The Importance of a Balanced Microbiome

80-85% of our immunity is located in our gut wall. Our microbiome is like the right hand of our immune system. If it’s compromised, then your immune system is left to do it’s job with one hand tied behind it’s back. On top of that, exposure to a whole host of toxic by-products from the opportunistic bacteria that is now dominating your gut keeps your immune system fighting an uphill battle. Eventually the gut becomes damaged and leaky, allowing invaders and undigested food to escape the gut and enter your blood stream – which your immune system also has to deal with, in addition to being malnourished, compromised, unbalanced and intoxicated. This is also how many allergies/intolerances develop. Good news is once you restore a healthy balance, those allergies/intolerances often disappear!

Here are some key reasons we must support our beneficial bacteria

1-Our healthy indigenous gut bacteria can neutralize many toxic substances (like nitrates, indoles, phenols etc), as well as chelating heavy metals and other poisons.

2-Antibiotics wipe out good and bad bacteria, but leave some microbes untouched (like Candida) allowing it opportunity to overgrow

3-Without protection from a health layer of beneficial bacteria, we become vulnerable to anything that comes along, as well as the opportunistic bacteria already present (which require management from beneficial bacteria otherwise they overgrow & wreak havoc)

4-When our beneficial bacteria is compromised, not only do we lose its protection, but also the nourishment it provides in assisting digestion, producing vitamins, hormones and neurotransmitters. Did you know our gut derives 60-70% of it’s energy from bacterial activity?

5-If our microbiome is damaged, the best foods and supplements you can buy may not be broken down, digested and absorbed.

6-Our beneficial bacteria produce a constant steady stream of K2, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, amino acids, hormones, neurotransmitters and much more. Without a healthy colony, there will be periods in the day where you’ll be deficient, even with supplementation.

So what damages out gut?

1-Antibiotics (whether prescribed, in our meat, or sprayed onto our produce)

2-Chlorine in our tap water

3-Other prescription drugs (steroids, birth control, sleeping pills, heartburn medication)

4-Diet (sugar and processed carbs support fungi, parasites and opportunistic bacteria)

5-Chronic stress

6-Environmental pollution/toxins

Our bodies are all capable of dealing with a certain level of exposure (some more than others), but every body has a breaking point, and in our current modern day lifestyle, many bodies are chronically being pushed past theirs.

If you’d like to learn more, and find out how to support your own microbiome, check out some of my other posts here & here, or book an appointment with me here.

Mental Health, Digestion and our Microbiome

It’s now widely common knowledge that our gut microbiome influences our digestion, allergies, metabolism and mental health. We’re also realizing how much our brain can influence gut health.

gut-brain

Imbalances in our gut microbiome can eventually lead to systemic inflammation including in your brain, leading to brain fog, fatigue, anxiety, depression and so much more. Going in the other direction, stress (whether conscious or not, acute or chronic) inhibits our digestive function, leading to nutritional deficiencies and an imbalanced microbiome.Continue reading

What kind of Nutritionist Am I?

As a Holistic Nutritionist, I am trained to evaluate your main health concerns and/or goals, assess your symptoms and investigate the root causes that could be affecting your ability to achieve these health goals.

For example: Do you have acne or other skin issues? Instead of recommending creams and cleansers to help manage them, I investigate possible root causes such as food sensitivities, stress, hormonal imbalances and gut health, and nourish your systems through different holistic recommendations.Continue reading

Sweet Potato Nachos

If you follow my blog posts, you’ll know that I recently had some allergy testing done over at Life Labs on O’Connor. One of the foods I scored high for was corn (which surprised me) and left me wondering how I would manage my love of nachos. I also scored moderately high for wheat so basically all nacho chips are off limits for me.

Luckily, I figured out a pretty delicious (and healthy) substitute – sweet potato chips!Continue reading

11 Reasons to Hire a Holistic Nutritionist

Nutrition advice is everywhere: talk shows, newspaper headlines, news feeds, personal trainers, friends, and even family members. But how do you know what advice and information is accurate? It can be pretty confusing as what seemed healthy one week may be considered unhealthy the next. This is one of the many reasons you should hire a nutritionist – to help you sort out the fact from the fiction.

