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Crohn's, Colitis & Gut Disease—Support Your Gut with Josh Dech

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Josh Dech, a leading gut health expert, holistic nutritionist, medical lecturer, and host of the “Reversable” podcast. Josh shared his incredible story of discovering his passion for gut health during a trade show in his early twenties. As he puts it:

“There was a woman talking about the gut and the gut microbiome, what it is, how it works - right from infancy, its connection to disease. And it was love at first sight, man. I thought that is what I'm doing for the rest of my life.”

After becoming a certified holistic nutritionist, Josh dedicated himself to specializing in gut health. He started his own Facebook group called “The Gut Coaching Program” which now has almost 13,000 members.

Throughout our conversation, Josh illuminated key aspects of gut health that anyone can apply to improve their overall wellbeing. Here are some highlights from our discussion.

The Gut-Disease Connection

When asked why he is most passionate about serving people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, Josh explained:

“Gut disease is a spectrum. Anybody who comes in with something benign as bloat...maybe you’re having a bowel movement once a day or every other day and your doctor goes, ‘Oh, that’s normal.’ Maybe you’re having a little bit of loose stool...That is a low end of the spectrum of gut issues."

He described how minor digestive troubles can progress into serious problems like Crohn's and colitis if not addressed. As Josh so eloquently states:

“That’s the heel rubbing’re catching it while it’s red before blisters and bleeds."

The Root Causes of Gut Issues

When explaining the primary causes of gut dysfunction, Josh outlined them clearly using a Venn diagram with 3 main categories:

Toxins: From food, environment, mold, metals, etc.Diet/Nutrient Deficiencies: Poor quality food and soil depletion.Bacterial Imbalances: Dysbiosis and overgrowth.

He emphasized how the interplay of these 3 factors can lead to inflammation, leaky gut, and eventually autoimmunity in those with a genetic predisposition. Josh urges everyone to minimize exposure to these gut-disrupting elements as much as possible.

Early Warning Signs

Some “early warning signs” of gut troubles Josh highlighted include:

  • Bloating

  • Rapid transit time

  • Acid reflux

He explained the mechanisms behind these symptoms and why they shouldn’t be ignored. For example, acid reflux is often caused by low stomach acid - not an excess of acid as is commonly believed.

Josh also revealed how chronic stress inhibits digestion by shifting the body into “fight or flight” mode. This can manifest in acid reflux and other issues, indicating impaired gut function.

The Autoimmune Debate

While genetics are often blamed for autoimmune conditions like Crohn’s, Josh argues:

“Genetics load the gun - lifestyle pulls the trigger."

He shared a compelling story of one of his clients, a 22 year old with ulcerative colitis who was told by his doctor that it was probably genetic since he was Jewish. After further investigation, Josh discovered the young man’s new HVAC job exposed him to the mold toxin OTA known to cause colitis. After treatment, his symptoms completely resolved.

As Josh explains:

“It’s not always this debilitating, can-do-nothing-about disease process.”

Key Takeaways

  • Minor and major gut troubles exist on a spectrum - early signs shouldn’t be ignored

  • Toxins, poor diet, and bacterial imbalances drive gut inflammation

  • Bloating, rapid transit time, and acid reflux indicate impaired digestion

  • Chronic stress inhibits digestion and contributes to acid reflux

  • Genetics alone don’t cause conditions like Crohn’s - other factors play a key role

  • Digestive issues can often be improved and even reversed through proper support

Josh Dech is clearly a passionate and knowledgeable gut health expert. His insights serve as an important reminder that we all need to take gut health seriously and address issues early and effectively.

To learn more from Josh, check out his website, his podcast “Reversable: The Ultimate Gut Health Podcast”, and his large Facebook group “The Gut Coaching Program”.

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