It has been somewhat of a “secret” for the last 30 years that the seat of the immune system lies in the gut. Everything from migraines, asthma, arthritis, skin problems, behavioral disorders, and even depression, have all been linked back to the living organisms inside our gut.
The delicate nature of a healthy gut
There are approximately 23 feet of small intestine and 5 feet of large intestine. This adds up to an astounding 3,000 sq. ft. of surface area. Since the membrane of the surface is only one protective cell thick, you can see how things like anti-biotics (anti-life) and other insults can cause a condition called “leaky gut.” In this situation, large food particles, bacteria, and environmental toxins are able to seep into the blood stream and cause problems in the body.
We are actually a host to an army of micro-organisms (microbes) that are fighting on our side.
Without this army, we could never defeat the many infectious agents that we are exposed to daily such as viruses, hostile bacteria, yeast, and parasites.
The microbiota (which means little organisms), outweighs our own cells by 100 trillion to 10 trillion.
Some of the other areas where the “microbiota army” is working to protect us are….
- Skin – one trillion resident bacteria
- Mouth – ten billion
- Gut- 100 trillion
- Total weight – somewhere between 2-5 pounds
- There are over 1,000 different species known right now
- Ninety-nine percent of the population is made up of 30-40 different species
How do the bad guys take over the good guys?
Here are a few things that have been fed to us and prescribed unknowingly, but are now coming to light!
- America leads the world in glyphosate usage. GMO (genetically modified organisms) that have been embedded with DNA that make the crops resistant to a powerful weed killer (glyphosate), which is sprayed on crops right before harvesting. Be watching for my article on this. with some breaking research!
- Industrialized food crops (particularly GMO- & omega- 6 -laden canola and corn)
- Grain-fed NON-pastured animals and their by-products (see my article here)
- Chemicals – Fertilizers (chemical fertilizers kill the natural microbiome of the soil)
- Xenoestrogens (environmental estrogens), particularly in skin care products (see here), and plastics
- Medications- Antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, psychiatric drugs, and many others
- Stress – which leads me to my next point……
In my recent post on stress, I mentioned that cortisol gets disrupted when our “fight or flight” response kicks in. Digestion stops, and our entire HPA axis (hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal) begins to send out messages to increase cortisol, adrenaline, and other neurological chemical messengers.
Introducing a 2nd neural network–in your gut!
However, there is a vast neural network (besides the one in our brain) that has over 100 million neurons, more than the spinal cord and peripheral nervous system combined. It has all the neurotransmitters of the upper brain (central nervous system) including 5HT, also known as serotonin (the happy neurotransmitter), In fact many researchers are now saying that up to 90% of serotonin is made in the gut!
Some of the other “brain chemicals” you may be familiar with are:
- Gaba (our natural anti-anxiety neurotransmitter)
The “good army” needs to have the power to take back the territory that has been lost, so that it once again has the upper hand needed to protect us. Because of this continual cross-talk between our microbiome and our brains, it has been proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that when we are under continual stress the microbiota shift their balance toward an unfavorable environment. Working on being mindfully present in His presence, will go a long way in reducing stress and improving our life.
The absolutely greatest thing we can do to change our gut environment is to change what we are feeding our army. (Not just physical-but spirit, soul, and body).
We will need to align ourselves with the Divine principles of right eating, right thinking, and regular exercise.
Diverse foods affect these miraculous microbes differently.
They thrive on a variety of both soluble and non-soluble fiber. We also need amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. I like to recommend anywhere from 5-7 servings a day of the “rainbow color of vegetables and fruits.” At first this sounds like a daunting task, but once you develop meal plans and “helpful kitchen hacks,” it gets much easier. (I do love my Instant Pot)!
I also like to see people getting daily doses of pro-biotics (supporting life), through beautiful fermented foods, and supplementation. There are many people who need particular types of probiotics and/or botanical treatments for their “leaky gut” before embarking on a “full load” of probiotic foods. If we all begin “listening to our bodies,” we will be much closer to coming into harmony with this eco-system within us.
Changing lifestyle habits more effective than chemical drugs
There is a wonderful alternative MIT trained psychiatrist named Dr. Kelly Brogan, who has worked with people-spirit, soul, and body. She has found that changing her patients; lifestyle habits, has changed their lives. I was involved in her grass-roots movement supporting her NY Times best selling book “A Mind of Your Own”. When her book was first released, it was almost immediately blackballed by major media because of her stand against the “drug industry.”
Here is a great quote from her;
“Before I stopped prescribing, I had never once cured a patient. Now people are cured every week in my practice. As I mentioned, my patients are my partners. We collaborate, and they work hard.”
She also gave some statistics in her book, stating that 1 in 4 young women will be put on antidepressants and 1 in 2 post-menopausal women. These chemical drugs are often hard to “wean off of” and generally require professional assistance.
Why are so many people diagnosed with AutoImmune Disorders?
There are more than 100 autoimmune disorders identified today, and 1 in 3 people you care about will be diagnosed with one of these diseases. When 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women are being diagnosed with cancer, it is time to take a hard look at the potential causes. Many of these, if not most, respond favorably when significant lifestyle changes are implemented. it is time to go back to our roots of “natural medicine.”
I have personally seen diseases disappear, such as…
Celiac Lupus Crohn’s Ulcerative Colitis
Diabetes High BP MS Metabolic Syndrome
Alopecia IBS Allergies Fatigue/Depression
Hippocrates, the father of natural medicine, said, “All disease begins in the gut.”
Hippocrates also taught that the first and foremost principle of medicine must be to respect nature’s healing forces, which inhabit each living organism (our mircrobiome 😉 He also considered illness a natural phenomenon that forced people to discover the imbalances in their health. He strongly believed in good food and related the course of any ailment to poor nutrition and bad eating habits. He stressed…
“Let Food be thy Medicine and Medicine be thy Food.”
When you change your food…..you change your life!