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Episode 25: Swiss 8 Mini Series: Gut Health

by Shaun Kober
July 20th 2020

Swiss 8 is a proactive mental health model designed to provide the tools required to deliver high-quality content around their 8 pillars of health and wellness, to allow you to be "Better At L... More

can you just touch on? You already spoke about the four principles or the main principles of Swiss eight? Can you go through the eight principles for us? For the listeners? Yeah, so the top four, I mean we call in the top four, bottom four. So the top four is fitness, nutrition, mindfulness and sleep. Uh and that we we call those the top four because they are the holistic health, lifestyle principles um that we we asked we try and get people to start with. First build a routine around those four principles and then once you're happy and you're comfortable that all that has become habit and it is a routine. Then we've got minimalism, discipline, time management and personal growth and they basically life hack kind of principles. Yeah. You know what is up guys Welcome to today's episode of the live train perform podcast. I'm your host, Sean Cobra. We are rolling through the Swiss Eight miniseries which is a proactive mental health program developed by Australian Army Combat veterans for combat veterans and also to deal with the mental health crisis that the western world is going through.

The first episode was an introductory episode with Adrian said who was the founder of Swiss Eight. Uh The previous episode was asleep episode. Today is all about nutrition. Now I have done a seven part miniseries on nutrition which was the nutritional pyramid of importance. We're talking about the introduction than energy balance, followed by macronutrients, followed by micro nutrients followed by diets, different styles of eating. And then we rounded that out with supplements. So instead of diving into the nutrition side of things too much in today's episode. What I do want to discuss is gut health. What is gut health? Why is gut health important? What does it do for us? And how can we optimize our gut health so that we can optimize the other 24 hours of the day? Let's get started. Now I've said this once and I'm going to say it again and again and again, we have 11 systems of the body and they are all integrated, not isolated.

So if you have a dysfunction with one of those systems of the body, Better believe that that's going to carry over and affect the other systems of the body. Okay, now the reason why gut health is so important is because 80-90% of our immune system lies within the gut. So if your gut health is fucked up then your immune system is going to be fucked up. Which then again affects every other system of the body. And you're gonna be a lot more prone to catching something, You're not gonna be able to break your foods down, you're not gonna be able to perform, you're gonna be tired, your hair skin now is going to grow shit, you're just going to have these all around problems with all of your systems and you're probably not gonna be able to put your finger on exactly what's going on, okay? And this can be caused by a dis bio sis in microbiome which is basically your gut bacteria will dive into this and a lot more detailed during this episode. But just understand that if your gut health is off it is previously been connected in recent years directly to the brain.

All right. So poor gut health can lead to poor mental health which can affect your physical health as well due to the uh the immune system lying in the gut. So again I just want to reinforce that fact gut health affects every other system in the body. Diets are overrated, nutrition is underrated. So what does gut health encompass? Well there's no clear cut definition however, it is essentially the absence of disease in the gi tract, the gastrointestinal tract. This means that we don't have any digestive problems. We have regularity and consistency of bowel movements. We have good skin, hair and nails and solid ability to digest absorb and assimilate nutrients which then fuel all of the other systems of the body. Now a lot of people don't give the gut the credit that it's due. When we typically think about the body, we think about the brain.

We think about the heart. We think about the circulatory system and that's pretty much it for the most part. Okay. But we have 11 systems in the body and I kind of paid off gut health for a long time as well until I did my gut health course and then that opened a can of worms for me and I went down that rabbit hole and started reading books. So one of the better books that I've read on the subject is called gut by Giulia Enders. Ah And a lot of the information that I'm getting that I'm gonna be putting across in today's episode is from that course. And from that book, if we could see more than meets the eye, we would watch as a clump of cells grows into a human being in a woman's tummy. We would suddenly see how we develop, roughly speaking from three tubes. The first tube runs right through us with a knot in the middle. This is our cardiovascular system and the central not is what develops into our heart. The second tube develops more or less parallel to the first, along our back, then forms a bubble that migrates to the top of our body where it stays put.

This tube is our nervous system with the spinal cord including the brain at the top and myriad nerves branching out into every part of our body. The 3rd tube runs through us from end to end. This is our intestinal tube or the gut and this is essentially what keeps the food that or everything that we ingest from being able to get into the bloodstream and throwing everything off. Okay, so it's essentially a protective barrier protective mechanism. And when digestive issues start coming up, that means that there's some sort of permeability throughout the intestines. Or the food's not being broken down into its particles correctly. Or there's some form of issue that is not allowing these foods to be broken down and those protective barriers to do their thing and keep these particles of food outside of the bloodstream essentially, this is where intolerance has come into play when the food's when something is not doing its job within the digestive system.

