How a Healthy Gut Gives You More Energy
Many of us lead hectic lives and a deficit in energy only makes things worse. Get the kids to school, crush a work day, get the kids home, get everyone fed, work out, accomplish things around the house, get some (quality) sleep, rinse and repeat. When we’re not at our best, it shows to ourselves and the people around us. Maybe we don’t look put together and start to lose hard earned respect from others. Worse, maybe our performance at work suffers and we really start to slip. Our subconscious will keep tabs on these issues and start to send us notifications of our failures in the form of super unhelpful fatigue and negative emotion. The process can quickly spiral into a negative feedback loop.
An Issue in Disguise
There are innumerable potential causes of a lack of energy. That being said, one of the most overlooked and common causes is an unhealthy gut. When the microbiome of the gut is out of balance it can contribute to both physiological and psychological fatigue. This means that your body may be lacking the building blocks it needs to properly fuel your body. Not only that, it can also be lacking the neurotransmitters necessary to motivate your mind to use that fuel. All because the microorganisms in your intestines are out of whack, one of the last things most of us would suspect.
The Function of a Healthy Gut
A healthy gut is a poster-child symbiotic relationship between species. Our bodies act as shelter and food source for the microorganisms that make our survival possible. In return, these microorganisms handle the following array of tasks for us.
- Ward of yeast and unwanted bacteria.
- Reduce toxins and carcinogens.
- Assist with the digestion of certain nutrients.
- Reduce biomarkers that lead to inflammation and autoimmune disorders.
- Reduce biomarkers that lead to mental health disorders.
Signs of an Unhealthy Microbiome
There are some telltale signs that accompany an imbalance in your body’s microbiome. If you suffer from the following ailments, it might be worth trying to correct your gut health.
- Chronic skin ailments like eczema, psoriasis, hives, and rashes.
- Urinary Tract Infections
- Sinus Infections
- Yeast Infections
- Crohn’s Disease
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Ulcerative Colitis
Energy and The Internal Microbiome
There are direct and indirect consequences on our energy that come from issues with gut flora. The direct consequences come in the form of basic nutrition deficiencies as well as the presence of toxins. When certain compounds are not being properly processed by the flora, they enter the bloodstream in a state that reacts negatively with the body. This reaction typically comes in the form of inflammation. However, it can also manifest an immune response that is so strong it attacks parts of the body it shouldn’t. These symptoms can leave the body operating poorly and can cause aches and pains. This all translates to a reduction in energy.
The indirect consequences are more insidious, and can have effects even more significant in the long run. Negative psychological feedback loops are extremely powerful and should be avoided like the plague. One of the effects of an unhealthy gut biome is a reduction in dopamine and serotonin production. This can lead to a level of fatigue that is extreme.
How to Make and Keep a Healthy Gut
Correcting and maintaining the issue of an unhealthy gut biome is pretty straightforward. The first step is trying to determine if there are any pathogens that need to be addressed. For example, if you have epidermal or vaginal yeast infection, this is an indicator that an overgrowth of yeast exists in the intestines. To address this, a regimen of anti-fungals will begin to kill the infection. Undecenoic acid, caprylic acid, garlic, oregano, and tea tree oil are excellent natural remedies. Warning: as this infection dies, your symptoms could worsen.
Once you have addressed potential pathogens you will want to start “seeding” your stomach with good bacteria. Fermented foods are excellent for this process. Kimchi, sauerkraut, and kombucha tea are excellent sources of good bacteria. Kefir and yogurt are also good options, however be careful to avoid anything that contains a lot of sugar. Sugar will feed “bad bacteria” and is extremely counterproductive. You can also take probiotic supplements, however they can be expensive. A good rule of thumb is to stick to products that require refrigeration OR chose a spored based probiotic, like Megaspore. Research also seems to indicate that the more organisms the better, so find products with high concentrations. Finally, probiotic supplements with a wide range of species are preferable to products that have a single species (lactobacillus acidophilus being the most common).
Keeping a healthy gut is crucial to physical and psychological well being. Allowing a problem with this facet of your health will result in crippling fatigue that can send a modern life into a downward spiral. We hope this post has shined an appropriate amount of light on a major problem. We also hope we have armed you with the cursory knowledge necessary to get and keep a healthy microbiome. Remember to always regard yourself as someone you want the best for. It’s only from that place that you can effectively help others.