If you ever thought a forty something woman with a balding head, a thirty year old man with grey hair, or a fifty year old stroke victim was normal – think again. All these symptoms are merely a reflection of a compromised intestinal system. Your gut is a very attractive place: as much as 100 trillion microorganisms dwell inside. Much of these organisms comprise of bacteria that do more than process hard-to-digest food, in fact they are in charge of synthesizing essential vitamins such as B-12, B-7 (Biotin) and K, that are responsible for staving off a plethora of harmful diseases. Justin Sonnenburg, PhD and an assistant professor of microbiology and immunology at the Stanford School of Medicine says “Studies suggest that these same bacteria may protect you not just from food-borne pathogens but also from cold-causing germs”. Because these little organisms play a fundamental role to our health, it’s no wonder why we have to take care of our insides. But keeping our bacteria in check is easier said than done. After all, with external factors such as environmental pollution, chemical poisoning of the food and water we consume and overall pressures from our daily lives are huge perpetrators in our internal health. The more you ignore these warning signs of a compromised digestive system, the worse your health becomes and eventually, your gut becomes a ticking time bomb.
Have you ever had a bad feeling in your gut? Do various situations make you feel nauseous? Have you ever experienced something that was gut-wrenching? These sayings extend further than mere expression. Your entire digestion system is extremely sensitive and even the slightest emotion can cause it to react unfavorably. Anxiety, anger, depression and excitement are all feelings that trigger some reaction in the gut – and usually it’s for the worst.
Some might not believe it, but your brain and gastrointestinal system are intimately connected. When the brain thinks of food, the stomach reacts by releasing juices to prepare for digestion. When the intestine is out of whack, the brain reacts by releasing necessary chemicals to get it back into a normal state. So when your brain isn’t in the greatest of moods or even in the best of moods, your stomach manages to feel the exact same way.
“This mind – gut connection is especially true in the case where a person experiences gastrointestinal upset with no obvious physical cause.” says Harvard Professor of Medicine, Lawrence S. Friedman M.D. For the individuals who experience such functional intestine disorders, it’s difficult to treat their distressed gut without considering the role of emotion and stress.
But a little nervous gas or stress induced diarrhea is just the superficial reaction of a distressed gut. On a biochemical level, your emotional state is doing a lot more damage to your system than you might perceive. When you are under stress, a family of peptides known as corticotrophin releasing factors (CRF) is charged with coordinating the body’s response to stress. In the case of your intestinal system, the CRFs cause inflammation, increase your gut’s permeability, cause visceral hypersensitivity, increased sensitivity to pain, and affect the way your gut functions. The negative impact of stress does not end there however, in fact it extends so far that it affects the delicate microbes present in your gut.
According to research and studies conducted on lab mice it was found that exposure to stress of any sort had a significant effect on the diversity of the intestinal microbiota. Not only did stress kill off the beneficial bacteria in the mice, but it also caused significant overgrowth of harmful bacteria while simultaneously making the gut more susceptible to fungal and parasitic infections and reducing the microbial diversity in the intestine.
Chronic stress or high sensitivity to emotion shows its tenacity in the physical effects it has on the gut. Individuals who suffer from emotion related aggressors often experience symptoms such as gastro-esophageal reflux disease, ulcers, irritable bowel disease or syndrome, food allergies and overall a poorly functioning digestion system.
So if things start getting out of control and mentally speaking you can’t get a handle on things, consider taking a step back to stop and smell the roses. If it’s a little more serious than that, then seek a professional who can help you overcome your stress and anxieties. Admittedly, our modern lifestyles call for an extremely hectic life, but you shouldn’t let your emotions control you. It could be the difference between better living and having a miserable gut and mind. Now if you’re having trouble with your stress, I highly suggest looking into KalmPro as it’s a wonderful supplement that can really help when you’re stressed to the max. Many people take it every day, and it works wonders for them.
We have all heard it before: “You are what you eat.” When it comes to the way we look and feel, the type of foods we eat and how our body’s reaction are clear indicators. Obesity is a rising problem in our modern world, expanding to every first world country and there’s really only one reason for that – the make-up of our diets are to blame.
To kick things off, consider the foods that you consume on a daily basis? How many of those foods are natural derived and raw or basically unprocessed? Unfortunately, a majority of the food found in supermarkets have undergone some sort of processing. Be it added color, added agents for preservation or taste or added chemicals to enhance your food in some way. When sugar and flour are refined (refined carbohydrates), they are stripped of sets of key supplements and fiber. An enduring eating regimen of refined carbs makes the human body deprive itself of the copper, zinc, magnesium, cobalt, manganese and chromium. When these minerals are drained, it more difficult to process carbohydrates. The ones that are not-completely processed mature into simple alcohols and sugars, giving fuel for microscopic organisms and yeast and prompting heartburn, gas and bloating. Recent research and studies concluded that there was a potential connection between intestinal permeability and food processing. This means that processed foods are responsible for the stomach’s inability to protect itself from enteric pathogens and makes it more susceptible to infection.
