Healthy eating and lifestyle choices are great treatment options to prevent digestive problems which affect your scoliosis.
Thanks to our guest blogger this month, Katrina Sobecky, RD, LD, CLT. A registered dietitian and scoliosis warrior, she has been practicing more than 15 years and specializes in helping clients across the US find and remove inflammatory foods, so they can reduce pain and feel their best! If you would like to work with Katrina, you can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“You are what you eat,” is a phrase that (seems like) it’s been around for decades. It’s true. When you put healthy, nutrient-filled food into your body, you feel better and you have more energy.
It sounds simple, right? But if it was that simple, why do people still get sick? Why are people anxious, tired, and stressed out?
There are many reasons. Maybe it’s an overscheduled lifestyle, or living in a “food desert.” Maybe it’s easier to eat fast food and skip the workout. Maybe you have scoliosis, and the scoliosis pain today is too much – you can’t get out of bed, let alone fix yourself a healthy meal. Get recommendations on living your best life with scoliosis sent to your email.
Nutrition, or the lack of nutrition that you put into your body has to pass through your digestive system. The ability of your body to turn the foods you eat into healing and life-giving energy is critical to living your best life with scoliosis. How you eat, and the lifestyle choices that you make with scoliosis impacts your digestive system.
Why is digestive system health important?
Your digestive system, or “gut” serves as the gate-keeper for the health of your body. Called the “second brain,” its sole purpose is to ensure that the food you eat processes and sends out the important vitamins and nutrients into your body for optimal functioning.
A healthy gut also contains healthy bacteria and immune cells that stop unwanted bacteria and viruses. Most importantly, your gut communicates with the brain through the direct and indirect conversion of neurotransmitters and hormones, which helps maintain general health and well-being.
There’s no doubt that the food you put into your body impacts your health, mood, strength and ability to live happily each day.
What type of digestive problems can affect scoliosis?
Digestive problems are a challenge for everyone. When you have scoliosis, your digestive system plays an important role in your health and well-being, and even the halting of spinal curvature.
Conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease or gluten sensitivity can cause abdominal pain and other digestive problems. Gut permeability, called “leaky gut,” can also cause abdominal pain or show no symptoms at all. This condition happens when tiny holes form in the GI tract that allow small particles of food into the bloodstream. This triggers an immune response from your body, resulting in food sensitivities and other inflammatory conditions.
When you have scoliosis, you may already be missing vital nutrients and/or hormones that keep your body working properly. Recent research shows that kids and adults with scoliosis have 28 genetic variants that predispose them to scoliosis. These genetic variants cause changes and imbalances in your neurotransmitter, hormone and bone health.
How neurotransmitters contribute to a healthy spine.
Neurotransmitters, your body’s communication system with the brain, are affected by the scoliosis condition. When your neurotransmitters aren’t functioning properly, they may cause:
- mood swings
- brain fog
- decreased energy
- increased irritability
The majority of neurotransmitters are produced in your digestive tract. When your digestive system isn’t operating correctly, this impacts your neurotransmitter levels. Proven research shows that for people with scoliosis, balanced neurotransmitters may also prevent further spinal curvature.
Making sure your digestive system is functioning correctly creates healthier neurotransmitter levels, and balanced neurotransmitters can halt curve progression. Plus, a healthy digestive system makes you feel better overall!
How good nutrition and lifestyle choices prevent digestive problems.
You can make changes in your diet to support a healthy digestive tract. These choices can also improve neurotransmitter levels and help prevent scoliosis symptoms such as irritability, mood swings and depression.
- Limit processed foods. Shop in the “outside” areas of your grocery store (think: fruits, veggies, lean proteins.) If it’s in a package with an expiration date, limit or avoid it.
- Add probiotic-rich, fermented foods such as sauerkraut, coconut kefir, miso and kombucha to your diet.
- Include a variety of fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, not from cans.
- Use healthy fats such as avocado oil, olive oil and grass-fed butter.
- Increase your Omega-3 intake from foods like wild salmon, grass-fed beef and anchovies.
- Cook with or sip on bone broth which is full of collagen that supports the walls of your digestive tract.
- Talk to a functional medicine doctor or dietitian knowledgeable in gut health, about protocols and supplements to support healing your digestive system.
- Digestive enzymes, probiotics and L-glutamine are often a good start.
Scoliosis is a condition that is so much more than your spinal curve. You can control your diet, and make good lifestyle choices that improve the health of your digestive system. A happy digestive system helps you live your best life with scoliosis!
Is your “gut health” affecting your neurotransmitter balance and scoliosis condition? ScoliSMART offers a simple, safe and effective Neurotransmitter Test taken from the comfort of your home. For the month of December, when you buy a Neurotransmitter (NT) Test, you receive $15 in store credit. Test your NT levels today and live healthy! Valid December 1-31, 2021; U.S. residents only.
Don’t know where to start? Take our FREE “ScoliQuiz.” (No x-ray required)