Let’s be real - eating routines go out the window when it’s holiday season. Social gatherings, family feasts, bulk cheese boards and let’s not forget that bag of Easter eggs that can be easily polished off in one sitting.
Personally, I'm not one to restrict or worry about what food I eat over the holiday period. However, this has not always been the case. I used to be that person that was quite strict for fear of experiencing debilitating gut health symptoms. I'd be that person suffering for hours in silence with uncomfortable bloating and a non-existent.... or VERY existent code brown situation (aka constipation or diarrhea).
Don’t get me wrong, I still experience some of these symptoms. In fact, this holiday season I knowingly ate a few of my “trigger” foods (because I couldn’t resist) and experienced a bit of bloating and constipation. The difference? I knew the reason I was experiencing certain symptoms and could manage the issue accordingly. The symptoms only lasted a couple of hours and I could happily move on with my day after implementing some strategies I've learned from health professionals in the Gut Skin Mind program.
If you’re someone who struggles with regular constipation, diarrhoea, bloating and flatulence - to the point of it interfering with daily life AND holidays… keep reading.
Firstly, what the F is gut health?
Gut health can be defined as the functioning of your entire Gastrointestinal tract and digestive system. Good gut health is hard to define because every individual is different. That said, it is important to consider how well an individual’s GI digests food, absorbs nutrients, excretes waste as well as the diversity of bacteria present.
How do I know if my gut is healthy?
As mentioned above, EVERY individual’s gut is different and there is no universal definition of “good gut health”. What’s more interesting? Every person’s microbiome is different. Your “microbiome” is the diverse range of bacteria, viruses and fungi that populate your intestinal tract and the surface of your skin. As your “gut microbiome” grows and diversifies (from the moment you are born), it helps you to:
Digest breast milk (some of the first bacteria that grows inside a baby’s intestines is called Bifidobacteria)
Digest fibre (very important for good gut health)
Regulate your immune system (the microbiome can determine how your body fights infection),
Regulate your metabolism
Regulate brain function/mood (read a blog on the gut-brain axis HERE).
Essentially, the more diverse your gut bacteria, the healthier your gut. What influences this population? Diet and lifestyle!
Regular episodes of bloating, constipation, diarrhoea, excess flatulence, incomplete evacuation and acid reflux may be an indicator of poor gut health and that something isn't quite right. However, these symptoms aren’t the only indicator of poor gut health. As mentioned above, gut health plays an important role in many aspects of health. Symptoms of anxiety, weight gain, poor immunity and even insomnia are also symptoms which have been linked to poor gut health.
So...when should I head to the GP?
More severe gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, weight loss, diarrhoea, family history of bowel disease and blood in stools could be indicative of diseases such as coeliac disease or inflammatory bowel disease. Your General Practitioner or gastroenterologist (if indicated) is recommended to be involved in your care to eliminate these (and other) causes of gastrointestinal symptoms, and it is important to rule these out before embarking on any protocol.
The Gut-Skin-Mind Protocol - who will benefit from it?
If you have ruled out the above more severe GI symptoms (under the guidance of a health professional) and are still experiencing debilitating gut health symptoms - the gut-skin-mind program is for you! In this protocol our health professionals discuss how stress, lifestyle, sleep, mood and hormones can all influence your gut health.
Our Nutrition module (with Dietitian Claudia Cramer) encompasses a temporary elimination phase, re-introductory period to help identify triggers, as well as a long-term maintenance module to boost your microbiome.
Our mindset module (with Psychologist Kobie Allison) will help you to realign your thoughts, understand anxiety triggers and de-stress! This section will provide helpful tools to reduce stress while increasing productivity.
Our skin module (with Skin Specialist Natalie Sellars) will help you to get to know the microbiome that populates your skin. Dermatitis, psoriasis or acne? We’ll help you to understand the link between gut health and skin health and how you can preserve the microbiome on your skin (from the inside out).
You should NOT have to put up with debilitating gut-health symptoms long-term. This program will empower you to identify triggers and take control of your gut, skin and mind LONG-TERM!
Remember** you can complete this program ONLINE - anywhere, anytime. We’ll also be with you every step of the way!
REGISTER FOR INTAKE 2 HERE! (STARTING MAY 20)