Unravelling the root cause of gut imbalances and dysfunctions with Gutfulness Nutrition
Updated: Dec 28, 2021
Marilia Chamon, Founder of Gutfulness Nutrition, trained as a registered Nutritional Therapist and Functional Medicine practitioner at the Institute for Functional Medicine, after suffering with Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS).
Around one in five people in the UK suffer from IBS and around two thirds of the people affected are women. Also, SIBO has been shown to exist in up to 80% of IBS patients and is therefore a possible underlying cause for IBS sufferers.
Despite the prevalence of IBS in the UK there is often confusion and embarrassment surrounding this condition.
Marilia uses her training in Functional Medicine to unravel gastrointestinal dysfunctions that lead to IBS symptoms
Marilia first developed digestive issues in 2010 following a nasty bout of food poisoning. After seeking medical advice she was diagnosed with stress related gut issues, and at the time the only solutions provided were indigestion tablets and antacids to alleviate the symptoms. Marilia took the suggested medication but continued to suffer with the long-term discomfort of symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, brain fog and fatigue. After years of research, personal development and formal study Marilia realised that her problem was actually a condition called Post-Infectious Irritable Bowel Syndrome (PI-IBS), an autoimmune reaction due to bacterial infection, that causes nerve damage and gut dysmotility.
After this realisation, Marilia went on a journey to find a solution. After years of research and personal experience she realised that both physical and mental wellbeing is intrinsically connected to the health of the gut. This is because the enteric nervous system (the nervous system of the GI tract) is involved in a two-way communication pathway with the brain known as the gut-brain-axis. This allows the brain to send messages down to the gut and vice versa through visceral nerves, which is how the gut microbiome can modulate emotion and behaviour. Many go through life not knowing an imbalanced gut microbiome is a catalyst for many chronic and complicated health conditions and it is where most imbalances and dysfunctions start. Simply put, a healthy gut is the core foundation for a healthy body and a healthy mind. Marilia’s personal journey to find and fight her own disease led her to establish Gutfulness Nutrition, so she could use the knowledge gained to help others.
Marilia applies the principles of Functional Medicine and Nutritional Therapy in her practice, which aims to identify the core imbalances and dysfunctions that underlie or cause a specific health condition. Through her study of Functional Medicine, Marilia views the body as a whole system rather than an isolated issue and can identify how one symptom or illness can cause a domino effect in the body to cause chronic illness. For instance, underlying dysfunctions that lead to IBS symptoms include poor digestive output (low stomach acids, insufficient digestive enzymes or bile acids), GI motility problems, gut dysbiosis (imbalance of gut bacteria) and bacterial infections. Hormones also play a major role in gut health and a poor thyroid function can also be a contributor to IBS.
Signs of an unhappy gut can include:
• Gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhoea
• Abdominal pain and cramps
• Food intolerances
• Nutritional deficiencies
• Autoimmune conditions
• Sleep disturbances
• Chronic fatigue
• Skin irritations and acne
• Anxiety and depression
• Poor concentration
• Unintentional weight gain/loss
• Hormonal imbalances
In a world of convenience where quick fixes, from diets to pills, are rife, Marilia knew from her own experience that when it came to health nothing happens overnight. Most people are unaware of internal inflammation and only seek to fix external issues like pain, poor skin or tiredness. Marilia manages her clients with the ethos that you must work from the inside out and, unless there is a compelling reason to not do so, always start with the gut. This focus strives to bring back balance through nutrition and lifestyle changes rather than medication.
Her food-first approach is highly successful in rooting out many issues, with many of her clients achieving huge lifelong health and wellness changes. As almost 90% of chronic diseases are driven by environment, diet, stress, medication, pollution etc., her approach includes a health timeline, lifestyle factors, mental and emotional state assessments and clinical testing, to create a 360 approach to the care programme. Marilia also uses a world-renowned and respected laboratory for client testing including stool samples and tests for rarer gut issues including SIBO. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) occurs when there is an abnormal increase in the overall bacterial population in the small intestine, particularly types of bacteria not commonly found in that part of the digestive tract. SIBO can sometimes be mistaken for IBS or go hand in hand with IBS but, through the correct testing and diagnosis, Marilia applies her knowledge and expertise to help alleviate symptoms and improve her clients’ overall wellbeing for both. Using her knowledge gained in study, Marilia challenges the idea that IBS is chronic and prefers to raise awareness of the underlying issues that lead to those symptoms and by fixing those you can considerably, or even permanently, get rid of symptoms.
Notes to Editors
Gutfulness Nutritional Therapy is based in London but Marilia can operate her consultations, programmes and test results digitally for anyone outside London.
Functional Testing Offered (not a complete list):
Nutrition Status Assessment
Advanced Intestinal Barrier Assessment
Fructose Malabsorption Test
SIBO Breath Test
Food Sensitivity & Allergy Panel
Heavy Metals Panel
Comprehensive Thyroid Profile
Gastrointestinal Health and Microbiome Profile
For more information, please visit gutfulnessnutrition.com.
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