Ready to take about poop?! Regardless of your niche as a health coach, we all know that gut health is important. But how do you actually heal your clients’ guts?
Most health practitioner makes one of several mistakes. They assume that diet alone is enough to heal the digestive system or they fail to consider parasites, bacteria or fungal infections.
Is there is a certain type of stool test you should be using? Is there a difference between the gut test that your Doctor runs and something like the GI-MAP test?
Did you know you can actually get a sense of the presence of infections via certain blood markers? (and yes, we will be sharing these exact markers).
What types of infections can you identify on stool testing and where can you go to get trained in proper interpretation of this tool?
Grab our free GI-MAP interpretation guide, complete with the blood chemistry patterns that may tip off a hidden gut infection: https://bit.ly/2y6XU9C
You can watch our the video version of our episodes below.
Head to our website and grab out Practitioner Tool Kit with over 30 tried and tested tools that Kendra & Christine have used to not only save time and money but to grow their practices to 6-figure health coaching businesses.
Check out Kendra and Christine on their personal Social Media Channels:
Hello, how’s it going? I’m Kendra Perry from Kendra Kendra Perry Nutrition, and I’m coming to you from my very cold house.
It’s getting into October now and I didn’t feel like making a fire because I was lazy so I’ve got my toque on I got my … jacket on and I even got my booties on, those are my favorite little booties, but anyways, today we’re going to be talking about a very very important topic and also maybe a bit of a controversial topic because I know a lot of you ladies out there take the birth control pill and you’re getting a lot of benefits from it
You know you don’t have to think much and you’re not getting pregnant you don’t have to worry about that which is awesome.
But of course that does come with some side effects, and that’s what we’re going to be talking about today; three unknown very very commonly unknown side effects that are very long-term and these side effects can affect you even if you were on the birth control years ago and you’ve been off it for years, so maybe it’s something you took in your 20s and it’s been five or ten years since you’ve been off of it.
Unfortunately, some of these side effects can still be affecting you and I’m going to get into that a little bit today. So if this is your first time joining in for one of my videos. Welcome, I’m Kendra Perry from Kendra Perry Nutrition like I mentioned before and I’m a functional diagnostic nutritionist and what I do is I help women generally in their 30s and 40s.
I help them balance their hormones so they can stop feeling fatigued, crazy overweight and super unsexy and they can start feeling awesome, so that’s what I do and if you haven’t already I have an awesome freebie right now if you are wondering what’s up with your hormones? If maybe you suspect your hormones have to do some of the symptoms that you’re experiencing lately,
I have a free self-test it’s pinned to the top of this page and you can use that to get a good idea if you might be at risk for a specific hormone imbalance and which imbalance that might be, okay.
So let’s get into it, but before we get started, I just want to ask you guys a question and please answer even if you’re just watching this video if even if you’re just watching the replay of this video.
I know there’s a bunch of you guys with me live today but even if you’re watching the replay I come back and look at these comments for weeks, so please answer so I just want to know and this is a bit of a personal question but sometimes
I like to get personal, let me know if you are currently taking the birth control pill and if so, what’s the reason that you are taking it is it to avoid pregnancy, or is it some other reason?
Maybe you’re taking it to regulate a hormone imbalance that your doctor said you have or maybe it’s to regulate a very irregular cycle?
Just let me know drop it in the comments box below, and that would be great, okay? So let’s first kind of talk about the birth control what’s actually kind of happening in the body so of course this like starts with what the female cycle is really supposed to look like okay, so in a woman who’s not taking any hormone, so no birth control typically what happens is estrogen is very dominant in the first half of the cycle so days 1 to 14.
Estrogen is what’s considered, it’s a growth hormone so it makes things grow and what it does is it grows the lining of the uterus it starts to grow that lining and basically, that’s your body preparing for pregnancy because if you were to say get pregnant or if there was a sperm and it connected with that egg in your body which is terrifying, but anyway is that they connect that egg will go into your uterus and implant on the wall, and that’s where it’ll start to grow and eventually turn into a baby.
So that’s what happens in day 1 to 14 is estrogen is pumping and then at some point around ovulation so that usually happens around day 14 middle of the cycle an egg is released from the ovaries and that ovary or that that egg basically is looking for a sperm to fertilize it and if it doesn’t get fertilized it actually starts to break down and degrade because we don’t need it anymore so your body gets rid of it.
And as that egg breaks down and degrades it actually releases a significant amount of progesterone, and that’s why progesterone is very important in the second half of the menstrual cycle, so estrogen goes down progesterone goes up as that a starts to degrade and then when it comes up to your period that’s actually when hormones drop super low so they’re at their lowest and that’s actually what triggers the menstrual cycle is a drop in both estrogen and progesterone, okay.
So what happens when you were on the pill? So basically the pill kind of hijacks your hormone control, so it dumps a bunch of synthetic estrogen and progesterone into the body in really high amounts which actually mimics pregnancy so when you’re pregnant your hormones are just pumping right, these things help maintain the pregnancy and keep a fetus healthy so the hormones are just kind of going off the radar they’re super high and that’s what hormonal birth control does is it lets these hormones become super high with synthetic hormones.
