Let’s talk about gut health and digestive upset. Your gut is the foundation for health. In fact, your gut controls your mood & concentration (via the enteric nervous system), your metabolism, immune system, endocrine system (that’s including your hormones, sex drive, thyroid health, and more!). If you have digestive upset, it’s likely that you have issues elsewhere in your body, too. Your gut is one of the most powerful systems in the prevention of chronic disease and maintenance of health, vitality, and resiliency. Getting your gut health back on track is the first step in achieving your fitness goals. In this section we will talk about:
- Signs of an unhealthy gut
- Natural treatments for IBS, SIBO, Crohn’s, and Ulcerative Colitis
- Herbs and supplements for gas and bloating
- Integrative treatments for gut health
- Supplements to improve gut health
- Obstacles to gut health
- Nutrigenomics (aka eating based on your genetic make-up)
- AND MUCH MORE!
Don’t wait to improve your gut health, overall health, and mood with Dr. Cain’s Gut Psychology Course. The online course guides you through 4 video modules going in-depth on how your gut impacts your brain!
What is the gut, anyway?
There is all this talk about the “gut,” the “gut-brain axis,” “gut health,” and more. But have you ever stopped to ask: “What actually is the gut?” Before we dive into the details about how your gut can impact your mood, hormones, metabolism, and more, let’s first begin by discussing what your gut actually is.
The gut refers to your gastrointestinal (GI) tract. The GI tract includes the mouth, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, large intestine, small intestine, and rectum. The gut is a highly sophisticated system that takes in all of the substances you consume, and convert them into usable material, or eliminate them from your body. The gut is regulated through a series of complex neurological messengers that regulates the GI tract and communicates to the brain. In fact, the enteric nervous system is often called “the second brain.”
Interested in learning more? Click on one (or all!) of the provided links to dig in with more detail about different topics related to digestive upset. Included are videos, podcasts, books, resources, and tons of content– all for free! Whether it’s solutions for gas and bloating, supplements for constipation, or ideas to heal your gut and therefore heal your brain– we’ve got you covered.
Does my gut really affect my mood?
The short answer is: YES. The long answer requires a little bit more discussion. Let’s talk about the Gut-Brain Connection aka the gut-brain axis.
The gut-brain axis is the connection between the gut and the brain. This connection occurs via the enteric nervous system (ENS) which was introduced earlier on this page. The ENS can operate independently of the brain and can communicate with the brain. The ENS controls the production of enzymes, makes neurotransmitters (including dopamine and serotonin!), processes the foods you eat, detoxifies your body, regulates your hormones, and so much more.
The health of your gut will impact the information communicated to your brain, and thus the behavior of your central nervous system in its regulation of your mind and mood. Have you ever heard that one of the top side effects of SSRI medications (like Zoloft or Prozac) is digestive upset? This is because this drug class targets serotonin, and 90% of your serotonin is produced in your gut. Of course, then, the reverse makes sense: If you heal your gut. You heal your brain. It is often said, “leaky gut” leads to a “leaky brain” so healing the gut is profoundly important in healing your brain.
Dr. Nicole wrote an entire book on this exact subject. The Gut Psychology book has over 50 references to empirical studies regarding the gut-brain axis and eating for optimal brain health.
Here is Dr. Nicole’s protocol for examining the health of your gut, in order to assess the root cause of your digestive upset or even mental and emotional symptoms:
- Assess your diet and make recommendations from the Gut Psychology Program content. You can purchase this book and get started reading it right away by clicking HERE.
- Run comprehensive testing to look at gut health, food reactivities, and toxicity
- Create a gut healing protocol tailored to your test results with a trusted healthcare provider.
How does dysbiosis affect my mood?
