13 Surprising benefits of improving your gut health

functional wellness Apr 11, 2024
Improving Gut Health

Most people associate poor gut health with digestive symptoms like heart burn, bloating, gas, cramping, constipation, diarrhea and nausea.

What many don’t realize is that poor gut health can be a root cause of their anxiety, cravings, irritability, inability to lose weight, lack of focus, skin issues, fatigue, headaches and allergies.

None of these are digestive symptoms but they are often tied to the health of our gut.

There are 3 important factors to understand when it comes to gut health and its impact on our overall health:

  1. Poor digestion and absorption leads to nutrient deficiencies.  No matter how clean and nutrient dense our diet, we can’t absorb and utilize nutrients from food we don’t digest.  Nutrient deficiencies mean that important organs and systems in our body are not getting the vitamins, minerals and building blocks they need to repair and operate effectively.  Poor recovery and function leads to symptoms (our body is telling us something is off). 
  2. Poor digestion damages the gut lining and promotes an over-reactive immune system.  Damage to the gut lining leads to “leaky gut” (more permeable lining) allowing large food particles to be absorbed into the blood stream.  The body’s immune system doesn’t recognize the food at this size and treats it as a foreign invader.  The immune system mounts an immune attack leading to inflammation and damage to cells and tissues.  When the immune system is chronically fighting the foods we are eating it can lead to chronic inflammation in the brain, the skin, the joints, etc. and can eventually trigger an autoimmune condition.
  3. Poor digestion and a damaged gut lining can lead to microbiome imbalances.  When our food isn’t digested, or moved through the digestive tract properly, opportunistic bacteria can overgrow as it feeds on the plethora of food available to them (because we haven’t absorbed it).  Parasites that come in through our food and water can more easily create a home in our gut, especially if our stomach acid levels are low (yes, stomach acid is actually a defense mechanism).  Parasites and bacteria overgrowth can cause a whole host of problems from nutrient deficiencies (since they are consuming our nutrients) to chronic inflammation (because our immune system is trying to get rid of them and can’t).  They can cause our bowels to move slower so we are not detoxing well (bowel movements are our main detox pathway) or they cause them to move too fast so we are not absorbing nutrients (because our food is moving too quickly through our system).

When clients come to me with non gut specific symptoms, I still begin with an assessment of their gut health through questionnaires, health history, and most times a comprehensive functional gut lab.

My clients are often surprised and delighted to experience the following benefits when they work on improving their gut health:

  1.  A boost in their mood (90% of serotonin and 50% of dopamine lies in the gut)
  2.  Fewer colds & flus (60% of our immunity is in the gut)
  3.  A reduction in food cravings
  4.  Weight loss
  5.  Increased focus and mental clarity
  6.  Fewer breakouts, rashes or hives
  7.  Reduction in seasonal allergies
  8.  Less severe or no headaches
  9.  Fewer yeast or fungal infections
  10.  Reduced inflammation, muscle and joint pain
  11.  Less anxiety, depression, irritability and overwhelm
  12.  A boost in overall energy
  13.  Better sleep

With our gut being an intricate part of our overall health and well-being, we owe it to ourselves to take a look inside our gut to see what our body is battling daily and how well we are digesting our food.

If you could know what was going on inside your digestive system, wouldn’t you want to know?

As part of my "Reclaim Your Health" program I order my clients a comprehensive digestive and gut health lab so that we can know the health of their gut.

With this information I build a protocol consisting of foods, therapeutic supplements, and digestive hygiene practices to help my clients repair, reboot and rebalance their gut so that they resolve their symptoms (digestive and non-digestive) and get back to "doing their thang".

Here's where my program goes beyond just handing you a protocol and sending you on your way.

I provide you with specific, bio-individual tools, recipes, menus, and resources to make it easier for you follow your protocol.

 I check in with you weekly via live sessions, and then bi-weekly after you build momentum.  You have access to me through a private messenger app as well as email to help you trouble shoot, adjust your plan, and encourage you along the way between live session.

If you are struggling with health symptoms and want to take a holistic approach to healing, I’m your person!

No need to continue on this journey alone, let’s get you started today!

Book a free discovery session with me so we can discuss your health concerns, where you want to go and how nutritional therapy, and working with me, can help you resolve your IBS (or other health symptoms) so that you can get back to living your best life!


Heather Glenn, FNTP, RWP, HHC



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