Nearly 2/3 Americans report gut health issues — including stomach pain, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea — in any given week.
These problems can be embarrassing to talk about, so many try to deal with them on their own. Others seek medical attention and receive no definitive answers as to what is causing the symptoms… so they continue to suffer.
If you find yourself nodding in agreement, you’re not alone.
I work with people like you on a daily basis to guide and offer the right tools to solve complex gut health issues. This approach requires addressing the underlying root causes, such as bacterial overgrowth, parasites, and other infections, and restoring balance to the gut microbiome.
Symptoms of an Unhealthy Gut
The process of digestion is designed to function seamlessly and automatically. However, there are instances when our digestive system encounters disruptions. Frequent episodes of gut distress including bloating, pain, constipation, nausea after meals, loss of appetite, or diarrhea can make it seem as though achieving optimal gut health is impossible.
This may happen on an occasional basis or more frequently. It can be very disruptive and leave you reaching for quick relief that often worsens the damage. This is why it’s important to do a full investigation and address gut issues at the root.
Let’s talk about gas and bloating, constipation, and diarrhea. Feel free to jump ahead to the symptom that applies most to you for support.
Gas and Bloating
Gas is a normal part of the digestive process, but excessive gas and bloating can be embarrassing and also a sign of deeper underlying issues.
Causes of Bloating and Excess Gas
Candida Overgrowth: This fungal overgrowth can occur in the small intestine, also known as Small Intestinal Fungal Overgrowth (SIFO), can lead to gas and bloating, along with bowel disturbances.
Constipation: Infrequent bowel movements can cause waste buildup in the colon, trapping gas and contributing to bloating.
Gastroparesis: Delayed stomach emptying may result in abdominal pain, bloating, and nausea. It is more common among individuals with uncontrolled diabetes.
Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD): Conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can alter the digestive system, leading to abdominal pain and bloating. Some evidence even suggests a possible role of parasites in IBD.
Medication: Some medications may have bloating as a side effect.
Parasitic Infections: Bloating and gas can be among the early signs of parasitic infestations in the gut. As parasites multiply in the small intestine, they cause inflammation and trigger gut symptoms.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO): An overgrowth of gut microbes in the small intestine can result in significant bloating and gas after meals.
Strategies to Combat Bloating and Gas:
Addressing bloating and excess gas requires both short-term relief and long-term solutions. Here are effective strategies to consider:
Low-FODMAP Diet: Eliminating foods high in fermentable carbohydrates, known as FODMAPS, can help reduce gas production. Reintroducing these foods one at a time can help identify specific triggers.
Check for SIBO: Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth is often overlooked as a source of painful gas and bloating. Breath tests can aid in diagnosis, and digestive enzyme supplements may offer relief.
Parasite Cleanse: Clearing out parasites is essential to restore gut health and alleviate bloating. A parasite cleanse, with parasite-combating herbs like those found in our Go With Your Gut protocols, can help eliminate these unwanted invaders.
Detox Heavy Metals and Sugar: Detoxifying heavy metals and reducing sugar intake may help resolve parasite infections and candida overgrowth.
Support Toxin Drainage: Proper support for toxin drainage from the colon, kidneys, liver, and lymphatic system is crucial when addressing parasites and other pathogens.
By adopting these comprehensive strategies, you can overcome bloating and excess gas, leading to improved gut health and overall well-being. When you tackle the root causes, it paves the way for lasting relief from gut distress.
Infrequent bowel movements and hard stools can be painful and uncomfortable, often leading to issues like hemorrhoids. Healthy bowel movements are essential for eliminating toxins. The liver filters contaminants from the blood and secretes them into the bile, which is then released during digestion. For optimal detoxification, 1-3 bowel movements a day is recommended to eliminate waste effectively.
Causes of Constipation
Candida Overgrowth: Candida or other fungal infections can lead to constipation or diarrhea, further disrupting gut health.
Dehydration: Insufficient water intake can cause the colon to extract more water from stools to maintain hydration. It’s important to replenish minerals when increasing water intake.
Environmental Toxins: Exposure to herbicides, pesticides, and heavy metals may damage nerves regulating colonic movement.
Holding it in: Delaying bowel movements allows the colon to reabsorb excessive water from stools, making them dry and difficult to eliminate.
Lack of Movement: Physical activity stimulates the colon, and a sedentary lifestyle can contribute to constipation.
Low Fiber Diet: Insufficient fiber intake can lead to compacted stools, making them harder to pass. Too much of the wrong fibers can also cause constipation.
Medications: Certain medications, including antacids, antidepressants, and painkillers, can slow down bowel movements.
Medical Conditions: Conditions like hypothyroidism, multiple sclerosis, and Parkinson’s disease can affect intestinal functioning, leading to constipation.
Parasitic Infections: Parasites may cause either constipation or diarrhea, depending on the specific type of infestation.
Pregnancy: Growing baby pressure can slow down the mother’s bowel movements, especially in the later stages of pregnancy.