Then these particles are passing through the gut through the intestine into the bloodstream. And your body essentially thinks that it's under threat. It thinks there's a foreign invader so it's going to create an immune response and essentially starts attacking itself. We'll talk about intolerance is in a little bit more detail, but I just wanted to touch on that before we start talking about the different components of the digestive system, which is what we're going to get into. Now the first physical component of the digestive system is the mouth. Now the mouth breaks the food down in preparation for the stomach to accept. However, okay, saliva can actually be produced in anticipation of receiving food. So we see food, we smell food. Okay, all of our senses tell us that there's food coming in and that smell and what it looks like, starts preparing certain enzymes within our body and also starts secreting saliva so that we can break those foods down uh into smaller pieces so that the acid in the stomach can actually be efficient and break those foods down into smaller pieces before it carries on through the rest of the digestive system.

Now this sounds really fucking simple and too easy for most people to understand. And that's why they don't do it. But if you're not chewing your food correctly, then you're not actually breaking those foods down into smaller pieces, which then fucks up the rest of the process of the digestive system. Okay. And this can again, I'll talk about intolerances and despite aosis and all of these other things in a moment. But essentially your food digestion. The digestive process starts with the mouth, okay. If you're not chewing your food properly, then that's going to have a flow on effect down the line. So if you're one of those people that just wolf their food down, I suggest taking a little bit more time. Okay. And there's a very simple techniques of chewing your food 30 times or whatever. That technique might be okay. It really does sound fucking stupid, but it makes a massive difference because if your mouth is not doing its job properly, then that's putting a lot more strain on the stomach and on the acid and on the different enzymes and on the the small intestine and the large there's a flow on effect down that line.

So some certain tools and techniques you can use here, um count how many times you're chewing your food. You can also, this is a good technique that I like to use is switch your knife and fork to the opposite hands. Or every time you take a bite switch that food, sorry switch that knife and fork. Um And the other thing here is to just be mindful, like if you're scrolling on your phone or you're watching tv or netflix or whatever, like you're not really paying attention to that food and just fucking hawking into it. And the other thing is like if you're really hungry then again you're just gonna be stuffing that food down. So ideally we don't want to be eating when we're super hungry. We want to kind of get onto that as we're starting to get those hunger pangs. Um But yeah, I can't stress the importance of chilling your food correctly. Once your mouth has done its job, then a muscular tube called the esophagus carries the food down to the stomach which is essentially a storage tank, which is what allows the body to break down larger meals correctly.

The stomach also produces hydrochloric acid and other digestive enzymes to aid in the breakdown of these foods and nutrients. So if the stomach is doing its job correctly, the foods that you have ingested will be broken down and turned into a pace by the time it reaches the small intestine whilst this is happening the liver is producing bile and it's time to release into the small intestine. So the liver makes and secretes bile which helps certain enzymes in the body breakdown and a multi If I fat lipids and fatty acids, the liver also cleanses and purifies the blood before it enters the small intestine. It also stores amino acids, synthesizers and metabolizes fats and cholesterol and aids in the storage of glucose as glycogen. It's also responsible for detoxification of the body and assist in regulation of many many of the other internal functions. Whilst the liver is doing that, the gall bladder is essentially the liver's partner in crime and it is used to store and recycle excess bile from the small intestine so that can be released or sorry, reused the pancreas creates and regulates the body's digestive enzymes.

These juices are referred to as pancreatic elasticity. This also produces and releases insulin, which regulates how much sugar is in the bloodstream at any one time. So anytime you hear something with those on the end, that means sugar. So lactose is milk sugar and lactase is the enzyme that breaks down the sugar in the body. Next up for the gastrointestinal tract is the small intestine. This is basically the heavy lifter of the digestive system. So the small intestine is a small tube that's roughly one inch in diameter and about 7m long. Okay, it is curled up in a small space and converts the acidic stomach processes that pace that I was talking about before, which is called chime into a more alkaline substance. So this is where you'll hear the acid alkaline balance. All right. So the basically the hydrochloric acid in the stomach gets converted into a more alkaline substance in the small intestine, meaning that that acid is being neutralized.

Now the reason why the small intestine is So large. If you rolled it out it's so large is because the folds in the small intestine there to maximize digestion of food and nutrient absorption by increasing surface area. So by the time the food has passed through the small intestine, roughly 90% of the nutrients have been extracted. So going back to what I was talking about earlier, if there is a problem with any of those other processes prior to the foods reaching the small intestine, this means that you're likely going to create some sort of nutrient deficiency or something like that because the food's not being broken down correctly by the time it gets to the small intestine, the small intestines. Main job is to extract those nutrients. Next up is the large intestine or what's otherwise known as the colon which wraps around the small intestine. The colon is roughly 2.5 inches in diameter and about a meter and a half to two m long. It is responsible for the reabsorption of water and electrolytes.

