Hi everyone, I hope you are all well!
Today we want to address the topic of gut health, what is gut health? What is leaky gut? Microbiome? Microbiota? Flora? (Not flora as in margarine).
We shall delve in and try to make sense of what it all means and how it can benefit us with arthritis pain.
Cell, cell, cell!
There are trillions of cells on us and in us.
When people talk about gut microbiome they are referring to cells, these cells are microorganisms mainly bacteria, some fungi and viruses.
Everyone has a microbiome and everybody’s is different.
The cells play a part in our digestion, not only do they help to break down the food we eat they also look to extract nutrients from the food.
A lot can be told about your microbiome from a stool sample and the microbiome can be altered or damaged by foods we eat, lifestyle and environment.
Many people condemn C-sections as they believe the mother’s microbiome is put onto the baby during a natural birth thus giving the child protection against infections.
The microbiome helps to regulate the immune system and by keeping the gut healthy there will then be plenty of good bacteria to fight off the bad.
“All disease begins in the gut”
We have said this before on this site but for those who don’t know, that is a quote from Hippocrates a Greek physician whose name is legend in the field of medicine and human health.
He had many other fantastic quotes including one I like;
“Natural forces within us are the true healers of disease.”
Perhaps he was referencing these trillions of cells that everyone naturally has and maybe he was pointing to the importance of keeping these cells healthy.
If the cells are not kept healthy enough to do their job efficiently then we will end up with such things as leaky gut, which we will look at shortly.
Trust your gut.
The gut is almost like the sorting office of our body, it is always taking in deliveries and trying to figure out where best to put things.
The microbiome helps the gut do this, as we said above, these cells are responsible for extracting nutrients from your food.
If you choose to fuel your body with nutrient deficient foods and foods that have been genetically modified then issues like leaky gut will occur.
Leaky gut happens when the wall of your stomach is breached by unwanted bacteria and toxins.
Leaky gut affects everything including joints
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Damage to memory
- Ulcerative colitis
As you can see there is a multitude of problems that can be caused by leaky gut and this is just a few.
The important one to us is that it can even affect joints.
If we can heal our gut and microbiome we may be able to avoid these diseases and feel happy and healthier. There are ways we can do it, but yet again it is the old familiar answers!
As usual, the answers seem to lie in a healthy diet, plenty of exercise, reduce stress. We have heard these conclusions before and should know by now that they are beneficial for fighting any disease.
There was a couple of other tips to note as well.
Where possible avoid antibiotics.
Overuse of antibiotics can lead to problems such as you developing an antibiotic resistant disease but it can also alter your microbiome as well.
They were supplied liberally by doctors for years in this country until scientists started to realise that this over prescribing of them was causing major health issues.
Help your gut with probiotics.
Give your tummy a helping hand, probiotics can be taken as a supplement in tablet form, though the best form of probiotics is from the consumption of fermented foods.
Foods such as sauerkraut, recipe here.
As you know I am constantly reading, researching and trying different things.
When you delve into medical issues, the more I look the more it seems to scream the same answers. We have said above about the old familiar answers and they are getting harder to ignore.
But if the answers are so simple as eating fresh wholefoods, exercising regularly, reducing stress and avoiding pollutants why can’t we all do it and be happy and healthy?
Because it’s hard to do is my answer.
Pollutants can be everywhere and vary in intensity depending on where you live.
The world’s population keeps growing which means the number of cars on the road keeps growing, polluting the environment and ourselves.
In the past month or so we have been using a bog-standard water filter at home and the difference in the water from what comes out the tap is quite worrying.
We have discussed before how reducing stress is important but also incredibly difficult.
As people suffering from arthritis we can be constantly in pain which leads to stress. Our jobs can be stressful and you can’t just leave a paid job especially if you don’t have another to go to, those bills still need paying.
Speaking of bills money is another huge stressor for people, friends and family can sometimes be stressful, the list goes on.
The debate about what we should eat rages on and shows no signs of stopping.
Were we ever meant to consume refined sugar? Wheat and grains?
Are we being kept sick by pharmaceutical companies and fast food restaurants?
Should we juice or does juicing fruit cause an insulin spike due to the concentrated levels?
Is it just meat and two veg we should eat?
Or lots of veg and no meat?
What are your thoughts? We know a healthy gut can help many issues our body can encounter but on the other hand, we need to help the gut by making healthier choices.
Do you help your stomach? Do you notice a difference in pain when you eat certain foods? Are the answers as simple as the ones above?