Show 220: A Q&A from Bloating and Gas and a Grumbly Tummy, Oh My

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In this engrossing (pun intended) interview, we discover why and how digestion problems including gas, bloating and leaky gut are all too common for those with autoimmune conditions with our guest Health and Wellness expert Dr. Julie Gatza. We uncover suggestions on how we can ensure that not only our taste buds have a wonderful time, but that our gastrointestinal system doesn’t suffer any painful stomach aches, gas, bloating, belching, and constipation.

SHARON: So let’s talk a little bit about, first, what gut health is, and then we’ll get into some of these finer points like bellyaches, gas, and bloating.

JULIE: Gut health itself is the basis of all disease that I’ve seen. I’ve been doing this for just about 28 years and I found early in my career that if you actually handled somebody’s digestive system, you could pretty much handle anything else that they were experiencing.
And that’s one of the reasons that they were so frustrated by seeing doctors and getting diagnoses and being told they needed to take medications or have surgeries ─ no one was addressing the gut.
A normal healthy digestive system is a digestive system that you put food in. It utilizes those nutrients; those nutrients go to organs and glands and everywhere in the body. And this is health. Without any of those points, you’re going to have un-health at some level.

SHARON: After the diagnosis, my first experience was to go to a top rheumatologist. He said, “Oh, Sharon, what are you doing?” and I listed off that I’d gotten very clean and clear with my diet with organic food only and really increased the fruits and veggies, mostly veggies ─ organic and filtered water and on and on.
He looked at me in all seriousness and said, “None of that is going to help.”
I fired him a couple of sessions later.
What happened at that moment for me was twofold.
First, a little evil twin on my shoulder popped out and said, “See, I told you that you could have that milkshake or hamburger” or whatever it was.
The second point was ‘teaching’ me that there was nothing I could do to take control of my health. It was all about what this particular doctor was going to fix and do to me… and all of that.
Getting off a little bit on my little white-coat authority rant here so back on track… what are a couple of steps that you immediately tell people that we can do to optimize our gut health no mare where we are in recovery?

JULIE: The first thing that you can do is knock out the coffee, the tea, and the soda pop. It alkalizes your digestive system and you always want your digestive system to be acidic.
I’ve seen chronic problems ─ and autoimmune is one of the areas that I love to have patients come in for because we’re so successful with it.
So no coffee, no tea, no soda pop, green tea, white tea, or black tea ─ sorry! You can put all sorts of fruit flavors into the water but keep it very plain. No carbonation whatever.
That’s the first thing that I have my patients do.
Number two, I have them eliminate most of their grains and dairy products.
I happen to be an applied kinesiologist so I muscle test for food sensitivities. I found that that’s been one of the most successful ways to be very determined on what it is that’s really causing the problem and not what shows on the blood tests.
And then, we put them on digestive enzymes immediately because no way are they digesting the foods that they need to properly. They’re not making the enzymes that they need. And so, they lack the ability to be able to break down the food and get them into the system.

SHARON: As we’re optimizing our health, and you said digestive enzymes, tell us a little bit more about those. They’re not probiotics, right?

JULIE: … Enzymes themselves are made basically from the things that your body should be producing.
Our soil is bad; our food isn’t as healthy as it was when we were young. We have all sorts of alterations to our food on top of that. So with just the quality, we’re not able to get in nutrients. And then, because of that sort of lifestyle, we aren’t making those enzymes so we’re at a catch-22….
Enzymes break down foods to make it more processable to the body itself.

SHARON: Tell me, what is the microbiome and how does it relate to also getting the nutrients?
For some reason, I didn’t realize that it started in the tummy region. I thought it was more down in the microbiome where all that processing happens.

JULIE: It actually starts in the saliva glands. When you chew your food, you’re basically sending signals to the brain that says, “Hey, start producing enzymes.” That’s why chewing your food more than you have been is quite important because it breaks it down; it gets things set up in the body.
It goes down into the stomach. The stomach actually starts to break down these foods. And then, it’s sent to the small intestine where most of the absorption is occurring.
In the small intestine, you have small little holes and those holes are big enough to let nutrients go through.
When we’ve had leaky gut, irritable bowel, or any type of digestive upset or any autoimmune problem, those holes now get large and inflamed; and now, everything leaks through. Now, the body is actually fighting all the things that are in the blood.
When it sees those foods in the intestine, it goes on an attack; and now, your immune system is making white blood cells to attack the things that should never have gotten into the bloodstream in the first place because the digestive system was stressed.
They are small holes that have become too large. Foods go into the bloodstream. The immune system starts to attack that. And now, we have an autoimmune disorder.
This is why you have to fix the digestive system, first and foremost, before you can ever do any real leaps to fixing the autoimmune problem.

Thank you Dr. Julie Gatza.

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