The large intestine also houses flora or probiotics. Now these bacteria play a large role in the detoxification of the large intestine and also assist in the moving of food and waste throughout the body. So it takes roughly 36 hours for the body to deal with the processing of food from mouth to us. Now, this is where you can start paying attention to the foods that you're reading. And if you're having issues, you know, you might have issues within an hour or two after eating something like cheese or milk or pizza or something like that that's causing some form of intolerance, then you're probably gonna shoot yourself all right. But this is where you might also have problems with diarrhea. Okay, if you're shitting yourself straight away, then there's probably some issue there. But also if you're constipated, that's probably going to lead to an issue or it's going to be a symptom of a larger issue that's going on within the body. So, having a look at these things and I'll talk about maybe we'll talk about still a little bit later on, but how your stool is, can give you a good indication of the health of your gut.

You've probably now started connecting the dots on the many places that digestion can go wrong, irritable bowel disease is thought to be the worst digestive disease known. It may start off as something small like indigestion or mild diarrhea, but over time if the gut can't heal itself and the inflammatory response becomes chronic by not addressing the root cause it can quickly progress to other things, A common digestive disorder that is on the rise is something called cibo or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. This is when the there's basically a valve in between the small intestine and the large intestine. So once the small intestine basically extracts most of the nutrients from the food, then it passes through this valve into the large intestine where it's now known as fecal matter and the majority of those nutrients have been extracted. Now if there's a problem there, if you haven't eaten your food correctly or those particles haven't been broken down properly, then that valve may not close up correctly.

So then you get this fecal matter from the large intestine that seeps back into the small intestine and creates this bacterial overgrowth or a microbiome imbalance, otherwise known as this bio sis so as I stated earlier, um all of the systems are connected. So if there's any of these systems that are not working optimally within the digestive tract, then these food particles can get stuck in different areas of the digestive tract which can lead to a build up of bad bacteria which also affects the balance of gut flora. Now the entire digestive tract is connected and sub optimal function will affect the entire process from mouth to us. Some of the most common digestive issues that you'll see is gut permeability or leaky gut. This bios issue which is also known as bacterial overgrowth, inefficient digestion and certain infections including candida and parasites, now I'm not going to go into each one of these in too much detail, but I will give a brief description of these before we start talking about what the gut microbiome is and how all of these are different processes can affect the balance or imbalance of this microbiome, gut permeability or leaky gut is also known as intestinal permeability.

The intestinal wall is a barrier between the gut and what enters the bloodstream and gets transported to the different cells and organs of our body. So the small junctions in the intestinal wall, which should allow nutrients and water to pass from the gut into the bloodstream while also limiting anything that is harmful or what it doesn't recognize. Permeability refers to the small gaps in the junctions that widen and allow bacteria and toxins to pass into the bloodstream where they would normally be blocked. Some symptoms of leaky gut include gas bloating, loose stools, numerous food intolerances and sensitivities being harshly affected by seasonal allergies. Skin conditions. Autoimmune issues little to no energy or massive energy fluctuations, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression and erratic moods, saw joints and inflammation and also brain fog and reduced cognitive function.

So one or two of these symptoms alone does not necessarily indicate that you have leaky gut. However, if you accumulate 234 or more of these symptoms, then that could be indicating that there's some form of issue that you need to find the root cause of, because if you don't find the root cause of that, then those symptoms are simply going to accumulate and get worse and worse and worse. So we need to treat the root cause rather than justice symptoms, these symptoms should give you an indication of what's going on. So then we can start coming up with preventative treatments. Another common digestive issue is something called dis bio sis, which is an imbalance of our gut flora, which can contribute to a disease state in the gut. So when does biosystems does occur, the microbial ecology of the gut tends to favor a state of disease and dysfunction. And this is due to the up regulation of the immune system. So, basically, the immune system goes into overdrive and it thinks that there's foreign invaders and it's going to create an immune response.

Now, our immune system is very good at creating a response and getting rid of it, essentially. But if there's constant chronic dis bio sis, then that immune system is going to be in fucking overdrive all the time, which is then again going to affect all of the other systems of the body, and it's going to take away from, you know, your energy levels and your skin, your hair, your nails, and, you know, the state of health of every other system in your body. So it's something that we need to really get on top of and make sure that we manage so that we can get back to a state of health which is essentially homeostasis. Homeostasis is everything working well, everything working effectively and efficiently together to maintain health of the organism which is the human body. I will dive into exactly what the microbiome is and how it's formed and also what negatively impacts that soon. However, I want to finish off on the other common digestive issues with the next one simply being inefficient digestion.

So again, if there's a problem throughout the digestive tract than your ability to digest, absorb and assimilate these nutrients is going to leave you essentially running on fumes and with a nutrient deficiency which then affects every other system of the body. So whilst this bio sis is the main issue that we're going to see with the majority of people, it's followed up by infections being candida overgrowth which is also known as yeast infections and also contracted parasites. Candida is a fungus and all fungi fall under the category of being a form of yeast. Now everyone has yes within their bodies and in the appropriate amount it can be beneficial if it becomes overgrown. However, it can become invasive and cause changes to and damage to the walls of the intestines which increases the intestinal permeability which then allows some of these harmful bacteria and pathogens to reach into the bloodstream which also releases toxins and other harmful compounds.

