Home » What Every Woman Ought To Know About Gut Health

What Every Woman Ought To Know About Gut Health

Ladies, we are talking about the gut!! There is so much BS information out there today on the interwebs that we need to dissect this and talk to a professional about this topic! Someone like Jade Etter, who knows her stuff! Jade Etter from Resilient Gut is talking about GUT HEALTH and she brings it to us so simply and matter-of-factly in way that is SO easy to understand! And I love that about her.  She is cutting through the bullshit for us and figuring out what the hell it is and what we need to do about it!

1x

Jade is the Board Certified Physician Assistant turned Gut Health Consultant helping motivated women kick bloating, erratic bowel habits, and fatigue by focusing on nutrition, lifestyle, and nervous system regulation.

What made you say you wanted to dive into this gut stuff?
I was labeled with IBS when I was 14.  I had experienced a death quite young at 6, while my nervous system was still developing.  Secondary to that and not getting the help I needed during that time, I ended up developing diarrhea, constipation, and bloating at a young age.  I had gone through all of this testing and was labeled with IBS.  They told me that this was normal, and a lot of people had this.

I knew from a young age that I wanted to go into medicine and help young people not feel the way I did.  I then became a GP and realized that so many issues stem back to a person’s gut and the types of food they are consuming and the lifestyle they are living. It became very apparent, very quickly, that gut health was where I wanted to be and where I could make the biggest impact.

I was then diagnosed with Ulcer Colitis and Endometriosis and given immune-suppressing drugs, and IV meds every 8 weeks and that was when I decided there has to be another way.  Within 2 in a half year, I got myself into remission naturally and have been in remission since that time with no medications.

Do you feel that what you have experienced in the last couple of years has stemmed from what happened when you were a teenager or have other things in life contributed to that?
I use the bucket analogy with my clients.  We have a bucket that water gets put into.  Soon you start to take on so much water your bucket begins to overflow.  That overflow is the physical manifestation/symptoms.  By the time you are feeling symptoms so much water has been poured into the bucket as:
●      Your nutrition
●      Your lifestyle
●      Lack of sleep
●      Stress
●      Environmental toxins
When the symptoms started at 14, the water was being put into the bucket since the age of 6.  Then it progressed into an autoimmune disease because it wasn’t addressed in the inflammation and after a while that starts to activate genes in your body as epigenetics. The mismanagement of my IBS at 14 definitely leads to the autoimmune disease in my 20s!

There are so many health issues that stem back to your nutrition and lifestyle.  It all comes back to how we are detoxifying our bodies and the digestive tract is the number one source for that in addition to sweating and urinating.  And if that is not working correctly the toxins are just getting passed back into your body.  It is medically acceptable to only go to the bathroom every 3 days, but I don’t agree with that. We need to be going to the bathroom every day to remove toxins from our bodies.

Everyone here has heard of gut health.. How would you in a nutshell say what is gut health?
Gut health is life!!!  Your gut is a hollow tube in your body and really your gut is deciding what is essential for life and what is not.  We as beings are made up of what we absorb in our gut.  Think of it as a cheesecloth and it’s allowing the good nutrients, vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and amino acids to come through into the internal environment and everything else stays external and doesn’t end up in the system and goes all through the digestive tract which eliminates it in a bowel movement.  The digestive tract is your life and protective barrier as to what is internal vs external.  It’s a multi-party system that performs different functions and roles but all of which are necessary to keep us healthy!

What are some things people can do if they are suffering from constipation?
One of the biggest things is assessing the bacteria that are present.  When you increase your fiber, it creates more methane and slows down the gut and increases constipation. Sleep is a big one, drinking enough water, and allowing for enough time in between meals. You don’t want to be snacking and grazing. Allow at least 3 hours between meals to clear out to help out system function.

When we talk about the bacteria, most people think it’s in the stomach, but you said no.. most of the bacteria part happens in the small intestine. Yes, most are in the small intestine and colon. But the majority is the colon.  Your stomach is very acidic which kills most bacteria that is on foods.  But when you make your way down the PH becomes more basic and when you get to the colon it’s a 7/7.5 which is optimal living for bacteria.

Many of us have been told we need to be focusing on probiotics, prebiotics, etc. What are the varying things and should people be self-prescribing?
Probiotics mean pro-life; Probiotics mean bacteria, living organisms. The same bacteria that are living in your gut to help you create these wonderful things to stay healthy.  Prebiotics are fiber and you can think of this as pre-life. So, what do you need to keep life alive, you need to give them food. This is the food for the living bacteria.  I recommend taking them together so you can feed that bacteria. Feeding is both good and bad, but when your gut is healthy, the good bacteria out-compete the bad. Our gut microbiome is created in the first 3 years of life, so it’s so important to have children around a lot of people and touching things, playing outside, etc to help build up that bacteria.

Should people take probiotics and prebiotics?
I am a food-first gal. So, I always say we can always get it through our nutrition vs spending money on supplements.  We have to be careful because there are so many different types out there.  So, it all depends on our microbiome. Everyone is different.  You may do better on one that I would feel terrible on.

What are probiotic foods to incorporate into your diet?
●      Sauerkraut
●      Kimchi
●      Pickles
●      Olives
●      Pickled red onions
●      Pickled beets
●      Sourdough bread
●      Kiefer
●      All fermented foods are a good place to start!

How do you know if you have bad gut bacteria, or they have problems?
Look at the physical manifestations and symptoms.  Not just bloating and diarrhea, but bloating, fatigue, brain fog, diarrhea or constipation, acne, eczema, allergies, and food sensitivities.  Think about, “Are these symptoms I am experiencing actually normal?”

