Is Your Gut Health at the Root of Your Exhaustion and Burnout?

When was the last time you really stopped to think about your gut health?

If you’re like most people, the answer is a long pause followed by a shrug. No one thinks about their gut, especially in terms of your overall wellbeing.

But you probably think about how run down you’re feeling, your allergies are acting up, you’re reaching for antacids and ibuprofen at least once a day, and how exhausted you are, no matter how much sleep you try and get.

Those are all symptoms of a gut that’s out of balance.

Why Gut Health Matters

For centuries, doctors and medical researchers thought the only purpose of the gut was to break down food, extract nutrients, and move waste along. Not a turn on, but definitely important.

But the past few years, you’ve probably heard more about gut microbiome (or gut flora). This is not only the good bacteria that breaks down food, it’s also what keeps bad bacteria in check, controls blood sugar, and is where 70 percent of your immune health is located. So, if your gut bacteria is out of balance, your whole body is going to get out of whack.

Signs of Gut Microbiome Imbalance

So how do you know if your gut microbiome is at the right levels? If you’re suffering from these symptoms on a regular (more than weekly) basis, you may need to address your gut health:

  • Digestive problems - Bloating, gas, constipation, heartburn (remember those antacids?) are a major sign.

  • Unexplained weight gain and sugar cravings - Because your gut plays a major role in insulin sensitivity, if something is out of balance, your body may be getting the mixed messages to produce more insulin than is needed, which leads to sugar cravings and your body converting more sugar to fat, leading to weight gain   

  • Fatigue (Both physical AND mental) and Mood Instability - Tossing and turning all night, feeling uncharacteristically glum or short-tempered? Serotonin, the neurotransmitter responsible for helping with sleep and mood is nearly all housed in the gut, so when the gut is out of balance, your serotonin is, too.

Chronic Inflammation & Gut Health

Many of the symptoms above, in addition to rashes and joint pain, are signs of chronic inflammation in the body. The most common cause of chronic inflammation is due to intestinal permeability, or  “leaky gut.” This occurs when the junctions of the intestine become damaged or loose and microscopic particles of food and waste enter the bloodstream, triggering an immune response of inflammatory cells. Near-constant release of inflammatory cells leads to chronic inflammation and increases the likelihood of autoimmune disease and cancer.

Rebuilding Your Gut

Often, food is the reason behind gut imbalance and intestinal permeability. Gluten and dairy are hard to digest, causing damage to the gut lining, while undiagnosed food sensitivities and diets high in processed foods and sugar trigger inflammation.

While how you eat got you into this mess, fortunately, how you eat can get you out of it, too. Start with eating clean, unprocessed foods, and see if you can tell a difference in how you feel. This includes:

  • Whole grains (brown rice, 100% whole wheat, quinoa, oats)

  • Fresh fruits and vegetables

  • Lean meats (preferably organic, or at least grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, and wild-caught fish)

  • Whole nuts and seeds

  • Stable sources of fat (avocados, olive oil, coconut oil, ghee)

Unlocking Your Body’s Code

If simply switching to clean eating doesn’t help, there is most likely an undiagnosed food sensitivity, allergy, or gene mutation that is leading to your health concerns. Instead of wasting your time on one elimination diet after another, consider getting a precise snapshot of your body on a genetic level and determine exactly what the cause of your health concerns are and what foods, supplements, and lifestyle options are best for your unique genetic code.

If you want to achieve peak performance and get back to being the high-energy executive you used to be, let’s talk about the Elite Health Program and see if this deep dive into your health and wellness is right for you. Click here and schedule a Free 15-minute Video Consultation, but time is limited so book soon.

Dr. James Leonette