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By Jaimee Damon | Image credit: @bensasso
We asked gut health and bloating expert, Rachel Larsson to share five clues that our gut is out of whack.
“Some people normalise gut symptoms, but they’re not normal – if these symptoms are quite profound in your life, the gut is trying to tell you something,” says Rachel.
“Bloating is one that gets normalised all the time. If you’re eating a normal meal like salad or stir fry and you’re getting bloated, you need to look into it,” says Rachel.
Bloating is a sign that your food isn’t getting digested properly, and often related to bacterial or enzyme imbalance.
“(Irregular) bowel motions also get normalised a lot – no one talks about their poo!” says Rachel.
Rachel says we want to have a daily bowel motion – and you want a nicely formed stool that isn’t messy or loose.
Food intolerances or reactions to food are a common clue there’s a gut issue.
Common triggers are garlic, onion, wheat, dairy, dried and natural fruit, lentils and beans, and the reactions can present as headaches, ongoing fatigue, flatulence, diarrhoea or constipation.
“Our body is supposed to be able to digest these (foods) – when it doesn’t, it is suggestive that there’s some sort of imbalance in the gut,” says Rachel.
If this sounds like you, then rejoice – Rachel says intolerances can be overcome so you can once again enjoy more variety of foods.
Scratching your head as to why you’re experiencing a B12 or iron deficiency? Consider that it might have something to do with your gut.
“People say to me ‘I eat meat, I take iron tablets, why don’t I have good iron?” says Rachel.
“It’s not necessarily because of what you’re consuming, but more an issue in the gut from an absorption perspective.”
Iron is sometimes unable to be absorbed in the gut due to inflammation or a bacteria imbalance. Similarly, having good quality stomach acid is important for B12 absorption. If the stomach acid isn’t strong enough, it can’t break down B12 to an absorbable form.
If supplements or a conscious effort to consume iron or B12 in your diet doesn’t seem to be fixing the deficiencies, there could be gut related issues to explore with an expert.
Eczema, acne, rosacea, dermatitis – there will often be a gut link with all of these conditions.
“There’s a really big gut-skin connection for a lot of different reasons, and I think it comes down to the many roles that the gut has,” says Rachel.
“The gut can be a source of inflammation, immune dysfunction, issues with detoxification, and all of these (depending on the person) can present as a skin issue.”
Achieving clear, luminous skin can start with seeking answers deeper than the surface.
So what do you do if you feel that you’re experiencing gut related issues? Speak to an expert, there is different gut testing available to understand exactly why the gut is out of whack.
Rachel Larsson is a naturopath, nutritionist and holistic gut health expert. She has a love for treating bloating, food intolerances, leaky gut and all gut based issues. Rachel is passionate about helping people who feel lost and confused by the healthcare system, to overcome bloating and gut health issues, so they can live their best and most confident lives.
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