How do I Know if My Gut Needs Support

When I asked what this community wanted to learn more about in 2023, a topic that came up again and again was gut health and how to know when your gut might need support. I don’t think it’s ever a bad idea to support your gut, but there are certain populations that will likely require further testing and individualized support on the healing journey.

You don’t have to have obvious GI symptoms* to benefit from supporting your gut health. There are a few specific scenarios, gut symptoms or not, that I would look further into gut health if I were their practitioner:

1. Anyone with an autoimmune disease as one of their main health concerns. Research has found that certain gut bacteria can trigger autoimmune conditions, while others like H. pylori can increase the risk. A large portion of our immune system also resides in our gut. PMID: 32891538, 29590047

2. Women with endometriosis have a higher risk of bacterial overgrowth and SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth), which is often due to low stomach acid and slower motility.

3. Those with hypothyroidism that have not seen the results they want focusing on minerals and stress. We convert about 20% of T4 (inactive thyroid hormone) to T3 (active thyroid hormone) in our intestines. We need healthy bacteria to do this.

4. Those with mental health concerns, especially anxiety, that have not seen the results they want using other therapies or want to take a whole body approach when addressing their mental health. Scroll above for more on this!

*If you are unsure if you have constipation, loose stools, or healthy bowel movements, scroll above to see the Bristol Stool Chart.

Here are a few great podcast episodes from the Are You Menstrual? Podcast that you may find helpful around improving your gut health:

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Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

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