Your gut is naturally permeable to allow vital nutrients, like properly digested fats, proteins, and starches, to pass through the tight junctions and enter the bloodstream.
Normally, the cells that line your intestine stick together very tightly to form a protective barrier that is hard to penetrate, keeping out bigger particles that can damage your system. If an imbalanced gut microbiome, or dysbiosis, goes on for a while, pathogenic microbes or improperly digested proteins may activate the immune system, creating a fire or war in the gut as they trigger an inflammatory response from immune cells.
This inflammation then damages the gut wall epithelial cells and the junctions become leaky and increasingly permeable, over time leading to increased intestinal permeability, or leaky gut syndrome.
When your gut becomes leaky, the intestinal barrier becomes weak and compromised, allowing things to pass through the membrane into the bloodstream that normally would not, such as gluten, undigested food particles, viruses, yeast, bad bacteria, and toxins that trigger the immune system and unbalance your gut microbiome further. What is bad for your gut is also bad for your microbiome, and vice versa.
Biodiversity is the key to keeping the immune system happy. – Tweet this!
In acute inflammation, this isn’t a bad thing, but when the immune system is constantly in the “on” position for months, over time the immune system becomes highly reactive, responding to stimuli that it would have previously ignored, like zonulin and other foreign substances, and keeping the gates open.
What causes this to go out of whack? Well, inflammatory foods like excess of sugars, unhealthy fats, un-sprouted hybridized grains, especially exposure to gluten, chronic stress, daily exposure to hundreds of household and environmental chemicals, medications like antibiotics, pain killers like naproxen or ibuprofen, birth control pills, sleep meds, acid blocking medications, every strenuous exercise and even infections like bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites, all affect the microbiome.
What does it cause? Well every disease of every stripe at any age! This can lead to impaired glucose metabolism; insulin resistance; obesity; metabolic syndrome; type 2 diabetes; food sensitivities; nutrient deficiencies like that of B12, magnesium, and iron; neurotransmitter deficiencies; allergies; chronic intestinal disease like inflammatory bowel disease; autoimmunity, skin inflammation, blood vessel problems, gynecological problems like PCOS and hormonal chaos pediatric issues like autism, the list goes on and one including cancer.
The key to health is to keep our gut healthy. – Tweet this!
Now you know why I don’t feed my family all this junk…because we have the power of health in our hands.
Improving your digestive health is an essential way to overcome inflammation and chronic disease, so this is the foundation of The Holistic Rx
RELATED POST: The Microbiome
Taking Your Life Back,
Madiha Saeed, MD ABIHM
Holistic Mom, MD
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I am a practicing family physician and an integrative holistic family physician, in Illinois!My book “The Holistic Rx: Your Guide to Healing Chronic Inflammation and Disease” was #1 new release in 4 categories and a best seller on Amazon, all before the official launch.The book has since been picked up by medical schools. We are changing the face of medicine!!!I’m the director of education at Documenting Hope - a national organization dedicated to heal chronic disease in children, a writer for Holistic Primary Care and a proud mother of 4 holistically-raised boys (who share their healthy habits on YouTube). On social media I'm HolisticMomMD . I speak nation wide igniting the world with my energy and passion to start a healing revolution! I have appeared on the Thriving Child Summit and I am the featured speaker for many more summits including the Shift Network's Winter of Wellness 2018 Summit – the most prestigious holistic online event (www.winterofwellness.com). I will be the featured guest on multiple episodes of the Emmy nominated medical lifestyle show Ask Dr. Nandi speaking on parenting and healing chronic illness.