You have 3 to 5 pounds of mood-regulating bugs living in your gut (reference). That’s enough bugs to fill an entire soup can. So imagine if that soup can is filled with pathogenic harmful bugs. Paints a pretty gnarly picture doesn’t it? But this is a perfect portrayal of the impact dysbiosis can have on your mind and body. Dysbiosis is an imbalance in your good bugs versus bad bugs. Dysbiosis is arguably one of the root causes of almost all diseases. There are links between our gut flora and the function of our nervous system, endocrine system, metabolism, and more. Different pathogens are associated with different symptoms. For example, clostridia is an opportunistic infection that releases one byproduct in particular called HPHPA which causes mental and emotional symptoms related to anger, anxiety, and autistic symptoms. Candidiasis is a yeast that naturally lives in our guts, but if fed sugar, carbohydrates, and yeast (vinegar, alcohol, and baking yeast) it grows out of control. Another main cause of yeast overgrowth is a history of antibiotic use. Antibiotics wipe out all the good bugs as well as the bad, leaving lots of room for candida to spread out and get comfortable. Candida causes symptoms that are often mistaken for chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), fibromyalgia, mood disorders, brain fog, and more.
With respect to this, don’t you want to know what’s going on in your gut? If your bugs are out of balance it is essential to know HOW they are out of balance and to have sensitivity testing done so that you know how to get rid of the bad specifically and promote the good.
5 Signs that you have an unhealthy gut
Hello everyone! We are so excited to bring to you this mini- GUT HEALTH series with Anette De La Rosa!
Dr. Nicole Cain, ND, MA is collaborating with Anette De La Rosa on many fundamentals of overall wellness, including how gut health can not only affect mood but fitness goals and muscle tissue. Scientific studies are pointing to the importance of gut health, and that digestive upset and issues can cause imbalances that don’t only affect the GI tract.
In this first episode, Dr. Cain dives into the 5 MAIN SIGNS THAT YOU HAVE AN UNHEALTHY GUT !!
The Good News: There is hope and there are many ways to heal the gut that Dr. Cain and Anette De La Rosa will talk about in the next video.
Click HERE to purchase the GUT PSYCHOLOGY Gut Health 101!
Thank you for watching!
For more information about Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA, visit www.DrNicoleCain.com
3 tips to improve gut health
This is episode 2 of Dr. Nicole Cain’s collaboration with Anette De La Rosa’s current health series & a continuation of last week’s video, 5 WAYS TO KNOW IF YOU HAVE AN UNHEALTHY GUT.
If you need help improving your GUT HEALTH further, make sure to check out Dr. Nicole Cain’s online course “Gut Psychology” which has already helped Anette and many other satisfied readers!
(Learn more about Anette De La Rosa’s work and her vision for HAPPY HEALTHY STRONG, HERE.
We will continue to dive deep into many health-related topics. Please make sure to leave a comment on Dr. Nicole Cain or Anette’s youtube channel to let us know what you would like to cover!
Dr. Nicole Cain, ND MA is collaborating with Anette De La Rosa on gut health, cultivating overall wellness, hormones, thyroid, and many other issues affecting the readers.
Thank you for reading and watching our videos!
Natural Solutions for IBS
What is IBS?
IBS otherwise known as irritable bowel syndrome affects over 200,000 people in the United States every year. We do not know the exact cause of IBS and symptoms vary from person to person. The most common symptoms are diarrhea alternating with constipation, intermittent abdominal pain, and bloating and diarrhea.
What causes IBS?
As mentioned, we do not know exactly what causes IBS however naturopathic medicine has identified that IBS is intimately linked with the health of the rest of your body. We see those suffering from chronic fatigue also experience IBS symptoms, similarly, fibromyalgia sufferers often struggle with IBS-type symptoms in addition to the pains. IBS is common in trauma survivors, those with mental and emotional disorders, and people who are under high amounts of stress. You will be at a greater risk of IBS if you have a history of multichemical exposure, eat a high-inflammatory and high-fat diet, and work in a job you hate.
IBS is your body’s attempt to tell you that something in your life is not working. By identifying the root cause of your IBS, you may uncover an opportunity to engage in powerfully deep healing.
Integrative and Naturopathic solutions for IBS:
- Dr. Nicole Cain recommends three key solutions in the treatment of IBS:
- Eliminate obstacles to cure: This could relate to your lifestyle, your relationships, and your diet.
- Give your body what it needs. You need good food, good nutrients, good relationships, good detoxification, and good rest.
- There is a strong link between IBS and your mood. To learn more about the Gut-Brain Axis, click HERE.