And it actually tricks the body into thinking that you’re pregnant so that’s why if you end up with another sperm inside your body because you’re still having sex there’s not going to be any eggs released because the body thinks you’re already pregnant.
So that’s what happens when you take that pill every single day and the same is true for IUD’s and also the patch or the ring I know there’s a lot of different types of birth control methods out there right now, but basically, they are pumping hormones and hijacking control of your hormones.
And then what happens when you get the period so that’s when you start taking those sugar pills, right? So what happens is you’re not actually getting a real period you’re actually getting what’s called sort of breakthrough bleeding. So you’re stopping those pills and that basically causes your hormones to drop and suddenly the body can’t maintain that lining anymore, so it starts to shed it so you’re kind of getting I guess what’s more like an artificial period you’re not actually getting a real period okay.
And this is a big reason why a lot of women take birth control pills even if it has nothing to do with preventing pregnancy so I know a lot of women take them because you know they have a very heavy period or maybe they have a very irregular cycle, maybe they have severe period cramps those are a lot of reasons people or women take birth control pills that really has nothing to do with actually not being, not getting pregnant, okay.
And the reason and so you know being on the pill is going to alleviate a lot of those symptoms because it does hijack hormone control and regulate things but it doesn’t actually fix the root cause so what a lot of women find is they feel really good on the pill.
But at some point they’re gonna want to go off it maybe because they want to get pregnant or they’ve just been on it. Too long and those hormone issues will come back and often with a vengeance because it’s basically just masking hormonal issues, so I think you know and that that I find quite unnerving.
You know I was like you I was on birth control for a really long time I think from the time I was 16 she about 23, so I guess what’s that 7 years? Maybe even longer than that and you know I got a ton of hormonal issues when I got off the pill and you know it’s because it sort of masks these hormonal issues, and they continue to persist in your body but unknown to you because you feel great while you’re on the pill, okay.
Anyways, I’m getting a bit off-track here But I want to get into those 3 reasons why? Or those 3 long-term side effects of birth control pills and again use can affect you even if you’ve been off the birth control pill for many years, even 10 or 15 years, and I’m gonna give you one bonus piece of info at the end.
So if you stay till the end, I’m gonna give you one complete and total shocker, it’s gonna blow your fucking head off! Seriously. It’s crazy when I learned about this I was completely shocked. Ok, so number one is it disrupts your gut flora, so the pill you know it doesn’t only have synthetic hormones in there, but it also has a lot of other synthetic additives and you take the pill in your mouth orally, and it actually kills your gut flora ok
And if you are someone who knows about gut health and knows the importance of the microbiome we know, this is a big problem so the microbiome is basically a bacterial community that you have living in your gut andwe have billions and billions and billions of these species in our gut and they play a huge role in our digestion our mood and pretty much a lot of our internal gut physiology and beyond. So it’s very very important to have healthy gut flora but you are taking a pill every single day that is killing the gut flora okay?
And this is probably one of the big reasons that women who are on birth control pills are significantly more likely to have issues with Candida.
Okay, so Candida is a yeast that naturally lives in the large intestine, and it’s always naturally there but when the gut floor is healthy it’s largely kept in check and it kind of just exists in those dark dark like deep corners of the large intestine but when that gut flora gets imbalance then the Candida can over grow and it can thrive and that can cause a lot of issues.
You know a lot of people are pretty familiar with the issues associated with Candida, but you know weight gain, fatigue, sugar cravings can be a really big one. It can cause a lot of issues because it causes a lot of inflammation it secretes a lot of toxins and it really does reduce your ability to digest and absorb nutrients.
So that’s a really big one so the way that it damages your gut flora and when your gut flora is not a good place so you just don’t have those healthy communities it puts you at risk for not only candida but also a lot of other gut infections so things like parasites and also other nasty bacteria because we are exposed to these things all the time, you know we don’t have to go to a third world country to get exposed to something like a parasite.
But when your gut flora is healthy it’s not a big deal because your immune system kind of deals with it it gets out you know overcrowded by the other healthy communities around it, so these things can tend to just get flushed out or at least kept …
There we go, sorry my timer, I need to put the turkey in the oven it’s Thanksgiving here in Canada. And I had to set myself a timer so i got to get that turkey and we’re having a big big dinner probably tonight and my boyfriend will kill me if I forget anyways, okay, so talking about yeah, so you just put risk for a lot of infections when your gut flora is disrupted and once your gut flora is disrupted you know a lot of things can happen and it can really set the stage for you know long-term chronic health problems specifically mood and digestive problems.
So a lot of women you know they were on birth control pills in their 20s and they find in their 30s; they have a ton of GI symptoms, and they don’t really know what’s going on and a big part of that is the fact that they’ve spent many years depleting their incredibly important and sensitive gut flora.
So that’s the first way that birth control can really harm you for the long term.
