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Welcome to Episode 32; How Change, Sickness, Stress and Trauma Impact Your Gut Health.
I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving and if you didn’t hear it at the end of my last episode - my entire shop is still 20% off until tonight at midnight MST! It is so much fun sharing my gratitude with you and while I have never been much of a Black Friday kind of person, I created this discount because I want to make it as easy as I can for you to prioritize what matters most this holiday season. Plus! Wellness is life's greatest gift and sharing real health and happiness with your family and friends is really something to be remembered.
Now before you assume this episode is irrelevant to you, you need to hear this. Every parent has patented a child with some severity of gut imbalance at one time or another. Because gut imbalance happens to everyone! It’s just that not everyone is in tune with their gut health to be able to make the connection and therefore support the body from the inside. But YOU, mama, are different. YOU are a powerful leader of your family’s wellness and I know you will love today's episode. You will have many ah-ha moments throughout and leave here feeling validated and so darn excited because next time life hits the fan you will be equipped with a new perspective and ideas of how to intervene and support your child from the root of their unease. It is all 100% applicable to you as a mama and to all adults in your life. Let's jump in.
First we are going to go over four different unavoidable and inevitable triggers of imbalance and then we are going to walk though different ways that imbalance can manifest. I want you to picture you and your child in these scenarios because surely you have experienced them all. Not all are bad but just part of being human.
- Change (maybe your child is going through a growth or developmental spurt, maybe they are teething, partner travels for work and leaves so your whole rhythm is different, maybe you recently introduced a new baby, maybe as a family you thought you had a plan and it didn’t go as you thought so you are dealing with the change of having to adapt and surrender.)
- Sickness (maybe your child or your whole family caught a cold or flu, maybe your child has allergies and was exposed to their allergen making their histamine levels flare or maybe your child is diabetic and experienced a spike in their insulin levels)
- Stress (maybe your family has endured a job loss or financial stress, or maybe your living situation has changed or maybe school is feeling like too much for your child. This could be separation, exhaustion or overstimulation based.)
- Trauma (maybe your family has experienced loss, or maybe you have an extended family member that isn’t very kind or something has happened that has disrupted the heart of your home.)
All four of these triggers of imbalance are a normal part of being human. But how and why exactly do they cause imbalance and what does imbalance even look like?
Change, sickness, stress and trauma all impact our bodies in very similar ways. They cause sleep disruption, hormone highs and lows and impact our immune systems. Your child’s body is one big miraculous system and every part is entwined. Disruptive sleep, abrupt hormone fluctuations and a compromised immune system are all very damaging to the fragile good gut bacteria. As a culture we always say things like “I just broke out in pimples because I have been so stressed” or “I keep getting yeast infections because my hormones are so wonky”. When really there is an important missing piece in there.
Stress doesn’t cause pimples. Stress is a subjective experience. It alone doesn’t cause symptoms like pimples. It does however impact your gut bacteria and when your gut is imbalanced your body will try to communicate with symptoms like pimples. Just like hormone fluctuations. Fluctuations alone don’t cause yeast infections. Hormone fluctuations are disruptive to your good gut bacteria and when your good bacteria is compromised, the bad bacteria quickly overpopulates. When you have too much bad bacteria and yeast in your gut this is when you get yeast infections. This is true for any of the triggers we went over. When the immune system is compromised so is the good gut bacteria.
Now let's talk about different ways a minor gut imbalance might look in your child so that you are able to fully grasp what I am talking about here and can pick up on it quickly when the next imbalance arises.
Symptoms will come on subtly. First, your child's poop might change. Maybe they poop more frequently or maybe they don’t poop for a day or two. For many children the poop is going to smell sour. This is true for all of my children and even myself. By sour I mean vinegary. Next you might notice other physical symptoms but not all children do. These could be a few itchy bumps, pimples, a yeast rash in their armpits or elbows or the sudden onset of diaper rash.
Sleep tends to get pretty restless and your child will wake up tired. The biggest and most consistent symptom among all children when a minor gut imbalance comes on is related to their mood and behavior. Out of nowhere your child will suddenly have a much lower tolerance level. If they are really young they will be really fussy and clingy and will want to breastfeed around the clock. If they are toddler age or older you won’t be able to reason with them the way you usually are able to. They might have negative thoughts and you aren’t able to get through to them. Many times these negative thoughts spiral and as a mama it is normal to panic inside and wonder what the heck is going on. Some children get really sad while others get explosive. Some want to hide out on their own because they get overwhelmed more easily and others don’t know where they want to be. They feel lost.
The reason I am sharing this episode with you is because when you have the awareness of what a minor gut imbalance looks like, mothering is a whole lot easier. You don’t have to parent during these times. You can simply love. You don’t have to be the fixer of all problems and fall asleep feeling hopeless. You can hold space, connect dots with your child and guide them back into a state of balance.
And the most amazing thing? Whether the imbalance was triggered from teething, sickness, a stressful circumstance or a traumatic event - nurturing their gut back into balance helps them get back to feeling and behaving like themselves so much faster than if their gut is never addressed. It works every single time! And it only takes a few days of being super focused.
My husband and I have a mantra we repeat to each other during times of imbalance. “Love through the hard times, parent through the good”. Because when your child’s gut is imbalanced they are not in a state of mind to learn from you anyway. Just love them. Assure them you know how to help them feel like themselves again and really take the time to help them understand what is happening. This equips them with lifelong self-awareness so they are able to support themselves later in life.
So what does it mean to get focused for a few days? It means doubling down on your gut balancing supplements. My family uses Cleanse, Nourish and Balance. We take these everyday anyway but when imbalances come up we take two doses a day instead of one. We do this for a few days and I am not kidding you, after every dose I can literally see my child becoming more and more like themself. It is so beautiful and amazing. If you are interested in the doses I give I will share that really quick. Everyday for maintenance I give my children 2 tsp Cleanse, 1 Nourish capsule (the powdered mixed in Cleanse for my ones who can’t swallow the capsule) and .5mL Balance CBD, which with my Balance CBD that equates to around 16 mg CBD. When we are doubling down for an imbalance I will give the child in need the same dose but morning and night instead of just at night.
I can’t wait for you to start observing your child, to get in tune with their gut and to intervene next time something comes up. When life gets stressful, your sweet babe catches a cold or buds a new tooth. You can jump right in, nurture balance and support your child in getting right back on track without losing them for weeks to their symptoms that make mothering feel next to impossible.
Until next time!