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Spring Cleaning: Heal Your Guts!

April 25, 2011

Did you know that cancer, diabetes, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, auto-immune disease, and virtually all chronic disease share one MAJOR thing in common? They all have chronic inflammation at their foundation.

Inflammation in your body is actually an immune system response to a threat or insult from your environment.  It is a part of your body’s super-intelligent reaction to stress that is life-saving in small doses, but when it becomes chronic…. all hell breaks loose.

This was best described by a fellow Canadian endocrinologist named Hans Seyle with his hypothesis called the General Adaptation Syndrome (GAS).  Seyle talked about GAS by describing the body’s reaction to stress in 3 phases:

Alarm is the first stage. When a threat or stressor is identified or realized, the body’s stress response is a state of alarm. During this stage adrenaline will be produced in order to bring about the fight-or-flight response. There is also some activation of the HPA axis, producing cortisol.

Resistance is the second stage. If the stressor persists, it becomes necessary to attempt some means of coping with the stress. Although the body begins to try to adapt to the strains or demands of the environment, the body cannot keep this up indefinitely, so its resources are gradually depleted.

Exhaustion is the third and final stage in the GAS model. At this point, all of the body’s resources are eventually depleted and the body is unable to maintain normal function. The initial autonomic nervous system symptoms may reappear (sweating, raised heart rate etc.). If stage three is extended, long term damage may result as the body, and the immune system is exhausted and function is impaired resulting in decompensation.

Little do most folks know, the most common source of stress that leads to systemic inflammation and general adaptation syndrome is insult to your gut tissue.  The most surprising element is that you may not even be aware that you are continually stressing out your gut since gut inflammation can be symptomless.

When your digestive system is compromised, gut tissue becomes damaged and this alters digestion of food, absorption of nutrients, triggers a stress response in your body, and can alter the balance of your normal bacterial flora.  When this happens your gut tissue becomes more permeable or “leaky” and this allows normally harmless bacterial by-products and larger undigested food-particles to enter your body’s blood-stream and then your body has no choice but to mount an immune attack against these foreign invaders. You can see how this can might lead to auto-immune issues, chronic inflammatory disease, and can even contribute to depression and anxiety.  Your gut tissue happens to have a part of your nervous system that is called your enteric nervous system that has more nerve endings than your spinal cord, and produces 95% of your body’s serotonin! Ever heard of Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitors?  They are commonly referred to as antidepressants like Prozac, Zoloft, or Paxil.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is made in the brain and mostly in the gut that modulates mood, appetite, and sleep! This gives a ‘gut feeling’ more meaning than you thought.

Common Gut Insults:

How many of these leaky gut syndrome symptoms do you suffer from?

Arthritis

Abdominal Distention

Airborne Allergies

Hay Fever

Gluten Intolerance

Dairy Intolerance

Parasites

Reoccurring Infections

Diabetes Type 2

Diabetes Type 1

Obesity

Chronic Fatigue

Multiple Sclerosis

Ulcerative Colitis

Confusion

Poor Memory

Fatigue & Malaise

Toxic Feelings

Fevers

Asthma

Shortness of Breath

Bronchitis

General Food Intolerance/Allergies

Bacterial Infection

Candida

Infertility

Osteoporosis

Fibromyalgia

Depression

ADD

ADHD

Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis

Crohn’s Disease

Fuzzy Thinking

Mood Swings

Aggressive Behavior

Mouth Sores

Recurrent Colds & Flu’s

Sinus & Nasal Congestion

Unstable Blood Sugar

Yeast/Fungal Overgrowth

Urinary Tract Infections

Weight Gain

Weight Loss Resistance

Inability to Heal Adrenals

Autism

Insomnia

Celiac Disease

Eczema

Dermatitis

Nervousness

Anxiety

Here is what to do to get your gut tissue healing, and clean up your digestive health:

  • Add more vegetables, especially leafy greens and fibrous roots and shoots (your good bacteria love vegetable matter)
  • Drink more water instead of all the juices and sodas and especially alcohol
  • Consult and chiropractor for spinal restrictions and poor posture issues, this will help you eliminate the use of NSAID medications as well
  • Practice renewal and relaxation activities like mediation, yoga, or even spending time outdoors
  • Replace grain and dairy foods with organic meats, eggs, good fats, veggies, raw nuts, seeds, and occasional fruit
  • Include essential supplements such as fish oil, vitamin D, probiotics (optional: glutamine, aloe vera, zinc)
  • Try adding some fermented foods to your diet like kimchi, kombucha, coconut kefirs, or sauerkraut

One of the most important things that you could ever do this spring is restore your gut health and function.  You might surprise yourself with health improvements you may notice once you give your body a few weeks to heal.  Happy gut = Happy immune system= Happy Healthy mind and body.

Remember, an engine is only as good as its exhaust system so get your act together and start at least one of these practices on this list to get your gut tissue healed and function restored.

Your health coach,

Dr. Ryan Hewitt

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 31, 2011 1:46 pm

    I enjoy, cause I found just what I used to be taking a look for. You’ve ended my 4 day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a nice day. Bye

  2. March 6, 2012 7:50 am

    u provided very helpful information,

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