Most diseases begin in the gut! Why is this so?
Gut health is the hub of the body, it is the place where health starts. If you can improve gut health you can improve overall health and wellbeing. Diet and lifestyle play such a huge role in the health of our nervous system, energy and capacity to live an enthusiastic life. High inflammation, toxic bowels, reduced healthy bacteria, stress, poor digestion – the list of contributing factors is long so it is no wonder we are seeing a higher incidence of gut and bowel related diseases!
The link between gut health and mental disorders is becoming more and more researched with interesting theories being published weekly. The gut and the brain arise from the same tissues, there is a dense communication link between the two so it is not surprising that we see conditions that directly affect both areas of health. There are literally thousands of organisms in the gut and it is a constant war for the body to keep down the microbes that cause damage and inflammation in the body. If the gut health is limited due to an increase in detrimental bacteria then the body will experience more inflammation, irritation, heat, anger, toxicity. An increase in biofilms (a thin but robust layer of mucilage adhering to a solid surface and containing a community of bacteria and other microorganisms) and damage of the gut mucosa results in local and systemic inflammation and pathogenic bacteria.
An unhealthy gut means that the person will experience a loss of permeability control in the gut leading to inflammation and damage. The long term results of this are neurological dysfunction, Endocrine dysfunction and metabolic dysfunction. Neuropsychiatric disorders are often caused by leaky gut (inflammation, toxic gut), this occurs due to the following vicious cycles:
When the permeability of the blood brain barrier is compromised due to increased inflammation (eg/ wheat consumption when the person is susceptible) there is reduced healthy gut bacteria, an increase in inflammation and consequent damage to the digestive system and an increase in neurological disorders (anxiety, depression, Schizophrenia for example). This is because the communication between the gut and brain are over sensitive and inflamed.
The vagus nerve controls Parasympathetic Nervous system health and this is a bi-directional flow. What does this mean? It means that if you pay attention to heal the gut or the health of the brain, it will have a positive effect for both areas of health. Improve gut health, improve brain function and vice versa! The amount of toxins in the body will impact the way the gut and brain can heal as well as what bacteria is present in the gut and at what amounts. Toxins create inflammation in the body and will contribute to mental conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease, memory loss, cognitive decrease and limited brain function due to the damage the toxins create as well as being neurotoxic (causing sensitivity).
Environmental toxins (chemicals, pollutants) will also contribute to growth of wrong bacteria in the gut, inflammation and damage. This means that we are less resistant to stress.