With all the chemicals in our food and in our environment, it can be tough to pinpoint what can be causing gastrointestinal discomfort. Food labels proclaim that they are “healthy” or “all natural” …but what does that really mean, and how does it affect our bodies? In our latest post, we talked to Allison Gray, FNP, about simple habits for healthy gut function!
- Awareness. We live in a fast-paced world. We often fuel up without actually paying attention to how our body feels after we eat. Many people accept symptoms of gut imbalances as “normal,” and live with side effects such as bloating after a meal, fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, etc. These are all ways the body is communicating to us that something that not agreeing with our system. Try to check-in with yourself after eating and see how you are feeling to begin the healing process.
- Slow down. Digestion begins outside of our body. When we see and smell foods, we begin to salivate, secrete stomach acids and enzymes that are all responsible for proper digestion. If we are missing this important step, we are bypassing vital parts of digestion possibly leading to heart burn, bloating and bowel issues. It is like starting your car on a cold winter morning and speeding off at 70 miles an hour. Take the time to sit, smell and look at your food before you take your fist bite. This quick step can get the digestive juices flowing!
- Investigate. After beginning to identify food or meals that are causing symptoms, begin to play around with removing the possible offenders from meals and see if you have improvements in your digestive health. For example, some people dive right in and do an elimination style diet such as Whole 30 or The Elimination Diet protocol. This allows a break from the most common gut health offenders and then has you add them back in, one at a time, to see who is causing trouble on your system.
- Support. Supplements, such as probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes, can make all the difference for someone suffering from digestive symptoms. It can be confusing which supplements are the best to use. Generally speaking, refrigerated probiotics with strains such as Lactobicillis and Biffido Bacterium are great for overall health.
- Ask for Help. Trying to get to the bottom of digestive issues can be confusing, expensive and tiring. Reach out to a functional medicine specialist or integrative practitioner who can help identify the root cause as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible.
If you are struggling with unclear gut issues, we can help! Allison Gray, FNP, is accepting new patients. Call today to book: (207) 774-1356.