A lot of the things you described can be attributed to menopause… How can we distinguish which is which?
As you go through menopause and feel those hormonal fluctuations, the estrogen, and progesterone affect the digestive tract differently.  Progesterone slows motility so when you are aware of that you can see the changes in the bowels that can drive some of those symptoms.  Any symptom related to menopause is not normal, our bodies were not designed to have dysfunction.  We should be able to make that transition and not be inflamed and everything just went to hell.

As you age, your digestive fire starts to extinguish… acid.. Some people lose acid in their stomachs. Is there something they can do… or is it a fact of aging or modern life?
The threshold is 65. So, when they reach that, across the board we start to see the stomach acid reduce as a process of aging.  Up to that point, we see it accelerate loss when it’s linked to chronic stress.  The second leading cause of low stomach acid is having an H-pylori infection which is a bacterial infection that lives in the stomach, and it survives but reduces the acid in the stomach.  Symptoms are a wide range from nausea to nausea on an empty stomach to even excessive vomiting in pregnancy.

Heartburn
PPI (proton pump inhibitor) is widely OVER prescribed especially for those 65 and older when it comes to heartburn.  It’s such a disservice because they actually have the opposite issue.  They are experiencing the symptoms because they do not have enough acid and when we put them on PPIs, we are only further perpetuating the issue they already have.  Putting them at an increased risk of vitamin and mineral deficiencies, weakening of the bones, osteoporosis, restless leg syndrome, and hair loss.

For people on these meds for heartburn for years… is there a way off?
Yes, absolutely but you have to start digging into the root cause of why.  Why are you experiencing these symptoms in the first place?  Why do I have acid reflux in the first place? What is in my nutrition or lifestyle that is driving that? I have helped so many individuals get off this medication or rat race.  Calcium carbonate can help with the temporary relief of acidic foods.  This is basically Tums just without all the ingredients, so a more natural alternative.

If I do have a slow digestive fire, there have been talks about taking bitter herbs as a way to help get things going.
I have my clients consume bitter foods! This is much more sustainable long term. So, arugula, beets, etc, bitter herbs, sprays, or drops will send signals from the brain to the digestive tract to turn on bile production.  They are actually more helpful for stimulating the liver and gallbladder to secrete bile. Which can help with the overall digestive process.

A more natural route is apple cider vinegar and lemon. Lemons and apple cider vinegar mimic the acidity of the stomach. So, for someone who has low or not-so-great stomach acid, it helps to give another layer of acidity with the breakdown of food.  If you take ACV and you feel very unwell after, then it’s an indication that you shouldn’t be taking it, and over the production of acid is the issue not under.  If you do this with the ACV you need to drink A LOT Of water with this and chase it down

Another great thing is to drink water in the morning, but warm water or room temperature water in the morning is good because it stimulates peristalsis which is the movement and contractions in the gut before we start any lymphatic movement or flow.

So much research has come out as the gut is the second brain and so many other things that we have never thought of have stemmed from what happens in our gut. There is a reason why this is such a conversation and have gone head-first into this work.

The microbiome (gut) is so complex.  We actually have the enteric nervous system which functions separately from the brain. That is why it’s called the second brain. Not only is the brain talking to the gut, but the gut is also talking to the brain, and there is a very intricate relationship happening there.  Every process in the body is dependent on the gut.  Your gut is what is absorbing everything that is essential to keep us alive and functioning!  There is research now that the gut is linked to Alzheimer’s and Dementia, autoimmunity, hormonal imbalance, infertility, allergies, and joint aches.

This is why people should care because a lot of the symptoms they are facing can be chased back to the gut being out of balance.  Because of the food people are eating or not eating and the lifestyle they are living and a lot of it is driven by society. Convenience is what drives a lot of individuals. We live in such a fast-paced society, and it feels very unnatural for people to go back to the way our ancestors lived and be more intentional, eating whole foods that we are growing ourselves. It’s a lot easier to take a pill and guess what they are taking the pill and still not feeling better!

The brain and the gut are all connected, we cannot separate the two!!

“You making the decision to focus on yourself has a ripple effect on the people living around you and has the potential to make generational changes.  Generationally the things we go through, we can pass on to our children.  You are at a pivotal moment right now where you can make a difference from a biological standpoint for your children, the environment they grow up in, and the nutritional things you feed them.  With all these practices you have the chance to change the life of someone else and that is very powerful!  Children cannot self-regulate; they are co-regulated by their parents, so the environment the parents get to choose in the home and their surroundings is pivotal in the microbiome development and the brain development of the children.” – Jade Etter

What is one thing that makes you feel magical?
Number 1, I just feel like my soul is on fire when I get to educate people that there is another way.  I am energized by my passion and being able to do this, speak to people, and advocate for themselves just lights me up.  I’ve been there and I know what it’s like to be on the other side.

Number 2, having my hands in the dirt.  I am a flower gardener and love fresh cut flowers and that just helps to recenter me.  I feel very much connected to everything that is when my hands are in the dirt!!

LINKS

Facebook Page:
https://www.facebook.com/kimbarnesjeffersoncoach

Facebook Group:
https://www.facebook.com/groups/fitgirlmagic/

Website:
https://www.kimbarnesjefferson.com/

Podcast:
https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/fit-girl-magic-healthy-living-for-women-over-40/id1476883661

5 Days To Consistency challenge – This 5-Day challenge will help you create a personalized plan and develop habits for long-term success in just 5 days.
https://kimbarnesjefferson.lpages.co/5-days-to-consistency/

Jade Etter Website:
http://www.jadeetterwellness.com
Determine Your Gut Dysfunction Root Cause Quiz: https://www.jadeetterwellness.com/ibs-root-cause-quiz-assessment
Jade’s Instagram: 
https://www.instagram.com/resilientgutco/

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