Number two is relatively unknown, but this one is insane. Okay, so I see so I’m going to tell you about copper toxicity so birth controls really push up copper in your body, okay, and copper toxicity is something that I see in almost every woman is crazy and so when I work with women
I always want a hair mineral analysis. I’m really big into remineralizing the body right now. And so when I do this I tend to see in the results that their copper is completely imbalanced. It’s through the roof and copper toxicity can cause a significant amount of issues.
I’m just going to read you off some of the symptoms here because you might be able to relate to this but hypothyroid, mind racing, mood swing, diet, dry skin, depression, feeling of loss of control, chocolate cravings, constipation, adverse reaction to vitamin and minerals b12 deficiency, iron deficiency,haemorrhoids, osteoporosis, fatigue, anemia, decrease in white blood cells, problems of concentration, memory, acne, paranoia, arthritis it goes on and on and on and these are all issues of copper imbalance.
And it is crazy how much birth control pills can dis regulate your copper, and there are people out there so one of the experts that trained under for hair mineral analysis his name’s Rick Mulder it’s his opinion, and I mean he’s been doing this for 30 to 40 years, he’s tested tens of thousands of people and it’s his opinion that copper imbalance is the main cause of the majority of the health problems that we experienced because copper really needs to be tightly controlled in the body.
You don’t want too much, but you don’t want too little you have too much or too little you’re going to have health problems and so it’s really interesting, so sometimes so what happened so sorry I’m getting a little off track here, but I really want to tell you about this, it’s really interesting, so the birth control pill can put a lot of stress on the adrenals on the thyroid and when the adrenals and the thyroid are sluggish this actually reduces your body’s ability to make something called ceruloplasmin and ceruloplasmin is basically a compound in the body that allows you to use copper so you get into the situation where you know your thyroid and adrenal are sluggish from you know maybe they’ve always been a bit sluggish and now the birth control is making them more sluggish.
So and then on top of this the birth control pill is also pushing up copper so you end up in a situation where you’re totally copper toxic!
Because the birth control is pushing up copper but you’re also copper deficient because you have now a limited ability to produce ceruloplasmin and which means you have a limited ability to use copper and this is actually the most common situation i’ve seen and women who’ve been on birth control even if it was like 15 years ago is they have this severe copper imbalance where they’re totally copper toxic the body is storing copper in the tissues in the organs especially the liver and the kidneys and then because they can’t use it they’re completely copper deficient, so they have symptoms of both.
And it takes years to detox copper from the body it can take a really long time so I’ve seen this in women who have only been on birth control for a year and now we’re doing this test ten years later, but it’s gonna be even more crazy in women who’ve been on birth control pills for multiple years because it pushes up your copper and then another really interesting thing about copper is copper pushes up estrogen levels so when your copper is high your estrogen will be high, so taking birth control pills pushes up copper which can then push up your estrogen which leads to estrogen dominance.
And I’ve talked a lot about estrogen dominance I’ve written about a lot of it on my website Kendraperry.net but this is one of the nastiest hormone imbalances that you can have and it’s also one of the most common I see in women over 30 and even some women over 25 between like 25 and 30.
And so when your estrogen dominant it really does predispose you for estrogen dominant cancers things like cervical cancer, endometrial cancer, breast cancer, it also gives you crazy PMS, tender breast, bloating, acne, irritability, insomnia around your period, it just kind of makes you miserable.
And it’s just really crazy how much birth control pill can really lead to a long-term copper issue and thus estrogen dominant issue and sometimes this estrogen dominance won’t show up on a test and I’ve seen this again where we won’t see it in the test, but because it’s the copper that’s pushing up estrogen during certain times of the month we actually will never find the estrogen so we just have to go with the copper toxicity and assume estrogen dominance.
And I think another way that birth control can really affect your copper level is the fact that actually depletes a zinc so zinc is a very important mineral for the immune system, so when zinc goes down you start to have more issues with infections you get sick all the time and of course that does put you a bigger risk for things like parasites and candida as well.
But zinc and copper are antagonists so as one goes up the other goes down. So as zinc goes down copper goes up. So not only is birth control pushing more copper into your system but it’s also depleting zinc which naturally will make your copper levels more high and unless you address copper toxicity directly and you start to detox copper from the body. These issues and these symptoms and that list that I mentioned can affect you for the rest of your life
It’s crazy, so that’s a really big one, okay. So number three is magnesium deficiency so birth control pills deplete magnesium. It’s well known it’s been shown in a ton of research and magnesium and you might know that it’s super important, so it’s involved in over 300 different enzyme reactions in the entire body, you need it to relax the entire nervous system you need sleep you need it to feel calm and not totally crazy and stressed out and birth control pills actually deplete magnesium and so this is a really big issue as well.
Another thing that happens is because magnesium is an antagonist with cut with calcium so as magnesium goes down calcium goes up and if calcium gets too high in your system your body does start to store it in different parts of the body and it can lead to a lot of joint pain, and it can actually really change your personality and lead to a lot of mood disorders as well, so magnesium is huge. We’re already deficient in it, and then if you’re taking birth control pills. You’re gonna be even more magnesium deficient okay, so that’s number three is in the way that magnesium causes or sorry birth control causes magnesium deficiency.