- Detox regularly. Detox from people, technology, stress, and demands on your life. Detox from chemicals and do cleanses regularly. Dr. Cain’s Detox Package:
- Dr. Nicole Cain recommends three key solutions in the treatment of IBS:
Natural Solutions for Gas and Bloating
Gas and bloating is a sign that your gut is out of balance. The causes of gas and bloating often overlap with the causes of constipation, diarrhea, and IBS. To learn more, click on the links corresponding with each of these topics. We will be discussing how to test for the root cause of gastrointestinal distress, integrative treatments for gut symptoms, and strategies to increase the overall health of your gut, naturally.
Natural Solutions for Colic in Babies
Colic is one of the dreaded illnesses of new babies and the healthcare system is generally at a loss of how to effectively treat colic. Thankfully, integrative medicine has an answer. In this article, Dr. Cain discusses the top 8 causes of colic and provides her most powerful, tried-and-true natural solutions for colic in babies.
Typically, colic develops around two or three weeks after birth. The baby cries, writhes, and may even refuse to feed. Colic typically occurs either around feeding times or in the evening. There are many different reasons a baby may develop colic and get to the root cause is key to helping heal your baby.
Note: If your baby is suffering from colic, be sure to have your little one examined by a skilled pediatrician to rule out any life-threatening illnesses first.
Here are some high yield notes from Dr. Nicole Cain about integrative solutions for colic and upset tummies.
Causes of colic in babies
- Allergies to food (either the food the baby is eating or the foot a breastfeeding mother is consuming)
- Common food culprits:
- Common food culprits:
- Underdeveloped digestive system
- Imbalance of gut bacteria
- Childhood abdominal migraine
- Family stress and anxiety
- Exposure to toxic chemicals (cigarette smoke, fire retardant inhalation, etc)
Baby Colic Relief: Integrative Solutions for Colic in Babies
There are man natural remedies for colic, here are Dr. Cain’s top 5 baby colic solutions:
- Dietary changes: Consider changing formulas, mom to eliminate alcohol, broccoli, dairy, caffeine, sugar, wheat, and eggs from the diet.
- Help the baby swallow less air: Work with a lactation consultant, or get a nipple with a smaller hole.
- Infant massage: Gentile massage on the tummy
- Warm soothing bath with Epsom salts
- Supplements for colic:
- Probiotics to help heal the bacteria balance (especially for c-section deliveries)
- Gripe water (contains fennel and ginger)
- Chamomilla flowers
- Sambucus flowers are excellent for colic in babies
Homeopathic remedies for colic:
Homeopathy is very helpful for babies with colic. Homeopathy requires a perfect match between your child’s symptoms and the symptoms the remedy produces. Below are the most common remedies needed to treat colic in children.
- Chamomilla is the main remedy needed for colic. Because it is used so frequently you should try it first and look at other remedies if it does not work.
- The main symptoms of Chamomilla are mood symptoms. They are very discontented from the pain and are BETTER FROM BEING CARRIED. As long as you carry them they feel better, but the moment you set them down they will be angry and cry. Even at a young age they look angry and cry in an angry manner.
- There is often one cheek red and one cheek pale.
- Often times the colic is worse at night.
- Colic is often worse in the late afternoon and early evening (4-8 PM)
- Pains are made better by passing flatus or burping.
- The child does not want clothing on the abdomen.
- Colic is often after eating and they have a distended abdomen that has loud rumbling.
Magnesium Phosphoricum (Mag Phos)
- The child will bend double (or draw legs up) and be better by pressure on the abdomen.
- The pain is better from warmth.
- Very similar to Mag-phos but are a little angrier. Otherwise very hard to tell apart in children.
- The child will bend double and is better from hard pressure on the abdomen.
- Warmth will make the pain better.
- Whiny weeping with a desire to be held and have close contact.
- Colic after the mother has eaten rich foods much like Nux vomica but the child is more whiny than irritable.
- Colic is often after the mother has eaten a heavy fatty meal or after spicy food.
- The angry child is usually chilly.
- The child is often constipated
- Aggravated from cold/ chill
- Another very common remedy for colic where the child has a very sweaty head during sleep.
- Often times have a very large head compared to the body.
