Carly, this was an amazing post! I never thought of myself has having a sick gut, but I have every single symptom on your list. I am going to try a few of your remedies to see if it helps. The sugar one will have to be last of course. I have always wanted to start an ACV regimen and I think this is a good reason. Are you drinking it as well or just your husband?
I can’t wait to report back to see if my symptoms are getting better.
Hi Tracy!! Thank you so much for reading! I think one of the reasons gut disease is everywhere is BECAUSE we never think of ourselves as having it. I drink the ACV almost everyday, and I’ve actually come to really really LOVE it lol – people tell me I’m crazy! Make sure it’s raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered ACV with “the mother” (- gross little floaties in the bottom). That’s the stuff that’ll make the difference for you. And PLEASE do report back!!!
I love this post! I’m such a gut health nerd and totally agree that a sick gut makes for a sick body and brain. Thanks for including a link to my bone broth post, too!
Thanks Jessica!! I loved your bone broth post – bone broth was hard for me, cus I find bones so… icky. But I totally recognize the benefits of it now.
Medical research is learning more & more about “gut health”.
One caution I would like to make to your female readers is that bloating, constipation, diarrhea and other uncomfortable “gut” feelings are also symptoms of ovarian cancer. These symptoms are often ignored or passed off as just feeling blah and so ovarian cancer is rarely diagnosed until Stage 4. If a woman feels these symptoms for 8-10 weeks, she must see her doctor and insist on a diagnosis. Make your doctor prove you don’t have ovarian cancer!I lost my mom to OC eight years ago this month. It’s a horrible disease.Thanks for listening
Hi K! I’m sorry to hear about your mom, and THANK YOU for sharing that information with us – so important for us Ladies to hear! I think women especially tend to ignore symptoms like that because we are busy with our families and jobs and houses and we don’t make time to take care of ourselves. It’s time to start!
Thank you. I’ve been on the hype that people are making it up and it’s just a fad and whatever. But I’ve been feeling like crap for weeks! Stomach aches, migraines, depression, fog. It’s totally miserable. Especially just after having a baby. ( which I thought that’s why) but this makes a lot of sense. Also for my husband he’s had a lot of the same issues. I will share this article and we will try some things to get healthy so I can be me again. Thank you.
Hi McKenna! I’m sorry to hear you’re feeling crappy… It COULD be related to having a baby, but I also have come to believe that most of us have at least mild gut health issues. If you have any questions I’d be happy to answer them for you (to the best of my ability anyway lol).
hi, there is one POWERFUL vegetable of healing gut is CABBAGE, drink cabbage juice every day can also cure digestion tract problem.better blend it with water and green apple, blend it all together and drink it in the morning, i am taking it as breakfast, pls do the research for CABBAGE BENEFITS
HI Helena! I will absolutely do some research on cabbage – my grandma claims her dad healed his stomach ulcers by allowing cabbage to sit in water in the sun and then drinking the water… so this isn’t the first time I’ve heard that, and now you’ve reminded me. Thanks for the tip
I have had the same problems for years and tried everything but nothing seemed to work, I came across food grade diatomaceous earth and it works!!!! Please read up on it it is absolutely amazing! I have even started feeding it to my pets!
Ok Terri you have peaked my curiosity! I will be looking into that…
This is such a great post! Thanks for all of the very educational information. My sister has been battling with these same kind of issues. I am going to have her read this post and see if any of this helps her.
Brooke | http://www.beautydecorandmore.com
Thanks Brooke! I hope she can find some useful info in here It’s hard to love life when you feel like this!
My doc says take Probiotic 10 to help my IBS symptoms. Those symptoms you’ve listed keep me from going to a lot of parties and functions. I’d like to do more so where do you get aloe Vera juice? Is it just health food stores? Thank you
HI Candice! I’m sorry to hear that – I totally hear you about needing to stay home and taking it easy… my hubby was the same (things are alot better for him now!) This is the aloe Juice we use (it’s the one that tastes the least bad!) I would seriously consider buying the ultimate bundle this week so you have access to The Heal Your Gut Summit – you do NOT have to live with these symptoms forever… (and probiotics are AWESOME, you must have a good doc )
Great post very interesting. I have a couple of the symptoms in the list. So I am going to try and be more health conscious. Thanks
Good luck Pam! Being more health conscious is always a good idea
My husband is suffering from neuropathy of his hands and feet. He is in pain most of the time and is losing his balance and has muscle wasting. All symptoms of progressive neuropathy. He is NOT diabetic but he is a farmer. I have done endless research with little help. I came across your post about an unhealthy gut is an unhealthy body and was curious to know if your information could help with this autoimmune condition. Thank you for your time. Most Sincerely~
Hi Sue, I’m so sorry to hear about your husband’s struggles! That’s especially difficult with farming, because you have to be so physically active. My father and grandfather were farmers and I know exactly how difficult it is to be a farmer who isn’t well. I am not a doctor, but I am not a doctor, and I can not give medical advice, but if I were you I would absolutely continue looking into gut health. There is a VERY strong connection between over all gut health, long term gut damage and auto-immune disease. It’s easy to see how this could be possible when you take into consideration that a body that is not absorbing vitamins and minerals from food is literally mal-nourished despite not being “hungry”. You could do some research on the GAPS diet, many people have had wonderful results from following it (tedious as it may seem at first). The gut health summit by Dr Eric Z addresses autoimmune conditions in relationship to gut health, and it would likely be a great place for you to start. (He is a doctor and CAN give medical advice!) I wish you all the best (and healing for your husband!) And please let me know if you have any questions about anything I’ve said!
