“We humans have known since time immemorial something that science is only now discovering: our gut feeling is responsible in no small measure for how we feel. (...) We ‘swallow’ our disappointment and need time to ‘digest’ a defeat. A nasty comment leaves a ‘bad taste in our mouth.’ When we fall in love, we get ‘butterflies in our stomach.’ Our self is created in our head and our gut – no longer just in language, but increasingly also in the lab.”
– Giulia Enders, Gut: The Inside Story of Our Body’s Most Underrated Organ
The role of gut health is often understated in conventional medicine, but bringing harmony to your gastrointestinal (GI) system is one of the key building blocks of functional medicine. When we think of poor gut health, symptoms like bloating, cramping, or indigestion come to mind. However, the signs can be far more wide-reaching, affecting everything from your skin to your brain.
In functional medicine, we understand that healing the body starts with healing the gut. During a virtual consultation, Dr. Ryan Gunyan can help you pinpoint internal and environmental factors that are throwing your microbiome off balance. Identifying and eliminating the root causes allows your body to better heal itself from the inside out.
What Are the Signs of Poor Gut Health?
Most patients who reach out for gut health evaluations have the classic symptoms: gas, heartburn, bloating, bad breath, indigestion, constipation, and diarrhea. If these problems weren’t unpleasant enough, a GI imbalance could negatively affect the rest of your body too.
Less obvious signs of poor gut health include:
- Skin conditions: A microbiome imbalance is associated with an altered immune response which promotes numerous skin diseases, including acne, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and dandruff.
- Fatigue: If you’re one of the approximately 45% of US adults who experience persistent and elevated fatigue, the culprit could be your gut.
- Mental health struggles: Evidence supporting the link between anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and gut health continues to mount.
- Food allergies: An overabundance of certain bacteria in the microbiome has been linked to milk and egg intolerances.
- Unintentional weight gain or loss: Your microbiome plays a crucial role in regulating your weight and preventing obesity.
Rather than masking the many symptoms of a microbiome imbalance with prescription creams or pills, Dr. Gunyan’s approach gets to the core issues and removes any roadblocks that prevent your body from functioning at its best.
What Causes Gut Health Imbalances?
Dysbiosis, or an imbalance in natural microflora, has numerous causes. For example, processed foods that are high in sugar promote inflammation. Harsh hand sanitizers or household cleaners can kill helpful bacteria as well as harmful bacteria. Stress may also exacerbate your gut imbalance, and your gut imbalance can aggravate anxiety, creating a frustrating cycle. Functional medicine takes all of these factors (and more) into account.
How Can I Heal My Gut?
“Let food be thy medicine” has never rung so true as when it comes to gut health. Pesticide-free fresh fruits and vegetables, organic grass-fed meat, hormone-free yogurt, and healthy fats from nuts, seeds, and olive oil can benefit your microbiome.
That said, gut health goes much deeper than your diet. You’ll likely need to eliminate environmental toxins like chemical cleaners or mold to get things back on track. Organic acids, heavy metals, and other toxicities impact your microbiome too. In the end, it comes back to removing the stressors that take away from our optimal cell health and lead to poor functioning.
Know that healing your gut takes patience, and maintaining a healthy microbiome is a lifelong practice. It’s helpful to work with a provider who can make expert recommendations and order tests as needed. Dr. Gunyan approaches every treatment plan with the understanding that each situation is unique and that what works for one patient doesn’t necessarily work for another.
Keep in mind that all bodies are designed to heal. However, your gut is a complex system that can work against you when it isn’t functioning properly. For example, poor gut health can weaken your immune system. And if your liver can’t detox properly, it’s possible that your body is recircling toxins instead of excreting them. Don’t be discouraged if it feels like an uphill battle. Instead, make space for yourself and your wellness journey with the help of Dr. Gunyan.
Schedule Your Virtual Gut Health Consultation
If you’re tired of “Band-Aid” fixes that only help for a short time (if at all), you’re not alone. With two out of three Americans reporting uncomfortable GI symptoms, it’s clear that the commonly prescribed methods of managing gut health aren’t working. Dr. Gunyan takes a different approach, treating your body as a whole versus individual conditions or symptoms. If you’re ready for a more comprehensive plan, call 970-639-8069 to schedule your virtual consultation.