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5 Not-So-Subtle Signs Your Body Wants You to Change Your Diet

Inflammation Circuit

By: Michael Lam, MD, MPH; Carrie Lam, MD; Jeremy Lam, MD

An image of a woman sitting on a dock staring at the oceanWe are creatures of habit so you probably need a very good reason to change your diet. For example, you may want to prevent disease, lose weight, avoid premature aging, lower your blood pressure, or maybe you are simply listening to your body.

When your body is attacked by pathogens, like viruses or bacteria or repeatedly exposed to something toxic, like junk food, or environmental pollutants, the sensitive organs and systems of your body are likely to be affected very quickly.

For example, if you have delicate skin, an ultra-sensitive stomach, or if you are emotionally in a delicate state, then an external trigger may negatively affect your general health and well being. This is also the case, if your diet is not healthy. Depending on the overall state of your health, you may have increased acne flares, have flatulence, feel constipated, feel constantly exhausted, or even feel depressed. This means that there is a need to change your diet and lifestyle.

It's not easy to change your diet if you enjoy eating out. The important thing is to listen to the subtle or not-so-subtle signs that your body is sending to let you know that it is not getting the nutrients it needs.

Why Change Your Diet?

The way you look and feel says a lot about your lifestyle and diet and a poor food habit is responsible for many diseases like stroke, diabetes, obesity, and even autoimmune disorders and cancers in some cases. Fortunately, most conditions can be reversed if you change your diet even if the change is not very drastic.

Depending on your age, occupation, gender, and overall health, your body should regularly get the required nutrition for a healthy life. Given that an unhealthy lifestyle may deprive your body of nutrients and also cause serious health conditions, it is necessary to change your diet to improve your health.

5 problems easily avoided if you are prepared to change your diet:

  1. Digestion problems - you have excess gas or constipated
    These problems are caused by food known to be inflammatory in nature that kill the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut. Your gut may find certain foods too difficult to break down and this is when gas accumulates in the colon causing burping or flatulence. If you want to change your diet to prevent gas, make sure you avoid certain foods known to promote bloating. For example, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, beans and lentils, milk and cheese (if you are lactose intolerant), etc.Chronic constipation means you do not have regular bowel movements and this usually happens if you do not take enough fiber in your diet, drink too little water or eat a lot of dairy products. A change of diet may improve the condition. However, constipation can also be caused by stress, slow metabolism, an underactive thyroid, pregnancy, some medications, or certain conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome.
  2. Energy problems - you are constantly fatigued, cold, or always feel hungry
    Feeling tired all the time is common if your diet lacks essential nutrients like healthy fats, proteins, and complex carbs. However, it can also be a sign of iron deficiency whose main function is to boost your energy levels. You may solve the problem of low energy if you change your diet so that it consists of fewer carbs and more protein.On the other hand, if you have a problem with internal temperature and feel chilly even in summer, then your diet is probably too low in carbs and calories. This may also be a sign that your thyroid is underperforming and you may try to improve the condition by boosting the complex carbs intake.
  3. Emotional problems – you are plagued with mood swings, headaches, depression, or memory loss
    If you are often irritable and in a bad mood, try to change your diet by introducing more carbs and calories. Low carb diets as well as vitamins, minerals, and omega-3 fatty acids deficiency are known to make people irritable. Besides, prolonged nutritional deficiencies are linked to many mental conditions, like depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit, etc.Low blood sugar levels are also known to easily trigger mood swings. Try to remedy this by having more carbs in your diet as this will make you feel full for longer and help you produce serotonin, the “feel-good” chemical.
  4. An image of a woman's chin acneSkin problems – you regularly break out in acne or eczema, you have foul body odor, and you start aging prematurely
    A diet rich in sugars and dairy is disastrous for your skin and acne and premature wrinkles serve as a tell-tale sign of an unbalanced diet. Besides, a diet low in vitamin A will make your hair dry and your nails brittle. Fortunately, you can easily remedy this by having some sweet potatoes, carrots, or squash every day and staying away from aggressive weight-loss programs that rob your body of essential nutrients, causing your hair to thin and your skin to lose pigmentation.More and more studies suggest that it's easier, and much healthier to improve your skin condition through a healthy diet than with artificial skin rejuvenation products. For a more youthful appearance, change your diet so it includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables a day.
  5. Immune system problems - you are always sick or you develop food intolerances
    When you change your diet, you change your health. For example, if you are on a low-protein diet, you may be steadily weakening your immune system thus making yourself more vulnerable to infections. If you are on Standard American Diet, you are also weakening your immune system by consuming food devoid of nutrients and full of chemical taste-enhancers. To keep your body healthy and free from bacteria and viruses, change your diet to ensure that you are eating natural, organic and nutrient-rich foods.

