You’ve most likely heard the term leaky gut, but either might think it doesn’t pertain to you or maybe you don’t understand it. In either case, stick with me here and I’ll explain.What is it?How do I know if I have it?What can I do about it?The term gut in this context refers to your small intestine. The small intestine is where so much happens in the way of nutrient uptake. If you place your hand just below your belly button you will locate your small intestine. Imagine a garden hose for just a moment. If you were to cut open the hose imagine little finger-like projections on the inside of it. Those little finger-like projections called villi should be tightly woven together like an old 70s shag rug. Their job is to hold tightly together and only take in the tiniest of molecules (nutrients), get them into the bloodstream, and ultimately to the cells where those nutrients are most needed.If those little finger-like projections get separated from one another you now have leaks in the hose. This presents a big problem because these large molecules now have access in between those villi and enter into your bloodstream. As those large molecules circulate in the bloodstream your immune system goes into attack mode. It’s on high alert shouting foreign invaders! Eventually, as more and more of those large molecules keep circulating throughout the body, your immune system becomes completely overwhelmed. This begins to set the stage for autoimmune diseases, lowered immunity, digestive woes, environmental allergies, food allergies or sensitivities, joint pain, inflammation, bloating, gas, fatigue, brain fog, and so much more. WHAT CAUSES IT?
  • Being born Caesarian
  • Frequent antibiotics
  • Poor diet high in processed foods
  • Excessive grain and gluten consumption
  • NSAIDS such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen
  • Steroid drugs
  • Chemotherapeutic drugs
  • Antacids
  • Excessive stress or trauma
  • Genetics
If you can relate to any of the items listed above, you’ll want to pay attention here. Any one of the items listed above or a combination of them causes the spaces between those little villi to become inflamed, letting food particles (large molecules) into the body. Our digestive tract as a whole should be a closed system except for those little villi that take in those micro-nutrients, carry them through the bloodstream, and ultimately to the cells. Eventually, over time those villi can become flattened instead of standing upright and eager to collect those micro-nutrients. This in turn causes nutrient deficiencies within the body, and we start exhibiting signs and symptoms of poor health.When you can repair and heal the gut, many of your symptoms will be greatly reduced or disappear. WHAT CAN I DO ABOUT IT?6 things you can start doing right now:
  • Chew your food well or consume well-cooked foods that are easy to chew
  • Avoid eating when anxious or rushed. Instead, try to create a relaxing and pleasant environment when eating. The goal here is to be in your parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) so that you can maximize nutrient absorption
  • Avoid high inflammatory foods like sugar, gluten, and dairy (at least for a while)
  • Remove foods that you know don’t make you feel well
  • Incorporate fermented foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, miso, coconut yogurt, or kefir
  • Bring in organic bone broth, collagen, or gelatin to soothe and heal the lining of the small intestine
Gut healing extends far beyond food and encompasses all facets of your life. You and your body are unique. There are many approaches to heal the gut and calm the immune system. Working with a qualified practitioner to come up with a plan that’s customized for you can set you up for success on your road to health.  Heidi Price is a Certified Functional Nutrition and Lifestyle Practitioner who has suffered from TMJ for over thirty years. She teaches people who suffer from TMJ, crooked teeth, and/or missing teeth how these conditions affect the whole body, and helps them to reclaim their lives.After her many years of searching for the missing puzzle piece in her healing journey, she experienced tremendous relief from the pain and inflammation associated with TMJ through nutrition and lifestyle modifications in conjunction with neuromuscular dentistry. She quit her job and went back to school to earn her certification to create a life full of health, passion, and purpose to be able to help others like her to reduce or eliminate the downstream effects on their body as a result of TMJ, cooked teeth, and/or missing teeth. She is the founder of Balanced Health Through Nutrition LLC and is dedicated to educating her clients and working with them to create a customized nutrition and lifestyle design with the utmost empathy and compassion for their unique challenges. Book your FREE 30-minute strategy session today!