The gut has an immense impact on the overall health of your body. Apart from its effects on biological functions, such as nutrient absorption, the gut also plays a pivotal role in immune system response. There is thought that the gut is the most vital organ in the body, as it has a direct and indirect on every single bodily process.
Maintaining ideal gut health is vital to achieving optimal integrative health and function. Citrin Wellness has a team specialized in what your gut needs regularly. We combine innovative regenerative modalities with conventional functional medicine to ensure your good health and overall well-being.
FAQs About Gut Health
Here are the answers from our expert medical professionals to the most frequently asked questions about gut health:
Gut health is vital for the proper function of our digestive tract as it promotes good digestion of the nutrients essential for body operation while subsequently eliminating waste. Moreover, gut health ensures the appropriate gut microbiome balance, protecting the intestine against pathogenic germs.
The microbiome is a collection of bacteria that live in the gut. There are over 100 trillion microbial cells that line the gut. Some microorganisms are harmful to health (known as pathogens), while others are beneficial and required to maintain healthy body functioning.
The gut microbiome has direct effect on:
- Immune system function
- Obesity and Weight Gain
- Mood: anxiety and depression
- Hormonal Balance
- Bloating, Heartburn, and other symptoms
However, if the gut microbiome is disturbed, you may experience various symptoms that affect your health. You may also be susceptible to health conditions like:
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO)
- Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
- Ulcerative colitis (UC)
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
- Crohns Disease
- Among Others
Bloating, Constipation, & Heartburn
Stomach disturbances like bloating, constipation, and heartburn may indicate an unhealthy gut. They can typically be symptoms of a larger issue such as SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), esophageal issues, fungal and bowel irregularity. Proper assessment is necessary to understand the cause behind the symptoms.
Pain and Cramping
A diet rich in sugar and processed foods are known to trigger high levels of inflammation. This imbalance may lead to increased inflammation, the precursor of numerous diseases. Typically this means there is difficulty absorbing foods, and may be indicative of underlying issue. Proper assessment is vital to understand the cause of the pain.
Changes in Body Weight
Another warning sign of an unhealthy situation is the unintentional changes in the weight of your body, especially if you are not making any changes to your diet or lifestyle. These changes may result from an imbalanced gut which may impair the ability of your body to absorb nutrients, store fat, and regulate blood sugar.
Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) can also be a condition where weight gain is present.
Autoimmune disease is often misunderstood. Since approximately 80-90% of your immune system is found in your gut, when your body starts to have an autoimmune presentation there is a major body of research that links this to an inflamed gut.
Typically inflammation from the gut results in something called leaky gut or intestinal permeability. This causes systemic inflammation and can gradually alter the functioning of your immune system. A situation like this can further trigger autoimmune diseases where the body starts to attack itself.
Other signs of an unhealthy gut are:
- Skin irritation (psoriasis and eczema)
- Fatigue and energy issues
- Food intolerances
- Chronic disease and pain
- Anxiety and depression
- Hormonal issues
- Lack of mental clarity
How can a doctor improve my gut health?
Gut health is best determined by understanding the cause behind the symptoms that arise. With a proper intake and true functional testing, we can determine typically the cause of your symptoms.
We typically start with an in depth consultation. Once we assess whether the condition begins with the proximal gut: stomach, gallbladder, or pancreas we can then move into the small and large intestine. Based on your symptoms, we can typically assess the location but often need functional testing to determine the accuracy of the initial diagnosis.
Patients are generally asked to follow a tailored dietary program as well as supplements that will let the doctor know how the treatments are going.
Fortunately, you don’t have to follow this diet forever, just enough time to allow for true healing. Dr. Citrin is under the assumption that people are versatile creatures who should be able to tolerate all foods (in moderation) when the gut is healthy.