Dr. Vivian Chen is double board certified in internal and family medicine in the UK. She moved to California 5 years ago and now coaches clients back to health by addressing the root causes instead of the pill-for-every-ill paradigm she practiced for 15 years. She is passionate about gut health, nutrition, non-toxic living and detox. You can find her website here and on Instagram at @plateful.health.
Do you have symptoms that you can’t get to the bottom of? Like fatigue, acne, eczema, anxiety, migraines, and autoimmune conditions?
Did you know that your gut health could be contributing to these conditions?
Despite my years of extensive medical training, I didn’t.
It wasn’t until my whole world turned upside down that I realized just how important gut health is for our overall health. My daughter was hospitalized and tube fed at the age of 8 weeks and no doctor (including myself) could help her. I threw myself into the research to find answers — to save her — and eventually realized that she had a rare form of Cow’s Milk Protein Allergy, which caused her gullet to be inflamed. This led me down a huge rabbit hole that has led me to where I am today.
In my research since, I’ve come to truly believe eroded gut health is at the center of the chronic disease epidemics we are witnessing, whether it’s eczema, asthma, food allergies, or autoimmune diseases.
You see, 70-80% of our immune system is in our gut. And there is constant communication between our gut microbiota (the trillions of friendly microbes that live in our gut) and our immune system.
If the immune system is our army, then the gut is the boot camp where the immune system is trained and instructed on how to behave. If the immune system did not receive the right training because something went wrong in the boot camp (i.e. the gut), then we will start to see a confused immune system with downstream consequences like inflammation, allergies, acne, autoimmune conditions, etc.
So what can go wrong in the boot camp?
So, Hippocrates really wasn’t far off when he said, “All disease begins in the gut” thousands of years ago.
Which brings us to the question of: what can you do to heal your gut?
The Number One Gut Healing Myth:
Probiotics are not the answer. It’s tempting to pop supplements, but the way to gut health is not through probiotic pills. These are made of a few viable strains of bacteria in a capsule when our gut ideally should house hundreds (if not thousand) difference types of bacteria, virus, archae. Probiotics are but a needle in a haystack.
In fact, a study published in 2014 showed that taking probiotics after antibiotics may even impair the healthy recovery of our microbiome post antibiotics. The megadose of the few strains of bacteria in probiotics might actually suppress the bounce back of the other beneficial strains.
Diversity is the name of the game when it comes to gut health. Research has shown that the more types of different microbes there are in your gut, the better.
Here are 5 things to help with microbiome diversity:
In summary: gut health is central to our health and the great news is that it is possible to heal your gut. Ditch the quick fixes and focus on addressing the foundations that build gut health instead. If you would like to learn more on how to heal your gut and why conditions like candida overgrowth or SIBO are so resistant to ‘treatments’, I have a free guide and video masterclass series here.
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