Gut Health

What Is a Healthy Gut?

I'm Dr. Mamie!

I'm trained in naturopathic medicine + Chinese medicine + functional medicine, and I teach women how to transform their health using natural therapies and a root-cause approach! I share the truth as I know it.

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The health of your gut has a HUGE impact on the rest of your body and your overall health because it plays some really foundational and important roles. A healthy gut:

  1. Turns your food into FUEL
  2. Serves as a MAJOR route for eliminating things
  3. Houses a healthy balance of microbes (“bugs”)
  4. Acts as a barrier

A healthy gut digests

Your body has to break down your food in order to access the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients it contains. These nutrients then serve as the building blocks your body uses to create hormones, repair tissues, fire nerves, run detox, combat inflammation, build muscle, regulate metabolism, handle stress, and SO MUCH MORE! 

If you don’t have healthy digestion, your ENTIRE body can be affected! EVERY cell, tissue, and organ requires energy to be able to do what it does. Your gut plays a BIG role in helping your body generate that energy by breaking down your food into tinier and more usable parts.

Digestive dysfunction can lead to symptoms like bloating, gas, loose stools, constipation, and reflux. Eventually, issues like food sensitivities and gut microbiome imbalances can develop as a result of chronic subpar digestion.

Stressful situations or strong emotions can impact digestion, but the opposite is also true. Energetically, your gut helps you digest your experiences, so issues with digestion can actually contribute to less emotional resilience when facing challenges–i.e., trouble “digesting”(processing / breaking down) what you’re dealing with. It’s ALL connected!!

A healthy gut moves and eliminates

“Gut motility” refers to how quickly and effectively your gut propels contents through your intestines. If things move through too fast, you can miss out on getting important nutrients from your food! But if your gut motility is too slow, you can actually reabsorb stuff your body is trying to eliminate—like processed toxins, metabolized hormones, and waste products naturally produced by the activity of your cells, tissues and organs.

Multiple factors can impact your gut motility, including stress and emotions, reactions to foods, and disturbances in the microbiome (“bugs”) that live in your gut. 

If your gut motility is off, you can experience reflux, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, urgency or pain. And over time, gut motility disturbances can actually cause you to develop reactions to foods and disturbances in your gut microbiome, which can then worsen your motility issues (and cause all sorts of chronic symptoms).

A healthy gut houses a balanced microbiome

Your gut microbiome (the collection of “bugs” that live in your intestines) can affect SO MANY aspects of your health, including:

  • nutrient status (some microbes assist you in producing and extracting nutrients, while others can rob you of nutrients when overgrown)
  • how well you digest your food
  • the speed of your gut motility
  • immune function (they also directly defend you from invading threats)
  • how efficiently you eliminate processed toxins, metabolized hormones, and waste products
  • mood
  • memory + cognition
  • inflammation
  • sleep quality + duration
  • energy levels
  • skin health
  • and SO MUCH MORE! 

If you have regular gut symptoms like constipation, loose stools or diarrhea, bloating, gas, belching or burping, reflux, hemorrhoids, abdominal pain, or urgency, then you probably have some degree of gut microbiome disturbances! Bacterial, fungal and parasitic imbalances are quite common. Learn more about the gut microbiome here.

A healthy gut acts as a barrier

The lining of your gut is designed to regulate what stays in your gut and what leaves to enter your bloodstream. You want things like digested nutrients to be able to travel where they are needed, but you don’t want threats like toxins or invading microbes to escape your gut—you want them to leave your body!!

Many different factors can compromise gut barrier integrity and function, including chronic stress, food sensitivities, chronic infections, and chronic exposure to toxins from the environment or foods + beverages! When this happens, we call it “leaky gut” because larger undigested food particles and/or various toxins can leak into your bloodstream and interact with different parts of your body.

The larger food particles can kick off an immune reaction and set you up to develop food sensitivities, autoimmunity, and chronic symptoms that can show up just about anywhere.

Toxins that leak out of your gut can also stimulate an immune reaction, trigger autoimmunity, and create or contribute to dysfunction and chronic symptoms all over your body.

A compromised gut barrier can show up as chronic symptoms like bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, food reactions, skin issues, fatigue, headaches, allergies, and autoimmunity.

Energetically, your gut serves as the seat of your personal power, playing a role in creating energetic barriers, or boundaries. If your physical gut barrier is compromised, this can show up as poor energetic or mental-emotional boundaries, and vice-versa!

A healthy gut doesn’t exhibit chronic symptoms!

Most people don’t have a healthy gut, and this is a MAJOR root cause of SO MANY chronic symptoms and conditions!! 

If you’ve got gut symptoms, this is your invitation to get some answers and address the imbalances that are causing them! 

Learn more about my unique approach that includes optimizing gut health here.

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Hi, I'm Mamie.
I'm a different kind of doctor.

I'll take the time to listen to your concerns, understand your whole health picture, teach you what your symptoms mean and why they're happening, and empower you to rebuild your health and care for your body. I'll help you reclaim your rightful place as the leading expert on YOUR health!

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