Digestive health, and the impact it has on our health and well-being, is of growing interest and scientific importance as “anxiety and depression could be linked to the presence of bacteria in the intestines.” (The Independent).
Along with this growing interest within the scientific world, I have also seen a rise in the number of clients diagnosed with conditions such as IBS, and its associated symptoms. I am therefore thrilled to interview Linda Booth founder of Just for Tummies.
Linda runs a natural digestive and gut disorders clinic in Nottingham and is founder of Just For Tummies, a range of natural digestive health supplements aimed at restoring normal function to the digestive system.
Alongside her work as a Mayr ‘cure’ therapist, Linda contributes regularly to the natural health press on the topic of digestive health, and is a published author. She also sits on the Advisory Committee of the IBS Network – the UK’s dedicated charity for people with IBS.
Q: What inspired you to set up Just for Tummies and support clients with digestive health conditions?
A: I found that many of my clinic clients were getting very confused over which digestive/gut health supplements to buy. I decided to develop a niche targeted range and cut through the mass of confusing information around live bacteria and supplements.
Q: Many of my reflexology clients have been diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome, how can you help them with this condition?
A: I haven’t come across a single IBS sufferer that didn’t need to take a multi-strain live bacteria supplement to put back some beneficial strains of bacteria into their gut to help reduce bloating, abdominal pain and regulate bowel movements.
Q: The term ‘microbiome’ is mentioned a great deal in the press at the moment; can you explain what it is and why it’s so important?
A: The term ‘microbiome’ refers to the gut and the interaction it has with the bacteria (the good, the bad and the downright ugly), yeasts and fungi and viruses that reside there.
Q: What are the benefits of taking a live bacteria supplement, and should we all be taking them?
A: Bacteria are crucial to our health. They help to digest our food, absorb nutrients, positively influence our immune system, ‘crowd’ out pathogenic strains of bacteria, fungi and yeasts, as well as help to prevent dangerous gut infections. In this day and age where our digestive system and gut is challenged by our food choices, medications and stress, we all need to take a multi-strain live bacteria to help keep us well and healthy.
Q: The past few years have seen a rise in the number of people following a gluten-free diet, do you think this is a fad or something we should all take more seriously?
A: Sometimes we develop an intolerance or even an allergy if we have eaten too much of one thing. Our diet should be varied. Over the past three or four decades, we have eaten far too much gluten and our digestive system eventually finds it difficult to cope. Gluten is a difficult protein to break down at the best of time. We must also remember that our bread is made in huge factories, with lots of additives. It’s not like the wholesome bread that our gran’s made, where there were just four ingredients, flour, yeast, salt and water. Supermarket bread is packed full of artificial additives and preservatives. I avoid it, and only eat artisan sour-dough bread from the deli.
Q: I love your quote ‘feel good from the inside, out’; how can taking care of our gut health improve our skin, hair and overall mood?
A: Around 70% of our immune system resides in our gut. If our gut is irritated, inflamed, lacking in ‘friendly’ bacteria, this can be expressed in the body in different ways, including skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis and rosacea, all auto-immune skin disorders. If our gut health is compromised, nutrient absorption will be impaired and this too may affect skin, hair and nails. Fix the gut and you will see a difference in clearer skin, thicker glossier hair and stronger nails.
Q: If we could all make just one change to improve our gut health this year, what change should we all make?
A: Take a daily live bacteria supplement. For the cost of around 33p per day, it’s the best health insurance you can take out. I would also add to that, drink at least two litres of water daily, cut down on the sugar, increase fibre, exercise, get plenty of rest, and have fun! Life gets so serious sometimes and anxiety, stress and depression can exacerbate digestive and gut problems.
Thank you Linda for your super advice on keeping our gut health in check.
If you have concerns about your digestive health, always seek the opinion of a medical professional in the first instance.