Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Eat Dirt by Dr. Josh Axe

Subtitle: Why Leaky Gut May Be the Cause of Your Health Problems and 5 Surprising Steps to Cure It
352 p.
Publisher: Harper Wave
Published: 3/29/16
Source: TLC Book Tours and Publisher for review
Doctor of Natural Medicine and wellness authority Dr. Josh Axe delivers a groundbreaking, indispensable guide for understanding, diagnosing, and treating one of the most discussed yet little-understood health conditions: leaky gut syndrome.
Do you have a leaky gut? For 80% of the population the answer is “yes”—and most people don’t even realize it. Leaky gut syndrome is the root cause of a litany of ailments, including: chronic inflammation, allergies, autoimmune diseases, hypothyroidism, adrenal fatigue, diabetes, and even arthritis. 
To keep us in good health, our gut relies on maintaining a symbiotic relationship with trillions of microorganisms that live in our digestive tract. When our digestive system is out of whack, serious health problems can manifest and our intestinal walls can develop microscopic holes, allowing undigested food particles, bacteria, and toxins to seep into the bloodstream. This condition is known as leaky gut syndrome. 
In Eat Dirt, Dr. Josh Axe explains that what we regard as modern “improvements” to our food supply—including refrigeration, sanitation, and modified grains—have damaged our intestinal health. In fact, the same organisms in soil that allow plants and animals to flourish are the ones we need for gut health. In Eat Dirt, Dr. Axe explains that it’s essential to get a little “dirty” in our daily lives in order to support our gut bacteria and prevent leaky gut syndrome. Dr. Axe offers simple ways to get these needed microbes, from incorporating local honey and bee pollen into your diet to forgoing hand sanitizers and even ingesting a little probiotic-rich soil. 
Because leaky gut manifests differently in every individual, Dr. Axe also identifies the five main “gut types” and offers customizable plans—including diet, supplement, and lifestyle recommendations—to dramatically improve gut health in just thirty days. With a simple diet plan, recipes, and practical advice, Eat Dirt will help readers restore gut health and eliminate leaky gut for good.
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My thoughts:

I've heard of leaky gut and how it compromises people's health. Scoffed by doctors at one time, science has actually proven it's existence and more and more doctors are now looking at it in healing help. For those of  you who haven't heard of it, this book explains it well for those who do not have medical knowledge. It also provides some evidence in how it works and how it harms without going overboard in the explanation. I also enjoyed the personal stories from family and his clients to help emphasize how healing the gut impacts health.

I actually agree with most of the book. I think our over sanitization of our world has lead to more deadly diseases (like anti-bacteria hand gel) and have made the bacteria more resistant. I also highly agree with how the american food supply has been badly affected by corporations like Monsanto who have introduced GMOs and other pesticides (which have shown to be carcinogens) which are still in use in our food.

Now we differ on some aspects... and no, I'm not a doctor and he is a certified doctor of natural medicine and a clinical nutritionist... so take my opinion with a huge grain of salt. I don't believe that leaky gut is the root cause of disease. I DO believe that it does affect the body and by healing it can allow the body to then get the components needed to heal itself. Now we don't disagree that much on this point as he also believes this... I just don't like making that extra jump to causation. I also believe that some of his cure should come with a big caveat to always refer to your doctor. For example, some of the mushrooms he suggests can have consequences for those on diabetic medications. It may lower the blood sugar too much. I'm sure you could still use it, but it might need to be monitored by a doctor. This is not mentioned. His diet changes are also really for those who are in the general population. I would have also liked to see a section on elimination diets for those that don't find relief or get worse. For example, he highly recommends coconut oil and almond oil/flour. Those that cannot tolerate salicylates might not be able to handle his dietary modifications. Most people don't even realize they have these sensitivities unless they go through a elimination diet.

However after stating all of this, I do find that his changes would help those with generalized problems and just making the average person feel so much better. I think those with specific problems might get ideas from the book but take it to your doctor or get a nutritionist/natural doctor you trust.

Now does he really want you to eat dirt? Kinda. :) He wants you to stop over-sanitizing your food and the environment which helps the good bacteria to thrive and combat the bad bacteria more effectively. There is also a clay you can take at certain intervals to help things along. It is all about having an effective microbiome in your gut to help you stay and keep healthy.

