Where did it all go wrong?
Our digestive health is of paramount importance to our longterm health. Our gut is the interface between the food that we eat and those nutrients being able to reach our cells. We must enable effective extraction of nutrients and absorption so that we can benefit from the food we eat and be healthy and that comes down to how effective our “upper digestion” is. As a Nutritional Therapist I help people specifically improve their digestive and gut health through making unique diet and lifestyle modifications to improve energy levels, cognitive function, metabolism, mental health and much, much more.
3 Common Mistakes
Have you tried any of these mistakes? You may have presumed that you have a food intolerance and after Googling, remove a food group and yes, you think you feel a little better, but it hasn’t got rid of all of your symptoms. Maybe you have even invested hundreds of pounds in a food intolerance test only to find the devastating results that you can’t eat any of your favourite foods anymore and you are intolerant to a huge list of food causing frustration, concern and results in a very limited diet.
What happens next? Do you give up or simply accept that this is just you and the way it is now? or do you find the root cause (the correct answer)? Here is the first common mistake that could be making your gut health much worse…
1. Google new diet
I have been running my online clinic for over 6 years specialising in gut problems and have seen a recent increase in clients coming to me as a last resort where they have inadvertently made themselves much worse after trying various protocols/diets they have found online. Dr Google has an untold amount of information that can seem enticing to try to improve your digestive health, however, they don’t know or understand you! You may search blindly looking for anything that will take away bloating and there are some far-fetched (and some downright dangerous) diets out there that promise great results, others seem so benign but can make you feel worse if you can’t digest and breakdown that food i.e. keto – high protein/fat diet isn’t the answer for everyone and that much butter, cheese and saturated fat just can’t be a good thing in balance! similarly, a bland, low-fibre diet can be devoid of enough nutrients making gut recovery much slower and harder long-term.
If bloating and distended stomach is your main symptoms you could also try including more digestive support by adding a little raw, apple cider vinegar at the start of your meal such as Braggs. I like to add 1 tablespoon to a little warm water and drink at the start of the meal to see if this can help improve upper digestion. Caution if you suffer with acid reflux or indigestion, vinegar can make this worse and a little grated ginger into hot water and sipped when cooled can be a suitable replacement.
2. Food avoidance
You might have already discovered or been told that a specific food is causing you some issues and should be avoided. A good example of this is the huge amount of people I have seen that have removed either gluten and/or dairy from their diet trying to resolve bloating, IBS, gassiness etc. Gluten has had a real bashing over the last decade and blamed for lots of gut dysfunction however, in my experience, it is rarely gluten that is the problem. It can be other components of the diet such as wheat fructans, additives, preservatives, it can even be down to your stress levels, the time and how you are eating your food.
Then there are the Low Fodmap followers who often end up restricting their diet so much that there seems to be hardly any food left that they can enjoy and eat. Apples and avocado for example?! These can be problematic for some but removing them forever, is NOT the answer, after all, these are fantastic, healthy foods. If you want to know more about Fodmaps click here.
I have seen lots of these clients in time become fearful of food; seeing food as the enemy because it can cause them so much confusion and discomfort. When one experiences a loss of resilience in their gut health, combined with a loss of love for food it can become a recipe for disaster, often resulting in worse symptoms, nutritional deficiencies and becoming more vulnerable to disease.
3. Ignore a previous gut infection
Our gut is host to trillions of bacteria that help to keep the gut lining clean, mucus-rich, helping hundreds of species to cross-speak, communicate, relay immune information and keep inflammation at bay. They breakdown the fibre that you can’t digest and through the process of fermentation produce by-product gas; methane and hydrogen which is normal however, when experienced in excess can be a sign that something isn’t right. Our gut microbiome is reliant on you making excellent food choices to help them live their best and they just love plenty of fibre from a variety of sources however, high fibre diets can be difficult for some without getting the gut in good health first. This might mean dealing with a previous infection that has caused disruption to the gut microbiome.
When I work with my clients on a one to one basis, I often track back through their health history and discover a previous gut infection/illness such as norovirus, gastroenteritis, campolybacter bacteria was present. They often recall that they haven’t felt quite right ever since and remember that their bloating/gas began around that same time and has got gradually worse over the years.
Stop Suffering – Let’s have a chat
If this sounds like you, my advice to you is clear. Don’t try to make changes to your diet alone to get resolution. Get expert advice and find the root cause so you can get back to enjoying a wide and varied and deliciously nourishing diet so you can live your best, healthiest life. The speediest and safest route is to get a clear roadmap ahead that will take into account your uniqueness, your genetic predisposition, health history, dietary choices/likes and dislikes. It really could save you a small fortune and save you years of going around in circles trying to find the answer and oftentimes, the tweaks needed can be really simple and super effective.
Get in touch for a private, friendly chat so I can find out a little more about you and your symptoms and explain how I can help you. Contact me.
If you want to try my 7-Day Healthy Gut Challenge for a healthy gut reset, that is also a great place to start if you want to go it alone, safely before coming to work with me although I hope you will get in touch for a chat so I can help you sooner.
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Evie Whitehead dipION, mBANT, CNHC
*Disclaimer: the information provided here is for information purposes only and not designed to treat or diagnose. I do not know your personal circumstances and therefore to get a personalised, bespoke health plan please get in touch to arrange your private consultation today