Thank you Carly for your quick response. I am seeking out alternatives because the doctors don’t have any answers other than pain meds. that don’t work. I will continue to look into gut health. I appreciate the information that you shared. I’m sure it will be helpful if not for my husband, but for others. Bless you!
Great idea, Carly. I love it, I love the way you think and write this article. I am enjoying reading this. Thank you!
Great post! We are big fans of making bone broth, but sometimes it’s a bit easier to just use collagen peptides, which have most of the same health benefits.
Hi Cory – I’ve never looked into collagen peptides, but I’m all for things that are a bit easier – I’ll have to google em! Thanks
Your post is so awesome and informative. I started having severe panic attacks and it lasted for a few months. A therpist recommended cutting out gluten and I havnt had a panic att like since. Unfortunately, I’m still having digestive issues and anxiety. I’m wondering if this has something to do with my gut still being damaged from the gluten and possibly not being able to absorb nutrients even though I eat super healthy like ou mentioned. Thanks for such a helpful post : ).
HI Danielle – that is SO INTERESTING about the panic attacks – makes perfect sense tho! But the damage probably DOES need to be healed. If your body isn’t absorbing nutrients, you will have all sorts of weird problems. Get that gut healed girl!!
(This post probably contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is really boring, but you can find it here.)
Gut health issues – fad or not fad?
Ten years ago, I would have told you that I thought this “gut health” fad was just that – a fad. (And I could absolutely not accept that everyone was suddenly coming down with “celiac” disease. As we advance medically, diseases should become less rampant, not more – right?)
And then my husband started having stomach aches every night and every morning. He started sleeping ALL THE TIME when he was at home. He was sort of… permanently unhappy. Not really depressed, but not himself either. He was too tired to do anything fun ever, and he was always sore all over (muscles/joints ect).
I really thought it must be stress from his job – I remember saying to him, “You can’t possibly have a stomach ache ALL THE TIME!” Eventually, it got so bad that he went to see a doctor. (And then I believed that it must be bad.)
And he got a diagnosis of Colitis – an inflammatory bowl disease. Essentially, the doctor said, the intestinal villi were worn down in the lining of his gut, causing inflammation and ulcers. Even worse, in the long run though, was that the villi are supposed to absorb nutrients from your food.
Wrecked villi = wrecked nutrient absorption.
Wrecked nutrient absorption = nutritional deficiency = your body is getting weaker everyday.
Basically, the doctor said, unhealthy guts = unhealthy people. It’s not like having a broken wrist. The gut affects the entire body.
And what was the cause of this gut damage? Probably Grains. With their gluten. Maybe Antibiotics had thrown off his internal chemistry. Maybe getting E-coli (when we visited peru) had done some long term damage. A western diet high in processed foods and low in veggies could be to blame.
The fact was that it didn’t matter how his gut got damaged. A sick gut was making him sick. He wasn’t JUST having stomach aches, it was affecting his whole body.
So how come EVERYONE suddenly has gut health issues? (This was my question to the doctor.) And is it possible to heal your gut?
A LOT of things have changed in the last couple hundred years
What are just a few of the things we do now (that we didn’t do hundreds of years ago) that are damaging our intestines?
– Antibiotics are a big one. They’re an amazing medical advancement. Thousands of lives are saved every day thanks to them. But antibiotics can’t differentiate between the good bacteria in our bodies and the bad bacteria. They attack all the bacteria. The natural state of our guts are thrown violently off with even one course of antibiotics.
– Chlorinated drinking water is another. Chlorine also kills all bacteria, not just good bacteria.
– We are exposed to far more chemicals now than ever before – pesticides, medications, and even household cleaning products could be responsible for gut damage.
– We eat an excessive amount of processed foods. Pasteurized foods no longer contain bad bacteria – OR good bacteria. Studies are suggesting that our huge intake of saturated fats can mess with our internal flora and cause inflammatory bowl diseases (source). Bad bacteria feeds on our high sugar diets and flourishes in our guts.
– We eat genetically modified food. For some, the jury is out as to if this is affecting our digestive system, but I don’t see why there couldn’t be a relationship between GMO foods and the increasing incidence of gut disease.