Nutrition and lifestyle changes have an incredible impact on your overall well being when you make small modifications over time (not all at once). I’ve seen people heal their digestive problems, overcome emotional eating, and no longer need medication for heartburn, anxiety or depression. I’ve seen people become energized and vibrant simply by making small and steady changes to their diet and lifestyle.Continue reading

gut brain mind body

How our brain can influence our gut health

Inside our digestive tract lies the enteric nervous system, a complex web of neurons that links the gut to the spinal cord and brain.

Nicknamed the ‘gut-brain axis’, this connection often guides the instincts we experience deep within the belly. It also means that what’s going on in our stomachs can impact our brain function, and our thoughts, feelings and emotions can influence our digestion (including the amount of bloating, gas, diarrhea or constipation we experience).Continue reading

What is an Allergy?

Allergy today is generally misunderstood, and it’s more common than we realize. Our greatest challenge is recognizing it. Allergy is the cumulative effect of many insults to the body which, over time, have overwhelmed the body’s protective mechanisms. While dust may appear to be the cause of your runny nose, in reality it’s only the trigger that activates the symptoms in an already comprised organism.

People inherit the disposition for allergy rather than the specific allergy itself. Metabolic individuality can cause people to react very differently to various substances. What adds to the challenge is that cellular injury releases endorphins, creating a subconscious addiction to the offending foods so you can actually be craving the foods you are intolerant to (In fact, this is a good tool to use to identify what may be causing your symptoms – what do you crave all the time?).

Food allergy or intolerance can be caused by intestinal permeability, allowing undigested proteins and food particles to pass through the gut into the bloodstream causing systemic body inflammation. It is the body’s response to the foreign object that becomes the problem more than the object itself.

The Physiology – Food allergy occurs when a specific immunoglobulin antibody (blood proteins produced in response to an allergen or toxin) reacts to a foreign object (the allergen) that is found in our bloodstream, causing our immune system to react abnormally whenever exposed. Our Ig (immunoglobulin) antibodies work to identify triggers that could be harmful to the body, and tell the body to release histamine. Histamine causes your blood vessels to swell or dilate, so that your white blood cells can quickly find and attack the infection or problem.

What causes Allergy?

  1. Allergy appears when the accumulation of toxic substances leads to metabolic overload (when your body can no longer keep up).
  2. Nutritional deficiencies further stress the immune system leading to vulnerability of developing allergy.
  3. Chronic infections heavily contribute to the production to allergic symptoms. Infection of the intestine can make it’s lining more permeable to undigested food particles, which end up in your bloodstream & produce allergic symptoms.
  4. Toxins produced by Candida (including acetaldehyde, carbon monoxide & alcohol) also play a major role in allergy as well.
  5. Stress is any form, whether emotional, physical, chemical, or environmental will also contribute to allergy by weakening your immune system and adding to your metabolic overload. 
Literally any symptom which your body is capable of producing can be of allergenic origin. Due to the vast array of possible symptoms as well as causes (food, chemicals, or inhalants), food allergies are a difficulty topic of study from a scientific standpoint. How do you study a substance that causes headaches in one person, rashes in another and depression in yet another, while the majority of people experience no symptoms at all? Most laboratory blood tests deal primarily with the antibody IgE and don’t screen for reactions involving the IgG, IgA, or IgM antibodies. Food journals are a great way to spot the patterns and pinpoint possible suspects.
In holistic nutrition, we’re always trying to get to the root of the problem and address it at that level, rather than simply suppressing symptoms. Imagine you had a stone in your shoe causing you pain in your foot. Would you take painkillers to relieve your pain, or take off your shoe and remove the stone?
Self empowerment through personal responsibility is key. The primary sources of prolonged/chronic trauma and irritation to the body are habits, lifestyle and beliefs. For example, getting drunk regularly is a source of chronic irritation to the body, as the body tries to compensate for mineral loss, lack of oxygen and toxicity to the liver. If it continues long enough, the body will fall out of balance and symptoms of dis-ease will begin to appear. Symptoms are the body’s message to you that it is struggling to cope with it’s environment.
If you suspect you may be suffering from a possible allergy, I can help you get on the path to healing. Although change may seem intimidating or uncomfortable, with the right support it can be fun and exciting! The end goal is not permanent avoidance, but only temporary avoidance while we support the healing of the intestine. Intestinal permeability is typically how it all started in the first place.
I encourage you to take the next step and reach out to me so we can get started! You can book an appointment with me at Sage Wellness or you can call Sage at 613.235.7243

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