So I just want to quickly recap and then I’m gonna give you the bonus side effect the one that’s gonna just like blow your head off. It’s crazy! I can’t even believe this is a thing but anyways, So number one is birth control pills will deplete your gut flora so it does lead to long-term mood disorders and GI problems, does increase your likelihood for getting a parasite or candida.
Number two is that birth control will cause copper imbalance so it can make you deficient and toxic at the same time that leads to a ton of symptoms, very hard to get out of the body if your body can’t use it, it can’t move it out and then you are just copper toxic and dealing with so many health problems that you can’t connect to anything for the rest of your life.
And number three is magnesium deficiency, so it does push down your magnesium, okay. And now for the bonus so the bonus so I heard this from dr.
Sarah Gottfried so she is an MD who does a lot of work with hormones, but more for women who are postmenopausal, But she said in a podcast that I was listening to that birth control pills reduce the size of clitores by twenty to thirty percent.
They shrink your clit. That’s crazy. It’s crazy, and I was pretty skeptical about this, so I looked it up, and I did find a research study on PubMed that did indicate that the birth control pill can actually shrink your clitoris.
Which is shocking, it’s just shocking like that is horrible right? I mean the reason we have sex is for pleasure and enjoyment and being on the birth control pillcan actually shrink your clitoris, and you know I was on the birth control pill for probably seven or eight years
I wish I had measured. I have no idea if mine is smaller than it used to be but I think that’s pretty significant and these are side effects that nobody is talking about and your you will never hear this from your doctor when you go on the pill they will tell you that maybe you have a higher risk for blood clots, but that you have a lower risk for certain types of cancer, and you know nobody’s gonna tell you about deficient gut flora, no one’s going to tell you about copper imbalance and nobody’s gonna tell you about magnesium deficiency, and I know nobody is gonna tell you about clit shrinkage, okay, so you know you really need to take these things into consideration when making a decision to go on the pill.
You know I understand that there’s times in your life where you absolutely do not want to get pregnant and I get that but you know 60 to 70 percent of women go on the pill for reasons that have nothing to do with avoiding pregnancy and they are not told about these side-effects.
They have no idea and you know as someone who works with women’s health, I mean it is crazy how often I work with women who have come off the birth control pill, and they are a mess. You know, it’s just it’s crazy, and we’re just not being given the proper information.
You know if you want to make the decision to go on birth control knowing those side effects that’s good, because you’re making an informed decision but most of us aren’t even making informed decisions because we never get the information to begin with okay, so I hope you found this video helpful
I love bringing you these live videos. I love hanging out with you, so if you like this video give me the hearts give me the likes
I love these, it shows Facebook that you like my content and it will help me reach more women because my mission is to help as many women as possible heal from hormonal imbalance, so they can take control of their bodies again because when your hormones are out of whack you feel like you have no control, it changes your personality
You’re on edge and you know you’re fatigued you’re gaining weight and you just can’t live that incredible life that you absolutely deserve to live so give me a like and let me know if you’d like this video if you have any questions even if you’re not with me live today
I will answer them. I keep checking these comments for weeks and weeks and weeks and if you haven’t done so already pick up my freebie is pinned to the top of this page
It’s my hormone imbalance self-test cheat sheet, and you can learn in five minutes or less if you might have a hormone imbalance and which imbalance you might be at risk for one more thing join my group. I have a free Facebook group called hormonal Imbalance with Kendra Perry
I give free weekly master classes. I answer all your questions. There are a ton of women in there we’re growing every day, and if you want to connect and get some support this is a great place
I know when my hormones were a mess I felt super alone I felt that nobody cared or understood what I was going through but in this group everyone understands what you’re going through so make sure to join my group as well.
That’s it for me. I hope you guys, if you’re in Canada Happy Thanksgiving!
I hope you have a delicious turkey dinner, and if you’re elsewhere. I hope you just have a fantastic weekend
I will see you next week.
I’m going to be coming to you live four times next week Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday.
So I’m gonna be talking about lots of hot topics so I will see you guys all next week. Bye!
Prefer to hear me discuss this article in a video? See video below!
If you are a health practitioner and you want to know my exact step-by-step process that I use when it comes to treating clients with SIBO, check out my 3-Part A-Z SIBO Series. Check out Video 1!
Small Intestine Bacterial Overgrowth is an incredibly common infection that I am finding in the majority of my clients who are struggling with chronic digestive issues.
A study undertaken at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center used 448 subjects who were referred by their doctors for detection of SIBO.
After completing a questionnaire, the researchers determined that 202 subjects could be considered as having irritable bowel syndrome according to standard symptom criteria (see sidebar). Of these, 157 (78%) were positive for bacteria overgrowth using the lactulose Hydrogen Breath Test.
SIBO is a condition where normal bacterial flora from the large intestine migrate up into the small intestine where they aren’t supposed to be. Compared to the large intestine, the small intestine is relatively sterile when it comes to microflora. With an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine, food that is eaten is fermented and acted upon by the overgrowth, rather than digested for your nourishment.