- Colic is better if they are constipated.
Here is a list Dr. Cain’s Favorite Colic Supplements:
Baby and Mom PB15+ DF by Vita Aid Professional Therapeutics
Spring Garden Organic Baby Massage Oil w/Sprayer by Ruby Blue Bunny
Tiny Tummies Packets 0-6 Months by LoveBug Probiotics
Tiny Tummies Packets 6-12 Months by LoveBug Probiotics
Natural Solutions for Constipation
Are you looking for natural remedies for constipation? If so, you are in the right place. Constipation affects millions worldwide, and naturopathic medicine offers solutions that are powerful, effective, and safe. Let’s get started!
What is constipation?
Constipation is defined as the difficult passage of stool that results in fewer than 3 bowel movements in a week’s time. Constipation can be extremely uncomfortable and the standard of care is Miralax and other stool softeners. The problem with chronic use of stool softeners is that they are extremely habit-forming and can stop working after a time.
What causes constipation?
Constipation is caused by many things. Causes can be due to emotional, structural, chemical, nervous-system abnormalities. Constipation can also be caused by trauma, toxicity, genetic mutations, dietary issues, nutrient deficiency, medications, certain supplements, and more.
Dr. Nicole Cain’s Anti-Constipation First Aid Kit
- Fiber Formula by Integrative Therapeutics
- Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops – Glass by Trace Minerals Research
Integrative Solutions for constipation:
First, identify the cause of your constipation. See your doctor for a comprehensive workup including an analysis of your medications and supplements. Your doctor may also refer you to a gastroenterologist for more comprehensive testing. If you run into dead ends, you may consider the following possible differentials in the cause of your constipation.
Constipation may be caused by dysbiosis in your gut. As mentioned earlier in this section, you have enough bacteria in your gut to fill a soup can! There is an extremely delicate balance in your gut flora, and the bacterial composition is profoundly important in a healthy functioning GI tract. Any changes can lead to a myriad of symptoms extending from head to toe.
Click here to read more about dysbiosis and to get information on how to test to see if dysbiosis is one of the causes of your symptoms.
When it comes to constipation we want to consider toxic burden as a possible cause. We know that the bowels are our body’s primary method to eliminate toxins. Toxins can increase as a result of bowel dysfunction and toxins can cause dysfunction in the bowels. A key toxin that causes bowel sluggishness is lead.
Dr. Nicole Cain’s Recommended Testing for Toxicity:
- Heavy Metals Hair Analysis
- GPL Non-Metal Toxicity Testing (urine)
When your results are in, we will create an individualized detoxification program for you.
Dr. Cain’s Detox Package
Dr. Nicole Cain’s Supplements for Healing the Gut
- Similase Sensitive Stomach Digestive Enzyme by Integrative Therapeutics
Constipation may be due to food allergies causing leaky gut and inflammation. The inflammation leads to a more hospital ground for pathogens in your gut and causes symptoms of GI upset including but not limited to diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating, IBS, and more.
Natural Solutions for Diarrhea
Diarrhea is defined as more than 3 stools in a day. Typically the stools are loose and may contain blood, mucus, or undigested food. Diarrhea may be acute which is diarrhea that occurs for a period of under 2 weeks, or chronic which is diarrhea that lasts over 2 weeks in duration. Diarrhea may be caused by an enzyme deficiency in your body, for example, those with lactose intolerance do not have the lactase enzyme to break down lactose in milk and experience diarrhea when consuming milk. Other causes of diarrhea include but are not limited to: Viruses, bacteria, loss of intestinal surface area (celiac disease, surgical resection), intestinal ischemia (not enough blood is going to the bowels), and as a result of certain medications (like heartburn medications, NSAIDS, chemotherapeutics and more).
If you have acute diarrhea, a medication that is often recommended is Imodium AD. It is fairly quick, effective, and can be found over the counter at most pharmacies. But if you want to avoid prescription medications for diarrhea, there are natural remedies to relieve diarrhea.
What helps diarrhea, fast?
Here are some quick strategies to quickly help stop diarrhea naturally:
- First of all: You need to make sure to prevent dehydration. The key flavors are salty and sweet. Drink a liquid-like Pedialyte that contains salt and sugar. The salt slows down the fluid loss and the sugar will help you absorb the salt.
