The Endo Belly Girl Podcast

29: Gut Health and Endometriosis w/ Lindsay Little

March 27, 2024 Alyssa Chavez Episode 29
The Endo Belly Girl Podcast
29: Gut Health and Endometriosis w/ Lindsay Little
Show Notes Transcript

Welcome back to the Endo Belly Girl Podcast! In today’s episode I talk with my dear friend, Lindsay Little, about my favorite topic: gut health.  Lindsay is a holistic nutritionist who helps women with embarrassing digestive issues. We're total nerds when it comes to gut health, and I thought it'd be super beneficial to bring Lindsay on board to get another expert perspective.

In this episode, you’ll hear:

-The difference between what is common with digestion, and what is normal; just because it is common does not mean that it is normal.

-How a lot of the symptoms we experience start with the gut, and how our gut health affects every other system in the body.

-Bowel regularity and motility, and the differences between slow and fast motility.

-The root cause of bowel irregularity, such as dysbiosis and leaky gut, and how leaky gut occurs in the body.

-How the Standard American Diet, stress, and medications such as birth control contribute to the causes of dysbiosis, leaky gut, and how the gut microbiome behaves.  

-Hormone production relies on nutrients like healthy fats, but diet culture often misleads us into cutting them out.

-You are on what you absorb, so if the body is not absorbing the needed nutrients, the body cannot function properly especially for hormone production.

-Eating healthy nutrient dense foods is necessary for blood sugar regulation, and regulating all the hormones in your body.

-How constipation can lead to an accumulation of excess estrogen, along with heavy metals and toxins, because the body struggles to eliminate them effectively.

-How the gut is the gatekeeper of hormones, and when there is damage to the gut it is unable to produce hormones and neurotransmitters that are necessary for your body.

-How good and bad bacteria in your gut help regulate estrogen levels.  

Remember, you don't have to overwhelm yourself with information overload. Start small, keep it simple, and focus on building sustainable habits that'll last a lifetime. Healing isn't always a straight line, but every step forward is progress towards better health.

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Disclaimer: This podcast is for educational purposes only. This may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.

Alyssa Chavez [00:00:01]:
Hello, my friend, and welcome back to the Endo Belly Girl podcast. I have a guest for you all today. Her name is Lindsay Little, and she is actually a personal friend of mine as well as a colleague in the health and nutrition space. And we actually met in an in person retreat specifically for nutrition professionals in Montana last August and just really connected. We are really on the same page with a lot of things. We both work with clients and are building out our practices and really are passionate about what we do. I think that's the part that we connected on the most. And more specifically, we both love talking about gut health.

Alyssa Chavez [00:00:46]:
So I actually reached out to Lindsay recently and said, hey, you know what? You love gut health. I love gut health. We both loved nerding out about gut health and could really talk about it all day long. So I said, hey, would you like to come and be a guest on the podcast so that we can nerd out on gut health together? Yay. And you all get to benefit from this conversation. I figured if we're going to have these conversations between the two of us anyway, you all might as well benefit from it so that you can learn all about gut health right along with us. Now, gut health, of course, is something that's super important for endometriosis. I've talked about this before, the fact that upwards of 90% of women with endometriosis also struggle with gut symptoms.

Alyssa Chavez [00:01:34]:
Be that bloating, like endobelly, be that IBS type symptoms, constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, all the things that can come along with that. And so we're going to dive into that today just from a little bit different perspective. That's largely why I like to have guests on the show, so that you can hear from voices besides just my own about some of these things, because everybody speaks a little bit differently, everybody has some different ideas to bring to the table, everybody's brain works a little bit differently. So I figure the more different ways that we can approach gut health and talk about gut health, my hope is that it helps to bring all of you a little bit more understanding and so you can feel empowered to take your health into your own hands, because you all know how passionate I am about that. So Lindsay helps more than anything. She loves helping busy women who have embarrassing digestive issues. You all know what she's talking about with that. Resolve them for good so that they never have to think about it again.

Alyssa Chavez [00:02:39]:
And she has quite a story herself of battling with digestive issues, which she's going to tell you all about. So I will let her fill you in. And after years of trying to unsuccessfully diy her health, she decided to dig in. She completed a master's degree in holistic nutrition, opened a virtual health coaching business called Full Bloom Acres back in 2020, which I'm going to let her tell you more about that, because full Bloom acres is not just a health coaching business, but there's also another aspect of it which I think is really cool. And it is another reason that I really connected with Lindsay right off the bat. And so I'm going to let her share that with you because I don't want to ruin the surprise. We're going to talk about it very soon, and with that, I will let Lindsay take it away. Enjoy.