The result is SIBO infected individuals tends to have a lot of gas, bloating, belching and abdominal pain. Depending on the type of SIBO present, individuals may have chronic diarrhea or constipation. I have also seen many SIBO clients presenting will extreme fatigue or even chronic fatigue.
SIBO is gaining some attention lately and more and more people struggling with IBS are looking to SIBO as the potential cause of their GI issues.
A journey full of trial and error, getting rid of SIBO can be HARD work. With our scientific and clinical understanding of the condition continuing to grow, protocols and recommendations are constantly evolving and as with any gut condition. This means that what works for one person may not work for the next.
It also means that the medical community is starting to catch on. In Canada, we are starting to see SIBO labs popping up which is a great thing. Unfortunately, many practitioners are testing their patients for SIBO without having adequate knowledge of the complex protocols involved in successfully treating the condition.
The result is that many SIBO sufferers try over and over to clear the infection and they either fail to get rid of it or they get re-infected.
I want to discuss some of the most common mistakes I have seen when it comes to treating SIBO. If you are someone struggling with SIBO, you need to read this. There are many practitioners who claim to understand SIBO but they have no kept current with their research. Make sure you or your practitioner aren’t making these SIBO treatment sabotaging mistakes.
Not all SIBO is created equal. In the future, what we currently call SIBO may actually be categorized into many distinct conditions. Our knowledge of SIBO is new and we are learning more about it every single day. The type of SIBO you have entirely affects the protocol you decide to do. Currently, we know of three different types of SIBO; methane dominant, hydrogen dominant and hydrogen sulfide dominant.
We have the ability to test for methane and hydrogen but not for hydrogen sulfide. In order to effectively remove your SIBO and experience results, you need to know which one you have or if you have both.
The best testing method is a 180 minute lactulose breath test. Labs that I use for this are Biohealth Labs, Commonwealth Labs and Sage SIBO Lab in Canada.
This is a very common one. SIBO is not a lone ranger. In most cases is does not travel alone. Parasites are often one of the primary causes of a SIBO infection. How? An acute parasite infection, such as traveller’s diarrhea or gastroenteritis, can paralyze the Migrating Motor Complex (MMC). The MMC is a flowing motion that occurs multiple times in a day that essetially “flushes” bacteria back down the intestine and prevents it from moving upwards. In a healthy person the MMC occurs up to 40 times per day. If the MMC has been paralyzed it may only occur a few times a day.
Since parasites are often the cause of SIBO, they need to be addressed first. This is one of the more common reasons that SIBO continues to come back after treatment.
I have encountered many clients who have been tested for SIBO and are currently doing multiple SIBO protocols but their practitioner never ran testing for other GI infections. They are unlikely to have success.
Additionally, the symptoms of SIBO are often identical for other GI infections. If you don’t address these infections, your symptoms will persist and you may never get rid of the SIBO.
Don’t agree to a SIBO test before testing the large intestine first. My favorite test is the Diagnostics Solutions Lab GI-MAP which is fantastic for identifying parasite and other infections.
SIBO is hard to to get rid of in many people. Some studies have shown that relapse rates for SIBO are as high as 50%. Expecting a single round to be all you need may lead to disappointment, depending on the severity of your condition.
SIBO is about getting the levels of bacterial down to a point where they are no longer an ‘overgrowth’. The amount of treatment you need will depend on the level of gas being produced and how well you respond to treatment.
It is crucial that you re-test immediately after treatment. If you still have an overgrowth but your gas levels have decreased, that’s a sign that your treatment protocol is working and you just need to do it for longer.
If you don’t see an improvement in your gas levels, you need to change course. If you have been doing a herbal protocol, antibiotics or an elemental diet may be a better choice.
Stick with the protocol until the test tells you the SIBO is gone.
This is most common among clients trying to treat themselves without the help of a skilled SIBO practitioner. Many people know that the FODMAPS diet is the most commonly used diet to treat SIBO.
What many people don’t realize is that you need to be strategic with the FODMAPS diet. Most people consume a FODMAPS diet during their treatment protocol. This is a huge mistake.
Eating a low FODMAPS diet essentially starves the overgrowth. Starving the SIBO bacteria can make them go dormant which means that the herbs or antibiotics you take don’t work. Treatment will not work on dormant bacteria.
For this reason it is important to consume some fermentable carbohydrates during the treatment protocol. The FODMAPS diet should be employed after the SIBO has been eradicated In which case it will need to be followed for at least 3 months.
SIBO is a much more complex condition than simply too much bacteria in the small intestine. By treating SIBO like other infections, many practitioners fail to address the reason a person became infected with SIBO to begin with.
In my experience there are three things that need to be addressed in order to prevent re-infection:
If you are a health practitioner and you want to know my exact step-by-step process that I use when it comes to treating clients with SIBO, check out my 3-Part A-Z SIBO Series. Check out Video 1!
Having healthy digestion is crucial to feeling awesome. When digestion is working as it should, you feel energized, you have great sleeps and you easily maintain a healthy weight.
The digestive system is the way in which your body breaks down food, assimilates nutrients and eliminates waste out of the body.
