In today's post, I’m going to talk about three common causes for gastrointestinal problems.
After I mentioned bowel habits in my video last week, people have shared with me their own struggles with gastrointestinal issues. This topic seems to strike a chord with so many people who struggle with gas and bloating, diarrhea, and other gastrointestinal symptoms like indigestion, constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain. I wanted to provide some insight on what the common causes for gastrointestinal problems are, and in the coming weeks we’ll talk about the gastrointestinal tests that might help uncover which of these causes are responsible for your issues. Then, we'll discuss one simple thing you can do to support your gut health.
Watch the video below or read on to learn more about three common causes for gastrointestinal problems.
Three Common Causes for Gastrointestinal Problems
1. Gluten, Lectins, and Glyphosate, Oh My!
Gluten, lectins, and glyphosate can be common causes for gastrointestinal problems. First, let's define what each of these are.
Gluten: Gluten is a protein that’s present in high quantities in wheat, barley, and rye.
Lectins: Lectins are proteins that are found in high quantities in many grains and legumes.
Glyphosate: Glyphosate is the chemical contained in the popular weed killer known as RoundUp, which is sprayed on a lot of non-organic foods that we eat.
Gluten, lectins, and glyphosate have been shown to cause leaky gut, which, in really simple terms, is like they poke tiny holes in the lining of your gastrointestinal tract, making it hyperpermeable. This can lead to a whole host of issues, including chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating; immune and allergy issues; brain fog and fatigue; as well as other symptoms.
2. Food Sensitivities
Some foods cause gastrointestinal irritation for some people, beyond the irritation caused from the previously mentioned gluten or lectins. For example, some people may experience gas and bloating after eating eggs or even eating lettuce. It’s possible to be sensitive to any food, regardless of how healthy the food might actually be.
Gastrointestinal symptoms like diarrhea, gas, and bloating are common manifestations of food sensitivities, but it’s not just gastrointestinal symptoms that people experience from food sensitivities. Symptoms like fatigue, eczema, headaches, difficulty sleeping, and other non-gastrointestinal symptoms are also possible if food sensitivities are an issue for you.
3. Flora Imbalance
There are between 30-50 trillion bacterial cells in our bodies, and over 2,000 different species of bacteria have been identified in the human microbiome. These numbers might give you an idea of how massive this network of microorganisms that live in our gut is. These microorganisms play a huge role in our overall health. Issues can arise, however, when there is an imbalance in this gastrointestinal flora.
For example, most people have heard of the bacteria called E. coli. Did you know that E. coli is a bacteria that is commonly found in a healthy gastrointestinal system? It’s supposed to be there. It becomes a problem, however, when it overgrows and there’s not a healthy population of other good bacteria (otherwise known as probiotics) to keep the populations of E. coli in check. Imbalances might result from poor dietary choices, which could allow certain strains of bacteria to flourish and inhibit other strains; exposure to pathogenic strains of microorganisms, which could happen from food contamination or even foreign travel; or multiple rounds of antibiotics, which might cause an imbalance because antibiotics kill the good bacteria as well as the bad.
An imbalance in the gastrointestinal flora can ultimately result in a variety of symptoms, including gastrointestinal distress.
Next time we’re going to talk about comprehensive tests that might help to uncover which of these causes might be the underlying reason for your gastrointestinal symptoms. If you haven’t done so already, make sure you sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out on my next post about this topic.
If you’re super eager and want to get a jump start on supporting a healthy gastrointestinal system, I would encourage you to consider the Reset & Revitalize program where I share a plethora of gastrointestinal health tips. So many program participants have commented on the improvements they’ve seen with their gastrointestinal health and habits. I recently had one woman tell me her bloating decreased after just one week on the program. A possible reason for this decrease is that the meal plans are gluten-free and grain-free, so we’re really minimizing exposure to the things we know cause gastrointestinal problems.
I hope this post helped in understanding three common causes for gastrointestinal problems. Don't forget to sign up for my email newsletter so you can receive my next posts on gastrointestinal health in your inbox. If you have any questions, be sure to leave a comment below.
The information presented on this website is for educational purposes only. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This post is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please contact your healthcare provider before making any dietary or lifestyle changes.
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