Our Gut Is Our Second Brain

Our Gut Is Our Second Brain

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Our intestinal lining can make or break us. If we have strong intestinal lining, we are keeping food particles in the intestinal tract that then get absorbed or expelled appropriately. When this happens, we absorb proper nutrients, have proper vitamin levels, and lower inflammatory markers. This is a perfect scenario but unfortunately, it is very rare.

The Major Problem of Gut Permeability
The intestinal tract has villi, fingerlike structures that aid in absorption of our nutrients. These villi can be damaged, reducing our ability to absorb nutrients and vitamins and leading to vitamin deficiencies and malnourishment. Our intestinal lining covers more than 4,000 square feet of surface area. The intestinal lining has tight junctions that are supposed to stay tight so that particles do not get outside of the intestinal tract and into the tissues underneath it. When the gut is unhealthy, these junctions get holes or cracks in it, allowing bacteria, food particles, and toxins to get through and penetrate these tissues. This is called leaky gut or gut permeability. The penetration of these particles into the tissues stimulates the immune system to react. Our body sees these particles as foreign bodies; thus the immune system gets to work…and then goes on overdrive.

Gut permeability leads to a slew of problems. First, with the intestinal villi damage, we are not absorbing nutrients properly. Then, with the holes in the tight junctions, the good bacteria leak out and bad bacteria begin to develop. With this, the environment of our intestinal tract changes, increasing growth of bad bacteria (which also then gets into our bloodstream and tissues) and decreasing the good bacteria in our intestinal tract.

How Bacteria Make a Difference
We know that we need good bacteria for gut health and that bad bacteria can lead to infections. Think about it, though: If we have less good bacteria and now we have an increased amount of bad bacteria into our tissues and bloodstream, the immune system is constantly fighting. What is this doing to our body?

The immune system is starting to react at a heightened state due to the foreign particles and toxins in our tissues and now in our blood. The immune system will start creating antibodies (inflammatory markers—think of them as little red ants) that are then going around to our entire body. These antibodies attack our organs, leading to autoimmune diseases.

An Unhealthy Gut and Autoimmune Disease
Autoimmune disease is when the body starts attacking normal cells. The immune system is supposed to attack foreign cells like viruses and bacteria. When the body has a leaky gut and foreign bodies are entering our tissues and blood stream, the body has more circulating antibodies to fight these off, and those antibodies continue to fight and attack our healthy organs, leading to these autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune disease affects more than 24 million people in the United States alone.

There are many blood tests, diagnoses, and treatments for autoimmune disease and their symptoms. But what isn’t talked about enough is actually identifying the cause of autoimmune disease through your gut health and treating this problem to reduce the effects, inflammation, symptoms, and progression.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms you may have abnormal gut health. Gut permeability doesn’t just affect your bowel movements or abdominal symptoms. It doesn’t just affect your joint pain or headaches. It can increase your risk of prediabetes, diabetes, or other metabolic dysfunction in which your body is not able to metabolize food efficiently, affecting the rate of your metabolism, sleep, energy, and brain function. Your gut health is systemic.

Treat it from the inside out.

Berman Health and Wellness is a Functional Medicine Center that helps individuals reach their goal weight and optimize their gut health, while avoiding needless medications and achieving the highest quality of life imaginable. Our goal is to evaluate the metabolism, gut health, and bloodwork to optimize each aspect of the client.

Call 239.431.0232 or visit: www.bermanpt.com/wellness to learn more.