A healthy gut. It's necessary for long-term optimal health.
A few years ago, I was diagnosed - in the early stages - to have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis, an autoimmune disorder where the immune system attacks the butterfly-shaped thyroid gland.
I wasn't sick - yet - but I could tell something was off. Working with a functional medicine practitioner, I set out to treat this early stage autoimmune disease through dietary changes to get my gut healthy, allow my body to stop attacking itself and allow me to feel better again - yay!
I did all of the things and avoided all sugar, alcohol, processed foods, soy, corn, even eggs, nightshade vegetables, nuts, seeds (while these work great for many, I learned they didn't work for me - gotta love bio-individuality!). I added in organ meats, bone broths, collagen, and other gut healing foods.
And guess what? I started feeling better. My bloating went away, my energy came back and sleep was solid again. I re-tested my bloodwork (always important to check before and after to see if what you're doing is working for you!). It showed incredible improvements on all fronts. Exactly what I'd hoped for.
My dietary restrictions were not ideal for the long-term though and this is where and how my journey in figuring out what does and doesn't work for my body started. I'd add something in, watch how my body responded, one food at a time. I found some of the things that I had restricted during the acute phase were fine - many were only OK in small quantities, some in larger. Quite a few I've chosen to continue to avoid 80% of the time, then moderate consumption at other times.
It's a journey. A process. And it isn't complete. I just keep adjusting, modifying and listening to my body to understand what's working for it right then. We aren't ever at the end of our journey when it comes to health and a healthy gut.
We keep learning, moving forward.
Be curious about your health and take the time to listen to your body and figure out what works for you. You know your body better than anyone else and if you're feeling off, find a practitioner to help identify the underlying causes.