August is ‘Wellness’ month and as far as we see it, the Gut is the source of wellness. Are you experiencing brain fog and irritability no matter what you do? If your symptoms have persisted for a while and are coupled with fatigue, headaches, skin issues and allergic reactions, then your body might be telling you that your gut is ready for a cleanse. We are more bacteria cells than we are human cells so the importance of keeping the epicenter of where these bacteria exist in balance is vital. We have both good and bad bacteria inside of our digestive systems, and some of those bacteria are designed to help us a have a healthy gut so we can avoid symptoms like headaches and joint pain. However, your body might need some help with flushing out some leftover bacteria. You’ll find that giving your body a healthy reset is super beneficial for several reasons. The colon naturally works hard to make sure that you have the proper amount of good and bad bacteria in your gut, but there’s nothing wrong with giving it a little push in the form a gut cleanse to make sure that things are healthy. A healthy gut can process and eliminate harmful bacteria in your digestive tract on a relatively frequent basis.
Toxins make their way into our bodies over time, and a gut cleanse can help with cleaning out leftover toxins that slow down the way we think, can weaken the immune system, or add a few extra digits onto the number on the scale. A gut cleanse will help in balancing the good and bad bacteria in your colon. Seasonal transitions are also an excellent time to cleanse. August is considered ‘Late Summer’, the 5th season often overlooked but a time of deep metamorphosis in nature.
Here are a few symptoms of an unhealthy gut:
Acne. Granted, if you’ve been skipping your nightly and morning face cleansing routine, you’re more likely to have acne. However, acne can also be caused by inflammation due to a leaky gut. If bacteria have escaped into your bloodstream, you can expect to see a few pimples.
Mental Health Issues. While mental illness can be a result of your genetic makeup and you could have inherited anxiety and depression, your suffering might lessen if you have a clean gut. If you have a leaky gut, it could affect your body’s ability to regulate serotonin and vitamin D. The ‘happy hormone’ serotonin is one of the major ways your body regulates your emotions. 95% of serotonin is produced in your gut. Inflammation or other problems in this area throw your serotonin levels out of balance. This tends to make you irritable and bring on mood swings. Stress is the leading disruptor of healthy gut bacteria. Although moderate stress can sometimes motivate you to complete a task or overcome an obstacle, chronic or severe stress can have negative implications on your physical, mental, and emotional health.
The following types of chronic stress can negatively impact the gut
Disruption of the circadian rhythm
Food Allergies. Are you unable to tolerate soft serve ice cream or an extra helping of breadsticks at dinner? An unhealthy gut can make digesting foods with a lot of dairy or gluten very difficult. You might find relief from your food allergies and additional inflammation if you do a gut cleanse and limit or eliminate these types of foods from your diet entirely. It is my opinion that gluten and dairy just don’t belong in our diet, period.
Sugar Cravings. Unfortunately, if you have a lot of harmful bacteria in your gut, your body will crave foods that are bad for you, especially foods that are high in sugar. The cruel irony is that eating too much sugar can lead to inflammation which creates imbalance in your gut bacteria and the pathogenic yeast called Candida begins to reek havoc. In other words, eating too much sugar causes a problem which makes you want to eat too much sugar. Cruel huh? Sugar is the ‘gateway drug’ for a reason and hidden in so many processed foods, beware. Take our Rate Your Gut Quiz now and see where you fall on the spectrum of gut wellness.
Frequent Digestive Discomfort. No one likes to deal with bloating, gas, cramping, heartburn, and other uncomfortable gut situations. That's why your drug store has an entire aisle dedicated to them. The problem is that ‘quick fix’ can create long term problems. It's kinda sorta normal for these problems to appear every once in a while. If they're happening more than once every several weeks, though, your gut is trying to tell you something. When the microbiota in your gut are imbalanced, it can lead to any number of these symptoms happening on a regular basis.
Unexpected Weight Changes. Small weight fluctuations are part of life. We all have times when we slack on our diet or get an extra surge of workout motivation. Hormones play a big part in weight control as well and going back to stress and increased cortisol levels for a minute…You literally can carry abdominal ‘puff’ from living in a constant state of ‘flight or fight.’ Additionally, when your digestive system isn't performing at its best, it hinders your ability to absorb nutrients and to use the sugar in the blood. These changes, along with an overgrowth of bacteria in your small intestine, can make you gain or lose weight.
