For anyone who’s experienced it, the frustration can be miserable. The countless tossing and turning, the minutes that tick by (turning into hours), and you STILL haven’t gotten a modicum of decent sleep. No matter how hard you try to ignore it, that urge to constantly move or stretch your legs just won’t let up.
Restless legs syndrome (RLS), aka Willis-Ekbom disease, affects a decent chunk of the population: thought estimates vary wildly, this 2017 representative survey places its prevalence between 5.7 and 12.3% of the population. That’s up to around 40 million people in the U.S. alone who go to bed every night knowing they’ll likely be kept awake for hours with that unrelenting, restless sensation.
“Some people continue to suffer uncomfortable digestive problems despite omitting the foods they may be intolerant to. If there are no definite test results pointing at an allergy or intolerance, then you’ll most likely be diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Scientists Peter Gibson and Susan Shepherd at Moash University in Australia researched the reasons behind the vicious cycle of bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and discomfort. They came upon some evidence proving that certain sugars could actually be the cause of many of these ailments: ‘Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols,’ thus founding the term FODMAP.
Greetings readers, as you know, gut health has become the hottest of topics in ancestral health circles, and is also getting increased attention in mainstream medicine. More and more science is validating how a healthy gut microbiome has wide-reaching impact on general health, and that a damaged gut can set you up for all kinds of downstream health challenges. There are several helpful primers on gut health published here (1, 2, 3).
Today’s message, however, is something a little different and more personal. It comes from a dynamic young health expert from Australia named Kale Brock. We are pleased to bring his wildly popular grassroots gut health book, The Gut Healing Protocol: An 8-Week, Holistic Program to Rebalance Your Microbiome, to the U.S. market. Kale became an expert on gut health not from formal medical training, but rather the hard way. Like many thought leaders in the ancestral health community, Kale’s obsession with gut health was triggered by a serious health setback that was poorly addressed by traditional medicine.
Few would disagree that a Primal way of life advocates simplicity above all else. Nutritious foods, strategic movement, and an aversion to stress bordering on (healthy) obsession.
This “simple is good” mentality works swimmingly most of the time. Aligning our lifestyle to our evolved biology allows us to achieve a modern semblance of that all-important homeostasis, and I generally see no reason to tinker if it ain’t broke.
But, unfortunately, it’s not always black and white….
At the heart of every building is its framework. That latticework of timber, concrete or steel is what holds the entire structure up. Without it, there’d be no building at all. I think of that phrase some people use when they look at a house and declare, “It’s got good bones.”
Considering how essential bones are to our existence, it’s surprising how most people take them for granted. A lifetime of neglect can suddenly reveal to us just how sensitive and integral this living framework is. Yet, there’s so much more to this truth than we commonly assume.
Sure, the skeletal system provides the stable foundation upon which our muscles, organs and fascia are constructed. But that’s just the half of it. Bones also secrete hormones, interact directly with the brain (ever heard of the bone-brain axis?) as well as other organs and fat cells, and even play a key role in immunity. I’ve covered many of the basics of bone health before, and I’d definitely recommend checking those out to augment these suggestions. For today, however, let’s look at some of these lesser known and appreciated functions—as well as some additional tips for supporting bone health throughout the life cycle.
In response to my post on oral health a few weeks ago, one reader offered a comment about the oral biome, and it’s a worthy follow-up, I’d say.
The human oral cavity is home to hundreds of microorganisms. Latest estimates place the number of bacterial species in your mouth at close to 700, with the odd fungus, protozoa and even virus thrown in for good measure. This oral microbiome isn’t a whole lot different than that of our gut, but where things get interesting is when we consider the diverse range of habitats within the mouth: teeth, tongue, cheeks, gums, tonsils. All provide different living conditions for those microorganisms that colonize them, but that diversity of habitats also encourages a diversity of species.