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Listen to Your Gut

At Summit Family Chiropractic we focus on your whole health, not just your aches and pains. We look for the root cause of your health concerns so we can achieve optimal health rather than temporary relief. Our gut is a great communicator, so to speak. In this post we are going to dive into what your gut could be trying to tell you.

What does being healthy mean to you?  We all have different ideas of what the word health means to us. We often think of health as a feeling or lack of a symptom. If you take a look at medical textbooks, they state that in order to be healthy, we have to have a complete balance of chemical, physical, and emotional well-being. 

Health is not merely the absence of disease. 

You see, our health is one big complex system and can be a domino effect of reactions. For the most part, this is due to our choices. As long as we are making healthy choices, they compound upon each other and lead to positive results. Similarly, when we make bad choices, they compound one upon the other. Once inflammation begins, our immune response weakens and we end up with an illness, a symptom, or a feeling that something just isn’t right.  

The Three T’s: Thoughts, Traumas, and Toxins

In preventative medicine, there are three causes of disease: emotional stress, exposure to toxins (both dietary and environmental), and trauma to our tissues, bones, and cells (i.e. Car Accident, Slip/Fall or Sports Injury).

A lot of us have digestive issues, in fact 70 million people in the United States suffer from some sort of gastrointestinal disorder, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), inflammatory bowel disease, leaky gut, food intolerance or allergy, or celiac disease. Our gut is home to 100 trillion bacteria. Isn’t that just amazing? Our gut micro biome’s job is two-fold; to protect the mucosal lining of the gut and to only allow nutrients and water to pass through the intestinal wall. A distressed gut allows dangerous compounds to enter the body which provokes an inflammatory reaction. Remember the domino effect, one form of inflammation causes another form of inflammation. What is great about this topic is that with the proper diet and the right lifestyle we can strengthen the gut, leading to an overall improvement in our health and well-being. 

Symptoms of a Compromised Stomach or Digestive System

  • Gas, Bloating, Diarrhea
  • Weight Gain
  • Sugar Cravings
  • Frequent Bad Breath
  • Food Allergies & Sensitivities
  • Chronic, Pervasive Joint Pain
  • Moodiness, Depression, & Anxiety
  • Skin Problems Like Eczema & Acne
  • Type II Diabetes

These symptoms are all a sign that something is not right in your gut. Did you know that depression, anxiety, degenerative joint disease, arthritis, cancer, and obesity, can also be directly correlated to a gut issue too? Who would have guessed that?! 

The bacteria in our gut manufactures almost 95% of your body’s serotonin. Serotonin is our hormone that contributes to feelings of wellness and happiness. Think about how many of us are walking around with a poorly functioning gut. No wonder we don’t feel that great about ourselves sometimes! The more we can do to make sure our gut is well, the better we are going to function and feel! 

Four Key Factors to Ensure Optimal Gut Health

  1. Limit Processed/Artificial Foods
  2. Less Stress
  3. More Sleep
  4. Movement/Manipulation

1). Limit Processed/Artificial Foods

What we put in our bodies makes a huge difference. When you drink water you expect it to be clean and free of toxins and chemicals, right? The same should go for the food you eat. Almost all processed foods contain ingredients that are foreign to us, causing a disruption in your body. Limiting the amount of chemicals we put in our body will lower the amount of chemical stressors our nervous system has to deal with. Eating natural-based foods will also make it easier for your gut to digest. 

2). Less Stress

Stress is a big problem for many of us. Unfortunately, it is so common we probably don’t need to go too far in-depth on this factor. Stress is a unique communicator that can be life-saving. However, exposure to chronic stress, increases corticosteroids and other inflammatory markers which highly damage our intestine lining. Whether stress is psychological or physiological:

  • Stress triggers the release of cortisol. Cortisol helps to mobilize blood sugar so that you can run effectively from an emergency or dangerous situation.
  • Short term, short-lived bouts of stress are immune boosting and stimulate gut flora growth.
  • Chronic stress acts as a systemic immune suppressant, lowering levels of an important body guard of the gut.
  • To make matters worse, under the perception of high stress, cortisol and insulin resemble each other. High cortisol levels will also contribute to high insulin and high sugar while the cells, themselves, are starving. 

3). More Sleep

Our fourth gut health principle is sleep. We must make sure we are giving our body the rest it needs. 

We need 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Not getting 7-8 hours? Work harder to get to bed on time. It is important. Often times when consulting with practice members, they tell me that sleep is a main sacrifice for them to accomplish daily responsibilities. I can relate, being a parent that it is easy to sacrifice sleep. 

However, it is the only time your body gets to rebuild. In fact, we have these caps on the end of our DNA called telomeres. I like to think of them as the protective little plastic caps at the end of your shoe laces. These end caps keep our laces from unraveling. Telomeres are that for our DNA. Our telomeres get worn down by not following our healthy principles, stress, too little sleep, improper hydration, and bad food choices. The telomere caps then begin to unravel causing us to age faster and our quality of life to go down. Sleep helps to protect the length and longevity of our telomeres. Research actually shows that telomere caps are affected by manipulation. When you get adjusted, the nervous system is stimulated in a way that is very protective to our bodies. This leads us into our last, but certainly not least, principle!

4). Manipulation

Getting adjusted on a regular basis helps our body to be healthier. As a Chiropractor in Mount Juliet, my primary goal is to improve the body’s overall function through the spine and nervous system. In order to stretch and stimulate the nervous system, spinal manipulation is necessary. 

Whether you suffer from digestive issues, headaches, high stress levels, night time bed wetting, or a herniated disc, my focus is restoring healthy motion to the spine and a properly functioning nervous system. Getting adjusted by a chiropractor is proven to stimulate the brain. Research suggests adjusting poorly functioning spinal vertebrae resolves stimuli causing pressure on the associated spinal nerve roots and vessels, improving body and gut performance.

If you or a loved one is suffering from stomach issues, or any other issue in the body, contact Summit Family Chiropractic for a free consultation!

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