Get to Know Your Gut!
Made of a layer of epithelial (skin) cells and mucus, your GI tract is the inner tubing that regulates what enters your system and what passes through as waste. The intestinal walls have tiny gateways called “tight junctions” that allow the nutrients from food into your bloodstream, but keep undigested proteins, bacteria and toxins out, so they can be eliminated via the feces.
It may be surprising to find out that the strength of your immune system is intricately tied to the health of your GI tract. In fact, your GI tract is the “neighborhood” where up to 80 percent of your immune cells live. It also houses over 100 trillion bacteria, yeasts and other microbes. The healthy balance of these organisms is important for the cells of your immune system and your overall health.
If your GI microbes are out of balance, you have a condition called dysbiosis. If the tight junctions of your intestinal wall become loose enough to allow undigested proteins and bacterial toxins from your GI tract into your bloodstream (where they don’t belong), you are suffering from a condition called leaky gut. As you have learned, this can trigger an immune response and keep your immune system on high alert. New research shows a clear connection between intestinal dysbiosis, leaky gut and autoimmune conditions.1,2
The following “splinters” can alter your delicate microbial balance and damage the intestinal lining, causing inflammation, dysbiosis and leaky gut:
- Chronic stress,
- Acid blockers,
- NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Advil and Tylenol),
- High-sugar diets,
- Advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs),
- Trans fats,
- Food allergies,
- Gluten and other grains
- Processed foods
Healing Your Gut
Healing your gut is not rocket science. It’s simply a matter of consistently managing stress, eating healing foods and avoiding unhealthy foods and substances. Of course, this is easier said than done in our modern society, where most of the food we eat is so far from its natural state that it barely qualifies as food. Sadly, many of us are not mindful of what we eat or how food affects our health. Even when we have a reaction to something, we are conditioned to take a pill to cover up our symptoms instead of listing to our body and avoiding the offending substance.
What You Need to Know: There is no drug or supplement that will heal your GI system faster than consistently eating the right foods for your body and removing the “splinters” that cause the irritation.
The good news that you can clean up your GI and make it a safe neighborhood for your immune system. The quickest and easiest way to do that is by improving your nutrition. When you begin Eating for Your Good Genes and follow my Sensitivity Discovery program, you take the first steps by removing the foods and substances that contribute to your GI inflammation. In many cases, just following a healing diet for 30 to 90 days is enough to allow things to get back into balance.
If you scored high on the GI Stress Assessment, have a serious GI condition, or if you begin Eating for Your Good Genes and follow the Sensitivity Discovery Program, and you still have symptoms, you may have to dig a little deeper to uncover the cause. This is where the “Function” comes into the Functional Mind-Body Approach! Who knows, you may have an overgrowth of yeast, or an infection such as a parasite or bacteria. Without testing you’re just guessing and you can spend a lot of time and money trying different approaches. Functional medical GI testing cuts the guesswork out and saves your precious time and money. If had done this testing in the beginning I could have saved thousands of dollars! I suggest you get a comprehensive GI test to find out exactly what is “bugging” you. Many times these conditions can be cleared up with over-the-counter botanical preparations within a few weeks. You may even need a prescription antifungal or anti-parasitic medication from your doctor.
What You Need to Know: Your GI tract is a sensitive tube that absorbs the nutrients from your food and keeps unwanted proteins, bacteria and toxins out of your bloodstream and eliminates them via the feces. It’s home to up to 80 percent of your immune cells. Everything you eat and drink comes into contact with this inner tubing and affects your immune system. Think of stress, bad food and toxic substances as sandpaper that wears holes in your GI tract and disrupts the delicate microbial balance (dysbiosis), leading to a condition called leaky gut. A leaky gut allows undigested food proteins and toxins into your bloodstream. When this happens, your immune system gets fired up to clean up what shouldn’t be in your bloodstream. Over time, a fired up immune response can result in an autoimmune condition or other inflammatory condition!
Michelle Corey, C.N.W.C., FMC, is a Wellness Recovery Specialist, Certified Nutrition and Wellness Consultant, researcher and author. Michelle studied holistic nutrition at Clayton College of Natural Health and completed a comprehensive 2-year practical program at Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics. Since reversing her autoimmune condition, Michelle has helped hundreds of people reverse autoimmune and other chronic conditions. She is currently an advisor to the Academy of Functional Medicine and Genomics and the Functional Medical University. She is a member of the Institute of Functional Medicine and the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants. Michelle and offers Functional Mind-Body healing retreats, workshops and online courses.
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