Why is the Gut Really that Big of A Deal
Hippocrates, the father of medicine, famously said – “All Disease Begins In The Gut”
The gut has been accurately called the second brain. The power to heal and reverse autoimmune conditions, such as hashimoto’s or celiac, is found in the gut. The key to reversing developmental disorders such as autism, Aspergers, sensory processing overload, and ADHD is in the gut. Even infertility issues may be rooted in the gut. So we know the gut is a big deal, but how do I know what to do about it???
I want to bring some clarity to this and outline a process for gut health.
First, what is the gut? For simplicity, think of the gut as the stomach, large and small intestines. But even more important than the organs is the thousands upon thousands of microbes that live in the intestines.
“Gut flora is the complex community of microorganisms that live in the digestive tracts of humans.”
Mucosal lining is the gut wall that separates the rest of the body from the gut.
Why is the gut, the flora, and the mucosal lining such a big deal?
Once the mucosal lining of the gut is damaged it develops something knows as dysbiosis, which means there are holes in the gut lining and an imbalance of microbes. These holes allow for food particles, and microbes that generally do not pass through the mucosal lining, to escape into the blood stream. Never fear, the faithful immune system is there to set off an alarm and cause an immune response. Now is where things get real. Here is an oversimplified, but still true, explanation of how autoimmune disease begins. Autoimmune disease is where the body is attacking itself. The immune system recognizes particles from the gut as foreign invaders and launches an attack against the protein strains in the specific microbes. In Autoimmune disease, the immune system is overzealous and instead of just attacking the specific microbes it attacks those chains of proteins wherever it sees them in the body. So, let's say that is the same chain of proteins found in your thyroid. Your overambitious immune system now thinks it needs to attack your thyroid. This is what happens in hashimoto’s where the protein chain for gluten is very similar to one in the thyroid.
Or let's say the microbes in your gut are not in a healthy balance and holes in your gut (remember dysbiosis?) allows toxins into your bloodstream that travel to your brain causing inflammation, a root of developmental disorders such as autism, Aspergers, and sensory disorders. Please, I realize this is oversimplified, but it gives you an idea of how the gut is involved in disease in the body.
Once the gut is harmed, people develop food sensitivities, of which gluten and dairy are common. So to heal the gut lining they need to stop eating what is causing inflammation. Picture every time you eat gluten an inflammatory response of red oozing sores in your intestinal lining.
How did the gut get hurt?
Examples of what harms the gut are: antibiotics, steroids, birth control pills, pharmaceuticals, stress, poor diet, infections, parasites, bacterial infection, fungal infection, metals, bottle feeding, old age, pollution, radiation, alcohol, toxic chemicals, dental work, eating GMO foods. Whoa! you might say. It is impossible to keep a healthy gut in this world. It may feel daunting, but knowing what may be harmful ups our game on continually healing and protecting the gut lining.
Once the gut lining has been damaged or the gut flora damaged, causing an imbalance in the microbes, it leaves the gut susceptible to worse problems such as parasites or infections. When the gut is healthy it can usually deal with these without them becoming an issue.
Now to heal the gut it is essential to find out what is harming it and remove it oftentimes gut issues are not one issue; they are a cascade of issues, so just finding one problem is rarely the whole picture.
To heal the gut it is best to run two tests: the GI Map and a Food Sensitivity Test.
The GI Map is the best test to determine what is going on in the gut. Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory "GI MAP" looks for the presence of pathogens - including H Pylori and other bacteria, parasites, and viruses - in the gastrointestinal tract. It uses special testing technique to detect microbes better then microscopic tests.
The Food Sensitivity Test checks your body’s immune response to foods to know which one you need to avoid to lower inflammation and heal the gut lining.
You must heal the mucosal lining. This can be a long process depending on how bad the dysbiosis is. You may need to do a special diet, such as the GAPS diet. It is essential to take good quality probiotics. I like to rotate probiotics because the more variety of good microbes the better. Here are the ones I like best: Kara's Favorite Probioitcs, but there are lots of good ones available. Two of my favorite products for the gut are Biocleanse and ProBio 5. I have seen them dramatically improve peoples health is a short amount of time.
There you have it, the big deal of gut health. If you want more information on how to heal your gut or to work with me to guide you through the process, including running the appropriate tests, please make a free 20 minute appointment to talk to me.