Do you have a Leaky Gut?
As I do more research into cancer prevention and the Anti-Cancer Lifestyle, what seems to be at the core of it all is the immune system. Every day we’re all exposed to potentially cancer causing toxins with the potential to tweak our cells abnormally. Why do these abnormal cells develop into cancer in some people and not in others? That’s the $25,000 question. I’m thinking it has to do with how strong your immune system is. And if it does, then what everyone needs to know for disease prevention, is how to build the immune system to be as strong as possible.
There are various ways to build up your immune system, some of which I have written about in this blog like getting enough sleep, reducing stress, eating more vegetables. One of the ways to build a super immune system that you may not have known is by healing your gut! By gut, I’m talking about your digestive system. Not only does it digest your food, it is also where real healing begins.
The ancient Ayurvedic tradition of medicine says that if you heal your gut, you heal your body. Your gut is perhaps the most important area of your body to pay attention to. It actually houses most of your immune system and with a super strong immune system, you can not only keep a cold at bay, more and more research is indicating that you can prevent serious disease, even cancer.
THE HUMAN MICROBIOME
If you have any kind of digestive issue like heartburn, indigestion, gas, or stomach pain, you can bet that your gut is out of whack. What those symptoms are telling you is that the delicate balance of the good and bad bacteria that help us digest our food has been upset.
There is a tremendous amount of research going into this legion of bacteria in and on our bodies, what the scientists call the Human Microbiome. What they’ve discovered is astounding.
Here are some interesting facts:
- Between 70-90% of our cells in and on our bodies are microbes, including bacteria.
- There are 10 times more bacterial cells on your body than human cells
- More than 500 types of bacteria live in the human gut—some are beneficial, some are harmful.
- Our microbiome is continually influenced by environment, diet and drugs.
- 80% of your immune system is in your gut.
- Just one dose of antibiotics upsets the balance.
I don’t know what came first with me, my food intolerance or my gut imbalance. When I went in for a routine check up with a naturopath five years ago, I discovered that I was allergic to dairy products. I had been eating cheese, yogurt, milk and ice cream my whole life. How could I possibly be allergic to dairy? Well, my blood test indicated that I was and what I have since learned is that an undiagnosed food intolerance can cause a gut imbalance, chronically straining a person’s immune system. Could this be why an otherwise extremely healthy person developed not one, but two cancers at the same time?
I’ve also learned that a gut imbalance can cause food intolerances. Could the antibiotics I had in college for strep throat caused a gut imbalance leading to my dairy allergy? I think my dairy allergy was probably hereditary though–I have had minor symptoms my whole life, never associating them with a food intolerance. But it can definitely be a chicken or egg situation.
Eating a poor diet, taking antibiotics, being under chronic stress or being exposed to too many toxins, can create a condition called Leaky Gut.
The symptoms of a Leaky Gut are:
- Food sensitivities
- Thyroid conditions
- Joint pain
- Skin issues like rosacea and acne
- Digestive problems
- Weight gain
What happens is that small holes are created in the lining of your gut, allowing through things that are supposed to stay inside your gut. What can get into your blood stream are things like gluten, bad bacteria and even undigested foods particles. Toxic waste can also leak into your blood stream causing an immune reaction.
If you suspect that you have a gut imbalance or have Leaky Gut, I’d be happy to talk with you about it. Through the support of health coaching and diet changes, these gut imbalances can be turned around. I cannot stress strongly enough how important this is for your ongoing health and wellness.