Leaky Gut and Covid 19

Why do some people get really sick with COVID, while others show no signs at all? It’s a question that has been baffling doctors and scientists from the start.

We found out relatively early that people with chronic health conditions (like diabetes or heart disease) are at a greater risk of serious illness and hospitalization. Then we learned that obesity (and even overweight) increases the risk.

Now we are seeing more and more evidence that there is another determining factor…

👉Gut Health 👈

Two new studies just came out to support this. Here’s what they say:

  • The composition of the gut microbiome influences the immune response and the severity of COVID infection (published in mBio)
  • Leaky gut may contribute to more severe disease and COVID (published in BMJ)

Here’s why this might be happening.

The SARS-CoV-2 virus binds to receptors on cells called ACE2. These receptors are present on the surface cells of the digestive tract as well as on internal organs. They may be the way that leaky gut allows the virus to reach a variety of internal organs and cause harm.

Because we’ve seen that the virus can damage organs that range from the kidneys to the heart to the liver to the brain. 

Here’s the message I think we need to take away from this…

Your gut health matters.

Whether or not you have ANY other health issues or conditions, you should be taking care of your gut. You do that by eating a healthy diet that is rich in vegetables and fiber. You do that by exercising. You do that by reducing stress. There are just so many ways.

And if your gut health is at all compromised, my family wellness coaching and detox programs offer an extensive toolkit to help.

5 Steps to Strengthen Heart Health

Reducing your risk of having a heart attack or stroke begins with the habits you follow every day. Here are my top 4 tips for a heart-healthy lifestyle:

  1. Get Moving. I know you’ve heard it a million times, but it’s true. Exercise improves your blood flow, helps you maintain blood sugar balance, and strengthens your heart. Natural Movement is a way to move even the body parts you don’t usually use to make them stronger.  Check out the many Natural Movement books by Katy Bowman or her Nutritious Movement Website.
  2. Eat a Healthy Diet. Make fresh fruits and vegetables the staples of your diet. Choose high-quality protein sources, like organic meats, eggs, and beans. Choose whole grains over refined carbs and sugars.
  3. Watch Your Drinks. Water should be your main source of hydration. Don’t overdo it on caffeine or alcohol, and avoid sugary drinks entirely.
  4. Reduce Stress. Stress is a major player in most chronic health issues.  Turning off devices and being outside in nature is an amazing way to reduce your stress levels.
  5. Quit Smoking. This should be number one. Smoking increases your risk not only for heart disease but many other chronic illnesses as well.

These are recommendations that can help absolutely everyone live a healthier life and support heart health. This is what I teach in my Family Wellness Coaching Programs. There are also a lot of nuances that come into play for each person. Depending on your family history, health history, and specific lifestyle, you might benefit from targeted nutritional supplements and lifestyle changes.

Are Your Gut Issues Worse After Covid?

If you feel like your IBS or other gut problems have been getting worse, it’s not your fault.

And you’re not alone.

Actually, a survey of more than 5000 people in 2020 with ‘functional digestive disorders’—meaning IBS or other nonspecific gut issues—found that the pandemic had made gut issues worse.

What seems to be happening is that the pandemic has created new types of stress. Stress has a major effect on gut function, especially in people who already have IBS or other functional gut problems.

So, what can you do?

You can’t often change the situation you are in, but you can seek out ways to handle it better. Here are a few things that can relieve stress and calm your digestion:

  • Take a breathing break. Breathe in deeply for 4 seconds, pause, and breathe out for 8 seconds. Repeat 3 times.
  • Get some exercise. Fresh air and movement can do wonders to calm both your nerves and your digestion.
  • Eat slowly. Taking the time to chew slowly and eat mindfully gives your body the signal that it is ready to rest and digest.
  • Eat/Take High Quality Probiotics, such as:

Bravo Probiotic Yogurt

Microbiome Labs Three Part Gut Restoration Program

If you are not eating a healthy, whole foods diet, this can make a big difference too. I have several coaching packages that can help you make the transition to a better way of eating.

Maybe it’s stress reduction. Maybe it’s dietary changes. Maybe it’s supplements.

If you’ve been struggling with gut symptoms that are getting out of control, I’d love to help. Please send me a message or click through to my website to schedule an appointment.

 

 

Heart Health Month – The Stairs Test

Let’s get practical here. Not everybody needs extensive medical testing to evaluate their heart health. But everyone should have ways to check on how they’re doing.

So, here’s a quick way to check your heart health.

👉The Stairs Test 👈

Set a stopwatch and start climbing stairs. Climb at a fast pace without stopping, but don’t run. If it takes you more than 90 seconds to climb 4 flights of stairs (60 stairs), your heart health may not be at its best.

This comes from research presented at the European Society of Cardiology conference in 2020. They cited a study that showed the stairs test correlated with results from more advanced tests of heart health.

So, if you have access to 4 flights of stairs, give it a try. If it takes you too long, it may be time to see a naturopath to improve your heart health..

What To Expect

Functional Nutrition can seem a bit mysterious to some people. Maybe you’ve been curious about what to expect but hesitant to take the leap.

I wanted to take a minute to fill you in on what the experience is like when you become a client with me.

First of all, here are some of the conditions I have a lot of success in helping with:
● Gut issues
● Hormone Imbalances
● Lack of Energy

Basically, I specialize in helping people get to the root causes of their health issues.

The process goes like this:

1. Request an appointment
2. Allow me to create a customized plan of action
3. We work together to get you feeling healthy

Once we do these 3 things, you’ll be well on your way to resolving frustrating health issues. We’ll follow up to tweak your protocol about every twelve weeks.

If you’re ready to be proactive about your health and get the results you desire, the first step is to email me at amy@functionalfamilynutrition.com to request an appointment…:)

I look forward to serving you!