Beyond Digestion: How Gut Health Connects to Your Mind, Body, and Soul

June 03, 2021

This is a recording of “Beyond Digestion: How Gut Health Connects to Your Mind, Body, and Soul,” a Zoom meeting held on April 8, 2021, sponsored by Dinno Health.  The speaker was Dr. Laura M. Brown, a registered naturopathic doctor with a functional medicine approach. She focuses on stimulating the body’s natural mechanisms to repair damage and rebuild health. She is a HeartMath Certified Practitioner, a level two Certified Gluten Free Practitioner and holds the designation of ADAPT Trained Practitioner from Kresser Institute, the only functional medicine and ancestral health training company. The discussion and presentation on gut health was facilitated by Beth Gardner, Director of Health and Wellness for Dinno Health. Below is an excerpt:

Beth Gardner of Dinno Health:
We’ll be talking about her number one Amazon best-selling book, Beyond Digestion. Thank you, Dr. Brown, for participating in our Dinno Health lecture.

Dr. Brown:
Thank you so much for the kind introduction, Beth, and really appreciate being here with everybody today. It’s been a really good experience writing a book. It’s my first book and getting it out there–it’s really a message I feel that the broader audience needs to be aware of. Gut health is something very close to my own health and experience.  It was through my journey and through my patients’ journey that I was able to share so many deep stories about health as a registered naturopathic doctor with a functional medicine approach.

[What] comes to play as a holistic practitioner is to look at the physical, the emotional, the cognitive, and the spiritual. These are the layers that peel back in the book, Beyond Digestion, because sincerely we are all these things. Our health is pervasive throughout all these layers of our body. Sometimes, there’s a window of entry into a person’s health that it may be on the spiritual plane, it may be on the physical plane, maybe it’s on the emotional plane. That’s where we begin, but it’s never where we end. It’s always looking holistically at that whole person.

The things that we’re going to touch on are the role of microbiome, what affects gut health, this circadian rhythm of the gut, and stress in the gut. I’m just touching on things briefly. If you’re interested in more in-depth things, of course, that’s what’s in the book. But I am pulling some things out of the book so that we can just get a taste today.

It’s really interesting when it comes to thinking about digestion because even your mood can be a reflection or a reaction of what’s going on in your gut. The book that I wrote offers a clear path to break the negative cycle of many chronic health issues. As Hippocrates had said, over 2000 years ago, it really does all begin in the gut. And once I see patients in clinics, sometimes I get stumped on cases, and I’ll be racking my brain and then I’ll just think, Laura, have you thought about the gut? And then sometimes I come back to the gut and be like, there we go, maybe we should’ve started there.

The role of the microbiome, it does so much. Our digestive track starts in our mouth and ends at our bum, but our microbiome, we’re finding it’s not just in our gut. Our microbiome is in our eyes. It’s on our skin. It’s in our lungs. It’s traveling and sending messengers up to our brain. It’s communicating with our liver and as you get deeper and deeper, it’s like what isn’t it communicating with? And just you know, focusing back in on the gut, the gut itself contains 10 times as many microbes as your whole body contains human cells, which means, 99% of your genes in your body actually come from microbes. I mean, like news flash, if we can affect these guys, if they’re affected in our health, then we have some leverage, right? We could actually be bacteria having a human experience. The takeaway from this is 99% of what’s in you is not you.

Your gut is also your primary sensing organ. I touched on emotions before. When you sample your environment, you often do through your digestive tract. We taste things and we’re bringing things in but we’re also bringing in toxins when we bring that in. We’re bringing in other stuff but not just the physical things that come into our body. We have to think from an energetic perspective. The gut is an area of our solar plexus and this is an area where we often pick up vibrations. This is what we naturally just kind of ad hoc talk about, you know, our gut reaction or our gut sense. You know it’s something there that’s actually quite real.

We also have to digest our emotions and our emotions are actually chemicals, right? There are our neurotransmitters, you know, norepinephrine, epinephrine, dopamine, serotonin. All of these types of emotions are based on chemicals and when we have a surge of chemicals, our body also has to digest those. So thinking about that when life becomes difficult, our digestive process breaks down. That means we’re not digesting our food as well and we’re not digesting our emotions as well.  I talk about this extensively in all of the layers. The microbiome also looks after detoxification. It’s binding to constituents, fighting infectious intruders. I mean 75 to 80 percent of our immune is in our gut. It’s also responsible for elimination and letting go. Protection–the gut barrier is only one cell thick but it does a ton for us in protecting that gut, right? We hear so often about leaky gut and there’s many things that will contribute to that but protecting from that is huge in protecting our body from the outside world and inflammation. The microbiome also looks after regulation of other body systems, hormone and energy distribution networks, the immune system, and the brain.

Watch the video to learn about:

  • The role of the microbiome
  • What affects gut health
  • Circadian rhythm of the gut
  • Stress and the gut