Alyssa Chavez [00:03:31]:
All right. Hello, Lindsay, and welcome to the show. Thanks so much for being here today.

Lindsay Little [00:03:36]:
Thank you for having me. I'm excited to talk about gut health.

Alyssa Chavez [00:03:39]:
You and me both. I messaged Lindsay and was just saying, I know she loves to talk gut health, and as you guys know, I love to talk gut health. So I was like, we have to get you on the podcast so we can nerd out on gut health together. It's going to be so much fun.

Lindsay Little [00:03:55]:
My favorite topic. So I'm looking forward to it.

Alyssa Chavez [00:03:59]:
Well, I know everybody's going to want to know a little bit about you before we dive into all things gut health. So. Although if you can start off by just sharing a little bit about you and your story and kind of how you got into all the gut health stuff to begin with, so we can get to know you a little bit.

Lindsay Little [00:04:17]:
Absolutely. So I am a holistic nutritionist and virtual health coach. I have a master's degree in holistic nutrition, and I'm also a certified plant based chef. Not the restauranty kind. Don't put me in a restaurant. But it's helpful to be able to develop recipes and talk to people in an intelligent way about food and just how to nourish the body from inside out. So that's where that comes in. I like to throw that caveat in there, kind of funny.

Lindsay Little [00:04:53]:
And I focus on gut health. So I'm a gut health practitioner. I mainly work with women over 40 who have embarrassing, painful, annoying digestive symptoms, and I help them resolve them for good so they never have to think about them again. And that's my main focus with women of that age and older. So this definitely the conversation about hormones fits very naturally into that age group. So I spend a lot of time with in. Well, I should say I'm the founder and owner of Fulblum Acres wellness as well. So you'll see that pop up on social media and everything.

Lindsay Little [00:05:36]:
And I really started being a health coach because I wanted to solve my own health problems. And it was a matter of I was diying my own health for so many years, so unsuccessfully. I ended up going to grad school to try to solve my digestive issues. It did not work. So I had to kind of piece together all of these resources and all this stuff I was learning, and I learned through that process so much. And I just knew I needed to help other women. Like so many practitioners in the holistic health field, we have a story. And my story with digestive symptoms really started.

Lindsay Little [00:06:21]:
As far as I can remember back, I always had very nervous stomach. I was a worry wart, my mom always called me. And that, of course, leads to stress, which impacts the gut. And that continued throughout my life. Before I became a health coach, I graduated in 2020. And before that, I was working a very demanding job, working crazy hours, seven days a week all the time. And it officially, I say, killed my digestive system. That was my rock bottom.

Lindsay Little [00:06:56]:
And every day at 04:00 p.m.. I would end up curled up in the fetal position in so much pain. And I just knew it wasn't normal. That's not how life is supposed to be for anyone, let alone someone in their thirty s. And what would the rest of my life look like if I didn't figure this out? So that sent me down that path of just learning. So that's how I got here through my own process of resolving my gut issues. And I'm happy to say I now no longer have gut issues and really developed a process during that learning of how I can help other people, which is the best job in the world.

Alyssa Chavez [00:07:41]:
Yes, I would have to agree with that. And just as a side note, too, so Lindsay's company is full bloom acres, and I think you all should know, too, that, okay, she does the gut health and the health coaching and all that, which is wonderful. But can you tell us also a little bit about the animals? She also has this whole animal rescue going on, which is the coolest thing ever. Can you just tell us a little bit about that? Because I think it's so cool.

Lindsay Little [00:08:07]:
Absolutely. So my husband and I rescue farm animals, and right now we have just under 30 of them that call our property home. And basically we are just taking in animals who don't have a voice. A lot of them came from very rough situations, and we bring them home and they live out their life for as long as that may be. It is incredibly rewarding work. It is incredibly heartbreaking work as well. And it has just been such a big part of my wellness journey. We started this in 2020 as well, so the same year I started my practice.

Lindsay Little [00:08:49]:
But it really has helped me just get outside more, be more involved with nature, be interacting with something that's bigger than myself. And those are just things that are just amazing that I didn't think I would get out of bringing some pigs home. And it's been just life changing, and that is just such a great feeling. And to be with these animals when they need it the most and to bring them from scared little pigs or sheep or mini donkeys full circle to just living their best pig life is amazing.

Alyssa Chavez [00:09:30]:
I love that.

