Imagine if you wanted to get stronger and you started running or hiking on a broken leg to get in shape. It wouldn’t work. You would get worse and be in tons of pain, even do more damage despite starting a healthy activity. Would you blame running/hiking? No. If your leg was broken you would need to heal the break first, then start up the ideal healthy practice of running/hiking after your body was ready. If the root of your problem was just that you are lazy, then yes, get off the couch and go for a hike. But you need to consider the root of the problem.
Same is true of your gut and overall health
If your digestive function is broken or not functioning right, eating an ideal diet might not work if you do not heal the ‘break’ in the system first.
We all pretty much know now that digestive health and nutrition is the cornerstone of all health, including genetic expression (aka what genes turn on and which ones turn off). Crazy cool and empowering! But if we are not digesting our food, metabolizing our food, and absorbing our food properly we can become depleted, lethargic, gassy, bloated, fatigued, spaced out, unable to sleep, in chronic pain, infertile, anxious, moody, constipated, and so much more…..even on a great diet!
Yes. It is true. I see people all the time in my office that are either eating a ‘great diet’ but still feeling lousy and now frustrated. I also see people that tried to add ‘healthy’ foods to a not so great diet and got horrible results, feeling even worse and now confused, thinking it is the food that is bad for them. Truth is, the food might not work until they fix the root of their problem. We must Heal before we jump to an Ideal diet in this case. There may have been a turning point or trigger in their (or your) history that now requires healing before jumping to an ideal diet.
Another awesome way to look at digestive health in this way (heal vs ideal) is the brilliant analogy Dr. Murray uses about a garbage and flies problem. Say you have a huge fly problem in your house and it is driving you nuts. If you just take away the flies but you still have the garbage that attracted them, the flies will come back eventually. It is all about the terrain that created the problem. You have to get to the root and remove the garbage and only then will the flies not come back. I see this all the time with people trying to optimize their health. You cannot just get rid of the problem without addressing why the condition started in the first place.
This has led me to start a blog series on digestion top to bottom, in small doses with lots of action steps, so you can learn about the different stops along the system and empower yourself to up-level your digestion and in result your health and resilience. Darn near every symptom could be digestion related and there are easy, non invasive, cheap steps you can take to see if getting your digestion to function better might help you feel better.
Of course this series and all of my blog posts are meant to educate and empower, not to treat or diagnose any disease. Please consult your physician with any questions or concerns. Eventually enough stress or damage on the system can create a tipping point and with time a disease state that requires more than healing your digestion. That said, it will always help build resilience and function.