Your gastrointestinal system is an incredible design. It contains endocrine (hormonal) and immune system cells. It cooperates with beneficial bacteria to break down food and protect against harmful pathogens. Every 5 days, you replace the lining of your gastrointestinal system with new cells. This is the fastest turnover of any human cells. This is good news, because it means that the gut can heal quickly. But for many of us, gut dysfunction can lead to daily pain, avoiding foods that are good for us, and even chronic illness.
Your gut can be damaged by processed foods, alcohol, prescription drugs, antibiotics, over-the-counter pain relievers, toxic compounds, and chronic stress. Daily worry and anxiety raise your stress hormone levels, which damages the cells that line your gut. The gut lining is intended to be a strong barrier against pathogens and undigested foods. The cells of the gut lining must correctly identify and process everything that is allowed into our bodies, so that harmful compounds do not enter the blood circulation. The cells of the gut lining are the gatekeepers to the body. They determine how effectively you can turn food into cells, tissues, and organ systems. We’ve all heard, “you are what you eat,” and this is the truth!
The integrity of your gut lining directly influences detoxification processes, cellular energy, brain function, immune function, thyroid function, allergic reactions, and weight gain or loss. Poor gastrointestinal health is a key factor in the following illnesses:
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Celiac disease
- Cardiovascular disease
- Hashimoto’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Ulcerative colitis
Note that several of these diseases are autoimmune in nature. Autoimmune diseases are becoming alarmingly prevalent in this country, and have a drastic impact on quality of life. Newer research has shed light on how damage to the gut lining can allow substances to enter blood circulation and trigger autoimmune responses. Essentially, the gatekeeper has been destroyed, and the body’s first line of defense has become broken down. With the onslaught of foreign substances, the immune system becomes confused and hyper-vigilant. There is loss of control in the immune system, and the body begins to attack its own healthy cells as well as the invading substances.
Autoimmune disorders are often viewed as permanent, but newer research shows that they can be, to some extent, reversed. Identifying factors such as leaky gut, nutritional deficiencies, sources of toxicity, and chronic stress are critical to healing. Leaky gut testing is available to identify whether specific sugars, once ingested, enter the bloodstream and are excreted in the urine. If these sugars are present in urine, leaky gut (intestinal permeability) is likely. Diagnosing the problem is the first step to healing. Dr. Barbara Kaiser, DC, CCWP, specializes in cellular healing and health development in Eagan, MN. For more information and a complimentary consultation, call us at 651-757-5096. We are devoted to your healing!