Lindsay Little [00:09:31]:

Alyssa Chavez [00:09:32]:
If you want to follow Lindsay, we'll talk about this all later as well when we talk about where to find you. But I just have to throw that in there. If you want to find Lindsay on instagram, I'll link it in the show notes. You can see her pictures with Jerry, the alpaca, and he's my favorite, and the pigs and all the animals. It's a lot of fun, so don't miss out on that.

Lindsay Little [00:09:54]:
All right.

Alyssa Chavez [00:09:55]:
That was a fun side adventure here, but we are here to talk about gut health. So let's get back into that. Now, there are a lot of digestive symptoms that we all just consider to be common, right. Which we'll dive into in a second here, but I was wondering if you can touch base a little bit on just first of all, what some of those common digestive symptoms are that we see and what's actually common versus normal. Right. Because those are two very different things. Like you were talking about your story of just having to curl up into a fetal position at 04:00 in the afternoon every day after work and just knowing that that's not normal. But unfortunately, it's more common than we would like to think that people are experiencing digestive symptoms like that.

Alyssa Chavez [00:10:43]:
And the reason really, we're diving into this today, too, is because digestive symptoms are extremely common with endometriosis. There's studies showing that upwards of 90% of women with endometriosis have gut issues, digestive issues, symptoms of some sort going on. It can vary from person to person, but definitely a conversation I think that's important to have. So can you talk to us a little bit about that common versus normal and what that looks like?

Lindsay Little [00:11:11]:
Absolutely. Yeah. I'm so glad that you're bringing that up because we think that just because something is common, that it's normal, and that's not the case. And a lot of times that's coming from doctors and other western medical professionals. And unfortunately, that is the reality that we're living in. So that could not be more true when it comes to digestive health. And I will start out just saying that everyone is a little bit different. Every body is different.

Lindsay Little [00:11:43]:
You're different than me. Everyone listening has a different body. So there are general guidelines that I like to talk about, but just know that there are variations of it. So probably some of the most common symptoms that I see that women come to me with, and sometimes these are not even their outright complaint. It takes a little bit of digging to find these things. But the most common, hands down, is gas and bloating. And usually those accompany each other. Sometimes not, but usually they do.

Lindsay Little [00:12:21]:
And I'm talking about gas and bloating that happen every time you eat or every single day or by 04:00 or the end of the workday, your tummy is just. It feels like you're pregnant. That's the type of gas and bloating I'm talking about. I'm not talking about, oh, I just had a big bowl of bean chili, and now I'm gassy. That's fine. Everyone will have that every once in a while. I'm talking about those things with all these symptoms that become a problem and they become a trend. So you experience them more often than not.

Lindsay Little [00:12:56]:
So gas and bloating, hands down top symptoms that people come to me with. Heartburn or acid reflux, again, is a very, very common one. Abdominal pain or distension is another common one. Painful periods. Let's talk about the hormone piece right away. So a lot of people will come to me with recurrent yeast infections, hormonal imbalances, whether that's menopause, perimenopause, or just painful periods in general. And then we get into food sensitivities. So maybe eating grain makes you blow up like a balloon.

Lindsay Little [00:13:35]:
Maybe eating a raw salad makes you blow up like a balloon or gives you diarrhea or constipation. So that would be a food sensitivity, which is different than a food allergy. We'll throw that out there as well. The body has a very different reaction. So if you're allergic to shellfish, that is not the same as having a gluten sensitivity or being unable to process raw kale, for example. And then we get into some of those lesser recognized digestive symptoms. Brain fog trouble focusing, anxiety and depression. Stress like that, inability to process stress where it feels like if one more thing happens today, I'm going to snap.

Lindsay Little [00:14:21]:
That is the kind of sudden stress that we're talking about here. Things like body odor, just inability to sleep or sleep through the night. I feel like I could go on and on and on about these symptoms because it's so far reaching. It starts in your gut, but it really expands through the rest of your body. So those are probably the common ones that I see for sure.

Alyssa Chavez [00:14:49]:
Yeah. And I'm glad you're kind of going from the gut out as you were talking about that, because that's so true. When we think of gut health, I think the things like the bloating and gas and constipation and diarrhea and heartburn, all of that tends to be kind of top of mind. But I love that you're talking about all of those other things that can come into play, how you're handling stress and your mood and your sleep and all of these things that are very much affected by your gut. Right. Because at the end of the day, this is something that I talk about a lot as well, that nothing in our body works independently. I know this is something that I think I was confused about coming out of school, because in biology class, we learned about the systems of your body. This is your reproductive system, this is your digestive system, this is your nervous system.

