Gut Instincts

As children, we are often taught to listen to our gut. As we get a bit older and our brain matures more, we become aware of our conscience.

If something doesn’t feel right, it likely means there is a threat or danger potential, some degree of harm that our instinctive self or survival instinct is communicating we should avoid. This is an innate wisdom, a built-in “safety” for our bodies whereas within the brain, when conscious control is involved, we tend to weigh our decisions on a reward/punishment basis. The difference there is – we are making a decision based on our desires or impulses.

Gut level thinking is something we tend to suppress or ignore as we age. As science progresses and evolves, we are discovering that this “ancient brain” deserves much more credit and respect than we give it.

Giving this train of thought some consideration – are all children just fussy, picky eaters – or are they responding to a gut “reaction” of sorts that is communicating that certain foods are not providing optimal health or availability of nutrients?

(And yes, sometimes they are just being willful little beasts that know that the taste of a cookie tastes yummier then broccoli…)

However, it warrants being a bit of a detective if your child or even yourself are experiencing disharmony in the body of any sort and it can consistently be linked to certain foods or situations.

Could these foods they refuse to eat and the meal time tantrums SOMETIMES be, because they recognize these foods make them feel bad in some way? Or perhaps there is a temporary intestinal imbalance due to a lack of friendly bacteria.

Stressful emotional experiences are also known, common triggers for disordered eating and poor digestion.

Certain foods can cause hormone and chemical imbalances in the brain as well for susceptible individuals, an area of research that is also advancing.

Our immune system is also gut mediated, with as much as 80% of immune function being regulated by our gut!

The average adult intestine, in all of its wonders and layers, has the surface area of a tennis court – this is by design not accident.

Cravings for specific foods and aversions to foods are Both common indications of a food intolerance or systemic imbalance!


Symptoms are a signal, an opportunity to pay attention to things that are throwing our bodies out of balance or harmony.

These are opportunities to learn about and support our bodies to resolve problems that can lead to deeper, more complex health issues. It can be downright dangerous to simply select from the mass number of OTC products to suppress, control or ignore our symptoms.

Many prescription medications are also known to inhibit or deplete certain nutrients in your system so be sure to discuss this with a professional as well.

In my Practice and here at Dover Apothecary, we work to educate people about their bodies. Through proper dietary choices and lifestyle changes (and appropriate supplementation when necessary), we can re-establish a harmonious relationship with our bodies and enable our cells to respond to optimize our true health potential and enjoy vibrant and energetic lives.

We urge clients to become educated, empowered and active participants in their health care.

The next time you reach for an antacid or a laxative, give some thought to the choices that are leading to the symptoms and the implications of not making lifestyle changes.

Talk to a trusted and qualified Health Care Professional for more information on your unique concerns. Get a second opinion if you aren’t satisfied with your answers.

 It’s your life and your body so tune in to your “Gut Instinct” – we are a long way off from understanding it as well as it knows us!

Barb Anstead NNCP

As a Natural Nutritional Clinical Practitioner, I am passionate about empowering and educating individuals to understand that health and wellness are in our nature.

Holistic health embraces all facets of our life. Seeing the body “as a whole” and recognizing that we are uniquely affected by all things – whether physical, mental or emotional, we will experience a cellular response affecting our entire being. Symptoms are signals that our body is out of balance!

Digestive health is at the core of all health conditions – science has finally made strides to understand what Hippocrates recognized 2500 years ago!

I welcome you to join me in attaining better health for you and your loved ones.

Digestive health and dis-ease are all connected to our ability to absorb nutrient dense foods.

Whether you have digestive or bowel difficulties, immune dysfunction, inflammatory or acidic conditions, mood or emotional issues, low energy, fatigue, chronic health complaints or skin disorders, we must “Go with our Gut” first.

Supplying our body with food as “Fuel” first, and as fun in moderation and balance will supply your body with the appropriate tools at the cellular level.

Discover your foundational health with me and then “build the temple” you deserve to live in.