Candida is commonly known as one of the most resilient forms of bacteria. It does a very good job of protecting itself from harsh environments, both internally and externally. Because it's able to protect itself from these harsh environments inside the body and outside the body, It can quite quickly colonize throughout the body and result in systemic infection and inflammation. Some signs and symptoms to look out for. For a yes, infection is strong sugar and carb cravings, skin and nail fungal infections and other issues, recurring yeast infections or oral thrush, severe reactions to seasonal allergies, recurring digestive issues, auto immune diseases and difficulty concentrating and irritability. In order to eliminate a candida infection, it's food sources need to be cut off or starved sugar, alcohol and carbs need to be severely limited or removed before adding in certain botanicals to break down and destroy the cell walls of the Candida.

Once this occurs, repopulation of good bacteria should be sufficient in maintaining balancing gut bacteria. So I'm going to go through the elimination diet process what the elimination diet is and how we can conduct that so that we can kind of figure out our intolerances and how to treat those intolerances along with what our sensitivity levels are to certain compounds and foods. Next up we are talking parasites. These are organisms that live in and feed off other organisms which cause harm to the host organism. If you've had a myriad of digestive issues and many treatment protocols don't seem to be having an effect a parasitic infection, maybe the underlying issue. Some common symptoms to look out for include skin irritations, including rashes, hives, asthma, teeth grinding during your sleep, a key muscles and joints, fatigue and exhaustion, low mood and depression, regular and consistent digestive issues and a history of food poisoning re occurrences and also never being fully satisfied after eating, basically because these parasites are eating the food that you're putting into your body.

So it's essentially stealing all of your food so the rest of your organisms can't get the food and the nutrients that they require to operate normally. So when we start discussing microbiome, think about this in terms of plants. Some plants are going to grow in certain environments and others will not in that environment, but if you want to grow that plant, you need to go to a more suitable environment. Now, our microbiome is essentially the same thing. Different bacteria have different characteristics concerning their habitat, nutrition and all level of toxicity. This is called the microbiota, which literally means little life and microbiome refer to the collection of microbes and their genes. Now the body is made up of all of these different types of bacteria. In fact, a lot of research has shown that bacteria actually outnumbers human cells. Some research suggests that human cells contain roughly 34, 40 trillion and when we talk about the microbiome, some estimates have it up at 50 to 100 trillion.

So the microbiome outnumbers human cells. So it's important to note here that a lot of the things that we think our brain is in control of bacteria has a massive impact on everything that happens in our life. We have different types of bacteria, we have um pathogens which type of bacteria that are bad for us. And then we have symbiotic bacteria which is these different types of bacteria that are good for us essentially think about your immune system. When you are a vaccine, a vaccine is your injected with this virus. This bacteria, okay, your body creates an immune response and creates antibodies. Now when you get that virus later in the future it doesn't hit you anywhere near as hard because your body has dealt with that um that bacteria before it's created these antibodies which creates a stronger immune response. Now obviously this is dose dependent. So this is something to consider When we start thinking about going through an elimination diet.

Now the reason I bring that up is because 99% of our microbiome resides in the gut. So an unhealthy gut is an unhealthy organism. Now this microbiome weighs up to two kg. And if we have an imbalance between good bacteria and bad bacteria then that's going to cause some problems. So for the most part we want to promote the growth of good bacteria and negate the growth of bad bacteria. Now this does not mean that bad bacteria is inherently bad for us. Okay this bad bacteria is actually essential so that our body can create an immune response. And some of this bad bacteria does do certain things for us and allows us to adapt to those things so that we can deal with them better in the future. Now the good bacteria actually helps us break down, digest, absorb and crack open some of the more indigestible food stuffs that we consume.

They also supply the gut with energy, manufacture vitamins and break down toxins and medications along with training our immune system. As mentioned earlier, the problem only occurs when there is an imbalance here. So the bad bacteria starts outnumbering and outgrowing the good bacteria. So how is our microbiome formed? It starts before we are even born. This starts in the womb. So what your mother and father, what they were doing in their environment when you were conceived and leading up to your birth and particularly for the first couple of years of your life will have a massive impact on your microbiome. For the most part our microbiome is inherited and that kind of gives a blueprint to the developing fetus of what is good and what is bad. So that gives us the baseline of our microbiome but then our environment plays a massive part in how that microbiome is shaped and what develops what grows and how um we end up progressing through our life and this is the thing our microbiome is constantly adapting to our environment, both internal and external.

And this is the classic genetics versus epigenetic or nature versus nurture. As unborn babies. We live in an environment that is normally completely germ free. That is the womb. For nine months. We have no contact with the outside world except through our mother. That means that all of our food is predigested. Our oxygen is pre breathe our mother's lungs and gut filter everything before it reaches us. We eat and breathe through her blood, which is essentially kept free of germs by her immune system. Or at least should be. So, what does this mean? This means that we live in this completely sterile environment. This is unusual. Okay, this will never happen again in our lives. So whilst we're going through this development process with sheathed in an amniotic sac and encased in the muscle, the uterus And during this process, 100% of ourselves that make us up when we start life are human cells but soon were colonized by so many microorganisms that only 10% of ourselves remain human with microbes, accounting for the remaining 90%.