Alyssa Chavez [00:15:44]:
And we kind of learn about all their individual jobs, which is important. But I think one of the missing pieces that becomes very relevant in your day to day life is how all of those pieces interact with each other and how one of those systems can affect any or all of the other systems. And that's where we come into looking at our body as a whole. I think particularly with endometriosis, I talk about that a lot, too, that it's a full body disease. But really, for anybody struggling with symptoms like that, it's a matter of kind of zooming out and looking into your whole body.

Lindsay Little [00:16:20]:
Absolutely. And I just think that's why it's so important to work with people who get that. And your doctor just wants you to list out a bunch of things that are wrong. Right. And I don't know about you, but when I go to the doctor, it's like this ten minute. You're in ten minutes to just basically word vomit everything that happened in the last twelve months. And then they give a short one answer response. And that's not how it works.

Lindsay Little [00:16:49]:
And especially, we're missing out on the root cause. We're doing all these band Aids, and, yeah, that's important at the time. I say, if you're having a heartburn, we need to put out the fire. If you're having a Crohn's attack, put out the know and do what you need to do to get on with everyday life. But then we need to do more. That wasn't the solution. It was a solution, but we need to go further if you want that long term resolution, which I think everyone does. I think that's what we're looking for.

Alyssa Chavez [00:17:27]:
Oh, yeah, absolutely. I think if you're listening to this podcast, that's probably what you're looking for, because I'm certainly not coming on here and having conversations about how to slap bandaids on problems. So if the audience that's listening to this, I think, is very much on board with that whole idea, and I would love to even dive into that a little bit. So I know when we were having a conversation ahead of time, just kind of, okay, what are the things that we really want to bring to this audience here? And one of the things that was coming up was the issue of bowel regularity and motility. That is a very common thing, and oftentimes can kind of be at the root of some of the other digestive symptoms that we see. So I was wondering if you can talk a little bit about that, why that's important in the first place. Like, okay, we all know we need to poop. We all know it feels uncomfortable when you don't poop.

Alyssa Chavez [00:18:24]:
Right? When you're a little blocked up. We all know what that feels like. But can you talk a little bit more about just the importance of bowel movements, regularity, and also just what are some of those common underlying causes behind that that you see?

Lindsay Little [00:18:41]:
Yeah, I think we take pooping for granted until something goes wrong. And I say that because I think what ends up in the toilet is such valuable information, and we don't talk about it. And I love to normalize this conversation. I'm so glad that we can talk about this openly, because there's the book, everyone poops. Right. And it's true, you do. If you don't, you have really serious issues. Right.

Lindsay Little [00:19:17]:
It's part of being alive when we break it down in the most simple way, but it goes wrong so often, and we don't recognize it because we're not taught to. I was not taught that growing up. That was rarely talked about during grad school. I had to seek that outside help to understand what does it mean what is regular? Everyone asks that. No one wants to, but everyone asks that, how do I know if I'm pooping enough? What's normal? So kind of digging into that, what is normal? Again, everyone is going to be a little bit different there. But the general rule of thumb is I like to see at least one bowel movement a day, minimum, depending on how much fiber you're eating. People that are plant based or vegan, they typically will poop two or three times a day if you're eating a lot of fiber, which is what's in plants. So if you're plant based or vegan, that's literally what you're eating, and you are going to have more bowel movements.

Lindsay Little [00:20:22]:
But the caveat with that, we want it formed. We want it easy. We want it to just when you sit down to go, you go. And it is uneventful toilet time. So if you're going several times a day, but it's very loose or watery or just you eat and then have to run to the bathroom right away, that's not good either. So something's up there. So on the other hand, if you're going several days without pooping a week, some people will go a week. It's not uncommon.

Lindsay Little [00:21:06]:
I hear it all the time, and they're shocked when I say, you should be pooping at least once a day. But we're not taught that, so we don't know to look for it. And I will have people, when I teach them this concept, who the aha. Moment happens, the light bulb goes off, and they're like, oh, my gosh, I've been constipated my entire life. Yeah. So that is a problem. So that can be at the root cause of kind of what's going on. It's not the root cause.

Lindsay Little [00:21:37]:
Something's causing that constipation, which is what we need to find out. But in simple terms, just to kind of summarize that you should be pooping once a day. That's what we're going for. It should be easy, stress free, pain free. All that make it easy. That's kind of that golden rule there. Kind of the Goldilock situation with pooping. So then when things go wrong, so either you're constipated or you have diarrhea.

