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The UNEXPECTED IMPACT of an Unhealthy Gut

Everyone is talking about gut health, but why is it so important? Dr. Mel Schottenstein explains the incredible the importance of the gut to our overall health. Numerous studies in the past two decades are revealing a link between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.


An unhealthy gut can manifest many symptoms, here are the most common:

1. Sugar Cravings

A Processed food and added sugars can affect the good bacteria living in your system and create an imbalanced microbiome. In turn, the imbalance can increase sugar cravings, which then damages your gut further. Sugars like high-fructose corn syrup and refined sugars have been proven to increase inflammation in the body- which can be the foundation to a number of diseases and even cancer.

2. Chronic Fatigue or Insomnia

Serotonin is produced mostly within the gut. This hormone affects your mood and sleep, so gut damage can impair your body's ability to sleep well. An unhealthy gut may contribute to insomnia or poor sleep, and therefore lead to chronic fatigue. Poor sleep for a long period of time has been linked to a greater risk of fibromyalgia.

3. Upset stomach

Stomach disturbances like gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn can all be signs of an unhealthy gut. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste.

4. Unexplained Weight Gain or Weight Loss

Your body's ability to absorb nutrients, regulate blood sugar and even how it stores fat can be impacted negatively by an unbalanced gut. Blood sugar regulation affects insulin resistance, which could lead to weight gain. Small bacterial overgrowth could cause unhealthy weight loss.

5. Skin Conditions

Eczema and other skin conditions have been linked to inflammation of the gut due to poor diet or food allergens. Inflammation can then increase chances of the gut leaking certain proteins that can irritate the skin and cause chronic skin conditions.

6. Autoimmune conditions

More and more studies are finding evidence that the gut greatly impacts the immune system and how effectively it functions. An unhealthy gut may increase systemic inflammation and lead to autoimmune diseases.

7. Food Allergies and Intolerance

The difficulty in digesting certain foods are called food intolerances, which may be signs of poor quality of bacteria in the gut. Food allergies may also be linked to an unhealthy gut and trigger symptoms like bloating, has, diarrhea, nausea and more.


The takeaways

Chronic digestive complaints, like gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea, are all signs of an unhealthy gut, but imbalances in your gut microbiome can also cause more widespread problems like difficulty concentrating, skin troubles, and more. 

Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to help improve your gut health. While diet is often the first line of defense, taking probiotics and other digestive supplements, reducing stress levels, and exercising regularly can also play a big role in getting your body back to optimal health!


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If you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications, consult with your doctor before starting a supplement routine. It is always optimal to consult with a health care provider when considering what supplements are right for you.


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ABOUT DR. MEL Originally from Cincinnati, Ohio, Dr. Mel studied Women, Gender, Sexuality, and History of Science and Medicine at Harvard University for her undergraduate degree. Interested in learning skills of medical mediation and to promote cultural competency amongst health care providers, she completed a Master’s degree in Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. Subsequently, Dr. Mel acquired a Naturopathic Medical Degree at Bastyr University in WA. While in school, she received additional training in Biological Medicine under the tutelage of Dr. Thomas Rau of the Paracelsus Clinic, Switzerland. Dr. Mel completed training in Regenerative Medicine, Integrative Oncology, Medical Aesthetics, BHRT, Neural therapy, Biofeedback, Homeopathy, Botanical Medicine, Environmental Medicine, and IV Therapy.

Post-graduation, Dr. Mel entered a Masters of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine program as well as a Masters in Ayurvedic Medicine. She received training in Medical Aesthetics from the National Laser Institute and became certified as a Wahls Protocol Health Professional (The only certified provider in AZ). Dr. Mel completed the post-graduate certification as a Swiss Biological Medicine Provider from the Swiss Biological Medicine organization. Her training at Swiss Biomed concluded with a one-on-one internship with Dr. Thomas Rau in Switzerland. While in Europe, Dr. Mel received training in the use of the Weber Endolaser for intraarticular/ intravenous/ interstitial/topical applications directly from the inventor, and founder of ISLA, Dr. Michael Weber. In addition, Dr. Mel studied PRGF-Endoret therapies at the Biotechnology Institute (BTI) in Bilbao, Spain, where PRGF was developed and patented by Dr. Eduardo Anitua, who was the founder of BTI.

Dr. Mel received additional training in PRP at the National Institute of Medical Aesthetics and became certified in all Vampire Therapies. She recently completed the Integrative Cancer Therapy Fellowship from the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine (A4M). She is currently completing the A4M Stem Cell Therapy Fellowship and Peptide Therapy Certification.

Lastly, Dr. Mel has personal experience with her own health concerns, in that she has treated herself, which has resulted in the elimination of all medications. Today, Dr. Mel is able to mountain bike, hike and travel the world in pursuit of her passion for learning the latest innovations in medical theory and clinical practice, and mineral and fossil collecting.


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