Now the reason I bring this up is because there has been recent research showing that people born caesarean section uh could potentially have some issues, some immune problems later on in life. And this is due to the fact that they miss out on all the all the bacteria of the vaginal canal that's provided by natural birth. There's also been some suggestions that not breast feeding your Children or weaning them off too early can lead to some developmental issues of a newborn's gut flora as well. Which can lead to immune diseases and immune responses later on in life. Now, I'm not going to go too deep into this topic. But if this piques your interest, this is something you should definitely go and check out on your own, do your own research and see if there's any maybe connection or correlation to any potential immune issues that you have. Another interesting point to note here is that the development of the young child's gut flora can be impacted by antibiotics, not only antibiotics giving to given to the baby itself, but given to the mother during the birthing process or through the pregnancy process.

So what antibiotics do is they essentially kill off all bacteria. Okay, they don't just kill the bad bacteria, They also kill off all the good bacteria. So when we go through a course of antibiotics, it's important to re establish good bacteria by taking probiotics and probiotics and things like that. I'll dive into this in a little bit more details. Once we get towards the end of the elimination diet before we lead into the elimination diet though, I want to talk about some factors that can destroy the microbiome and the reason I want to do this first is because when we start talking about the elimination diet, it will make it a lot easier to start connecting the dots with some potential triggers and intolerances. Number one, as mentioned earlier, not chewing your food correctly can lead to a microbiome imbalance. Also the over consumption of sugar, overuse of antibiotics, nutrient deficiencies, chronic stress over use of Nsaids or non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs and PPS, which are protein pump inhibitors, genetically modified foods and pesticides and herbicides.

It's been found that certain pesticides can poke holes in the gi tract, which increase intestinal permeability and can lead to leaky gut. So this is where some of those bigger particles that shouldn't be getting into the bloodstream do get into the bloodstream. Let's now discuss some of the primary root causes behind almost all digestive disorders. So number one is inflammation. What is inflammation, inflammation is a physiological response to stress essentially. Okay, inflammation is important. So when we put ourselves under stress, when our systems are stressed, basically the parasympathetic nervous system is going to try and balance everything back out. Okay, we don't want the scales to tip too far in one direction, okay, we need to balance those scales back out and maintain homeostasis or equilibrium. Now acute stress is essential for adaptation.

Okay, but if those scales tip too far in one direction, then that acute stress becomes chronic stress, think about when you bend your knee, you twist your knee, playing basketball or whatever. Okay, you're going to have this immune response, This inflammatory response where essentially your body starts producing all of these compounds chemicals pushing blood and fluids and things like that to the damaged area, and it's going to try and repair that area. Okay? So that's essentially uh an inflammatory response. Okay? So that comes from an injury, but the same thing also happens with foods. So if we eat something that were potentially intolerant to that our body can't handle, then your body is also going to create an inflammatory response. Now, this is important to note, because if you injure yourself, you can see it, you can feel it. Okay, there's a physical fucking response that, you know, or I can't do this movement because it hurts when it comes to food and intolerances and things like that, people don't really pay attention to what their energy levels are like after they eat certain foods or how these certain foods affect them.

And do they have certain crashes throughout the day? Do they get gas? Do they get indigestion? Do they get heartburn? Are you shitting yourself? Are you constipated? Here's the thing, if you shit yourself after every meal, that's not normal. If you're constipated for a couple of days at a time, that's not fucking normal either. So, if we injure our knee playing basketball, we don't keep playing all right, But people don't consider the same thing when it comes to food. They don't pay attention to these responses that they have and they keep eating the same food. So this acute inflammatory response can lead to a chronic inflammatory response where essentially your body is thinks it's constantly under attack. So it's going to be mounting this um defense where it starts releasing certain compounds and certain cells to basically go around and fucking start killing things off. Okay. And this is where if you're if you're under chronic amounts of stress and chronic amounts of inflammation, then these killer cells basically can't tell the difference between good cells and bad cells or good bacteria and bad bacteria.

And this is where the body can start attacking itself and attacking its own cells. And this is what's known as auto immune diseases. The next common root cause of digestive disorders is blood sugar dis regulation. So blood sugar levels are constantly being managed so that the body and the systems can maintain or pushed to maintain homeostasis, chronically elevated blood sugar levels can develop into more serious illnesses and diseases. It is also widely known that chronically elevated blood sugar levels can have a negative impact on our gut barriers and how they function as well as increasing the susceptibility to gut infections. So gut this bio sis and elevated blood sugar dis regulation go hand in hand. Any plan that has put forth needs to address both areas for the most effect. Now. The problem is that sugars are not inherently bad, okay? But think about the world that we live in these days. There's fucking sugar in everything. High fructose, corn syrup is put into everything these days because it is a cheap option that is easily made in massive amounts that can increase and improve the flavor of certain foods.