Lindsay Little [00:22:06]:
So constipation would be where your bowel motility, we call it in technical terms, is slow. So it takes longer for that waste to leave the body. Diarrhea is the opposite, where it's taking little to no time for your waste to leave the body, that's a problem because your body is not absorbing those nutrients in your food. That's the point of eating, right? If we're not absorbing that food, it doesn't matter. You could eat the perfect diet. If you are not absorbing your nutrients, it does not matter. So that's kind of the difference with diarrhea and constipation and bowel motility. Again, very common.

Lindsay Little [00:22:48]:
So typically what I see you ask about kind of the root cause, what causes this stuff. So there's generally two kind of lines of thought with that. Two things that could be going on to generalize. Again. So dysbiosis is a fancy word for imbalance. So that would be the first thing. So a gut imbalance or gut dysbiosis, simply meaning your gut bugs, all those microbes that are living inside your colon or your large intestine, they're off. You have good guys and bad guys.

Lindsay Little [00:23:21]:
There's a delicate balance. And when that balance gets off, things happen. Gas and bloating happen, constipation happens. All those fun things we were just talking about happen. So dysbiosis is one side of it, and then very related. So dysbiosis would be like leaky gut. So, intestinal hyperpermeability, technically called leaky gut, is so much easier to say, and I think it illustrates it much better. So what leaky gut is basically the lining of your colon.

Lindsay Little [00:23:58]:
Your large intestine is one cell thick, which is crazy thin. Like, how is something so important so thin? Right. And what happens is we have these little, like, these cells kind of butt up against each other, and that gut lining, when it gets irritated, opens up, and then this is a great visual. Things float out. Gunk gets outside of where it's supposed to be and then kind of floats around your body, and it can end up in joints, it can end up in other organs. That's where we get a lot of autoimmune conditions. And heart disease comes from that. And so when your gut lining is letting these things out, your toxins, food particles, waste, it's not good.

Lindsay Little [00:24:48]:
Again, we get those symptoms we were just talking about. So dysbiosis and leaky gut go hand in hand. Generally, people are going to have both. It's pretty safe to assume leaky gut is present when we listed a bunch of those symptoms that we talked about before. So that kind of breaks it down. Those are kind of those two overview reasons of what's going on, what causes it. The typical thing, like the big thing is the standard american diet. The reason for that is the standard american diet is full of processed, ultra processed foods.

Lindsay Little [00:25:29]:
So cookies, cakes, processed meats, those lunch meats, really fattening foods or diet foods, the things that are low fat has just as bad of a reaction to in your body. But the big thing with the standard american diet is it is mostly void of fiber. Fiber comes from plants. There's not fiber in meat and dairy, and a lot of people don't eat a lot of plants. When's the last time you had a vegetable? Your listeners are probably better at that than most because I know you talk about that a lot, but it's so important, and it's something that's overlooked. The number one consumed vegetable in the United States, it's the potato. Why? French fries. Number two, ketchup.

Lindsay Little [00:26:22]:
Like, that's terrifying. Right? And we're on the course to correct that, I truly believe. But eating that way is just not great. And then we throw into it stress, our go to go go lifestyle. We throw in tons of antibiotics. So we go to the doctor when we have a sniffle and they write prescription for antibiotics, which are not always needed. And then things like even birth control pills play a huge role in this dysbiosis and how the gut microbiome behaves. So we have all these things.

Lindsay Little [00:26:57]:
And so if you just were taking birth control pills and eating a very healthy diet and living a very healthy lifestyle, it would probably be okay. Your body could probably work that out. Or if you were just working a stressful job and doing all the other things right, your body could probably work that out. But when we compound these things, we are just stacking them on top of each other, and it ends with dysbiosis and leaky gut, which leads to a bunch of other health issues.

Alyssa Chavez [00:27:34]:
Yeah. Love the way that you broke that down. That makes it so easy to kind of see the big picture of how all of that works. And there's so much that goes on in there. And I love also how you're talking about, again, how everything connects with each other. Right? This is something that I say all the time. It's never just one thing. Right? We all want the solution to our health to be just easy, and you just have to do this one thing.

Alyssa Chavez [00:28:02]:
But oftentimes it is multifactorial, like that. Like, okay, do you have chronic stress in your life? And also you're on medications like birth control, and also you're eating foods that maybe aren't serving you super well. And when all of that just piles on top of each other. Then all of a sudden, our health is kind of not where we'd like it to be, and we start to wonder why. And that's a big part of it, is taking a look at just all of the little choices you're making in your day to day life. So, yeah, I love the way that you broke that down. Okay. Now, one of the pieces that I know both of us can't wait to dig into and talk about is the connection between your gut and your hormones.