Unfortunately so many people struggle with gut problems. Whether its gas, bloating, diarrhea or constipation, these issues are becoming more and more prevalent in today’s world.
As a health practitioner, gut healing is a main focus of the work I do with clients to re-establish health, especially when hormones are out of whack. Gut problems play a huge role in hormone imbalance. When a client comes to me with hormone imbalance, I always start by looking at gut health.
Many of the clients I work with are already educated about gut health. They are doing all the staple things to improve their digestive health. They drink bone broth. They take probiotics. The consume digestive enzymes and eat a healthy, whole foods diet.
Despite their best efforts, their guts are no closer to being healthy. No matter what they do, their guts are still a total mess. They still experience constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and abdominal pain. It is extremely debilitating and interferes with their lives.
I have found the missing link in gut health to be the presence of pathogenic GI infections. This might include parasites but can also include bacteria, yeast, worms or even viruses. A parasite is actually just one of the many organism that could be inhabiting your digestive track and promoting inflammation.
We all know what it’s like to pick up a stomach bug. Maybe you ate something questionable or are travelling in a foreign country and you get those initial food poisoning symptoms of diarrhea and abdominal pain. This is what is called an acute infection.
The problem that leads to long term gut problems tends to be low grade chronic infections. These are infections that we contract and our immune system deals with to a certain point but they are not fully eradicated from the system. They continue to exist in smaller amounts and cause chronic inflammation and over stimulation of the immune system.
Your immune system works hard to keep these things in check so they do not take over but this can lead to extreme fatigue, poor sleep quality and inflammation. You can imagine how many resources your body would need to keep these things in check. You suffer as a result. You may experience alternating constipation and diarrhea in between periods of normal bowel movements. You may also experience chronic low energy, brain fog, anxiety or depression.
If you have experienced chronic digestive issues despite cleaning up your diet and actively trying to heal your gut, an infection may be to blame.
I don’t believe these infections are the root cause of illness. I believe that our digestive systems become unhealthy due to exposure to toxins, stress, drugs and alcohol and this compromises the gut mucosal barrier system.
The gut is lined with an intricate barrier system which separates your GI tract from your bloodstream. You can imagine that you would not want everything you eat to end up in your blood.
The lining of your gut is selectively permeable. Some things can get through (ie. vitamins, minerals, nutrients) and some things are blocked out (ie. viruses, pathogens and toxins). Our constant exposure to toxins, chemicals, food additives and stress can not only create inflammation in this barrier system, causing it to breakdown physically, but it can also cause communication problems, that lead to malfunction.
The result is that the intestinal barrier begins to malfunction, allowing not only inappropriate things to leak into the bloodstream but also impacts the immune system and breaks down our defenses. The result is we become more easily infected with pathogenic organisms and physically we may experience more frequent illness, like colds and flus. A situation such as this is called, Leaky Gut Syndrome.
Many people are unaware of how common this is. I frequently find multiple pathogenic species in one person. If you would like to learn more about my journey with serious GI infections, check out this blog post.
Infections can absolutely destroy your digestive system. Not only do they stimulate the immune system, causing inflammation but they also produce excessive amounts of toxins. The toxic load stresses out the liver, causing congestion.
A liver that is overloaded with toxins, is unable to do its other important jobs like clearing excess hormones from the blood and converting thyroid hormones into energy. This can have serious implications for your adrenal and thyroid health, not to mention the effect it can have on your skin (acne, eczema or dermatitis).
Infections are huge blocking factors when it comes to healing. If you have had the experience of doing all the right things for your health but are still feeling terrible then this is definitely something to consider.
Store bought parasite and Candida cleanses are common. I see these lining the shelves of my local health food store. Many people do one of these 2-3 weeks kits and think they’re “good.”
Unfortunately 2-3 weeks is not nearly enough time to clear many of these infections. These kits also fail to address the reason one’s gut may have become unhealthy to begin with. If you do not change these reasons, then you will likely become re-infected or infected with some other pathogenic organism.
Not knowing what organism you might be infected with is another huge issue. Many of these infections share the same symptoms. Many people think they have Candida, because they have sugar cravings, a white tongue or extreme fatigue. But these symptoms are also common of parasitic and bacterial infections.
Certain infections do not stay put in the intestine. They travel outside to other areas of the body like the brain, gallbladder, liver and lungs. Infections that exist outside the intestine do not respond well to botanical formulas. In some cases, antibiotics are necessary. Read more about my experience taking antibiotics to treat a potentially fatal parasitic infection.
I have run hundreds of Gastrointestinal Pathogen screens on clients and students and it is rare that they come up clean. In one person it is not uncommon to find parasites, bacteria and yeast infections all at once.
Do you want to know whether or not you have a Gastrointestinal infection? Get my free quiz below:
Leaky gut syndrome is common these days. It is a condition where the barrier system that protects the blood from the digestive tract becomes dysfunctional.
When a person is healthy, this barrier prevents certain things from reaching the blood stream. These include viruses, parasites, undigested foods and toxins. When the lining breaks down, inappropriate things begin to enter the blood stream where they can cause an inappropriate immune response and lead to inflammation.