So, you know, if we go back even 100 years, uh the amount of sugar that people were eating was nowhere near as much as as it is today, and the majority of that sugar was coming from natural sources. Okay, that is unfortunately not the world that we live in these days, Everything, particularly packaged and processed foods contain a fuck load of hidden sugar. So, if you go back only a couple of generations ago, the average American intake of sugar was roughly 16 to 24 g per day. Whereas now the average consumption of sugar per day is roughly 80 to 100 g. Now we've got to consider what that does to the body. Okay, when we eat carbohydrates, our body is going to digest, absorb assimilate and convert that into glucose, which is a form of sugar. Now, every time we have this glucose in our blood stream, our body starts releasing insulin. Okay, Which is a hormone, It's a shuttling hormone. So this plays a massive part on your endocrine system and if your endocrine system is constantly working to push this blood sugar or sorry, this glucose out of the bloodstream, then that's taking away from its ability to produce all of these other hormones and is in fact tied to lower serotonin levels.

Now I'm going to circle back to these points in a moment. But what I want to touch on now is this dis regulation of blood sugar levels. Now, if there is a dis regulation and you're receiving way too much sugar for the body to be able to handle, it's constantly pushing out insulin. Okay, and what this does is it creates an insulin resistance where your body basically is just overwhelmed and it can't keep up with the demand and this can lead to pre diabetes and type two diabetes. This dis regulation can also produce a fructose intolerance which can affect our mood. So sugar helps the body absorb many other nutrients into the bloodstream. The amino acid trip to fan like likes to latch onto fructose during digestion. For example, when there is so much fructose in our guard that most of it cannot be absorbed into the blood and we lose that sugar. We also lose the trip to fan that's attached to it. Trip to fan for it's for the most part is needed by the body to produce serotonin which is a neurotransmitter which gained fame as the happiness hormone after it was discovered that a lack of it can cause depression.

The next root cause of most digestive disorders is the good old standard Western diet. Okay, due to scientific and technological advancements, we have all of this food that is mass produced that stays on the shelf for long periods of time. Now there's a lot of compounds as a lot of chemicals within these foods to allow that to happen. And It's a good thing because obviously the world's population has exploded in the last 50 years or so. However, we're looking at the difference between revolution and evolution, Okay. We did not evolve to be able to handle a lot of these compounds in such high amounts. Okay. Revolution happens over a short period of time. Evolution happens over a long period of time. So where these old evolved beings that have gone through this revolution and our body simply hasn't had the time to adapt and adjust to it.

So if you look back in history, you'll see a lot of illness and disease, particularly over the last 70 odd years since 70, 80 years around about World War Two. When all of this food was starting to be mass produced and shipped around the world. And you know, at the time it was a good thing because it made food a lot more convenient, particularly when you know, supply was quite limited with obviously a lot of food being sent overseas to soldiers and you know, all the workers back in the in the factories that were supplying all the war materials and things like that. Um So what this did was created convenience. Now this convenience was great at the time. But This is essentially where the Western Diet has gone now. So instead of eating for sustenance, we now look at convenience and this is where you'll see a lot of fast food chains and things like that. Opening up around about that World War II time and over the next 20 years after that finished and having the convenience of packaged foods and processed foods that last for long periods of time on the shelf.

It's a good thing. Okay, but like I said before, we're no longer eating for sustenance. Okay, back in the day you would just eat whatever the fuck is available. Okay, you had to put some time effort and energy into creating meals nowadays, you can just pull into a drive through. You don't even need to leave your fucking house. You can just call Uber eats and get something delivered to your door. Like what do I feel like eating right now? Okay, we're not considering the nutrient density, the caloric value and you know, the actual um sustenance value of these foods were not looking at, you know, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, we're not looking at what these foods do for us. We're looking at how these foods taste. What do I feel like eating right now And this is an incredible luxury to have in the Western world. However, we stopped looking at food as fuel and we start looking at it for its hedonistic values. So every time you meet up with people, you're eating certain foods, when you go to the cinemas, you're getting a fuck load of popcorn when you're it doesn't matter what you're doing okay.

You associate food with how you're feeling discomfort, emotions, You create these associations with all of these different types of foods and here's the thing, food is either medicine or it's poison. And once you start considering that and going back to basics, what is this food doing for me? How is it fueling my body? How is it fueling my organism? Then you started making these different associations. So if I have a big night out on the piece, for example, most people go to KFC, okay now don't get me wrong, I'll eat KFC every now and again when I feel like it, but it's not the norm. What I'm feeling is because I've made this connection with how food makes me feel. If I'm hungover, I'm not feeling great or I'm just a little bit down, then I'm going looking for something, you know, some plant based meal. I'm looking for a big fucking solid so I can start replenishing all of those nutrients that is going to fuel my processes and recovery within the body and it's not that I necessarily love eating salad.