Alyssa Chavez [00:28:50]:
And you talked a little bit already about how painful periods can relate back to gut health, which, of course, is going to be very important for people with endometriosis, because period pain is one of the big things that we struggle with. And of course, gut health may not be the end all, be all. If you have endometriosis lesions growing in certain areas in your abdomen, there may be more that you need to address. But it doesn't mean that working on your gut health and rebalancing things and all of that isn't going to be supportive of everything you've got going on, from the pain to the gut symptoms and all of that. But I was wondering if you can talk a little bit about that, just how your gut and your hormones are even connected and how working on rebalancing your gut and bringing things back into where we want them to be in that regard can actually have impacts on rebalancing your hormones.

Lindsay Little [00:29:46]:
Yeah, absolutely. And this is such a big topic, so I gave myself some notes so that I would stay on topic here, but I'm glad you pointed that out, too. Just because we're focusing on gut health doesn't mean that rebalancing your gut is going to solve all the problems. That's not what we're saying. It's a great starting point because I often find that people try to start kind of in the middle and then wonder why they're not getting a full resolution. Well, because we started in the middle, right? We didn't start with that root cause a lot of times. So it's a component of overall health, and I think it's very important, but it's not an end all, be all. And there are, of course, limits to it.

Lindsay Little [00:30:33]:
But back to kind of that hormone gut connection. So the point of eating right is to give your body nutrients, and when it comes to hormones, your body needs those vitamins, minerals and antioxidants in the correct forms and then correct amounts, which your body can regulate, but it needs those things to create those hormones. And when we're lacking certain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. Our body isn't able to produce those hormones. So a big one that happens with all these bad diets out there is a low fat diet where people are trying to cut out almost every source of fat from their diet. That doesn't work for your hormones. That's hard. Your body does need fat.

Lindsay Little [00:31:27]:
It needs it in a certain way. But by eating lots of variety of fruits and vegetables and nuts and seeds and all those really good things, you get that fat. So that's just one example, and I think one a lot of people are kind of shocked to hear. So for hormone health, you do need fat. You do need healthy fats. And I said it before, you are only as healthy as what you absorb. So that saying, you are what you eat, I love that saying because it's wrong. You're not what you eat, you are what you absorb.

Lindsay Little [00:32:03]:
So you can eat all the things, you can do all the things, but if you're not absorbing it, your body isn't using it. So it's kind of a waste in that sense. So that plays a huge role, again in hormones. And then we go into blood sugar. I know you talk a lot about blood sugar regulation, especially with endometriosis. And eating these really healthy, nutrient dense foods is such a game changer with regulating blood sugar. So that's really important for overall health, but definitely hormone health. And when your blood sugar is just spiking and dipping all day long, which is natural when we eat, but we want it to be less dramatic and we want it to kind of be more natural in a way.

Lindsay Little [00:32:53]:
Otherwise, again, kind of the downstream effect is damage to our hormones or damage to the production of that. And I want to also point out, we're not just talking about estrogen and testosterone here. So hormones play such a huge role in your health. So they control your heart rate. They control, like, when you're full, that's a hormone that goes up to your brain, hey, stop eating, I'm full. Those get misdirected, kind of messed up. That signaling gets messed up when we're not taking care of those hormones. So just want to throw that out, too.

Lindsay Little [00:33:32]:
We're not only talking about those sex hormones another way. So going back to the conversation on constipation. So this is huge. So the point of obviously pooping is to get waste out of the body. And what happens, especially with estrogen, so it goes to the liver to kind of get deactivated or put out of production when your body's all done with this estrogen. It goes to the liver. The liver sends it out into your gut where it's deactivated, and then it gets put into your colon so it can go into the toilet. It needs to come out of your body.

Lindsay Little [00:34:14]:
When we're constipated, what can happen is that waste isn't excreted, it isn't removed from your body in a timely manner. And then the fun thing happens. Your body reabsorbs some of this estrogen, and that can also happen with heavy metals and other toxins as well. So constipation is uncomfortable, but it's also actually doing some damage in your body, too, from that perspective. So then a lot of times, that is one way that we can end up with really high estrogen levels, because it's just being recirculated into the body, and we need it to go out. The body does a fabulous job. The gut plays a huge, huge role in deactivating that estrogen and getting it to go out so you can regulate those levels so that your body, I should say, can regulate those levels. The body is magnificent if we give it the right tools.

