Four Reasons Your Gut Cleanse Isn’t Working
With gut health being so popular, and gut problems being so prevalent, I see many people running to cleanses, detoxes and healing programs. And while there is no basket I can put these in (some are profoundly successful and well researched, some are merely just a marketing ploy), there are factors that many don’t consider when it comes to the gut. Yes, it is a lot more than just green juice and bone broth.
Stress And Mental Health
Seriously. The gut has an undeniable connection to the brain, and vice versa. These two systems work in sync. This means that if you are experiencing high levels of stress, anxiety or depression, it is more than likely your gut won’t be in its best shape and you may experience bloating, digestive discomfort, diarrhoea, constipation among other symptoms.
This means that without working holistically on the mind and the gut together, you won’t be able to say goodbye to your gut problems, even with all the juices, soups and supplements in the world.
No longer is traditional medicine looking at our body systems in isolation, and slowly many health professionals are adopting a more holistic approach, because there is strong evidence to support it.
No two guts are the same, not even for identical twins. Our gut microbiome is affected by our diet, our mental health, our lifestyles, the people we hang out with, the places we’ve traveled (and therefore the bugs we’ve come into contact with), the infections we’ve endured and even the way in which we are born (be it vaginally or through C section).
This means that any one-size-fits-all approach to gut cleansing is going to come with some struggles. They may be beneficial, they may do nothing, and in some cases they may even cause harm. But of course without individual assessment, there is no way to tell.
You can in fact get a customised profile of your gut microbiome if you are dying to know, but as a nutritionist, I don’t think this is necessary for the average person.
Nutritional deficiency symptoms can be systemic, and our digestive system is no exception. The gut is so central to health and if we aren’t nourished, it’s likely our guts will suffer. Some deficiencies that may cause issues with the gut include Vitamin D, many of the B Vitamins, Vitamin A and Zinc.
Just like pre-existing imbalances, there is no way to tell if one person has one of these deficiencies with a one-size-fits-all program. You can however get your own levels checked in a blood test, and work to combat these deficiencies before embarking on any gut healing practices, as you may find the solution with simple supplementation!
Sleep was never not going to be on this list. We are huge supporters of sleep here at BetterBare, and we believe it’s one of the ultimate beauty routine must-haves. Just like the health of our guts, good quality sleep is paramount to overall health and we cannot have one without the other.
Sleep is consistently linked to changes in appetite, cravings and weight. This is due to hormonal changes (notably with the hormone leptin) that come about when we are lacking in adequate sleep.
Now this is a multiple pronged connection, as with anything when it comes to the human body. Mental health is affected by sleep quality, and as you now know mental health has a direct impact on our guts. And on a more direct level, sleep quality is shown to cause alterations in the gut microbiome.
So while it’s totally your choice to embark on a gut cleanse, detox or healing program, it’s wise to take an individualised approach to it, and tune in to your own symptoms and state of health. Because who knows, you may not even need a cleanse in the first place!