It's because I've connected and associated the feeling with eating nutrient dense foods with how I feel. Once I start making these connections and associations with how food makes me feel, then it's much easier to start identifying any triggers and foods that can cause any inflammatory response which may be pointing to gut this bio sis and this is the first place that we need to start looking if we want to heal the gut. Let's look for some of the main intolerances. So typical intolerances or typical triggers include gluten sugars, lactose and medications, alcohol, dairy, eggs, gluten and non gluten grains, legumes, GMOs, night shade, vegetables, sugar, birth control, pills, N seeds and PPS stress and medications all play a part on creating an inflammatory response and you can see them if you start paying attention and take note of how you feel when you have these things, identifying gut health issues can be difficult to deal with as most people only consider and treat the symptoms rather than treating the root cause by looking at the digestive tract as a whole.

Now, I've spoken about this in one of my previous episodes. If you go back and listen to the nutritional pyramid of importance on the micro nutrients section, uh I discuss a lot of um nutrient deficiencies that led to problems with the rest of the organism. So if you've got nutrient deficiencies, this might show up as acne or asthma, dry flaky, oily skin, your hair skin nails aren't growing very well. Um maybe you're constipated. Maybe you're shitting yourself after certain meals, you're constantly getting indigestion and bloating and all that type of stuff. So these are the things that we need to start paying attention to when we, when we eat certain foods, so that we can start identifying any intolerances. So what we'll do now is go through how to identify these intolerances and then how we can complete and an elimination diet so that we can figure out basically what these intolerances are and what our sensitivity is to certain things.

First of all, what is an elimination diet and elimination diet is simply identifying any triggers or potential food sources that are creating some form of inflammatory response, uh an immune response and simply removing them. So there's a couple of different ways to do this. Okay, you can go balls deep and go extreme and go right, I'm going to cut out all of those potential triggers that I mentioned earlier uh for four weeks and then gradually start adding them back in one at a time, so that you can start assessing your intolerance, or you can simply identify the times of the day and um certain periods where you get indigestion and bloating and you end up shitting yourself and things like that and have a look at the food that you ate within the last couple of hours and then identify a potential trigger within those meals that you can slowly start removing. Okay, so this completely depends on your individual circumstances. Um but ultimately, if you've got a lot of gut health problems, and you've got a lot of health implications, then I'd recommend going balls deep and using the elimination diet for four weeks and removing all of those potential triggers.

So you're essentially only eating real wholesome clean healthy food. Okay, what is that? What does that mean? That means when you go to the supermarket And you're buying this produce, you're picking up things that don't have a fucking ingredients list with 10-20 things on it. Okay, if you pick up a stake, it doesn't say fucking X, Y. Z. Okay, it is just a steak. Most of these things are real wholesome healthy foods that either lived, grew flew or swam. If you left these foods on the kitchen bench for a week, you would come back and they would not look the same. Okay, those are the types of foods that we're looking for Now. I just want to pause there for a moment to point out the fact that nobody can eat the same diet. No one diet is best for everyone. Okay, every single person is going to be different. Everyone's going to process these foods, Everyone's going to have different intolerance is due to their gut flora and how their microbiome has developed over life.

Okay, so we can actually create intolerance is by eating the same foods all the time and creating this kind of acute inflammatory response that's not dealt with. That adds up to a chronic inflammatory response that creates uh intestinal permeability. So now you're eating the same foods, but those particles are now getting into your bloodstream and your body is mounting an immune response. So you could eat the same thing, You might eat bananas. For example, of red research where people are eating bananas like every day for You know, 35 years and then all of a sudden they create this intolerance to it because there was something else that they're eating that was creating some some form of inflammatory response. And now the banana is not getting broken down correctly and that's getting into the bloodstream and the body's immune system thinks it's a threat and mounts an immune response. So now every time you eat bananas, your body is going to create that immune response. So it's pretty complex topic. I'm not going to go too much deeper here. Okay, but this is something to consider.

Is that not everyone can eat the same thing. Everyone's going to have a different response to every single thing. Let's take the night shade category of vegetables, for example. Okay, vegetables are good, right? But night shade vegetables are full of or are considered fog maps. So fod map means for mental oligarchs Ackroyd's dice Ackroyd's monos Ackroyd's and polio holes and these are small carbohydrates within those are foods within those vegetables that many people cannot digest particularly those with irritable bowel syndrome. Now, is this the chicken or is this the egg? Who knows, It doesn't really matter. We identify the issue and then we start removing it. So let's say we're going balls deep into the elimination diet. We've got some good health issues. Okay? We're going to remove all of those potential trigger foods from our diet. So we're removing alcohol, dairy, eggs, gluten and grains, legumes. GMOs night, shade vegetables, sugars, birth control, uh, medications and stress.

