Seasonal Update by Dr.Heidi Lescanec ND
As we round the corner into the fall, it is the ideal time to focus on the basic pillars that are key for maintaining our physical health and mental emotional wellbeing for the winter season ahead. We focus on the “terrain” more than the “organism”. What is so relevant at this time is knowing that certain things make our body more inhospitable to becoming ill and some things make us more vulnerable. We can strengthen our wellness and develop resilience in these ever-changing times by supporting one of the most fundamental pillars of health - our digestive system.
We know that 70% of our immune system is in our gut! If the gut is healthy, the immune system will be stronger. If on the other hand our gut is not functioning optimally (see box below for red flags), it leads to increased levels of toxins in the body – which lowers immunity, elevates inflammation, contributing to other health risks.
Our body expends a significant amount of energy on digestion alone. If our system is impaired or struggling then more energy is being spent dealing with that heavy load and less is available for our immune system.
GUT BRAIN AXIS
Problems showing up with our absorption or elimination can also have an impact on our brain and our nervous system. The communication between the brain and the gastrointestinal tract is known as the “gut brain axis”. The communication here is bi-directional, meaning if the brain is not working then you have an impaired GI tract, and if you have digestive dysfunction, then you will have impaired brain health. Currently we are in an unprecedented situation where we are all experiencing some increased levels of stress. We know that prolonged stress elevations can trigger digestive symptoms in some people and bowel symptoms, in particular, often show up.
If you are having some issues with your digestive system, fall is an excellent time to focus on building up your resources and nourishing your resilience by scheduling a consultation with one of our naturopathic doctors.
For more information on ways to support your digestive health, join Dr. Heidi Lescanec and guests for GUT-MINDED - a 4-part series of group visits that explore the relationship between our mood, brain health and how the choices we make at least three times a day can either fuel or drain our resources.