Food processing is not the only culprit. The next perpetrator is sugar. An unfortunate truth about our society is that many individuals consume about a pound of sugar PER DAY. These same individuals are typically afflicted with ailments such as obesity, digestion problems and overall a lack of general wellness. A small study conducted established a link between dysfunctional bowel movements and sugar intolerances. About half of the world’s population suffers from sugar intolerance; however no one points fingers at the sugary white substance because it’s both addictive and hard to believe. Fact is however, sugar intolerance extends to fructose, sorbitol and glucose intolerance, meaning that most forms of sugar cannot be handled by the general population. Additionally, sugar is the main food source for bacteria, fungi and parasites. Individuals who regularly consume a large amount of sugar are usually exacerbating or causing an overgrowth of unfriendly bacteria leading to a bacterial imbalance in the intestine and thereafter a slew of problems such as ulcers, gastro-intestinal disease and even cancer. This is why patients sick, especially those with candida or cancer are advised to avoid sugary foods at all costs.
General food intolerances and allergies are also at fault for a poor digestive system. A good deal of the population is lactose intolerant – that is they lack the digestive enzyme lactase to properly break down dairy products. If you are looking for a good digestive enzyme, you should really try DenzPro. Individuals with lactose intolerance have been reported to experience irritable bowel syndrome or disease and benefit greatly when they remove dairy from their diets. Many forms of food allergies exist such as gluten allergies, soy, wheat, nut or even food additive intolerances. The introduction of allergy reactive foods to your system usually leads to an imbalance of the bacterial make up in your gut as well as the poor function of your digestive system.
To improve your overall health, start with the foods that you eat. It is probably in your best interest to test for specific food allergies and avoid foods that have adverse effects on your system. It’s that or become another food related statistic.
Let’s be honest here, most of us are a little too familiar or dependent on certain drugs or medications. Most drugs (if not all) are generally safe and effective, but at the end of the day they are made of chemicals and are basically toxins to our body – the most direct to your digestive system. Everyone reacts to drugs differently and while you might think that your side effects are just a display of things getting better, sometimes it’s getting worse. Certain medications when taken together may interact and cause harmful side effects like cramping, diarrhea or bowel sensitivity, that’s why it is important to inform your doctor of any other medication you are on at the time. In addition, some people might have allergies, sensitivities or medical conditions that might modulate the way a drug affects your body. And finally, individuals who have certain food allergies or intolerances definitely want to stay away from medications that might have additives in them because the result could not only be catastrophic but also deadly.
A variety of medications can also cause a plethora of issues. Some can cause an irritation of the esophagus where the muscle becomes constricted, hardens, functions improperly or even develops ulcers. Other drugs such as anti-inflammatory agents or birth control can cause esophageal reflux where food is either regurgitated or the stomach’s acidic contents are backed up into the esophagus. Other drugs can even cause diarrhea by causing severe dehydration or constipation by affecting the nerve and muscle activity in the colon.
So while the doctor might be in favor of your well-being, sometimes it’s better taking a natural route to wellness to avoid the potential slew of side-effects. Ideally, it’s better to be informed of certain medications and the effects it might have on your system.
Stemming from the abuse of medications, we now look at the development of antibiotics and the seriously long-term consequences it yields. For the most part, antibiotics have been recognized for increasing our lifespan, but our constant misuse of it to counter every ailment has huge negative effects on our digestive health.
To start off, an antibiotic is an antibacterial agent that inhibits bacterial growth or kills bacteria. As you already know, our intestine is filled to the brim with a mixture of bacteria, friendly and unfriendly and while antibiotics serve to kill of unfriendly bacteria, it also manages to kill off our friendly microbes as well. When we disturb this sensitive balance of bacteria we often bring on symptoms such as diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, yeast infections, candida and an overall lack of wellness. This is because we no longer have the good bacteria to modulate the processing of the intestine and the negative impact doesn’t end there. With the loss of our friendly microbes we experience malabsorption and lose the ability to digest foods properly.
The effects of antibiotics on the system are unlike its application, long term. Research conducted on the influence of a single dose of IV antibiotics found that while it killed the afflicting bacterium, it also introduced and allowed the development of Clostrium Difficile, a bacteria strain that causes serious complications in the gut such as diarrhea and colitis.
Another experiment demonstrated that a short dose of antibiotics significantly reduced the diversity of the intestinal bacteria. Not only that, but while the bacteria species did recover, there were still several species that failed to recover after six months, displaying that even a short course of antibiotics can have permanent changes to the friendly community in our gut. That’s why it’s recommended you get a good probiotic like probacto.
Finally, antibiotics are notorious for causing diarrhea which is partially due to the infection of antibiotic resistant pathogens like salmonella, C. perfringens, Staphlococcus aureus and Candida albicans. Due to the resistant nature of these pathogens, antibiotics can end up doing more harm than good by not only causing overgrowth of the harmful pathogens, but also disturbing the natural balance of friendly flora thus leaving you with no chance of staving off the infections.
But don’t completely knock antibiotics out from your life. It still has its benefits and it’s not always bad. Just be aware of the negative impact it CAN have on your system and that too much of a good thing is always, bad.
Stress and gut
Diet and Gut
Medication and Gut
Antibiotics and Gut