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Entrepreneurs, Here's Why You Should Listen To Your Gut (Literally) Health is vital to business success for the entrepreneur, and once you truly understand how to improve it, it's a gamechanger.

By Ruby Saharan

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You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

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I was recently shocked to learn that only 56% of entrepreneurs report good, consistent overall health. However, upon reflection, it makes sense.

As entrepreneurs, we do face a unique set of challenges when it comes to health. We live in a world where ambition meets adversity, and consistently depend on resilience to get to the next milestone. The pressure to innovate and perform daily can be overwhelming, and yet, we keep going to achieve those dreams.

Burnout seems almost a rite of passage, as entrepreneurs face unique challenges that can have a knock-on effect on private lives and health. It is no wonder then that current statistics show almost one in five new ventures succumbs during their first year, while more than half fail to reach five years of existence.

With personal health taking a backseat, sadly, it is not usually until our body gives us a physical warning sign that we pay attention. Indeed, as someone who has weathered late nights and burnouts, I've learnt the hard way!

My personal journey began back in 2019, long before terms like probiotics, biohacking, and the microbiome became buzzwords. I had started to notice signs of hormonal imbalance, coupled with new food intolerances. Suddenly I couldn't tolerate dairy anymore. I also developed melasma, cysts, migraines, and elevated cholesterol, and I also put on weight.

The well-meaning medical staff I saw tried their best to help me, but I wasn't getting better. However, I cut down my working hours, and I joined the gym. But none of it worked, because I wasn't addressing the root cause.

In the end, frustrated with "band-aid" approaches to dealing with my symptoms, I set out to find why this was happening. My curiosity as a scientist demanded an explanation and a solution.

Curiously, I found that my symptoms all pointed toward gut health. Those digestive disturbances were a sign that something bigger was going on in my body. I had actually stumbled upon what is now being acknowledged by the medical profession as a groundbreaking revolution in healthcare: gut health optimization.

I healed my gut, and I was able to reverse the lactose intolerance, cysts, migraines, fatigue, lower cholesterol, and even lose some weight- yes, really! Spurred on by this discovery, and with my curiosity piqued, I started to study this topic avidly. I received three certifications in two years, determined to help others see the light. Those around me thought I was mad- I was essentially studying for the equivalent of another degree in half the time!

However, this was necessary. I wanted the online clinic I'd eventually set up -Jigsaw Wellness- to use facts that are backed by science and not hearsay, which is all too common in the world of wellness. Awareness of the biome has risen, with popular documentaries such as Netflix's Hack Your Health being made, and probiotics being marketed heavily. But there is so much information out there, and so, it is easy to get overwhelmed.

But when done right, hacking your microbiome can actually have profound effects on the body with dramatic shifts in health, as I witness in my virtual clinic on a daily basis. I've seen women have their joint pains disappear, overcome daily nausea, banish bloating, improve metabolism, get rid of hot flashes, normalize debilitating monthly cycles, and even heal skin conditions.

The secret to achieving all this for yourself too? Get personalized advice to support your unique body. Your microbiome is as distinct as a fingerprint, and what works for one person might not for another.

Make sure you take advice from a practitioner who is trained in a holistic approach to health. There is no point in trying to heal your body if you are not sleeping enough, or in constant burnout cycles as your sleep and stress hormones will be working against you.

How will you know when you've succeeded in mastering your gut health? You will feel invigorated, as if someone just swapped out your batteries.

Health is vital to business success for the entrepreneur, and once you truly understand how to improve it, it's a gamechanger.

So, if you are experiencing a decline in health along with a change in digestion or new food intolerance, don't ignore it. Your body is trying to tell you something!

Related: Calling The Shots: Here's How (And Why) You Should Help Gen Z And Millennial Workers Be Their Own Bosses

Ruby Saharan, a gut health scientist and integrative nutrition practitioner is the driving force behind Jigsaw Wellness Ltd., a UK-based telehealth practice with global reach. With over 17 years of experience in healthcare, Ruby empowers professionals to regain command of their health for better performance at work and home.

Ruby has previously held positions at a senior level for Fortune 500 companies, and understands the pressures of balancing career with family and health very well. In her private practice, she provides expert guidance to restore gut function as well as improving health literacy through education.

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