WHEN IT COMES TO GUT HEALTH AS IT RELATES TO OVERALL HEALTH
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"I recommend a diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods along with cultured or fermented foods. If, for whatever reason you are not consuming fermented foods at least a few times a week, it's wise to consider supplementation. A high-quality probiotic supplement can be a helpful ally to restore healthful balance to your microbiota—especially when taking antibiotics, and/or when eating processed foods, as both of these tend to decimate the colonies of friendly bacteria in your gut." Dr. Joe Mercola, from The Importance of Microbial Diversity in Gut Health and Disease
- GUT MICROBIOTA / FLORA: I have seen it said that the Gut is (or at least should be) home to something like 10 times the number of bacteria that there are cells in the human body. And not only should there be lots of bacteria in the Gut, you need to have a wide variety of different species of these bacteria as well. Depending on who you read, we should have anywhere from 500 to 3,000 of unique species of organisms living on our bodies and in our Guts. Nothing kills these good bacteria quicker than drugs (particularly ANTIBIOTICS, NSAIDS, and ORAL BIRTH CONTROL). When the bad bacteria and other organisms like CANDIDA YEAST begin to take over the gut, we call this "DYSBIOSIS". Plainly stated, Dysbiosis is fed by BLOOD SUGAR. It is important to understand that current research is telling us that some of the specific varieties of good bacteria are actually becoming "EXTINCT". Oh, I almost forgot to mention the importance of BREAST FEEDING and TAKING CARE of your baby's Gut Flora as well.
- GUT INTEGRITY: What I mean by "integrity" of the Gut is that it should not leak. Due to INFLAMMATION, the tight tight junctions between the cells of your intestinal walls can become 'loose'. When this happens, large molecules are allowed to get into the blood stream that should never be allowed in. These include undigested or partially digested food, bacteria, PARASITES, and who-knows-what all else. Although the majority of the medical community denies the existence of LEAKY GUT SYNDROME, this is exactly what it is. The truth is, they have their own name for this problem (they refer to it as "Increased Intestinal Permeability"). Show me a chronically ill person who has maintained their Gut's integrity, and I'll show you dozens of such people whose Guts are "leaky". And one last thing. Just because you do not have "Gut" symptoms such as those seen in IBS, does not mean that you do not have a Leaky Gut. The majority of the people with a Leaky Gut, will manifest with chronic illnesses, such as those listed previously.
So, what's a person to do? The first thing you need to do is figure out if this is your problem. Rest assured that if you are really sick, both of these problems are affecting you. However, if you are one of those people who needs to see things in black and white (not necessarily a bad thing), get tested. One of the best tests going is the Comprehensive Stool Analysis by Genova Labs. There are numerous others.
Once you realize that your Gut is a problem, you need to get down to the work of healing it. The cool thing is, no matter what your health problem is, THIS is the basic blueprint that most of you will use to go about solving it. A PALEO DIET will kill several birds with one stone. Not only do you help stop Dysbiosis by not feeding sugar and high glycemic index carbohydrates to the infections which are overgrowing your Gut, you begin feeding your good bacteria as well (PREBIOTICS). The Paleo Diet also happens to be GLUTEN FREE. This is critical because Gluten is heavily associated with Gut problems --- particularly the Leaky Gut. PROBIOTICS (both supplemental and via FOOD / DRINK sources) are important as well. And while it may sound a bit "over-the-top", if you are desperately sick and have already tried "everything", you should at least look into one of the hottest "cures" (word used metaphorically) going --- STOOL TRANSPLANTS (and HERE).
Don't get me wrong; there are all sorts of issues that can cause chronic health conditions. But if you will take the time and effort to heal you Gut (and do an ELIMINATION DIET to find out what foods you might be reacting to), you will have taken a big step forward as far as a solution is concerned.