, which could be common items like chicken, broccoli, oatmeal, pork or very often, milk and eggs. Sensitivity causes bad inflammation.
With leaky gut, the immune system sees the bacteria as an invader and attacks it.
This creates inflammation inside the body, which causes bloating, gas and a lot of other issues, both in the gut and mentally.
Leaky gut is a mystery, in that doctors don’t really know exactly what causes it, but the above information is a theory. One thing they do know is that the issue can be hereditary.
To prevent it, pay attention to your stress level and try to keep it as low as possible. Also be careful with the use of NSAID pain relievers, sugar and alcohol.
GAS & BLOATING
Along with constipation, are all the result of an unhealthy gut that we must identify and fix. These issues are very common, but not normal.
Your gut shouldn’t be looking like you’re pregnant after a meal.
You shouldn’t have a ton of gas or acid reflux. You shouldn’t be belching. These are signs of digestive inefficiencies.
You should see your doctor if you’re in pain, if there are sudden changes, or if you also are experiencing diarrhea or weight loss.
In order to alleviate excess gas and bloating, try to limit your intake of these foods:
- Spicy or fried
- Carbonated drinks
- Dairy products
- Fiber bars or supplements
Increasing physical activity can help to expel the gas that may be trapped and causing discomfort. Also, lying on your left side can move things up and out!
We have put together the perfect combination of all-natural supplements to help get the root cause of high inflammation under control.
Your gut will love you for it.