Lindsay Little [00:35:17]:
So that is one thing. That reabsorption of that estrogen is really a huge thing. Another way the gut is connected with hormones is that, and neurotransmitters, for that matter, it's actually producing melatonin, thyroid hormone, serotonin, and others. So I like to say the gut is the gatekeeper of our hormones. And when there's damage to that gut, things happen. It's not able to produce those hormones and those neurotransmitters. That neurotransmitters just being the quick cousins of the hormone, they happen, make things happen instantly. When that process kind of goes crazy or doesn't happen as it should, we end up with issues.

Lindsay Little [00:36:06]:
And a lot of that, again, comes back to the gut. So that's super, I think, super important to kind of pay attention to and just know the gut is not just about food. It's not just digesting food, but it's secreting these hormones, it's producing these. And of course, then we get to the bacteria part. So bacteria in your gut, good and bad, help to regulate estrogen levels. Estrogen, of course, playing a huge role in endometriosis, as well as lots of other hormone related issues and conditions. So those bacteria levels, we need to know what they are. And that's where testing can come in.

Lindsay Little [00:36:51]:
That's where stool testing is kind of the gold standard there for just to know how do you know? You can't see those guys, and there's so many. There's trillions of these microbes down in your gut. When that balance is off, how do you know? Well, you know through these symptoms that we're talking about, but it's hard because you don't see it. So you're not necessarily making that connection of, oh, I'm having trouble focusing, and I feel terrible with my period. How are those two connected? You wouldn't think they are, but they so are. I think those are kind of the big bullet points, I think, with. And there's more, but I think there's always more.

Alyssa Chavez [00:37:40]:
Right. There's always more layers to go, but I think that gives a really nice overview of that. And you can really see some of those connections, and there's a lot you can see. It's not like, oh, it's just one thing. Like, oh, your gut is related to your hormones because of your constipation. There's so many little things that go into it, and that's why working on your gut can be so complex sometimes. And I know you and I both like to use the GI map in our practice, which is kind of considered the gold standard of stool testing, where you do actually get to see numbers on what your bacteria look like. If you have yeast going on in your body or parasites or some of the digestive markers that show how well you might be breaking down foods and all of the little things, and that can actually give you a picture of what's really going on in your gut instead of just stabbing in the dark and guessing.

Alyssa Chavez [00:38:38]:
Definitely not something that I would recommend diying if you've really got some dysbiosis and things going on in there, but there are many, many practitioners out there who are very well versed in supporting that. Lindsay does great work with her clients. I know. I love working on that as well. So there are options out there. If you're listening to this and going, yeah, that sounds like me now, there's so many wonderful little nuggets in there. I keep hearing little things, and I'm like, oh, I love that. Ooh, I love that.

Alyssa Chavez [00:39:12]:
So I hope you guys are all getting as much out of this as I am. All those wonderful little things you can take away. But is there anything else that you feel like we need to talk about today that we haven't touched base on yet?

Lindsay Little [00:39:27]:
I think the only thing is to just not be overwhelmed by it. And I know this was a lot of information, and this is just scratching the surface of it, but you don't need to know that. You don't need to know all the things I always tell my clients. And just when I do webinars and talk, if you can pull one thing out of it that resonated with you, start there. You don't need to go get a master's degree to figure this out. There are people that can help you and are willing to help you because when we try to do it ourselves, this is totally talking about me and calling myself out. I make things way too complicated for myself. I am the queen of that.

Lindsay Little [00:40:16]:
And it's so hard then because you can't see past it. You can't see the mistakes you're making, or you can't see an alternative perspective when it's you. And that's a big thing. So I'm such a fan of coaching. I'm a product of my product and I have three coaches. And it took me forever to hire a health coach, but I did because he can see so clearly. Just had a conversation with him last week. I'm like, this isn't working.

Lindsay Little [00:40:52]:
I'm back to where I was a year ago. He's like, no, calm down. Let's talk about this. This is actually really working. Like, look how far you have come. But I couldn't see that. And I just needed that simple reminder of, yeah, this is working. You're just in one of those moods.

Lindsay Little [00:41:10]:
You're just kind of in the thick of it. So keeping things simple, that's at the heart of what I do. I know it's what you do as well. Doing the basics, going back to those basics, picking out those things that you know. Are you not drinking enough water? You're not eating enough vegetables? Are you not getting outside? How is your sleep? Those are all starting points. It's kind of like health is a circle or like a hamster wheel. And you just have to find the entry point. What's going to be your entry point? Is it sleep? Is it exercise? Is it what you're eating? And then it grows because you start to feel so good that you just want more and you want to do more of those things.

