It seems that your social media feed and every other commercial is talking about ways to improve your gut health — and for good reason. The typical American diet is loaded with things that can harm the critical functions of your digestive system, like sugary drinks, artificial sweeteners, and processed foods full of additives and inflammatory oils.
If you could see inside your digestive system, you’d see about 40 trillion bacteria moving around, mainly in your large intestines. We call these your gut microbiota, and while some are good, others can lead to digestive issues and diseases.
Our team of experienced functional and regenerative health professionals here at All Functional Health can help you understand how to promote the good bacteria and eliminate the bad. Led by Jeffrey Mark, MD and Frances Mark, PharmD, we specialize in finding the root cause of your condition and treating you holistically in a way that restores your whole body.
If you’re one the millions of Americans suffering from digestive issues such as irritable bowel syndrome, lactose intolerance, gluten sensitivity, or food sensitivities, we can help you improve your gut health. Here’s how to start.
Eat foods with prebiotics and probiotics
Prebiotics are fibers that promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. Your body can’t digest prebiotics, so they serve as food for the good bacteria to break down — like fertilizer for your gut. You can get prebiotics naturally by eating many vegetables, fruits, and whole grains.
Probiotics are actual bacteria you consume to help you increase the number of healthy bacteria you have in your gut. Foods that contain these live bacteria include yogurt, kimchi, kombucha, and fermented sauerkraut.
Your diet has a tremendous influence on the health of your gut. Our team can give you a list of recommended foods to eat and a list of those to avoid depending on your condition. Dr. Mark offers monthly webinars on functional nutrition so whether you live locally in Danville, Walnut Creek, Berkeley, across the Bay Area or even across all 50 states, just email us, and we would be happy to send you a link to our live webinar with Dr. Jeffrey Mark, M.D.
Get a little sun
Although the dangers of too much sun exposure is well documented, one small study showed that a little bit of sunshine can be a good thing, even for your gut health.
When your skin takes in UVB rays, you get the benefit of increased vitamin D as well as a more diverse collection of gut microbes. And diverse microbes is one of the hallmarks of a healthy body. While more research is still needed, this may be good news if you have inflammatory bowel disease or other gut-related conditions.
Monitor your moods
If you suffer from depression or anxiety, it may stem from any number of causes, but one you may not have considered is your gut.
While many people assume that digestive issues might lead to mood disorders due to the constant discomfort and unpredictable nature of these diseases, most don’t realize that it can actually work in a slightly different way as well.
Your digestive system can send signals to your central nervous system and trigger mood changes. Considering that nearly 40% of the population suffers from bowel problems, it’s important to understand this connection.
Getting gut healthy
Ignoring your gut can lead to chronic problems like diarrhea, constipation, bloating, nausea, gas, liver disease, diabetes, obesity, metabolic disorders, and inflammation. When your gut bacteria are out of balance, your body is more vulnerable to fungal and bacterial infections.
If you need help getting your gut health back in order, Jeffrey Mark, M.D. is quadruple board certified physician who directs our functional gastroenterology specialists to counsel you every step of the way. We develop a highly personalized treatment plan that targets only the specific issues you face, rather than a one size fit all GI protocol that are prevalently used by many functional medicine clinics.
For example, we may recommend nutritional counseling to help you take control of your diet and your health. We may also recommend certain supplements/nutraceuticals to give your system the boost it needs until your normal function is restored. We also incorporate stress management techniques to help you address the mind-body connection.
Don’t suffer from your sick gut any longer. Call us today at one of our offices in San Ramon or Turlock, California and the tri-valley area, or request an appointment online. Our offices are easily accessible from the Interstate 680, 580, 880 and 99 freeways!