“Wellness” has many facets and manifests in many different ways, and in my practice, we work to address them all (our theme here is “Move Right, Eat Right, Think Right, Live Right”). Even though I’m a licensed chiropractor, I learned early on that a straight spine isn’t the only key to good health. It’s the trunk from which all the other systems branch out, but it’s not the whole tree.
One area that has become a special focus of my attention over the last few years is gut health. There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about “leaky gut,” and the research about it is finally getting the attention it deserves. I believe people are starting to realize that doing crunches and sit-ups is not the answer to the “battle of the bulge,” as we used to call it. Obesity, diabetes, chronic disease, and inflammation are on the rise, and people are discovering that the way they have been eating isn’t just making them fat — it’s ruining their lives.
Beyond Digestion: The Power of a Healthy Gut
Your gut is not just the pipeline where your food is digested, it is also the center of your immune system. Living inside the small intestine is a massive bacterial colony, called the “gut flora” or “microbiome.” Trillions of single-cell and multi-cell organisms live in a complex community of interworking structures that triage all the other cells that enter the body (i.e., food, chemicals, viruses, spores, toxins, and so on). So, while one battalion of gut bacteria is distributing nutrients and packaging up waste materials, another battalion is recognizing, surrounding, and eliminating foreign invaders. It’s a very intelligent defense force.
And just as important as the gut flora is the intestinal wall itself. It was created semi-permeable to allow nutrients to pass into the blood stream while holding back viruses and waste, but toxic foods, chemicals, and disease can damage the intestinal wall, leaving gaping holes that allow toxins into the blood. This is where the term “leaky gut” comes from, and it’s a dangerous condition that is difficult to diagnose and even more difficult to treat.
From this very basic understanding of the critical role your gut plays in your overall wellness, we can see the importance of taking proper care of it.
As I get ready to launch a new season of Fundamental Foods Dinners (the first Thursday of each month), I was going back through my notes to prepare a deep-dive on gut health when I realized…I had already written it.
The Fundamental Library on Gut Healthy
So I present the following articles as a go-to resource for maintaining a healthy gut, categorized into themes, including how the gut works, food sensitivities and allergies, gut-friendly foods, and autoimmune disorders. Many of them cross over between topics, and most link to each other.
Everyone has a gut, and everyone’s gut is in some state of health. You’ve probably noticed that a growing number of the people around you have spare tires around their waists, and that is a serious health concern. An unhealthy gut is linked to heart disease, diabetes, irritable bowel disease, Chron’s disease, inflammation, and numerous types of cancer. With that in mind, please take a few seconds to share this resource with friends and family on your favorite social media channel. We need to get the word out about the dangers of an unhealthy gut. At the risk of sounding over-dramatic, it might save someone’s life.
If you’re in Naples area and you have questions about your gut, stop by my office behind the YMCA on Pine Ridge Road. I’d love to meet you and help you find answers to your questions. But now, let’s dig into the articles:
HOW THE GUT WORKS
PROTECTING YOUR GUT
FOOD SENSITIVITIES AND ALLERGIES
GUT-FRIENDLY FOOD CHOICES
“At the end of your FEELINGS is NOTHING. At the end of your PRINCIPLES is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas
Dr. Stephen Stohler is a licensed chiropractor, wellness coach, and the founder of Fundamental Health Solutions, 5435 Park Central Ct, Unit B, in Naples, Florida. He was one of the first healthcare providers in Florida to be certified by the Blue Zones Project. his website is fitdocs.com.