11 gut bombs to eliminate from your life immediately
A Mind Of Your Own was written by Dr Kelly Brogan, an MD and passionate advocate for women’s health. In this book, Dr Kelly attributes an increase in depression and anxiety among women to what we put in our bodies (which she refers to as “gut bombs”).
Based on scientific evidence and her own personal account of being unwell and unable to find the answer in conventional medicine, Dr Kelly’s remarkable journey will help you drown out the cacophony of messages about health and wellness. Despite this book being directed towards women, I believe its strategies are gender neutral.
The gut-mind connection
Our gut, brain and immune system are all interconnected and there is evidence demonstrating the gut’s relationship to emotional wellbeing. By learning to decode this complex relationship, we can begin to improve our physical and mental health.
There are a number of inflammatory culprits which Dr Kelly refers to as the “top gut bombs” in the book which can be eliminated from our diet for optimal health and wellbeing. These include:
Derived from wheat and a number of other grains, gluten is made up of two classes of proteins: glutenins and gliadins. People may be sensitive to either class, or to any one of the twelve different smaller units that make up gliadin. Gluten sensitivity may be experienced by people who do not have coeliac disease and it has been shown to lead to gut inflammation as well as psychological imbalances. In advanced states, gluten intolerance may lead to depression, seizures, anxiety, multiple sclerosis, ADHD and nerve damage.
Dr Kelly also states that flu and tetanus injections cannot be recommended to everyone without knowledge of their personal or family history. For example, someone predisposed to depression and anxiety can have an adverse psychological reaction to vaccines. The one size fits all medication is simply not appropriate.
Birth control pills
More than 100 million women around the world are on some form of hormonal suppression. Oral contraceptives can increase depression and cause other mood related disturbances. They also increase oxidative stress and deplete vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Genetically modified foods weren’t made by nature. Although initially believed to be harmless, genetically modified organisms (or GMO foods) have been shown to disrupt our gut flora. As mentioned above, an unhappy gut can lead to an unhappy mind.
Dr Kelly’s book introduces the reader to a great resource called Hormones Matter. This resource outlines the neurological and psychiatric conditions that can occur when we take antibiotics. When we get prescriptions for antibiotics, it’s like drinking poison to kill the enemy. Dr Kelly writes “protect your bugs and they’ll protect you”.
Several studies are quoted in the book that link fluoride to brain damage. It’s also been linked to an increased absorption of aluminium, calcifying of the pineal gland (your day/night sensor) and damage to the hippocampus (brain’s memory centre).
A problem for some but not everyone, a person may be lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy, being unable to digest the dairy proteins. In order to fully understand how dairy is processed by your body, it is suggested to eliminate dairy from your diet for one month and then reintroduce the “right kind” of dairy. This includes dairy products from grass fed cows.
Dr Kelly quipped “our love affair with chemicals is getting complicated. We eat them, breathe them, slather them on our skin. And when we get sick we take more of them.” I recently read an article about what goes into making Chanel No. 5. I’ve got to say, it begs the question is our Perfume Poison?
Painkillers and Acidity Drugs
Ibuprofen, Advil and antacids are commonly found in a woman’s handbag or medicine cabinet for everyday use. Reaching out and popping a pill with the intention to feel better quickly is counterintuitive. In reality, they can damage the stomach lining and disrupt the gut microbiome which may do more harm than good.
Artificial sweeteners like Equals and Splenda have been proven to negatively impact our physical and mental wellbeing. In addition to causing sugar cravings, according to Dr Kelly, the human body cannot digest artificial sweeteners and the undigested molecules have to pass through our gastrointestinal tract for elimination. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to glucose intolerance by altering the gut microbiota.
These are defined as “any of a group of drugs which act to reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood”. New research has revealed that statins “may lessen brain function and increase risk for diabetes, heart disease and depression”. Cholesterol is also a vital nutrient for brain health. (This book makes a very powerful case against “low fat diets”).
For healing and ongoing prevention, our body needs to know we are not being attacked. When we are well nourished, well supported and calm, the body doesn’t go on the defence and inflammation naturally reduces.
This book has alternatives and healing methodologies you can try, along with a 30 day eating plan. The message is a simple one – eliminate gut bombs, eat nutritionally dense foods, balance blood sugar, get enough sleep and incorporate meditation and exercise. In my experience sustainable solutions do not require us to sign up for a lifelong membership somewhere. Rather, the focus is on self-responsibility. It can be achieved by getting enough sleep, undertaking regular meditation, walking outside, drinking more water and eating nutritious meals. My Wellness Journal can help you keep track of the signals you are sending your body. You can begin joining the dots to decode your gut-mind connection.
My Personal Journey
A short time ago, I set myself a three-week challenge in My Wellness Journal to go gluten free. I hadn’t been diagnosed with gluten intolerance, however the results were nothing short of enlightening.
Testing for gluten intolerance or gluten sensitivity (as distinct from coeliac disease) is limited. Therefore, we might not know whether it causes inflammation unless we eliminate it for a period of time. The type of gluten I’d been eating was the “good kind” – spelt, sourdough, wholemeal.
Around day 3 of my gluten-free diet, my sore throat had disappeared (I’d had periodic bouts of sore throat first thing in the morning) and the frequency of my headaches were reduced. After being off gluten for only 10 days, I went out with family for dinner. I chose a meal I’d believed was gluten free, however the headache and sore throat returned the following morning. Because I was tracking my food with My Wellness Journal, I could quickly zero in on a possible culprit: soy sauce.
We need to take the time to educate ourselves about what we put into our body. If you treat your body with respect, your body will thank you for it with good health and revitalised energy.
Begin by choosing from the list above what you can safely eliminate – even if it’s just for a month. It might be taking a close look at what’s in the medicine cabinet, or drinking the best water available, finding natural personal care alternatives or eliminating inflammation causing foods from your pantry. Shine a light into every dark corner and raise your awareness.
- In this moment how do I feel in my body, mind and spirit? (This is your WHY for initiating change)
- What can I do every day to send signals to my body that I am not being attacked, I am not in danger, I am well nourished, well supported and calm? (Here are some ideas – an hour’s extra sleep, increase my water intake, meditate, have a bath with Epsom salts)
- What’s the one single step I can take to clear my path right now? What’s the one thing that I can safely forego for a short period of time? (Pick one of the gut bombs that’s safe to eliminate or it could be an emotion or habit you’d like to forego)
Once you have your answers, track your progress in the goal tracker section of My Wellness Journal. Make daily observations in the journal so you can find a path to wellness, happiness and productivity.
Words To Grow By
Kelly Brogan, MD
“Start to think critically about what you buy, the medical advice you take, and what the media tells you to worry about. Let light shine on every dark corner of your belief about health. This critical thinking will liberate you to realise your full potential as a parent, spouse, or friend, and within your own sphere of existence.”