When your basic digestive function is impaired, every system of your body is affected, including your skin, your hair, your brain and more. If your gut is in trouble, you’re in trouble from head to toe.
Ancient healing traditions like Chinese medicine and Ayurveda teach a common phrase, “the issues are in the tissues.” The expression recognizes the inalienable connection between what happens in our lives and what happens in our bodies.
For starters, even if your diet is squeaky green and clean, when your gut isn’t in prime working order you aren’t able to absorb the nutrients in your food properly. If you aren’t absorbing nutrients, your body can’t operate as it should, and it can’t do the repair work it needs to do. That, of course, makes the situation worse and slows things down even more.
Your brain’s health is dictated by what goes on in your gut. That’s right: What’s taking place in your intestines affects not only your brain’s daily functions, but also determines your risk for a number of neurological conditions in the future.
Your intestinal organisms, or microbiome, participate in a wide variety of bodily systems, including immunity, detoxification, inflammation, neurotransmitter and vitamin production, nutrient absorption, whether you feel hungry or full, and how you utilize carbohydrates and fat. All of these processes factor into whether you experience chronic health problems like allergies, asthma, ADHD, cancer, type 2 diabetes, or dementia.
What you might not know is that your microbiome also affects your mood, your libido, and even your perceptions of the world and the clarity of your thoughts. A dysfunctional microbiome could be at the root of your headaches, anxiety, inability to concentrate, or even negative outlook on life.
Put simply, nearly everything about our health — how we feel both physically and emotionally — can hinge on the state of our microbiome.