While the gut remains the most overlooked system by most healthcare providers, it is the biggest difference maker in my practice for people who have been struggling to feel well again.
The gastrointestinal system’s job includes: breaking down food, absorbing nutrients, processing inflammation, fighting viruses and bacteria, regulating our immune system, building our hormones, repairing our body, moving out toxins and much more.
Healing the gut takes a strategy. It’s not a magic pill approach, but when you have it fine-tuned and working for you, life seems more limitless.
If you are wondering “how can my gut have anything to do with my physical body pain”, you may be surprised that it is often the missing link that changes a reasonable recovery into a world-class performance.
If you or someone close to you has experienced a concussion, you recognize that getting better is a journey. Some people recover and bounce back quickly, while others struggle for years to regain their function. What is the difference between these experiences? The way the body reduces inflammation, provides nutrients and heals.
Humans are complex beings, and laser focusing on one aspect of our health in a silo is the hardest way to get better. Yet as human beings, we seem to gravitate towards the hardest way too often.
Mike, a 30-ish fitness enthusiast came in not long ago with horrible shin splints, which he believed were a result of training and aging. When we investigated his symptoms, it turned out he was actually having a food reaction that was generating inflammation and causing him to have a leaky gut. We changed his diet and got his gut working to support him, and he’s running 10K daily, beating his own personal bests and has no pain.
Ruth, an extremely active 70-year-old, with a committed exercise program came to see me because she had been diagnosed with osteoporosis and bone degeneration. When we investigated further, she was suffering from intestinal malabsorption. Her body was borrowing the minerals from her bones for other uses because it wasn’t able to absorb and ingest them from the food she was eating. Our work together involved rebalancing her gut flora so that she was finally absorbing. Her follow-up bone scan showed significant improvement, shocking the technicians.
Perhaps you are someone who wakes up inflamed, tight and stiff. You might call it arthritis, pelvic pain, back pain, or inflammation. It’s a regular occurrence and no matter what amount of exercise, physio, hydration you bring into your life it isn’t getting better.
Maybe your story is similar to Sarah. She was fed up with how she felt. When we started talking about her body functions it turned out she had a long history of irregular elimination. Through work we did on her gut, she started having regularly bowel movements that allowed her to clear inflammation and eliminate toxins from her body. In a matter of days her pain subsided. She also was finally able to lose weight after struggling for years, and felt like a new woman.
Don’t discount the role your gut plays in your health. Sometimes looking at the entire system can help us figure out why you are experiencing pain, discomfort or stuck in your progress.
Curious to see if your gut health is playing a role in what is going on with you. Download my gut health checklist.
This free tool collects nearly 100 of the most common gut symptoms and helps you build out your investigation list.
Try it out, and let us know if there might be something you want to investigate a little further.
About Dr. Christina Carew
Dr. Christina Carew is a functional medical investigator who approaches health with an out-of-the-box problem solving attitude. Her patients love that she breaks what seems like complicated mumbo-jumbo into humorous stories, and digestible information nuggets. She witnesses that empowering patients to better understand their own health leads to better outcomes and healthier lives.
Christina became a naturopathic doctor after experiencing her own complex heath journey. Her passion is to make health “easy to understand” for everyone. She is a forever learner, especially around the role our environment on health, how our gut really is the center of many health concerns and how our mental wellness affects our daily living.
An international speaker, a published author, and an outdoor enthusiast. Her husband refers to her as a mermaid for her love of water sports and the ocean.
By Dr. Christina Carew
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