Beyond Digestion

It all begins in the gut

The health of your gut makes deep impacts on the health of your entire body.  

2450 years ago, Hippocrates said, it all begins in the gut. I think he was smarter than even he might have imagined. Has the human condition ever really changed? Modern science confirms the gut is related to so much.

How can what goes on in the rest of your body be related to digestive health? Even mood can be reflection, or reaction of what is going on in the gut. In actual fact, the state of the gut could be the root of many chronic health issues.

Anxiety and depression can be more symptoms of ill gut health than a condition unto its own. Did you get that? Mood may very well be a reflection, a result or the health of your gastrointestinal tract. Stay tuned.

The onset of digestive and gastrointestinal issues often begin in times of grief, abuse or other major negative life events.

It is true, “that what the patient takes beyond his ability to digest does him harm” (Dr. Samuel Gee)

I like Samuel’s perspective and found that quote after years of encapsulating what I do by saying I help people better digest their food and the world around them. 

What are the common reactions when you experience something beyond your digestive capacity?

Common gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Heartburn
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain, bloating or cramping

Common coexisting mood disorders

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Attention Deficit Disorder

Common coexisting conditions related to gut health

  • Cognitive decline
  • Eczema
  • Rosacea
  • Psoriasis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • SLE/Lupus
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Polymyalgia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Autoimmune disease

Do you experience any of these? 

Your gut is your primary sensing organ. When you sample your environment, a lot of it is through your digestive tract. I argue that it is not only food we digest. We too must digest our world around us. When this becomes difficult such as in times of intense or chronic stress, our digestive processes break down. Digestion of food is only one was we digestively interact with the world.

Change the world, change your gut.

Change your gut, change your world. 

If you seek a caring professional who is a registered naturopathic doctor in Guelph with a functional medicine approach, you’ve come to the right place. Dr. Laura M. Brown, ND knows how to stimulate your body’s natural mechanisms to repair damage and rebuild health.

More and more people find deterioration in their health and have no idea why. So many chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, eczema, psoriasis, arthritis, sinusitis are around. What’s with the diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome? You have constipation, diarrhea we have no idea what’s going on so we will just tell you “it’s IBS”. It’s BS all right. Our bowels are supposed to work automatically. The only thing we are meant to worry about with passing stool is to be able hold on for a moment so we can make it to the bathroom at an appropriate time. We learned that when we were, what? Three or four. We shouldn’t have to worry about this when we are thirty-four and running kids to school, selling deals in a boardroom or going for a daily run. 

And do you know how many people are embarrassed by the results of their bathroom runs? I mean it is a normal human function we should all do once or maybe even three times a day. It should be long and smooth and brown and pass easily. Not lumpy, bumpy, bunny balls or a liquid explosion. What’s the deal? Why isn’t your gut working like it was designed to work? You think, what I am doing wrong, why do I deserve this kind of thing. You are not alone. 

Irritable bowel syndrome can be the result of many factors and can have many symptoms. Classically it involves frequent changes from loose stools to difficult to pass stools. It also may mean going 3-5 x a day, to the opposite of not having a bowel movement for days. It reaches beyond the American borders.

IBS affects 10-20% of the population worldwide.

Many don’t get the help they need. It’s not just the bathroom stuff we’re talking about.

According to the American Association of Anxiety and Depression[1][2][3][4]

  • Up to 70% of people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) are not receiving treatment.
  • Of the 30% who do seek treatment, 50-90% suffer from anxiety or depression
  • 40 million adults between 18-54 years of age seek help for anxiety[1]. That’s almost 20% of the population.  

If you are quiet enough in your own body you often already know what’s going on. The little pings. Not the crazy random wondering anxious thoughts of what might come but what’s going on right now. 

You are here right now. For a very specific reason. We learn as individuals but we also learn as a collective in our generation. By far we have advanced in what we know about digestion. By far we have wandered from a lifestyle that supports the common blueprint of our being. 

Rapidly advance in science means we know more intellectually. But we sadly fall short of the wisdom to care for our bodies. It seems the smarter our brain gets with knowledge, the farther we can get from knowing how our bodies best love us to live. Take the diet for example. Or, how we treat disease. We know way more about the effects of fats and carbohydrates and proteins than we ever have. But do we eat better? Or do we try to get away with more like a teen pushing the limits on a curfew? 

I don’t know. Seems to me it is a bit like that. There are universal guidelines that we keep trying to outsmart but it usually ends up with a swift kick in the pants. 

Did you know the drugs you take, the sleep you get, your environment, your water, your food packaging, stress and emotional landscape that surrounds you, genetics, your age, alcohol, meal timing, food quality and quantity can all affect your microbiome?

In your body’s infinite wisdom, it knows how to work. You may need to remove some obstacles, refine some habits and provide good nourishment. If you are already doing this, great. We can dive in a little deeper. If you have some aches and pains and gas and bloating, we will help with that too. You have come to the right place. By caring for the gut, you will learn to care for your entire body.  I say “we” because this takes both you and me together to make a difference. Sometimes there will be more of me, less of you. Then, as you learn how to listen to your body, and how best to respond, there will be less need for me. 

Shall we get started?

[1] accessed Sept 3, 2019

[1] Kabra N, Nadkarni A. Prevalence of depression and anxiety in irritable bowel syndrome: A clinic based study from India. Indian Journal of Psychiatry. 2013;55(1):77-80. doi:10.4103/0019-5545.105520.

[2] Lee C, Doo E, Choi JM, et al. The Increased Level of Depression and Anxiety in Irritable Bowel Syndrome Patients Compared with Healthy Controls: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility. 2017;23(3):349-362. doi:10.5056/jnm16220.

[3] Distrutti E, Monaldi L, Ricci P, Fiorucci S. Gut microbiota role in irritable bowel syndrome: New therapeutic strategies. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2016;22(7):2219-2241. doi:10.3748/wjg.v22.i7.2219.

[4] König J, and Brummer RJ. Alteration of the intestinal microbiota as a cause of and a potential therapeutic option in irritable bowel syndrome Beneficial Microbes, 2014; 5(3): 247-261. School of Health and Medical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health, Örebro University, 701 82 Örebro, Sweden; Wageningen Academic Publishers.