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  • Tara Perverseff

Trying to Reduce Inflammation? Why You Need to Look at Gut Health

Did you know that 70-80% of your immune system is in the gut? If you are trying to reduce inflammation in your body, you need to be looking at the health of your gut. What are 5 signs of an unhealthy gut?

An unhealthy gut increase chronic inflammation in the body and is a contributing factor in autoimmune disease. Symptoms that we think might not be related to gut health include brain fog, hair loss, autoimmune disease, depression and stomach issues.

Our gut affects our immune system and there is a symbiotic relationship between your gut and immune system. We can't talk about the gut without mentioning the gut microbiome which is the collection of bacteria (both good and bad) that reside in the gut. Think of it as a garden; we don't want weeds and dry soil in our garden, we want flowers, trees, bees and healthy nutrient-rich soil. Scientific research over the past 10 years has increasingly looked to the microbiome and how, if out of balance, it can create issues with mood, immune health, mental health and our skin.

The microbiome is partly genetic but is also influenced by epigenetic factors. Epigenetics looks at how our behaviour and lifestyle factors can cause changes in the way your genes are expressed. Genetics might load the gun, but your environmental and lifestyle choices fire that gun in many cases. Epigenetic factors are influenced by such things as our birth (vaginal or c-section), antibiotics, nutrition, our level of stress, and bacterial infections.

What are 5 signs of an unhealthy gut that create inflammation in the body?

  1. Upset stomach: bloating or gas after eating, diarrhea and constipation are not normal. While they might happen to you on a daily basis, or be something you consider normal, they are not. If your body is not able to eliminate waste, it is a sign of a gut in distress.

  2. Hair loss: Poor gut health can impact the absorption of some nutrients and affect the immune system which could possibly contribute to hair loss.

  3. Poor sleep and fatigue: Much of the body's serotonin (a hormone affecting sleep) is produced in the gut. Gut damage may impact your ability to sleep well and could lead to chronic fatigue.

  4. Food intolerances: This is a big one! Leaky gut (when food gets through the intestinal wall when it should not) can lead to difficulty digesting certain foods and impact the ability of the body to digest certain nutrients. You can eat as healthy as you want, but if you are not able to absorb the nutrients from the food you eat, it's a problem.

  5. Autoimmune disease: Gut health can impact the immune system leading to chronic inflammation and autoimmune disease. When the proper functioning of the immune system is affected, the body can being to attack itself. Gut healing was key for me to begin supporting my immune system.

I dive deeper into this topic on my weekly Facebook Live which you can view or listen to here. For my Free Guide on the Hidden Sources of Inflammation and how to calculate your unique inflammation score, you can download my Free Guide here.

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