Leaky gut is involved in food sensitivities, allergies and autoimmune conditions. If you want to learn more about leaky gut, click here.
I discover unhealthy guts in almost all of my clients. Gut dysfunction is something I always test for because it is so common. When the gut is unhealthy it can lead to a whole host of issues including blood sugar imbalances, neurotransmitter deficiencies, mood disorders, chronic fatigue and problems sleeping.
Gut health is a hot topic and people are always asking me how they can heal their guts. It isn’t always an easy task but success starts with having the proper information.
1. EAT AN INFLAMMATION REDUCING DIET
If you want to heal your gut, you need to reduce inflammation coming into the body. This starts with diet. Many foods we eat are inflammatory and can do some serious damage.
Some of the biggest culprits are refined and processed foods, gluten, polyunsaturated oils, alcohol, sugar, conventional meat and dairy products, grains and GMO foods.
Start by pulling these inflammatory foods out of your diet. Make sure to eat a diet that includes lots of organic vegetables, pastured eggs, free-range meat, healthy fats, herbs and spices.
The diet I most frequently recommend to my clients with gut issues is the Paleo diet. This diet omits much of the foods listed above and is high in protein which is critical for gut repair.
In situations where gut damage is more severe, I recommend the Autoimmune Paleo Protocol (AIP) which goes further to eliminate nuts and seeds and eggs. This can be very therapeutic for people suffering from autoimmune conditions. Here is a great resource for the AIP diet.
2. IDENTIFYING FOOD SENSITIVITIES
When the gut is damaged seemingly healthy foods can actually be quite irritating. The more unhealthy the gut is, the more food sensitivities you will have. These sensitivities are different for each person.
They can be hard to pinpoint since reactions to are often delayed up to 7 days. If the Paleo or AIP diet isn’t giving you the results you need, I recommend testing for food sensitives.
Many practitioners use an IgG food sensitivity panel to look for suspect foods. Personally, I am not a fan of this type of testing. In my personal research, I have not found many good scientific studies validating this type of testing. There is a lot of debate between practitioners and I have yet to make a definitive opinion on the matter
3. REDUCE MENTAL & EMOTIONAL STRESS
Stress is one of the main causes of leaky gut. How? When you are stressed, your body moves all your energy from rest and digest processes and into the skeletal and muscular system. This allows you to fight or flight from a dangerous situation.
Our stress system does not differentiate between different types of stressors. There is only one stress response.
If you have a stress response and you have food in your intestinal tract, it stops being digested. It is left to sit in your intestine where it is acted upon by bacteria and is fermented. This fermentation can damage the gut and produce toxins which then clogs up the liver. And if your stressed your body isn’t detoxifying either. This can lead to toxic build up and more damage to the gut.
We have a lot of stress these days and learning how to manage it is paramount to healing your leaky gut syndrome.
4. IDENTIFY PATHOGENIC INFECTIONS
Ongoing chronic infections are one the biggest blocking factors in achieving a healthy gut.
Most people think they are immune to infections because they haven’t done any international travel but unfortunately you can acquire infections even in countries like Canada or the United States.
We are exposed to different types of infections from parasites, bacteria and yeast on a regular basis. These things come from food contamination, unclean drinking water (some types of parasites can resist chlorination) or from poor hygiene practices.
The majority of your immune system in your digestive tract. When your gut is healthy, your immune system works well. When the gut gets dysfunctional, opportunistic species can easily make their home in your intestines. Some pathogenic species can travel outside the gut to other areas of the body.
Unfriendly microorganisms can cause toxic build up, inflammation and can prevent you from absorbing nutrients from the healthy diet you are eating. Just keeping these organisms in check is stressful to the body. Your body works hard to control pathogens and it drains your energy levels.
Chronic infections also lead to elevated cortisol which can suppress your immune system, cause insulin resistance, inhibit weight loss efforts and deplete your sex hormones.
Even people who do not experience typical digestive symptoms may still have infections. I find them in over 90% of the people I test, even those who claim good digestion status.
If you do not identify and eradicate infections, inflammation will continue and will perpetuate the leaky gut situation. My favorite test for identifying GI Pathogens at the moment is the Diagnostics Solutions Lab GI-MAP. Find out more about my experience with this test and how it helped me identify some dangerous infections in my own gut.
5. STIMULATE DIGESTION
Undigested food promotes bacterial overgrowth and fermentation, both things will contribute to leaky gut syndrome.
During any gut healing protocol, I recommend high quality digestive enzymes. The enzyme you choose should contain a broad spectrum of enzymes. It should also contain HCL (for protein breakdown) and ox-bile (for breakdown of fats).
Currently my favorite product for gut healing is DSL GI-MAP I mentioned above since it measures levels of gut microflora.
If you do not know your status, I recommend using a high quality multi-strain probiotic. You should take these at bed time and make sure to take them 2 hours away from food and any supplements that contain anti-microbial, anti-fungal or anti-parasitic qualities.
Currently my favorite probiotic products are Megasporbiotic and
Collagen is my new favorite thing. I’m totally stoked on it. Wanna know why?!
