Listen to Your Gut for Better Health by Kris Denning

I say it often in my yoga and pilates classes, “Listen to your body”, don’t force yourself into positions or work through exercises that create pain or discomfort.  Yet, how often do we knowingly eat foods that cause pain and discomfort in our bodies?

Many common symptoms derive by the foods we eat, and we often ignore them, as if it is just something we must live with.  Some are more obvious and occur shortly after we eat; Indigestion, bloating, gas, diarrhea and more.  For many of us, however, there may be more symptoms we can’t immediately realize.  As late as 72 hours after consuming reactive foods, you may experience joint pain, migraine headaches, acne, brain fog, irritability, and weight gain.

The health or our digestive system has everything to do with how our bodies react to the foods we eat.  Our intestinal tract is vulnerable to damage from stress, antibiotics, pain medications, antacids, artificial sweets, speed eating, and high sugar diets, just to name a few.  This can contribute to a condition often referred to as leaky gut syndrome.  Essentially, a damaged intestinal lining can allow undigested food particles to enter the bloodstream.  The immune system reacts to these particles as foreign invaders, and war is waged against them, causing a myriad of symptoms.  In my case, it was constant and debilitating joint pain that left me depressed and hopeless. Unfortunately, we often turn to, and/or are prescribed pain medication and anti-inflammatories for help, which is possibly the very thing creating the problematic pain in the first place.

I was told that I may have arthritis, bursitis, tendonitis, etc, but I refused to submit to living a life of pain and discomfort.  After some investigating, I turned to an elimination diet.  Specifically, The Virgin Diet. This involved removing 7 of the most reactive foods (dairy, wheat, corn, soy, sugar, peanuts, artificial sweets) for 21 days to find your baseline, and after day 21, bring in one of those foods for 3 or 4 days and take note of how you feel.  Within a week of this diet I felt tons better.  By eliminating dairy, I was completely pain free.  Eliminating corn helped me lose 3-4 pounds of belly weight!  I freed my body of the hyper-active inflammatory state that I had been in, and by eating clean, low reactive foods, my symptoms diminished.

Odds are you may be experiencing some sort of ailment you can’t quite explain.  If so, do some of your own investigating and find what works for you.  Perhaps starting with a food journal and just taking notice of your symptoms.  Find your own personal feel good.  Maybe that arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel, or whatever you’ve been plagued with can be solved by you.  You CAN feel good.  Never give up.

Listen to your body.  Your gut may be trying to tell you something.

Kris teaches Monday/Wednesday 5:30 PM yoga, Tuesday/Thursday 10:30 AM power pilates, Wednesday/Friday 9:35 AM gentle pilates, and Friday 10:45 AM yoga here at Timberhill, as well as private lessons. She is a freelance writer and wellness coach, and has BS in Psychology from OSU. 

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