Now, we're going to do that for four weeks. Okay? Pay attention to your energy levels. Pay attention to your sleep. Pay attention to your skin. Pay attention to the organism. How are you feeling? All right. After four weeks we're going to choose one thing to gradually add back in. I'm going to use bread as an example. Okay, to make this really simple. All right. So the first week when you start adding the bread back in, we're looking at things like gluten, okay? Or wheat. Now, you're not going to go straight back to eating two pieces of bread, you might have half a piece of bread every day. Okay? And take note of how you feel. If you feel that something's coming on, you get gassy, you get bloated. Okay, then there's probably an intolerance there that you might need to live without. If however you eat that half a piece of bread for a couple of days and you don't feel any different, then you might increase that to one piece of bread. Okay, one piece of toast and you're going to continue that process until you get to a point where you go, all right, I'm eating 1.5 pieces of bread and now this is starting to create a little bit of gas.

All right. So there's your sensitivity level. Now you just go, right, I'm not going to completely cut out bread from my diet, but I know that if I have one piece of bread, I'm going to be okay. But if I have 1.5 pieces of bread, it starts fucking with me. All right? So then we start going through the same process with all of those other potential trigger foods. So he might start adding in dairy and we're not going to go straight into a full cup. Okay? We might start with, you know, 100 mils of dairy. We'll do that for a couple of days and then we'll bump that up to 150 mils of dairy, do that for a couple of days and we're going to repeat the process until we find a point where our body starts responding negatively again and then we take note of that and we go, cool. There's my sensitivity. If I go over that. That creates an intolerance, but I can deal with that to a certain point. So it's not about cutting things out. Ok? Obviously it is initially, but it's about gradually adding these compounds back in and assessing your sensitivity levels and your intolerance levels so that you don't necessarily need to cut out full food groups or certain compounds.

But you understand that if you eat too much of that then that can create some problems and that's going to affect everything down the line. So think about what I said earlier about being infected with the parasite. Okay, those parasites are going to eat your foods now this is basically what's happening with these um these trigger foods that are causing intolerances. These are feeding the bad bacteria which are now overpowering the good bacteria. So what we want to do is starve them off Now here's the thing, once we starve those things off and we find out what our sensitivity levels are and what are our intolerances are then we need to start repopulating the good bacteria. So this is where we're using like fermented foods, we're taking probiotics, maybe some probiotics etcetera. Okay, you might need to take some hydrochloric acid to aid in the digestion and breakdown of all of the different foods in your stomach. Okay, there's many, many levels to this and you know you can figure out these issues that are causing these problems by going through an elimination diet but if that's too much work for you then you can simply go and see a functional health practitioner or a functional medicine doctor and they will go through some functional gut health testing.

Okay I won't go into detail of what the different testing protocols are, but they can assess any intolerances that you have by doing stool testing by doing blood testing and numerous multiple testings to identify any potential triggers to then guide you down the right path and say, hey, you probably got some intolerance to this. How do you feel when you eat that food? Maybe let's cut that out. Okay. So they can take a lot of the guess work out for you. And the reason I recommend seeing a functional medicine practitioner is because conventional medicine does an excellent job of dealing with acute conditions. So uh you know, you walk into a GPS office and they're typically going to ask what the symptoms are and then they're going to prescribe some fucking drug. They don't ask any questions about nutrition or lifestyle or anything like that. Okay, Whereas a functional medicine practitioner is going to treat the root cause and not just the symptoms, they're also going to look at the body as a whole host of interconnected systems, not as separate entities.

Okay. They understand the implications of stress on the body and the multiple systems and they also use up to date functional testing methods. Functional medicine practitioners look to utilize lifestyle and diet change methods rather than drugs to heal the person. Okay. And they also build a relationship with people. So they're going to typically follow up with people check in with people and see how those lifestyle changes impacting not only their life but their gut health. Who? That was a dense topic. This episode is roughly 55 minutes long and it's taken me probably 4-5 hours to actually put this content together, go through the research etc, etc. So there's obviously a lot of time, energy and effort that goes into this. So if you guys like the content, please make sure you help spread the message, pass this message off or pass this podcast off to other people um that you think will benefit from the message that rounds out the nutrition slash gut health episode of the Swiss Eight miniseries.

Next up, we are going into time management. Okay. Time management for me, the Swiss Eight Boys put time management a lot lower on their list, but for me it is fucking important because this allows me to achieve the things that I want to achieve throughout the day. Let's go, I'll see you guys there. The Western world is in the middle of a mental health crisis and our veterans have taken action. Swiss its team of combat veterans have built a proactive mental health program that is delivered through a mobile app. The app offers users programs in eight categories of health and lifestyle, all proven to reduce anxiety and depression. This holistic model forms your daily routine, aiding you to build structure, improve discipline and take ownership of your life. Once these habits are formed, the app will teach you new skills skills that can form identity, purpose and encourage physical interaction to rebuild your tribe and reduce isolation.

Episode 25: Swiss 8 Mini Series: Gut Health
Episode 25: Swiss 8 Mini Series: Gut Health
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