If you’ve been reading our blog or following us on Instagram, there’s a good chance you’ve seen us throw around some jargon you might not be familiar with.
Not to worry!
Terms like ‘leaky gut’ and ‘low-FODMAP’ aren’t a part of everyone’s vocabulary. In fact, we’re willing to bet that if you already know what these words mean, it’s because you either have a history of digestive issues or you’ve dedicated time to learning about diet and nutrition.
If you’re looking to understand more about gut health and ways you can improve your digestion, you’ve come to the right place! Today we’re giving you the ABCs of gut health. Keep reading to learn all about gastrointestinal microbiota, IBS, Leaky Gut Syndrome, SIBO, the GAPS diet, FODMAPs, and alliums.
📚 GUT HEALTH GLOSSARY TERMS 🍵
Simply put, gastrointestinal microbiota — also known as gut flora — are microorganisms that live in your digestive tract. Our stomachs, intestines, and colons all contain different kinds of bacteria that work together to improve bodily functions, aid in metabolization, boost the immune system, and resist harmful bacteria.
Oftentimes, digestion issues are related to an imbalance of gastrointestinal microbiota. Too little or too much gut flora can cause a wide range of issues such as IBS, autoimmune disease, and neuropsychiatric issues.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
Irritable Bowel Syndrome — commonly referred to as IBS — is a common condition that affects the large intestine. The symptoms of IBS include cramping, bloating, abdominal pain, gas, and irregular bowel movements. The severity of these symptoms can range, but most people are able to control their symptoms by making changes in their diet and lifestyle.
Those diagnosed with IBS are encouraged to reduce their stress-levels through relaxation exercises and mindfulness training. Many doctors also encourage those with IBS to eat fermented foods, which are high in probiotics and boost the gut’s good bacteria.
Another great food for those with IBS? Bone broth! Bone broth is easy to digest and contains collagen, which helps heal the gut lining.
Leaky Gut Syndrome
Leaky gut may also be referred to as intestinal permeability… and it’s exactly what it sounds like. Leaky gut is a digestive condition in which bacteria and toxins pass through gaps in the intestinal wall and into the bloodstream. This can cause symptoms like bloating, fatigue, food sensitivities, skin conditions, and digestive issues.
Leaky gut commonly co-occurs with other gut health problems like Crohn’s Disease, IBS, and Celiac Disease, but it’s unknown whether leaky gut is the cause of these issues or a result of them.
While leaky gut has yet to be categorized as a medical diagnosis, it’s undeniable that there are some things you can do to support your gut health such as taking a probiotic supplement, eating high-fiber foods, and cutting back on sugar. Bone broth is also very effective at treating leaky gut because the gelatin in bone marrow can help seal holes in the intestines.
Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO)
As we mentioned before, an imbalance in gut flora can wreak havoc on the digestive system. One common result of too much gastrointestinal microbiota is SIBO a.k.a. small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. As its name indicates, SIBO occurs when bacteria that is supposed to grow in other areas of the gut moves into the small intestine.
SIBO is a condition that shouldn’t be left untreated as it can lead to malnutrition. Not only that, SIBO is also associated with conditions like Crohn’s Disease, Celiac Disease, IBS, cirrhosis, and low levels of stomach acid.
Symptoms of SIBO include pain after eating, bloating, cramps, weight loss, irregular bowel movements, indigestion, gas, and regularly feeling full. This condition can be diagnosed through a breath test and treated with antibiotics. Those recovering from SIBO are encouraged to eat a nutritious diet of foods that are easy to digest. Bone broth is ideal for those recovering from SIBO as it soothes the gut and increases digestive fire.
The GAPS diet was developed as a way to treat psychological and behavioral issues caused by leaky gut such as ADHD, dyslexia, epilepsy, depression, bipolar disorder, OCD, and more. While more research is needed to determine if the GAPS diet can help these conditions, there is no doubt that the GAPS diet can improve gut health.
The GAPS diet eliminates hard-to-digest foods that damage the gut lining and replaces them with nutrient-rich foods that support digestion. The GAPS diet has six stages in which foods are eliminated and then slowly reintroduced. Grains, sugar, soy, pasteurized dairy, starchy vegetables, and processed foods are eliminated in all six stages.
OWL Venice Bone Broth Elixirs can be consumed throughout the GAPS diet as they contain veggies and herbs that aid in digestion. And unlike other bone broths on the market, OWL broth elixirs are free of common inflammatory ingredients and starchy vegetables.
When people come to us complaining about bloating and abdominal pain, FODMAPs are one of the first things we tell them about. FODMAPs are a kind of carbohydrate found in many foods including certain fruits and vegetables, dairy products, sweeteners, legumes, wheat, and grains. As you might imagine, many of the foods most people regularly eat are high in FODMAPs and can cause issues like gas, stomach cramps, diarrhea, and constipation.
At OWL, it’s our mission to create products that soothe the gut and aid in digestion. Because of this, all of our products are low-FODMAP. Unlike most bone broths on the market, our bone broth elixirs don’t contain any garlic or onion. Instead, we simmer our broths with healing herbs that reduce inflammation. Our hemp mylkshakes are also made with low-FODMAP fruit, veggies, and herbs, and they contain no sweeteners.
Allium vegetables include garlic, onion, shallots, leeks, scallions, and chives. For those who don’t have sensitivities to alliums, these foods can be very beneficial! In fact, alliums are known to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Unfortunately, alliums are known to trigger digestive problems in some people, so we choose to keep our recipes allium-free. But if you’re one of the lucky ones that can consume alliums without an issue, we highly recommend dressing up our broths with your favorites!
We hope these explanations helped you understand a bit more about your digestive system and gut health. Remember: We’re always here to answer your questions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us on IG or on our website!
The OWL Fam