People who have read our “Wellness Wednesday” series for a long time often ask me, “Dr. Steve, why do you spend so much time on your blog discussing gut health?”
Let me tell you a little story.
The Fast Track To Disease
When I got out of chiropractic school in 1992, I was like a man on fire: in my twenties, with a wife and two little kids, I had boundless energy to raise a family and build my practice. I could eat anything I wanted to, and it wouldn’t affect me at all.
Or…so I thought.
Fast forward to 2002. My life was like a slow-motion train wreck. I was working endless hours and missing out on my kids, and I still lost my house. My practice was a mess. My marriage was a mess. My relationships were a mess. Everything in my life was a mess.
Everywhere I turned, I could see another part of my life falling to pieces, but there was one part I couldn’t see. My health was deteriorating faster than anything else in my life, but I was too busy and stressed out to notice.
It wasn’t long before my health was all I had left, and–like everything else in my life–it was broken. Badly broken. I had a leaky gut, histamine overload, gluten intolerance and other food sensitivities, headaches, nausea, chronic fatigue, and a dozen problems I don’t ever remember anymore. My gut was on fire and it was killing me slowly.
Worse yet, I didn’t even recognize it.
If you’ve ever seen the movie, “The Princess Bride,” you might remember the scene when Count Rugen says, “If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything.”
Truer words were never spoken.
Changing My Mission…To Serve You
This is why I hammer on the importance of maintaining good gut health here.
Over the next ten years, the doctor became the patient and I began to apply the things I taught my patients to my own health. I made an effort to get more sleep, to manage my stress and my anger, to eat and exercise the way I taught others.
What kind of hypocrite would I have to be to tell my how patients to manage their health while my health was coming apart? As a doctor, I have a moral and ethical responsibility to practice what I preach. I need to be an example to my community, to my healthcare peers, and to everyone I meet.
Plus, it just makes good business sense. If I want to grow my practice, my health needs to be the best advertisement for my expertise. Would you trust a pastor with a bad marriage? Would you trust a broke financial planner? A good doctor is a good patient.
More Than Feeling Better
But what about the other parts of my life? Does my gut health affect them as well?
If I can’t play with my kids after work because I’m too tired and bloated, then yes, a leaky gut will ruin my parenting.
If I’m tired and grouchy to my spouse because I can’t sleep because my body hurts all the time, then yes, a leaky gut will ruin my marriage.
If I can’t focus and give my best at work because of brain fog, headaches, and nausea, then yes, a leaky gut will ruin my career.
If I can’t get involved at church because I’m always tired and sick, then yes, a leaky gut will hamper my spiritual life.
What about you?
As a parent, spouse, friend, professional, and community member, you and I have a responsibility to operate at optimum health all the time. It’s not just about living without pain and inconvenience — that would be self-serving — you and I have an obligation to give our world one-hundred-percent operating capacity. The people we care about deserve our best, and that means you and I have to be healthy.
It’s nice to live without pain, to have plenty of energy, to sleep well and feel great, but it can’t just be about me. Living healthy is not a right, it’s a responsibility – my responsibility. That’s why I go to such lengths to teach you how to keep your gut healthy. It is the centerpiece of your health and it touches every other part of your life in some way.
Change Your Gut Health, Change Everything
Having said that, I encourage you to educate yourself on how to manage a healthy gut. Go back and read the articles we’ve posted here at fitdocs.com — especially if you’re new to our community. It’s really not complicated, but we have built a library of articles that address it from several angles.
And so many more.
If this was helpful to you, please take a few seconds to share it with your social media circles. You never know who you know that might need a little encouragement in this area.
Also, if you live in the Naples area, I invite you to join us for our next Fundamental Foods Dinner at my office, behind the YMCA on Pine Ridge Road. We had an amazing time at the last one, and seats are already filling up for the next one. We do them the first Thursday of each month at 6:15 p.m. and deal with specific issues of health and wholeness on a deeper level than we do in other settings.
“At the end of your FEELINGS is NOTHING. At the end of your PRINCIPLES is a PROMISE.” — Eric Thomas