HEALTH AT EVERY SIZE
Health at Every Size - these are the buzz words around the internet these days. Are you healthy? Do you want to be healthier?
What is health? The World Health Organization defined health in its broader sense in 1946 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". Being healthier doesn't mean losing weight. To you it might mean:
- eating better (such as reducing processed foods)
- exercising/moving more
- stopping smoking
- working on that depression
We are very happy to announce that we have a Registered Dietician on staff who will be writing our Health At Every Size series as well as answering a reader's question each month. You can read about Shari's philosophy and experience on our staff page. If you have a question for Shari, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disclaimer: This advice is not intended to be a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical, health or nutritional advice.
Is an unhealthy gut behind some of your health issues?
Did you know that our gastrointestinal system is home to more than 400 different species of good bacteria? In fact, friendly bacteria which prevent pathogens (harmful bacteria) from multiplying in the gut make up more than 75% of our immune system! So, if this delicate gut ecology gets disrupted, so will your overall health. Keep reading to find out more.
Having an excess of bad bacteria in the gut can cause the following:
I guess this may sound like Sci-Fi but hear me out: researchers have found that pathogens create inflammation in the gut - this promotes the release of inflammatory cytokines in the blood. These substances are able to cross the blood-brain barrier where they induce inflammation in the brain, creating symptoms of depression.
- Body Weight Issues
Inflammation in the brain also paves the way for leptin resistance. Since the hormone leptin induces satiety and tells the brain to burn body fat for energy, leptin resistance makes it harder to lose weight by making you hungrier and making it harder for your body to burn fat.
That's not all; a group of bacteria known as firmicutes are very effective at extracting calories from food and storing them as fat. In other words, having an excess of firmicutes in the gut will cause more of the food consumed to be converted into fat.
- Increased risks for the metabolic syndrome
The metabolic syndrome refers to a cluster of conditions, such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, accumulation of fat around the organs and abnormal lipid profiles, which occur together, increasing your risks of diabetes and heart disease.
Recent research now indicates that an altered gut flora can promote low-grade inflammation as well as the metabolic syndrome.
- Higher risks of heart disease
Since they promote low-grade chronic inflammation, pathogens can increase the risks for heart disease by:
- Oxidizing LDL-cholesterol molecules.
- Promoting inflammation in the kidneys, thus increasing blood pressure.
- Increased acne
Did you know that your skin is the window to your gut and liver? Over a hundred years ago, dermatologists Drs. Stokes and Pillsbury directly linked skin inflammation to changes in the microbes and bacteria present in the gut. In fact, a damaged gut can:
- Disrupt your hormonal balance and increase your skin's oil production.
- Inflame the skin by decreasing its natural production of antimicrobial substances.
- Reduce your stomach's acid production affecting digestion and decreasing nutrient supply to your skin cells.
- Bad breath and dental issues
Unbalanced bacterial flora in the mouth has been linked to increased risks of cavity formation, gingival inflammation and bad breath.
In next month's issue, you'll discover what alters the gut flora and what you can do about it. If you have any questions or suggestions for future topics, feel free to contact me on my Facebook page.
Submitted by: Shari
Feel free to post about your own journey with Health At Every Size, any questions you may have or suggestions for future topics on our Facebook page or our Forums. Shari also has her own Facebook page .