Supplements: Calcium and iron supplements, especially certain forms and higher doses, may trigger constipation.
Strategies to Combat Constipation
Overcoming constipation requires a comprehensive approach to restore gut health.
Change Diet: A diet rich in fiber and water, while incorporating fermented foods like kimchi and sauerkraut can promote gut health. Eliminating gluten and conventional dairy can also be beneficial.
Get Moving: Regular exercise supports gut motility and overall health, reducing the risk of constipation.
Parasite Cleanse: Consider a parasite cleanse to remove toxins and promote gut health. Coffee enemas may offer relief from sluggish bowels.
Bowel-Moving Herbs: Ginger root and senna leaf, among other intestinal moving herbs, promote normal muscle contractions in the gut, preventing constipation.
Obey the Urge: Respond promptly to nature’s call, and establish a healthy routine for bowel movements where you train yourself to move your bowels at a certain time of day.
Check Medication Side Effects: Examine the side effects of medications and supplements, considering alternatives that won’t cause constipation.
Addressing constipation with a multi-faceted approach enhances the chances of resolving this issue and restoring gut health. With the right protocol, you can alleviate constipation and enjoy improved well-being.
Loose or watery stools that tend to come with urgency may be short-lived. Chronic diarrhea lasting longer than 4 weeks can indicate more severe underlying digestive issues. Frequent watery bowel movements can lead to dehydration and potential malnutrition as the gut has less time to absorb essential nutrients. It’s important to replenish these minerals to prevent malnutrition.
Causes of Diarrhea
Antibiotics: Taking antibiotics may lead to loose stools in around 30% of individuals, either during the course or up to two months after due to the disruption of beneficial gut bacteria.
Food Poisoning: Consuming contaminated foods or beverages, such as those with E. coli or Salmonella, can trigger inflammation and toxins in the gut, resulting in diarrhea as a purging mechanism.
Stress: Acute stress and anxiety can cause stomach cramping and stimulate the colon, leading to diarrhea.
Viruses: Norovirus and rotavirus infections are common culprits of diarrhea, sometimes referred to as “stomach flu.”
Chronic Issues: Certain chronic conditions, such as candida overgrowth, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), heavy metals, and parasitic infections, can lead to persistent diarrhea.
Strategies to Combat Diarrhea
Managing diarrhea involves short-term solutions for immediate relief and addressing the underlying causes for long-term gut health.
Examine Diet and Eliminate Trigger Foods: Identifying and avoiding trigger foods is crucial. For those with celiac disease or lactose intolerance, avoiding gluten and dairy is essential. Omitting food triggers can help manage symptoms and uncover potential food sensitivities.
Get Rid of Parasites: Completing a parasite cleanse can help normalize gut health and alleviate inflammation caused by parasitic infections.
Cleanse Candida: Following a candida and anti-fungal support protocol can help eliminate yeast overgrowth and associated health issues, including chronic diarrhea. It’s important to make sure there are no other invaders present before doing candida protocols.
Avoid Unnecessary Antibiotics: Reducing the unnecessary use of antibiotics protects the gut microbiome and lowers the risk of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. If antibiotics are necessary, make sure you replenish with a strong probiotic during and after the course is complete.
Manage Stress: Stress has adverse effects on the body, including the gut. Use stress management techniques like walking, journaling, and mindfulness to alleviate symptoms.
Slow Down While Eating: Eating leisurely and mindfully can improve digestion and prevent hurried eating that may contribute to gut issues. Chew your food until it’s the consistency of salsa and completely broken down in the mouth before swallowing.
It’s important to address the symptoms with immediate relief, but also have a long-term strategy for regaining control over your digestive health so you can have a better quality of life.
Restoring Overall Gut Health
Gut health plays a crucial role in the overall body’s overall well-being. Neglecting to address these underlying issues can lead to a host of problems over time. These symptoms include dehydration, poor absorption of vitamins and minerals, impaired immune function, nerve pain, depression, anxiety, obesity, heart disease, skin conditions, joint pain. Digestive issues affect our overall health over time.
You can restore your gut now by targeting the root with a few simple strategies.
Eliminate Food Triggers: Reducing inflammatory foods that contribute to gut issues can significantly alleviate symptoms and facilitate the healing process.
Support Detox and Drainage Pathways: Including the colon, kidneys, liver, and lymphatic system, to aid in the elimination of toxins and promote gut health.
Address Pathogens: Such as parasites, Lyme bacteria, and candida through the use of herbs that support digestion and combat these critters effectively.
Regular Physical Activity: Engaging in regular physical activity stimulates the colon and promotes overall gut health while also reducing the risk of chronic health issues.
By taking proactive steps, you can restore gut health and enhance your overall wellness. Addressing your gut health now not only improves your quality of life but also reduces the risk of potential health complications in the future. A well-functioning gut is a cornerstone of good health, enabling you to embrace life to the fullest.
If you’re not sure how to do that, we’re here to help! Check out our services and schedule a consultation to see if our support would be a great next step for you!