There are other possible causes for our current gut health struggles, like excess alcohol intake, excess stress, a sedentary lifestyle or even past surgeries that caused damage to our intestines. Regardless of the cause of your unhealthy gut, you need to fix it if you want to feel good.
If you suspect you have a damaged gut, What can you do to fix it?
(Of course you should see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis, and talk to him about your issues.) But there are lots of things you can do at home to heal a damaged gut / imbalanced intestinal flora.
First of all, remember that if your gut is damaged you probably aren’t absorbing the nutrients from your food – even if you’re eating GREAT food! So switching cold turkey to a diet of salads and raw veggies isn’t even always the answer for healing your gut. Some raw veggies are actually really hard for a damaged gut to digest.
5 things you can do at home to help heal your gut
Replenish the good bacteria in your gut
You can supplement with high quality (preferably human strain) probiotic supplements (this is the brand my husband is taking re doctors orders). You can also help to populate good bacteria in your gut with foods that naturally contain good bacteria – fermented foods. Home made milk kefir (or water kefir). RAW apple cider vinegar, Kombucha, sauerkraut ect- but don’t cook them! Heating the fermented food kills the bacteria.
Cut back on sugar
Sugar feeds the bad bacteria in our bodies, and starving them out will only help you! It also increases inflammation, and inflammation is never good. Other “bad” things that generally weaken your body – like alcohol or saturated fats, are also detrimental to your gut. Cut WAY back on these.
Cut out difficult to digest foods
Allow internal sores to heal. Steam broccoli, cauliflower, carrots ect before eating, leave grains (including corn) out all together (phytic acid – found in grains – can irritate an already suffering gut even more), and limit red meats. These changes don’t necessarily HAVE to be forever. But you do want to let yourself heal.
Take good quality nutritional supplements
…until your body is able to absorb vitamins and minerals from food. Your body needs these nutrients to heal, but struggles to get them from food if your digestive system is really badly damaged. This has been the most expensive part of healing G’s gut – but it’s also made a huge difference in his energy levels and general body soreness.
He takes a liquid B vitamin, a liquid magnesium, a liquid mineral supplement, and L-glutamine. (Those links are to the specific brands that we use in our home.) L-glutamine, an amino acid, is especially powerful in helping to heal the gut. Studies have shown that it is essential to repairing damage in the intestines (source). It also has some other pretty awesome benefits, like muscle growth promotion, curbing cravings for sugar and alcohol, improving blood sugar and fighting cancer, just to name a few.
Try bone broth and aloe vera juice to sooth & heal
Neither one is necessarily going to be your favorite food – but these two things are incredibly soothing and healing to a digestive system that needs some love. Bone broth is packed full of healing, good for you things (- like collagen, proline, glycine, glutamine, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur, chondroitin sulfate, and glucosamine, according to Dr. Axe). Make your own bone broth at home to ensure that you’re not getting any nasty MSG or other additives in it. Here’s a fantastic article on how to make your own bone broth (and why you should) by Jessica @ The Real Food Dietitians.
Aloe vera juice is the other one – particularly good for bad stomach ache caused by IBS, Crones, Colitis ect. It’s very soothing, but it also has a host of other benefits – it’s a natural anti-inflammatory (if your gut is damaged, you can bet that inflammation is a problem for you), it encourages the growth of good bacteria, and it helps to keep you regular (something you REALLY want while healing your gut – or anytime. Having food just hanging around in your digestive tract fermenting is NEVER GOOD!).
Recently I purchased Dr. Eric Zielinski’s Heal your Gut Summit – and I SO WISH I had this resource when we first started learning about Gut health. We spent over $2000 (and many many hours) on meetings with a nutritional doctor who taught us about gut health. This is the information I wished for, shared by more than 30 gut health experts from around the globe. They give you the evidence-based tools you need to heal your gut, and it’s less than 100 bucks. (Plus it comes with 25 awesome looking bonus gifts… I can’t tell you what I think of THOSE because I bought the summit as part of a different package, but the bonus gifts LOOK awesome haha! TWO of them are on how to heal your gut with Aloe… so I know I’m on the right track with that point.)
The summit talks about how to address
Allergies & Food Sensitivities
Candida & Chronic Yeast Overgrowth
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
Depression & Anxiety
Irritable Bowel & Leaky Gut Syndrome
Learn more about Dr. Eric Zielinski’s Heal your Gut Summit here.
Have you tried any of these methods to heal your gut? What else have you found that works for you?? While G is on his way to recovery – almost no stomachaches anymore – we are still diligent when it comes to what we eat and what we don’t, and at this point we still think the supplements he takes are a worth while investment. Life’s too short to feel crappy all the time, and I’m SO excited that we’ve managed to find the cause of his issues and take steps to fix them.
8 Ways to Drastically Improve Your Health FOR FREE
Original article and pictures take http://carlyonpurpose.com/5-ways-to-heal-your-gut site