The digestive system is really quite fascinating. It feeds us, nourishes us, gets rid of toxins, and is the home of up to 85% of our immune system. And if you really think about it, it has to be one of our best immune defense systems. Our digestive system is an open entrance for harmful things from our environment to enter into our body. Luckily, the whole length of the digestive tract is coated with a bacterial layer, which provides a natural barrier against invaders, undigested food, toxins and parasites. If the protective bacterial layer is damaged, the gut wall will then suffer. Our ability to “clean up” and to fight off infections will suffer as well.
“A healthy adult, on average, carries 1.5-2 kg of bacteria in the gut. All these bacteria are not just a chaotic microbial mass, but a highly organized micro-world with certain species predominating and controlling others. The number of functions they fulfill in our bodies are so vital to us, that if our gut got sterilized, we would probably not survive.”
~ Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD
We used to think that communication would work one way only – from the brain, down to the gut. We are learning more and more that there is actually more neuronal communication going back up to the brain from our “second brain” – the gut! This information is really critical in the treatment of psychological challenges, such as anxiety and depression.
This also has me thinking about how food intolerances and allergies develop…and the resultant high alert that occurs in the immune system. If our gut wall/lining is compromised quite often due to gut dysbiosis aka opportunistic bacteria wreaking havoc…These “bad bugs” literally spiral themselves into the gut wall and pull the fragile cells of the intestine apart. Thy create larger than normal spaces between intestinal cells. This allows for partially digested foods to get through the gut wall that normally would not be allowed in. This is what has been dubbed as “leaky gut”. If you have heard someone with a diagnosis of “leaky gut” or “IBS” or have gotten one yourself…this means there is a label for the “disease”, but no tools to fix the underlying problem.
So what does this look like in our bodies? When the immune system sees these improperly digested foods in the bloodstream, it labels them as foreign and attacks them. Every time we feed these “bad”opportunistic bacteria and yeasts, or allow them to get out of balance via overuse of antibiotics in our food supply or prescriptions, we are contributing to this gut dysbiosis, potential development of allergies, inflammation, and general immune hypersensitivity. Where to begin?
Listen to this FREE recording to learn 7 steps you can take to heal your digestive system naturally and begin healing yourself! Also, you’re invited to schedule a complimentary 15 minute consultation with me to discuss your digestive health goals. Schedule here.