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Gut health 101: A two-part series exploring what you need to know

Kimberley pharmacist shares expert insight on the importance of gut health
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Stephanie Tylosky from Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy.

Gut health and our body’s microbiomes are hot health and wellness topics lately . From decreasing inflammation, improving autoimmune diseases and even affecting our nervous systems, researchers are finding that having a healthy microbiome is significantly more important than previously believed .

In a two-part Q&A series, Stephanie Tylosky from Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy shares expert insight on gut health and why it matters.

Q: Why is gut health important?

A: A ‘healthy gut’ – or a healthy microbiome – is important for absorbing nutrients and energy from our food. It’s also how we remove waste and clear toxins from our bodies. As we continue to study the body’s microbiome, we’re learning it affects nearly every aspect of our overall health.

Q: How do I know if my gut is unhealthy?

A: Symptoms of an unbalanced gut may include bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, autoimmune conditions, eczema, inflammation, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances and even frequent colds.

Q: How does fibre help maintain a healthy gut?

A: There are two types of fibre, insoluble and soluble; we need both in our diets. Soluble fibre dissolves in water and forms a gel, helping decrease cholesterol and release sugar more slowly to help stabilize blood sugars. Insoluble fibre is material that’s not digested; instead, it draws more water into the bowels and helps keep the bowels moving. Good sources of soluble fibre include oats, beans, lentils, ground flaxseed, chia seeds, psyllium and inulin (commonly from chicory root). Insoluble fibre is found in fruit and vegetable peels, leafy greens, seeds and wheat bran. Both forms also help us feel fuller and maintain a healthy weight.

Q: Can supplements improve my gut health?

A: It’s best to get your fibre directly from your diet, but when needed, supplements can help, Stephanie says. Most contain psyllium or inulin. Canadian-owned Healthology offers a Soluble Fibre Blend that contains acacia and baobab rather than chicory root, which might be better tolerated, especially by those with IBS. They also offer a ‘Gut-FX Formula’ which can help with an irritated or inflamed gut.

If you prefer a daily protein shake, Metagenics has a line of protein powders that include fibre and prebiotics. Just be sure to increase your fibre intake slowly and drink lots of water to avoid bloating and gas. Also, space out taking any supplements from medications to avoid interactions between the two.

Catch part two of Stephanie’s gut health series on May 27 when she’ll discuss prebiotics vs. probiotics and how they affect overall microbiome health.

Visit Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy at 417B 304th St. on Highway 95 in Kimberley, open Monday to Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.,and get in touch at 250-427-0038 or at facebook.com/grayspharmacy. Free shipping is available in the Kootenays for your compounds, along with free weekly delivery to Cranbrook and throughout Kimberley.

May Foot Care Clinic: May 27, 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Find more information online here and book your appointment today!