What’s Your Gut Feeling?
With more of us living hectic lifestyles and burning the candle at both ends, our digestive systems can be under constant assault. We might not want to give up partying and living life to the full – but is there anything we can do to minimise the damage?
Our Digestive Health Expert, Linda Booth, gives us the lowdown on how to love our livers and look after our guts.
Q: What health problems are caused by a poor digestive system?
A: In my clinic, and during my online consultations for Nottingham Health Shop, I see a range of classic digestive system disorders such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), heartburn, bloating, non-specific abdominal pain and constipation. Research over the past couple of decades, however, has shown that poor gut health is linked to seemingly unrelated conditions such as depression, weakened immune system, acne, eczema and psoriasis. The gut is where 70% of our immune system cells are manufactured, and 90% of the feel good hormone, serotonin, so taking care of our intestinal health can have a profound effect on our overall wellbeing.
Q: So, why is there so little in the media about digestive health?
A: Well, there’s so much in the media these days about various cancers, which is a good thing – but it might surprise you to know that bowel cancer kills many more people than breast cancer every year. Bowel health, in particular, has always been “taboo”, which is why it rarely gets a mention. I’m quite happy to call myself “The Poo Lady” if it means I can dispel some myths and make people take their symptoms seriously!
Q: So what can be done to improve gut health – and should everyone be paying attention?
A: Yes! Think of your intestines as being like the roots of a tree – they absorb nutrients and water from the soil. If the roots cease to function properly, the tree will eventually become diseased and die. It’s so important to keep your small intestine in top condition so that you can absorb the nutrients from your food effectively, and your large intestine healthy so you can efficiently eliminate waste. I recommend that everyone take a high-strength, multi-strain probiotic daily, such as Bionutri’s Ecodophilus, alongside an enzyme supplement such as sonus complete, particularly if you have your evening meal after 8pm. This will help prevent fermentation and putrefaction in the intestines.
Q: What about the morning after a good night out?
A: If you know you’re going to be eating a heavy meal or particularly rich food – or a kebab on the way home! – I’d recommend taking a digestive enzyme supplement like BioCare’s Polyzyme Forte, before eating to stop you having that “heavy” feeling the morning after. If you’ve had a few too many drinks, I’d recommend Lambert’s Milk Thistle or Bionutri’s Tarcyn to strengthen and detoxify your liver.
Q: So, what’s different about the Nottingham Health Shop?
A: We’re the only online supplements store to focus on digestive health under the direction of a specialist digestive health practitioner. We sell a range of supplements personally chosen by me – supplements that I know really work, and that I’ve tried and tested with literally thousands of patients in my clinic. Many of the supplements we sell are not available in health shops or on general supplements sites – we’re a truly specialist shop.
Q: You trained at the Viva Mayr Clinic in Austria – isn’t that where the celebrities go to detox?
A: Yes, that’s right! I trained under Dr Harald Stossier who is recognized as one of the top digestive system doctors in the world, and he personally oversees the diets of the rich and famous! A healthy digestive system is so important to weight management – if you aren’t digesting your food properly, you’ll gain weight. I’m looking forward to working alongside Dr Stossier again later this year.
Q: I think my tummy needs some TLC – where should I start?
A: Go to Nottingham Health Shop and complete my online digestive health questionnaire. I’ll personally assess your responses and reply with tailored recommendations of which supplements will be most beneficial for you.
Q: Finally, what’s your top tip for digestive health?
A: Eat three meals a day, chew your food well, and give your digestive system a rest by not snacking between meals! Don’t eat after 8pm if you can help it, and don’t wait until you’ve got a problem – look after your digestive system while you’re young to prevent serious health issues in the future!