The idea of having good gut health is all the rage, and along with that comes sorting through prebiotics, probiotics and gut cleanses.
Pharmacist and Founder of Sydney-based Harmony Pharmacy and Wellness Clinic, Katherine Gong, explains that bad gut health can cause chaos in the body and cause many other more serious issues.
“A gut cleanse is a great way to reset your digestive system and clear out any nasties,” she explains. “I always recommend visiting a naturopath or nutritionist before considering a gut cleanse as they will be able to guide you on the most suitable plan for you and your needs.”
Katherine stresses that not all approaches to gut cleansing is for everyone, so seeing a naturopath or nutritionist is key so they can assess the best path for you.
While a gut cleanse sounds intense, Katherine breaks down all you need to know by busting the most common gut cleanse myths.
You need to do a gut cleanse for over 30 days to see any results
For those who don't want to commit for months on end, there's some good news.
Katherine says that results will largely depend on your needs and how closely you follow your program, so there’s no one-size-fits-all timeframe for results.
“Usually, it can take between two to six weeks to see any results or benefits,” she says.
You have to spend big money to do a gut cleanse
While it may seem that you have to financially invest a lot into completing a gut cleanse, Katherine says it doesn’t matter what your budget is.
“It just depends on how in-depth you would like to go into the cleanse, any supplements you would like to support you, and if you would like the guidance of an expert along the way.”
The only reason to do a gut cleanse is to lose weight
The popular belief is that gut cleanses are mainly for weight loss, but Katherine reveals there are many more reasons for doing one, including healing food intolerances, irregular bowel movement, boosting immunity, recovering from yeast infections, inflamed skin conditions and increasing energy.
“I always recommend that you be really clear on what your goals are before you begin the gut cleanse, which is something an expert will be able to help you identify,” she explains.
The pharmacist admits that weight loss can be a happy side effect but she prefers to recommend a wholesome diet paired with exercise to maintain a healthy weight, instead of quick fixes.
You're going to be hungry the entire time you're on a cleanse
Unsurprisingly, this is one of the most commonly-held beliefs about gut cleanses.
“When you find the right cleanse plan for you, you'll actually discover that you will feel fuller for longer throughout the cleanse as you will be eating more fibrous foods,” Katherine tells.
You can't do a cleanse if you lead a busy lifestyle
“A gut cleanse should suit anyone's lifestyle even if you're super busy or lead a social life,” Katherine says.
This is where the importance of consulting an expert comes in, as they will be able to tailor it to your lifestyle.
“If your program is tailored to your lifestyle, you'll be fuller for longer, won't feel the urge to quit and will gain the results you desire,” Katherine says.