Healthy Gut, Healthy You

It is said that many health problems start in the gut. Therefore, if you keep your gut microbiome healthy, possibly through a change your diet, you can not only prevent digestive conditions, you can also reverse many other health problems. A healthy immune system needs a healthy gut.

Your gastrointestinal (GI) system's primary function is to process the foods that you consume and what you consume has a direct effect on your GI health. So, to heal your gut you need to change your diet. Start by removing all inflammatory foods and replace with foods rich in enzymes and friendly bacteria. This would quickly restore your gut lining and support your immune system.

Your metabolism has many functions, one of which is to manage your body’s inflammation responses and help your body detoxify itself. A healthy metabolism keeps your body free of toxins and prevents stress from damaging your cells. A weak metabolism causes an imbalance in your microbiome, slows down the detoxification process, and delays your recovery from physical or emotional stress.

Two of the common gut problems which lead to chronic inflammation and which are directly linked with the modern diet and lifestyle are food sensitivity and constipation.

  1. Food intolerances or sensitivities are increasingly becoming very common and it takes time to diagnose to exact cause. The reason they are not easy to diagnose is that they come with a wide range of symptoms, like diarrhea, bloating, headache, nausea, fatigue, abdominal pain, reflux, etc.Food allergies, food sensitivities, and nutritional deficiencies are a major cause of chronic inflammation disorders. Inflammatory molecules, called cytokines, are often produced when we eat the wrong types of food. Food that your body views as inadequate is usually difficult to digest and as a result, you struggle with fatigue, headache, joint and muscle pain, mood swings, sleep problems, and cognitive difficulties.
  2. An image of a woman sitting on the toilet holding her abdomenConstipation is a condition when your bowel movements are not regular, which is not a problem if it happens only occasionally. However, if it becomes a chronic condition it can result in a gut disorder that can affect the inflammation circuit. If you change your diet, it may help reduce constipation.There may be many causes that can contribute to slow metabolism. As a result of extremely reduced pace of digestion, the gut is unable to eliminate the waste materials from the colon easily. This results in inflammation and accumulation of toxins.Constipation is common during the advanced stages of adrenal fatigue when your energy levels become so low that your body slows down as much as it can to conserve what little energy it has left. And when metabolism is slow, your body becomes unable to remove the accumulated waste.

To prevent inflammation circuit dysfunction and overgrowth of bad bacteria in your small intestine, you must change your diet. Firstly, you need to give up inflammatory foods and make sure you have regular bowel movements. Equally important is learning to avoid stress because it can both cause and worsen many medical conditions. If your body is giving you these subtle signs, then it’s time you change your diet. If you have Adrenal Fatigue, be sure to check with an experienced health professional before changing your diet to make sure that your body can handle the change and it is the right step for you.

 
© Copyright 2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.


Dr. Lam's Key Question

When you change your diet in a way that meets your body's nutritional requirements, you prevent the onset of many health disorders and stand a chance to reverse even serious health conditions. A balanced, nutrient-rich diet boosts your immune system helping your fight pathogens and preventing new inflammations from occurring.

© Copyright 2001-2021 Michael Lam, M.D. All Rights Reserved.
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