Looking after your gut

food intolerance

Back in 2014 I had my first food sensitivity test – it hadn’t really occurred to me before then that I might have any kind of gut dysfunction…

The importance of the gut cannot be underestimated, not only does it work to absorb nutrients from the food you eat, it does a bunch of other stuff as well – it houses 80% of your immune system, 90% of your serotonin and connects to your limbic brain influencing your emotions.  It also has a role in B vitamin and digestive enzyme synthesis and thyroid hormone conversion among other things.

So if your digestive system is less than optimal, it can start to influence lots of other stuff in your body.

If your digestive system is stressed out and inflamed, gaps can occur in your intestinal tract and undigested food particles can get into your bloodstream – sometimes its called ‘leaky gut’ or ‘irritable bowel’.

When this happens, the body doesn’t recognise what these undigested particles are, and decides they are foreign invaders.  It’s response is to attack the invaders and defend the body, so the immune system is called into action to make antibodies to deal with this.  This causes inflammation in the system and over time you start to get symptoms from thyroid and gut issues like bloating and reflux through to asthma and skin conditions to name a few.

FST before and after

The top 2 pictures in the graphic are my 2014 results – showing high food sensitivities (the longer the bar, the higher the sensitivity) to a range of things – almost all dairy, eggs, yeast, flaxseed, lettuce, tomato, carrot, cabbage, asparagus, radish, pineapple, lemon, apricot, kidney beans, pinto beans…

Following these results I took out these foods for about 4 months, followed a gut healing protocol and repopulated my gut with good bacteria through fermented foods and probiotics.  I reintroduced these foods but kept quantities limited over the last 2 years.

In June I retested as part of my Advanced Health Coach course and the results are the bottom 2 pictures – much reduced sensitivities apart from yoghurt and egg white. Yay me.

If you suspect you may have some gut issues, it’s worth investigating food sensitivities and considering steps you can take to improve function.  It may increase your energy levels, reduce any symptoms you’re experiencing and help to reduce weight.