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All Disease Begins in the Gut

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 As Hippocrates (known as the Father of Medicine) says, “All disease begins in the gut.”

As we mentioned in our last post, you don’t necessarily need to feel digestive issues when you have a leaky gut.  Leaky gut affects the WHOLE body ranging from your skin, to your thyroid, to your brain (mood), to your joints, etc.

Leaky gut progression starts with GI inflammation – leading to food intolerances, nutrient malabsorption, immune system issues and potentially auto-immunity (this is where the body starts attacking itself).

Unhealthy digestion is evident when any of the following conditions are present:  gas, bloating, acid reflux, loose stools or constipation, negative reaction to food, inflammation, skin disorders (eczema, dermatitis, hives, psoriasis, acne, rosacea, etc.), cracked fingernails, parasites, candida, food allergies, throat and nose issues (clearing throat, runny nose, etc.), nutrient deficiency, gallbladder diseases, autoimmune issues, and the list goes on.

GutSymptoms

I know I’m a broken record but are you seeing a trend here yet?  If your gut is off, other systems will be off as well.  This is important because most Americans are highly inflamed and have some level of leaky gut that is affecting their health and wellbeing.

Now that I think you have an understanding on the importance of your gut, an organ sometimes neglected and underrated, let’s get to what you’ve been waiting for.

What are some of the steps towards healing your leaky gut? I think the 4R program is a great place to start.  The 4R program offers four steps – remove, replace, reinoculate, and repair.

Remove – Eliminate the cause(s)

Leaky gut has a wide range of possible causes – this is not a one size fits all and is unique to every person

  • Remove inflammatory food triggers
    • This involves getting a food sensitivity test done to determine what foods you are intolerant to. Pay close attention to what I’m about to say as this is important to understand – there is a difference between a food allergy and a food sensitivity.
  • Stress
    • Stress can impair your digestion and absorption
  • Pathogens
    • Bacterial and yeast overgrowth, viruses, fungi, parasites, and other toxic substances
      • There are tests available to help identify

Replace – Nourish gut lining with key nutrients

    • Digestive enzymes
    • Stomach acid

Reinoculate – Rebalance microbes and probiotics

  • Intestinal microflora are microorganisms that live in our gut and are helpful in aiding digestion and nutrient absorption.
    • Probiotics: supplements and foods

Repair – repair the lining of your gut

  • Healthy, anti-inflammatory diet of foods and supplements to reduce inflammation and support cell growth in the digestive tract

Stay tuned as we get into more details on the 4R program of healing your gut.

-Dr. Stephanie

More on Leaky Gut

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Let’s talk more about leaky gut.  If you remember and go back to the screen door analogy, leaky gut occurs when your small intestine gets damaged and you start punching holes through your screen door – this is when particles can leak into the bloodstream.

A ‘leaky gut’ means that the permeable intestinal lining which is the gatekeeper of what comes in and what stays out is compromised.  This means that those tight knit junctions we talked about are not so tight anymore.  Large particles (such as undigested food proteins, yeast, toxins, waste etc.) are then able to get through into your bloodstream.  From there, it’s possible to spread throughout the body (where it shouldn’t be).

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There are many things that can influence this 1-cell layer thick barrier and cause it to become “leaky.”  Four main causes include:

  • poor diet
  • chronic stress
  • toxin overload
  • bacterial imbalance

I will address these further in future posts.

When this barrier is compromised – it’s easy to see why the immune system can be affected.  Did you know – up to 80% of the immune system resides in the gut?  Yes, that is correct!  How can your immune system work properly if the very place where most of it is housed is damaged?   Therefore, it’s super important to keep your gut barrier healthy.

Most people think of digestive issues when they think of leaky gut, which can be true, however symptoms can manifest as much more!

Symptoms of leaky gut you may not know include the following: seasonal allergies, chronic sinus congestion, asthma, autoimmune diseases (rheumatoid arthritis, hashimoto’s thyroiditis, lupus, etc.), chronic fatigue syndrome, fibromyalgia, headaches, mood issues (depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, mental fogginess), skin issues (acne, rosacea, eczema, psoriasis), food sensitivities/intolerances, and more!

If you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms you do not need to learn how to just “live with it.”  I would love to help you get on the right track towards increasing your health potential!

Leaky Gut 

Leaky Gut 

Your gut is extremely important for maintaining your health and well being.  To fully understand the relationship, we first need to understand the complexities of the gut.  I promise other posts won’t be so complicated however it’s important to get this foundation before we dive in further.

I’m going to try and keep this as simple as possible, the gut (aka gastrointestinal tract) is a long tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus.  When we eat, food passes through the esophagus into the stomach.  The stomach empties into the small intestine where food is digested and absorbed into the blood stream.

Following the small intestine is the large intestine where water is absorbed and food is contained that has not been digested which ultimately makes its way through the sigmoid colon and rectum before being passed out as stool.   Are you following me yet?

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff!  The gut has such an important job of being the gatekeeper of what gets in and what stays out.  The lining of the intestines has finger-like projections called villi that increase the absorption of nutrients from food passing through.  To make things more complicated for you, each villus itself has dozens of microvilli to increase the surface area.

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Now here’s something cool – if you haven’t noticed I’m a bit of a GEEK when it comes to this stuff – if you spread out the intestines, the surface area would cover 2 tennis courts!!  Sit and think about that for a second…that is amazing!

Let’s simplify things even more and think of your gut like a screen door.  A screen door has tiny holes that let air through but keeps bugs, critters and other things out – the same way that your gut allows certain nutrients and molecules in – however has tight knit junctions to keep other particles out.  Now what happens if I punch holes through my screen door?  Bugs and other things are going to get into my house that aren’t welcome.  Compare this to your gut, particles are going to get into your bloodstream that aren’t supposed to – we call this ‘Leaky Gut.’   To reiterate this, leaky gut occurs when your small intestine gets damaged and particles begin to leak into the bloodstream.   This is very important to understand because I’m going to refer back and forth to this!

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Stay tuned for my future posts where I will dive into more and more about the gut and it’s impacts on your health!

Contact our office for further questions or scheduling a consultation.

-Dr. Stephanie