Your Gut Health And Why You Should Pay Attention To Yours

gut-health-foodsDo you suffer from fatigue, brain fog, insomnia, or weight gain? Are your joints inflamed and sore all the time? Do you suffer from an auto-immune disease or any other chronic illness? It may be time to pay attention to your gut health.  As an acupuncturist and practitioner of natural medicine, I feel that my most important goal is to teach people how important their diet, specifically their gut health, is in maintaining their overall health and avoiding chronic illnesses.

So what do I mean by gut health?  I am referring to the microbiome that lives in all of us.  This is the ecosystem of microbacteria that live in our digestive system, on our skin, etc.  There are good bacteria and bad bacteria, to put things simply. When the balance sways toward the bad bacteria, inflammation-related symptoms, and disorders are more likely to occur.  When the balance sways toward the good bacteria, inflammation is diminished and prevented.

The average human always carries an ecosystem of over 5 pounds of beneficial bacteria.  Over 500 species of these bacteria make up the 100 trillion residents that call your body home.  But remember, these aren’t just squatters. These are really good citizens when they are in balance. Things go awry when they are not in balance. A small sampling of disorders that can be caused by imbalanced gut health include ADD, autism, insomnia, weight gain, joint pain, multiple sclerosis, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, irritable bowel syndrome, dementia, and Alzheimer’s, foggy-headedness, UTIs and bladder inflammation, leaky gut syndrome, diarrhea and constipation, acid reflux, and has even been linked to various, if not all forms, of cancer.  These and many other disorders come about from excess inflammation in the body. In most cases, they can be prevented, cured, or reduced risks by balancing the delicate ecosystem in your digestion. 

How to balance your gut health

  • Reduce sugar intake as much as possible.  Sugar feeds the unhealthy bacteria, which multiply faster than the good bacteria.  
  • Stop taking antibiotics and ingesting harmful chemicals, including from your food, including factory-farmed meats and non-organic vegetables. Antibiotics kill all bacteria, good and bad. Additionally, more and more cases are showing that bad bacteria are becoming immune to antibiotics due to their overuse in food production and prescriptions.  
  • Eat more fresh vegetables and add more insoluble fiber to your diet.  This will feed the good bacteria, which can multiply faster than the bad bacteria.  
  • Consume more prebiotic foods like sauerkraut and kimchi.  Prebiotics are foods that feed the good bacteria and promote the growth of the colonies.
  • Add probiotics by consuming probiotic-rich foods such as yogurt and kefir.  The best way to get nutrients is through your food.  Consuming probiotics from food sources will also save money.  
  • Take probiotic supplements from your natural food store to add to the good bacteria and improve gut health.  Try to get brands that are hypoallergenic and vegan. In this case, spending more on a good product is best.  Cheap probiotic supplements are a waste of money and do not provide benefits. Supplements should only be taken for short-term convenience when your lifestyle is busy.  If your life is too busy to eat right, fix it because no matter what you are doing, it is not more important than your health.
  • Meditation and stress reduction also balance the microbiome in your gut.  

Acupuncture and gut health

Acupuncture treats you as a whole.  This means that it balances your body, mind, and spirit.  As I have explained above, several things can throw off the balance of your gut health.  These can be stress, food choices, medications, etc.

  • Acupuncture can help you manage stress, providing a great environment for your microbiome.  
  • Acupuncture can balance the Qi in your digestive system so that the bacteria in your digestive system can get all the nutrients they need.  
  • Acupuncture can also mitigate pain and inflammation, reducing the need for harmful pharmaceuticals that kill off beneficial bacteria and harm your gut health.

In Summary

We aim always to help your body, mind, and spirit fall back into their natural rhythms. By following the advice in this article, you can improve your sense of well-being and lead a much happier, healthier life.

Of course, we’re always here to help when health concerns arise with 100% holistic care, no matter the issue.

We can awaken your body’s natural resources using a unique combination of acupuncture, Chinese herbal medications, targeted nutritional support, and mind-body medicine.

It’s easy to take the next step for in-depth support.  Click here to request your free initial consultation. You are welcome to speak to us to find out if our 100% holistic healthcare services are a good fit for you.

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* Individual results vary. No guarantee of specific results is warranted or implied and your results will depend on many factors (full disclaimer)

About the Author - Michael Hurley, L.Ac., FABORM

Michael is the co-founder and acupuncturist at Cup of Life Healing Center. He specializes in Women's Health and Fertility--a passion born from he and his wife's own fertility journey. Michael holds a Master of Science in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College of Health and Science (formerly PCOM), one of the top-rated acupuncture schools in the country. He is nationally certified with the NCCAOM and licensed by the State of New Hampshire to perform acupuncture and Chinese Herbal Medicine. 

Michael has also dedicated himself to rigorous and extensive advanced reproductive endocrinology and reproductive medicine studies. He is a board-certified reproductive acupuncturist with The Acupuncture and TCM Board of Reproductive Medicine (ABORM). He is also certified in 5-Element Functional Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine.

Cup of Life Healing Center has two locations: 82 Washington Street, Suite 2, Keene, NH and 400 Amherst Street, Suite 402, Nashua, NH.  The clinic can be reached via phone or text at (603) 352-3625.