Changes in your Stool. We're going to get real for a moment: your bathroom routine matters. It might not be pleasant to think about but it's an important indicator of your health. Holding #2 because you aren’t at home can actually wreak havoc on your system. Constipation is a sure sign of a gut issue, especially if it happens on a regular basis. The same goes for using the toilet more often than 3x/day. In truth, any change in your bowel movements could be a sign that you need to make healthier choices or that something is out of whack.
Non-Allergic Food Reactions. Have you ever said, "Something I ate didn't agree with me?" If you're saying that more than once in a blue moon, your gut may be sending you a sign. Getting reactions like cramping, gas, and other abdominal symptoms after eating specific foods may mean your gut isn't at its best. If your gut bacteria is poor in quality, it doesn't digest specific foods as well as it should.
Chronic Fatigue. Who doesn't feel the weight of a busy schedule? Even still, if you find yourself dragging all day every day, you need more than a nap. As I mentioned above, your gut produces most of your serotonin. In addition to regulating your moods, serotonin keeps your sleep cycle in line. This can cause fatigue during your waking hours and it can keep you awake at night as well.
So, what Should You Expect After the Cleanse?
YOU COULD SHED A FEW POUNDS
When you’re going through a gut cleanse, it’s likely that you’ll have a few bowel movements that will help to expel the buildup of toxins and old waste in your body. When this happens, you might lose a few pounds because you’re not carrying a buildup of toxins and any waste that was lying in wait in your digestive tract.
YOU CAN SAY GOODBYE TO BRAIN FOG
Brain fog can be caused by many things. Brain fog is characterized by a lack of focus, foggy memory, and a reduced sense of sharpness. When you have a leaky gut, undigested food particles and toxins can escape your digestive tract and make their way into your bloodstream, which can result in a few symptoms like brain fog. A gut cleanse can help to reset your body and brain and make your day to day functions feel a little bit easier.
YOU’RE LESS LIKELY TO BE CONSTIPATED
If you’ve been suffering from constipation, a gut cleanse can help with that. When you initially begin your cleanse, you’re going to have a few bowel movements, and that will help to clean out old bacteria and build up in your digestive system. However, a gut cleanse can get you on the right track to preventing constipation overall because your digestive system has been shocked into action. The relief of constipation can eliminate some of its symptoms like blockage in your rectum, hard or lumpy stools, or strain when you have a bowel movement. Hey, are you drinking half of your body weight in ounces a day? Cleansing can help you create new habits like drinking enough water.
IF YOU’RE TRYING TO CONCEIVE, YOU’LL BE IN LUCK
A gut cleanse will help to eliminate old toxins and waste in your digestive tract, however, it can also improve other areas of your health. If you have additional fat on your body, a gut cleanse will help you start your weight loss journey and leaveyou a few pounds lighter. When you weigh less, you’ll have less estrogen in your body,and an excess of estrogen can make conception a bit harder. For men, sperm can be affected by toxins in your body. Additionally, if your colon is weight down by additional build up, it can press onto your reproductive organs, and provide another hurdle in your mission to get pregnant. Additionally, the liver makes all of your hormones. Cleansing the body of toxins allows the hardest working organ of your body make hormones most effectively.
Even the healthiest bodies need maintenance when it comes to checking in with your gut. It’s important to keep your eyes open for symptoms of an unhealthy colon and to consider a gut cleanse if that’s the most reasonable next step for you. A gut cleanse can be the beginning of a template for weight loss, relief from brain fog, and a lighter healthier body. It can also be a great opportunity to shed more than just bad bacteria and toxins. It can be a great chance to reflect on other areas of your life beyond diet and Lifestyle choices that are affecting how you live. Who or what do you need to Let Go of? The mind and the gut are deeply connected. For instance, Cleansing can be a perfect time to check in with yourself to better understand what’s stressing you out and for you to FEEL your feelings. Are you consistently under tight deadlines at work? Did you agree to too many social outings or committing to helping everyone but yourself? Are you online too much and not living your own Life well? Try pinpointing one or two things that really cause your head to spin and write them down. Then make it a priority to unwind by making one or more of the following lifestyle modifications. Remember, de-stressing looks different for everyone. Here are a few ideas to incorporate that will help you to start ‘Living Clean’ while ‘Drinking Dirty.’
Practice breathing exercises.
Incorporate physical activity, like walking or yoga.
Silence your phone or disconnect from your devices.
Take a bath.
Treat yourself to a massage or facial.
Take a nap without guilt.
Grab a mocktail with a friend.
Treat yourself to something nice.
Get lost in a new book that you’ve been wanting to read.
Have a night out with your partner or friends.
Cheers to your internal metamorphosis!