Books and Things side note: The microbiome is also important in dogs to help combat bloat. So even our canine family has to worry about gut health (Bloat in Great Danes: A Major Breakthrough).

I give this book 3 1/2 stars. I think this is a great introduction to the leaky gut syndrome now gaining interest in conventional medicine. I also think it gives great ideas on what to change in your immediate environment which I also think is key to changing your gut. He also finishes with food, cleaning and beauty recipes which I think could benefit a lot of people right now.

Josh Axe AP
About Dr. Josh Axe

Dr. Josh Axe is a doctor of natural medicine and a clinical nutritionist with a passion to help people get healthy by using food as medicine. He founded one of the largest functional medicine clinics in the United States and runs the popular health website www.draxe.com, where you can find recipes, natural remedies, videos, nutrition advice, and fitness tips. Dr. Axe is a board-certified doctor of natural medicine (DNM), earned his doctorate in chiropractic at Palmer College (DC), and is a certified nutrition specialist (CNS) from the American College of Nutrition. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Chelsea. Find out more about Dr. Axe at his website, and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

25 comments:

  1. it' interesting, we can't agree with everything, it's always our opinion too

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    1. Well, I do tend to be more critical of medical consumer books. :)

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  2. Ooh, I don't read enough nonfiction so this sounds like something I should add to my TBR. Studies on the microbiome are so fascinating since we're realizing what a HUGE impact it has on our health, especially from a young age. I think studies like this are really going to change the way we raise children and what we decide to expose them to. Wonderful review, Melissa--thanks for putting this on my radar!

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    1. I so agree! I also loved that I had run across the same thing with dogs when I was reading this. So interesting. :)

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  3. This actually sounds like it would be very informative!

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  4. Don't know much about this dieases

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    1. It does give a good overview of leaky gut in an understandable way.

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  5. I don't think i've ever heard of a "leaky stomach" disease before. It's an interesting perspective at least even if you didn't agree with some of the aspects of it.

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    1. I actually agree with a lot of it (almost all of it), just not calling it a causation. I just wanted a few more precautions with some of his methods as well. Especially if you are dealing with someone unwell. I also do agree that leaky gut often does accompany a lot of different diseases and disorders.

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  6. I like how you reviewed this, I think you covered things well and I agree with you. I am way more cautious of what I put in my body (and ON my body) then most people I know.

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    1. I think more people should really take a look at what they do to themselves.

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  7. A leaky gut? I haven't heard of that one. However, I do agree with many of his points. We try to eat as much organic and unprocessed as possible. I believe that a lot of the health problems including this rise in autism is likely attributed to all the chemicals in our environment and food. I don't think I will eat dirt though.

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    1. LOL! It really is a metaphor for things he is talking about with the microbiome. Leaky gut has actually gained a lot of attention lately in the medical community. Not all docs are convinced but more are than just a few years ago.

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  8. LOL yeah I don't think that would be the thing for me. About all I can say yeah to is the over sanitation bit. Glad you enjoyed the read though!

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    1. You might actually like this one. It is also easily adjustable for vegetarians. :)

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  9. I'm good. I enjoy a good mud pie every now and then that helps keep me healthy. ;) Seriously though, sounds like an interesting read.

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  10. Interesting, but something to read with a critical mind to it

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    1. Agreed. All books like these should be read that way!

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  11. I've read a lot about this because of my dog. I'm with you - I don't agree with everything they say but there is sound advice in there. Nice balanced review.

    I had to learn a lot when I got GERD (acid reflux) I didn't want to just go on meds for the rest of my life so I did a complete dietary overhaul and it worked.No meds...

    Karen @For What It's Worth

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    1. Sweet! Glad you found something that worked. Hope you read the article I cited about dogs. I think you'd find it fascinating. :)

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  12. Interesting. My Mom has some issues similar to these..but as for dirt..I do think we have taken too many precautions ie. antibacterial soap. A little dirt never hurt anyone.

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  13. I've been doing a bit of research on leaky gut recently so this book might be a good thing to pick up.

    Thanks for your thoughtful review for the tour!

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  14. Hmmmm... I don't think this is my kind of read, good to see you gave it a try.

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