What happens in the gut doesn't always stay in the gut
While inflammation can be caused by a number of things, including diet and lifestyle choices, it's important to look at the gut as it houses two-thirds of our immune system.
But what does that really mean and how does it affect inflammation? I'll break it down:
- When there is less diversity of good bacteria in the gut, opportunistic bacteria (i.e., gram-negative bacteria) can proliferate. This becomes problematic because they secrete a substance called lipopolysaccharide (LPS) which creates inflammation in the gut that can travel to the brain, leading to brain fog, poor memory and a reduced state of calmness.
- Strong stomach acid is needed to kill off any bad bacteria, parasites or other unwanted critters we may ingest with our food or water or even from our sinuses. Stress, poor diet, alcohol, antacids all reduce the stomach's acidity, thereby giving unwanted critters the ability to bypass the stomach and end up in our lower intestine.
- There are numerous studies showing the inflammatory effects of certain levels of bacterial species found in our gut that can lead to disease states:
- Gut imbalances can be addressed fairly easily and, most often, without prescription medication. There are numerous herbs that can help and have been used for centuries. However, it's important to find out if and what the imbalances are so that you can take the appropriate herbal measures.
- An easy and relatively quick way to find out the "state of your gut" is with a comprehensive stool analysis. I prefer the GI-Map because of its thoroughness. I talk more about it in this post as I consider it to be one of the Four Foundational Functional Labs.
There are many things you can do to improve your gut - such as reduce or avoid refined sugar altogether. Consume good fats like coconut oil, olive oil, olives, avocados, nuts. Increase your fiber intake. Eat prebiotic food such as sauerkraut or kimchee. Exercise on a regular basis. And get more rest.
If you feel you are doing all the right things yet you still have symptoms, set up a free, twenty-minute phone call with me. We can discuss your health concerns and whether a comprehensive stool analysis is right for you.