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body. It can be found in bones, muscles, skin and tendons. You can think of it like the “glue” that holds everything together. It gives skin it’s elasticity and repairs damaged tissues.
When collagen production starts to decline, you notice wrinkles, saggy skin and weak cartilage. Aging is a process that contributes to collagen breakdown but other things like sugar consumption, excessive sun exposure and smoking cigarettes can also cause collagen to break down at a faster rate. This is why it’s not only important to consider adding collagen into your body but also to consider the lifestyle factors which may be reducing your collagen levels.
Collagen and gelatin are often used interchangeably. Gelatin is actually derived from collagen. When collagen breaks down it becomes gelatin. You might know about my intense love for bone broth. I just love the stuff. I may be a bit of a broth pusher. Bones contain loads of collagen and when you cook broth, that collagen turns to gelatin. You know that jiggly stuff that look like jello? That’s gelatin. You may think it’s gross but I think it’s beautiful.
Collagen is packed full of amino acids like arginine, glutamine, glycine and proline. These are “nonessential” amino acids which means your body makes them on its own but when you are sick, stressed or unhealthy, your body becomes less efficient at producing these important amino acids.
These “nonessential” amino acids are critical to having a healthy body. Without them things don’t run smoothly. For example, proline helps release fat build up in the blood stream. This is crucial for keeping arteries clean maintaining heart health.
Glutamine plays a decisive role in keeping the acid-alkaline balance in the body. It is also needed for muscle recovery and keeping the skin firm.
Glycine makes sure the cells function properly and builds healthy DNA strands. It also helps create creatinine which boosts muscle production and sustains healthy energy levels
Collagen is important stuff. Without it you would be a saggy, floppy, weak, exhausted sorry excuse for a human being. And that’s not sexy!
I don’t mean to alarm you but as you read this your collagen production is slowly declining! That means you are slowly getting looser skin and more wrinkles. Ark! Taking collagen can help slow this process and keep your skin looking smoother, tighter and more radiant. It can also keep your hair strong and healthy. Extra collagen can enhance cell renewal and repair which means quicker wound and scar healing.
If you have noticed your body getting stiffer as you age, collagen deficiency may be your problem. Too little collagen can also lead to swollen joints that prevent you from doing all those awesome activities that you love.
Ingesting extra collagen can reduce your risk of joint deterioration, bring down joint pain and help your joints glide more easily. There is research that shows that collagen can also help with osteoarthritis.
Leaky gut is a condition where the gut is broken down and inflamed. Food, toxins and pathogens can easily move into the bloodstream. The result is ongoing immune reactions that can lead to chronic inflammation, allergies and so many other symptoms.
If you suffer from this syndrome, collagen can be super helpful. It is fantastic at repairing and generating gut cells which can heal the damaged lining of the gut and prevent particles from leaking into the blood.
Collagen also helps your gut absorb more water which can keep things moving and help you produce that perfect morning poop (you know, the one that is so fabulous that you want to take a picture of it and show it to your friends!
You can boost your metabolism by adding extra collagen into your diet. Glycine, a component of collagen, can help move sugar out of the cells to increases energy levels. Glycine also plays a role in muscle development. More collagens equals more muscles! Da beach is dat way!
Do you have weak nails that split and peel easily? You may be lacking collagen. Do you have unhealthy teeth that are dull and susceptible to cavities? Again, it could be collagen! Supplementing with collagen can keep your teeth healthy and keep your nails strong.
Detoxification is a process that your body is continually doing. Sometimes the liver absorbs foreign substances that can be damaging. The glycine component of collagen can help minimize damage to your liver. If you’re looking to detox, collagen is extremely helpful. That’s because glycine helps minimize damage to your liver. Since we are constantly being exposed to toxins, no matter where we live in the world, having a well functioning liver is important for overall health and avoiding chronic disease.
When skin loses its elasticity as a result of decreased collagen, it can make cellulite more visible. When you lack collagen, your skin becomes thinner and cellulite is more obvious. Taking collagen may be the most important thing for reducing cellulite. Of course, this also needs to be combined with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Collagen is no magic pill but it can be extremely helpful in ridding yourself of this annoying problem.
Collagen was a huge component of ancestral diets. Since primitive people ate the whole animal including skin, tendon, ligaments and bones, they were constantly exposed to collagen. These days we stick to boneless muscle meats which means we don’t get nearly as much collagen as our ancestors did.
My favorite way to get more collagen is by consuming bone broth. I have an intimate relationship with bone broth. Click here to see my super awesome bone broth recipe. You can use bone broth for cooking or just drink it hot and salted in your favorite mug.
Anytime you cook a turkey or a chicken, keep the carcass and turn it into broth. You can also get bones inexpensively from your local butcher.
If you want to keep things simple, you can take collagen supplements. It’s important that you get collagen powder from grass-fed, naturally raised cows. Make sure they are free of antibiotics and hormones. Collagen powder is easy to take. It mixes into any liquid (hot or cold) and has no noticeable flavor. I drink collagen every morning in my tea or sometimes in a smoothie.