You may well have heard that your health begins with your gut.
But why is this the case?
Well, it probably makes sense to place a great of importance on an organ that contains:
- 75% of the neurotransmitters in the body.
- Over two thirds of all the immune tissue in the body.
- 10 times more cells than the rest of the body combined.
- Has genetic material 100-150 times larger than our own human genome.
- Has a metabolic activity greater than the liver.
That organ is the gut. It is first line of our defence and the most sensitive organ in the body is the gut. For this reason, digestive problems are exceedingly common with research highlighting that up to 86% of us in the UK have probably had some form of digestive issue in the past year. The statistics are similar in the United States as well. There are many possible ways that gut problems can arise and these can cause a wide range of symptoms. It is perhaps no surprise then that the most effective clinical results can come from normalising function of the gut.
How can Functional Medicine help digestive issues?
There are many possible ways that Functional Medicine can help, and these are determined by your unique needs. But one of the most effective places to begin is with the ‘5 Rs’:
The 5 Rs for Improving Gut Function:
- Remove – This refers to eliminating any foods which you may be sensitive, intolerant or allergic to. Eliminating any pathogens that may be present in you gut, such as bacteria, fungi or parasites. Eliminating any environmental stressors such as pollutants that may be present. And lastly, removing or managing any stress that may be present and upsetting your gut, using techniques such as mindfulness.
- Replace – This refers to replacing any factors that may be inadequate or lacking in your gut, such as digestive juices, enzymes, bile salts or fibre to support digestive function.
- Reinoculate – This refers to supporting your microbiome, such as the use of probiotics and prebiotics.
- Repair – This refers to nutritional support for healing and repair of the lining of the gut.
- Rebalance – This refers to approaches that support the regulation of your nervous system, such as the use of meditation, yoga, relaxation skills and biofeedback technology.
This is a short introduction to the great potential of Functional Medicine to help improve your gut function. If you have any digestive issues and would like to learn more about how Functional Medicine could help you, please do not hesitate to contact me, or you can arrange your free 15 minute introductory call today.