Lindsay Little [00:41:55]:
So it's hard to see when you feel terrible. But it gets better if you do those basics and you do things one thing at a time. We're not doing everything here tomorrow. You're not starting out a new exercise routine and a new meal plan, and you're not going on a 15 miles hike or training for a marathon. You're not doing all those things. Tomorrow we're doing one. So that I want to just kind of offer hope and offer reassurance that doing things slowly is how you make a change and how you do it in a way that will last and not overwhelm you. That's not what any practitioner wants to do.

Alyssa Chavez [00:42:40]:
I love that. I hope that is a little. Absolutely, totally agree. Yeah. Because there is so much information out there. I think that's both a blessing and a curse of our modern times is that it's so easy to find information. You can find books and Google things till the end of the earth. There's so much information out there, which is wonderful, but also it can be very overwhelming and can be a lot, especially if you're a type a personality and just want to do all the things and feel like you're accomplishing something.

Lindsay Little [00:43:16]:

Alyssa Chavez [00:43:17]:
Yeah, that's not always the best route when it comes to healing. It's slow and steady. And I see that time and time again. The slow and steady healing process is always best. And I love what you said, too, about just understanding that the healing process isn't always linear.

Lindsay Little [00:43:33]:

Alyssa Chavez [00:43:33]:
We want it to be like point a to point b. I go from not feeling well. I do the things now I feel well, and I never have another symptom again. It would be amazing if it always worked that way. That would be, as a practitioner, that would be so satisfying to see that. But just as a reminder, the healing journey is for the long haul. Right. You are working on making those slow, steady, sustainable changes and looking at that kind of progress over time.

Alyssa Chavez [00:44:03]:
So if you do have little setbacks. I know. I was just coaching a couple of clients on that just this past week. It's okay if you haven't been bloated at all in three months, and now all of a sudden you had a couple of days where you're feeling bloated again. It's okay. It doesn't mean you did anything wrong. It doesn't mean it's not working. It doesn't mean any of that.

Alyssa Chavez [00:44:21]:
It just may mean your body is having a hard time on that day and tomorrow is a new day and we're just going to keep going and figuring things out.

Lindsay Little [00:44:30]:
So it's all good. Yeah, absolutely. I think it's what you do next is what matters.

Alyssa Chavez [00:44:36]:
Absolutely. All right. Now, I know you told us about what you do earlier, which is lovely. And about all the animals. Make sure that you go check out Lindsay's instagram. Check out Jerry, the alpaca. He's my favorite. He's so cute.

Alyssa Chavez [00:44:54]:
I love all the pictures with the piggies and the donkeys, too. There's so much fun stuff. But can you tell us a little bit more about where we can find you and connect with you and learn more about you and all the things that you do?

Lindsay Little [00:45:07]:
Absolutely. So, yeah, my website is Tons of information on there. I do a weekly blog as well, and otherwise, social media at full bloom acres on the socials. And yeah, there will be animals up there or farm primes Friday, every Friday, but throughout the time as well. And then I also offer just a free cheat sheet on my top ten favorite digestive superfoods. So that's super fun. Just as a starting point, so many people are like, lindsay, what do I eat? I don't know what to eat.

Lindsay Little [00:45:48]:
Start there. Just make it simple. Grab this super easy cheat sheet. You're probably eating some of them already, but that's a great entry level entry point into that wheel of health. So if you want to get that, it's just free. You can download that for free. And that's a great, like I said, great starting point for you.

Alyssa Chavez [00:46:11]:
Love it. And I will link to all of that in the show notes. So if you're like me and you're always multitasking while you listen to a podcast, you're driving or you're walking or you're cooking dinner, these are all the things that I'm doing while I'm listening to a podcast episode that will be linked up in the show notes. So you can find that there whenever it is convenient for you. Go connect with Lindsay. Go say hi. I'm sure she'd love to talk to you and connect with you and all the things.

Lindsay Little [00:46:37]:

Alyssa Chavez [00:46:38]:
All right, Lindsay. Well, thank you so much for being here today. That was such a great conversation. I hope everybody got as much out of that as I did and nerded out on all things gut health. So much fun. And thank you so much for being here.

Lindsay Little [00:46:54]:
Thank you, Alyssa. I appreciate it. And thanks for everyone who's listening.