Can Gut Health Impact Joints?
What’s your gut telling you? Home to trillions of microorganisms, it is essential to maintain a balance of “good” and “bad” bacteria in order to support your immune system, mood, and overall wellbeing. Because the gut influences many of the critical functions that occur within the body, it can be a good place to start when you’re not feeling your best.
What the Gut Does for You
The gut allows nutrients to pass through the walls of the intestines while keeping harmful bacteria and toxins from escaping into the bloodstream. Problems can arise when the gut’s lining becomes compromised and partially digested food and pollutants are able to move into the tissues.
When the Gut Springs a Leak
When bacteria and toxins find openings to slip through, the body issues an immune response to neutralize the threat they pose. This condition is known as leaky gut, or intestinal permeability.
The antibodies sent out by the immune system to destroy the escaped bacteria can move through the body and adhere to the tissues and organs. Although this is supposed to help, it can create additional inflammation and damage. When these antibodies collect in the joints, they can cause swelling and stiffness, resulting in uncomfortable movement and reduced mobility.
How to Support Your Gut
A balanced gut is a happy gut, and thankfully there are several ways to tip the scales in your favor. Although the cause of leaky gut is still unknown, there are various factors that are believed to contribute to it. By changing some of your lifestyle habits and diet choices, you can help support both your gut and your joints.
1. Change Your Diet
It turns out you really are what you eat. Being intentional with what you put in your body can directly affect how it feels.
- Essential for a normal gut, fiber feeds your good bacteria and encourages their replication. Having a regular supply for microbes in your gut supports a thicker mucus wall and intestinal barrier.
- Omega-3s. Beneficial for the body for a variety of reasons, omega-3 fatty acids promote a normal immune response and are able to help naturally lubricate the joints.
Try to Avoid:
- Gluten-containing grains may make you feel worse if you’re already experiencing joint discomfort. For some people, the body sees gluten proteins as invaders and launches an immune response to defend against them. This can contribute to the development of leaky gut, or exacerbate existing symptoms.
- Bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants contain a compound that may negatively affect the cells in the lining of your intestinal tract and lead to a leaky gut.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
When in doubt, drink more water. The body needs water to support the intestinal lining, good bacteria, and detoxification processes.
3. Take Supplements
When you aren’t getting certain vitamins and nutrients from your diet, supplementation can be a great alternative.
- Probiotics: To keep your gut balanced, you can use probiotics to introduce more “good” bacteria into your body. While you can eat fermented foods like yogurt, kombucha, and sauerkraut to receive probiotics, a supplement gives you a higher concentration of live active cultures and can provide more microbial diversity.
- Arthro-7: Formulated with collagen, MSM, vitamin C, CMO, bromelain, lipase, and turmeric, Arthro-7 can be beneficial for both the gut and joints. For example, collagen can help support the connective tissue in your digestive tract and your joints, and bromelain can help support normal inflammation responses in your gut and joints.
- Arthro8: Made with the same core ingredients as Arthro-7, Arthro8 also includes hyaluronic acid to help promote normal lubrication and hydrated tissues.
4. Sleep Soundly
The body uses sleep as a time to restore and relax. If you’re getting less than 7 hours of sleep every night, it can cause your gut bacteria to become unbalanced.
5. Manage Your Stress Levels
To make matters worse, sleep deprivation can increase your stress levels. Stress wreaks havoc on the body in several ways, one of which is by causing a gut bacterial imbalance and disrupting normal immune responses.
Let’s return to our original question, “Can gut health impact joints?” The answer is a resounding yes. When you take care of your gut, you’re directly impacting the health of your joints. Implementing the suggestions above can help to extend joint comfort and range of motion throughout your lifetime!