☰ open

Why Gut Health Is Important

Researchers are discovering everyday how important gut function is to all aspects of the body. Approximately 100 trillion bacteria, fungi, viruses and parasites make up over 400 known diverse microbiota.1, 2 This human microbiome carries out some of the most important functions in the body, including nutrient absorption, creating vitamins, managing hormone levels, disposing of toxins, and preventing the colonization’s of pathogenic microorganisms.1 One of the most important contributions of the microbiome is to maintain the gastrointestinal barrier, which when compromised results in infections, inflammation and allergic responses.1

Genetics play a factor in the composition of the microbiota3 as well as diet, medications, chronic stress, and environmental toxins.2 Bacteria supporting digestion through enzymatic activity regulate epithelial and immune functions, reporting to the brain through the vagus nerve pathway and hormones.1 The microbiota directly affects GI function as well as behavior and neurochemical changes in the brain.1 From this research, it is understood gut health not only affects nutrient absorption, but affects our moods, how we perceive and handle stress, and immune function.

When processed, refined sugar and grains are consumed, an imbalance of the gut microbiota can occur affecting the function of multiple organs and causing an overgrowth of harmful types of bacteria and fungus’, such as Candida Albicans.3 The small intestine is semi-permeable, having small openings that allow for food and nutrients to pass or closing off to prevent harmful substances from passing into the blood stream. The protein molecule, zonulin, controls how big the openings get or how long they stay open to allow substances to pass. When the gut wall or barrier is compromised or zonulin is triggered by a substance to keep the pores open, undigested food particles and toxins enter into the blood stream or other organs, causing an immune or inflammatory response. Symptoms of leaky gut include food allergies or sensitivities, asthma, acne, psoriasis, or eczema, Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS, poor immune system, headaches, fatigue, joint pain or arthritis, nutritional deficiencies, depression, anxiety, ADD or ADHD, autoimmune diseases and thyroid problems.

The Four Steps to Repairing a Leaky Gut:

  1. Remove offending food or substances that may be damaging your health. This is why I recommend getting food sensitivity testing done or doing a food elimination diet. Gut infections, pathogenic bacteria and parasites must be removed for the gut to heal. GI-MAP testing helps rule out, and pinpoints any invaders or overgrowths of bad bacteria or funguses.

  2. Replace problematic foods and substances with nutrient dense foods and supplements that will support and improve digestion.

  3. Restore the good bacteria by eating pre-biotic and fermented foods. Probiotics and pre-biotic help change the composition of the microflora.

  4. Repair the gut by consuming bone broths, probiotics or supplementing with L- glutamine and other herbs help heal the lining and sooth inflammation in the gut.

Testing Recommended*

I recommend GI-MAP Lab testing for all my clients. This comprehensive, FDA approved test, targets pathogenic bacteria, parasites, fungi and viruses. It also measures antibiotic resistance genes, which is helpful is determining the most effective treatments for gut pathogens.

Organic acids testing or OAT takes a deeper look into gut health, mitochondrial functioning, oxalate levels, neurotransmitter balance and B vitamins. Abnormally high oxalate levels are correlated with many chronic diseases and neurological disorders such as behavioral disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue and immune function. Intestinal yeast and bacteria are also accurately evaluated.

Food sensitivity testing or food elimination testing (Gold Standard) is important in determining sensitivity or intolerances that may be causing an immune response or inflammation. Once the offending food is removed, many clients find gut symptoms resolve, sinus and skin issues clear up and an increase in energy.

*Testing is based on client needs through an individualized health assessment.


  1. Bischoff, S, C. (2011). ‘Gut health’: a new objective in medicine? BMC Medicine, 9(24). Retrieved from http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741- 7015/9/24.

  2. Kresser, C. (2016). Gut Health. Chris Kresser. Retrieved from https://chriskresser.com/gut-­‐health/.

  3. Sekirov, I., Russell, S, L., Antunes, C, M., Finlay, B, B. (2010, July). Gut microbiota in health and disease. American Physiological Society, 90. 859-904. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00045.2009.