It is a rare day today, an old fashion snow day. I am sitting at the kitchen table watching the snow come down, thinking how peaceful and beautiful it is.
I have been observing my clients a lot lately and wanted to share some thoughts with you about what I have noticed. Much of this observation has become evident to me after the events of the past two years with my own health.
Many people have come in with inflammatory issues, joint and body pain and inflammation, eye/corneal inflammation, leaky gut (an inflammation of the single cell lining of the gut), skin rashes, sinus infections, arthritis, just to name a few. The most common words I hear are “I guess it is inevitable, I am getting older” or “there is not much I can do, I am getting older”.
First, let me say that I believe (it has been my experience), and many doctors are beginning to agree, that many of these complaints stem from the inflammation in the gut lining, or “leaky gut”. For the past two years, I have been slowly regaining my health after my gut microbiome literally died. Initially, I did not think I was going to live, that is how sick I was. It did not get better right away, but in hindsight, I have been slowly but surely improving and many of my other seemingly smaller ailments have been disappearing. My energy is returning, my skin is less itchy and dry, my hair is thicker and healthier, my mood has improved, my memory is sharper, my symptoms of menopause are mild or nonexistent, and the mild joint pains I used to experience are virtually gone.
Second, this leads me to say, there is something that we can all do about our health issues, “heal the gut”. Our aches, pains and bodily aliments are not just an inevitable result of getting older. They are a result of our compromised gut, both the lining and the microbiome.
So, you may ask, how does this happen?
Let me share with you this article, which gives a pretty good overview of how the breakdown of our gut occurs over time, leading us to think that this is the effects of aging, rather than poor lifestyle choices.
I want to help people understand that our health is a direct result of our choices. Choosing what we eat, how we spend our free time (ideally with physical activity and not in front of the computer or TV or a video game), how we handle stress and manage our nervous system (stress is a part of life, how we manage it is the real issue), what we wear (natural fibers vs synthetic especially against our skin), avoiding unnecessary medications, using supplements to support the health of your digestion and gut, the purity of our drinking water, and the air we breathe. Just to name a few.
Many clients and friends have said to me, “I could never give up…..” or “you are so disciplined, I could never do….”. They choose instead to take a medication, or have a surgery, or countless other invasive techniques. Please hear me when I say that sometimes these things are necessary and life saving. I have had three such surgeries in my life. However, the overuse of antibiotics, NSAID’s, Steroids, over the counter medications of all sorts is central to the dysfunction of our guts and our demise in health. As is the consumption of “fake foods”, sugar, preservatives, additives and other things that we have grown accustomed to being “normal fare” in our diets.
Often the breakdown of our gut health begins with a surgery or other health emergency, where it is necessary for us to take an antibiotic, steroid drug or have a surgery. Once we are stitched up and the wounds have healed, the doctor pronounces us healed. So we go about life as we did before. But the real healing can take a year or two, the healing of our gut and our biochemistry, bringing our body back into balance.
In addition, we are constantly pushing ourselves to do more, running on adrenaline and coffee and other stimulants to keep ourselves hurdling towards something in the future. This adversely affects the gut too. The following are two articles from my favorite scientist and health advocate.
The ways out of the demise in health is an individual journey. It is not one size fits all, and involves a lot of trial and error. It requires patience, humility, forgiveness, and perseverance. In the end, I can say that I am happy I started down this path, as frustrating as it has been at times.
So, this is some food for thought for you on this snowy day, when maybe your life has had a pause. Maybe use this pause to think on what choices you are making in your life, how those choices may be adversely affecting your health, and what you can change to support your body’s vitality.
I hope you find some useful information here.