- Foods to harden your stool: When it comes to diarrhea, eat foods that are in the BRAT diet: Bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast.
- Probiotics: Every time you have a bowel movement, take a probiotic with a small snack. The quicker you crowd out those bad bugs, the quicker you will feel better. Our favorite probiotic is Probiotic Synergy by Designs for Health, order it here!
Dr. Nicole Cain’s Diarrhea First-Aid Kit:
- Anti-Diarrhea Drops by Professional Formulas
- Shen Ling (Shen Ling Bai Zhu San) by Health Concerns
- Bifilon by QOL Labs
- Unda #50 by Seroyal/ Unda
- Probiotic Synergy by Designs for Health
If your diarrhea lasts more than 3 days, call your doctor in case there is something deeper causing your symptoms that requires more intensive treatment.
Integrative and Naturopathic Solutions for Diarrhea:
We first need to identify the cause of diarrhea and address that. It is important for you to see your doctor if you are experiencing chronic diarrhea. They may refer you to a gastroenterologist who will do testing to identify the cause. It is especially important to have children examined by a doctor if they are suffering from diarrhea as diarrhea may actually indicate a bowel obstruction or another condition. Children also have a greater risk to suffer from dehydration which can be life-threatening.
If you have seen your doctor and been appropriately examined but have run into a dead-end, you might consider the following:
Diarrhea may be caused by an imbalance in your gut flora, otherwise known as dysbiosis. Click here to read more about dysbiosis and to get information on how to test to see if dysbiosis is one of the causes of your symptoms.
When it comes to diarrhea we also want to consider it a toxic burden. We know that the bowels are our body’s primary organ for toxin elimination. A key toxin category that is associated with diarrhea is organophosphates. Organophosphates are chemicals that are sprayed on foods to kill insects.
Diarrhea may be due to food allergies causing leaky gut and inflammation. The inflammation leads to a more hospital ground for pathogens in your gut and causes symptoms of GI upset including but not limited to diarrhea, constipation, gas and bloating, IBS, and more.
Natural treatment for hemorrhoids
What is a hemorrhoid?
A hemorrhoid is a group of veins in the region of the anus or rectum that become swollen or engorged. Another name for hemorrhoids are piles and are similar to varicose veins.
What causes hemorrhoids?
Hemorrhoids are typically caused by straining during a bowel movement. This most commonly occurs during constipation however those who are pregnant or obese are at a greater risk of developing hemorrhoids. Hemorrhoids can produce symptoms that can include bleeding, itching, and can even be quite painful.
Integrative treatments for hemorrhoids:
Integrative treatment for hemorrhoids first involves identifying the cause of the hemorrhoids.
This means that if the hemorrhoid is caused by constipation, we first must improve bowel function.
Solutions for constipation include Increasing water intake to at least 1/2 your weight per day. Be sure to add minerals to your water for proper absorption of water. A high-fiber diet can also prevent constipation and reduce the risk of hemorrhoids. Other treatments for constipation include Magnesium citrate, enzymes, and more.
Dr. Nicole’s Anti-Constipation First Aid Kit
- Concentrace Trace Mineral Drops – Glass by Trace Minerals Research
When it comes to hemorrhoids we also want to consider a toxic burden. Lindlahr, one of the founders of Naturopathic Medicine discusses how a hemorrhoid is the body’s attempt at detoxification. Suppressing a hemorrhoid may make your chronic symptoms worse, therefore, make sure that your treatment protocol includes ruling out environmental toxicity as a potential cause of your digestive upset. For example, lead toxicity is a known cause of constipation and as discussed, constipation can cause hemorrhoids.
I’d like to learn more about the following gut health topics:
- Does my gut really affect my mood?
- How does dysbiosis affect my mood?
- 5 Signs that you have an unhealthy gut
- 3 tips to improve gut health
- Natural treatments for IBS
- Natural treatments for gas and bloating
- Natural treatments for colic in babies
- Natural treatment for constipation
- Natural treatments for diarrhea
- Natural treatment for hemorrhoids