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There exists a growing body of fascinating research that continues to point to the gut as the seat of all health or disease. This notion has been around since Hippocrates, and thankfully appears to be taking center stage as more frustrated patients search for what they’ve been lead to believe are solutionless health problems.
We’ve touched on the various aspects of why this is so important in previous posts, and virtually everyday with patients in the office. Today we will break down yet another eye opening correlation between gut dysfunction and neurodegenerative disease.
You should know by now that the gut is home to billions of vital bacteria. The bulk of these bacteria are coated in something called LPS (lipopolysaccharide). This is all good for the function of these bacteria and thus us, provided they stay in the gut and are not allowed passage into our bloodstream.
The only way LPS gains access into our blood is if we have intestinal permeability or a “leaky gut.” This can occur for a plethora or reasons including gluten consumption (for everyone, not just Celiac sufferers), habitual antacid or anti-biotic use, or glyphosate (the unwashable, carcinogenic herbicide that laces your GMO food) exposure.
Once the intestinal wall is permeable or leaky, items that should not get into the blood and thus the rest of your body, get in. This creates an immune response and a cascade of issues from there. The test used to determine whether or not someone does indeed possess a leaky gut does so by determining whether or not these LPS are present in the blood, because as we stated they should remain self contained in the digestive tract if all is well.
The game changing correlation that has been observed in numerous studies is the presence of LPS in the blood and a variety of neurodegenerative diseases. MS, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s; even Autism all have been shown to also carry the presence of LPS in the blood. To take it one step further, in many cases the level of severity of the condition is in proportion to the volume of LPS detected in the circulatory system.
For those that still have a tough time correlating intestinal issues to much beyond heartburn, constipation or diarrhea, this is yet another wake up call. The gut has been called the second brain and is in close two way communication with it via the vagus nerve. The linkage between the two and direct impact one has on the other is becoming more and more well documented.
As always, at this point the question becomes what are you going to do about it? We already know that knowledge without application is useless. Get ahead of the curve and be sure to build the foundation for health and longevity by fortifying, healing and sealing that gut if for no other reason than the fear of the devastating diseases mentioned above.
This is something we do weekly with those motivated and open minded patients, with exciting and hope restoring results. This is something we live ourselves.
As always, if you would like to learn more about this empowering knowledge or get to work on fortifying your own foundation for a better quality and quantity of life, make a move and reach out today (321-848-0987). It is our passion on both a personal and professional level, and we’re here when you’re ready to take control.
Heartburn. Indigestion. Acid reflux. These are annoyances that plague millions of Americans. The prevalence of this condition is so frequent that the sales of OTC (over the counter) antacids is in the billions. I even saw Larry the Cable Guy pitching some Prilosec on a commercial, urging that we don’t let heartburn get in the way.
Dr. Cable Guy has it partially right. You shouldn’t allow heartburn to get in your way. However the answer is not to mindlessly pop a side effect laden pill in order to silence your body’s cry for help. Especially not on a regular basis, as even the manufacturers warn to caution long term use.
So what to do? Well, with this situation as with all, the optimal solution is to search for the cause of the dysfunction.
What’s the problem?
A burning sensation somewhere along your upper digestive tract. What’s the cause? Well, if you’re like many pill popping Americans, you may believe the issue is too much stomach acid. Drugs like the aforementioned Prilosec work by inhibiting the production of stomach acid, when in fact too little acid may actually be the issue. Moreover, the issue may have nothing to do with acid volume at all, but rather nervous system dysfunction leading to discordination of the sphincters designed to prevent the back wash of potent stomach acid.
To our first point, a condition called hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid) can actually be the counterintuitive root of acid reflux. We need our stomachs to secrete hydrochloric acid in order to protect us from harmful invaders hitching a ride with our food, and as a mandatory early digestive aid. Without it, proper digestion cannot occur leaving one susceptible to nutrient and mineral deficiencies, as well as gut irritation, inflammation, infection and permeability. And if you’ve read any other posts on this site or are up on the current research, you’re aware this can set the stage for a host of issues including autoimmune diseases.
When food is not hit with a proper dose of hydrochloric it begins to go rancid and putrefy in our gastrointestinal tract. The body, in all of its infinite wisdom, tries to refuse this ball of rotting nastiness and directs it towards the nearest exit. Unfortunately due the early juncture that this takes place along the digestive process, this ends up being your esophagus, where it irritates the delicate tissue and causes your classic heartburn.
Now if you chose to go the OTC route you will most likely experience some temporary relief, as it blocks the acid that is normally back washed into your esophagus. Unfortunately all you did was shove a dirty old sock in your body’s mouth as it attempts to inform you that something isn’t right. So what happens? Well, next feeding the symptoms return and you learn to pop another pill as it now becomes your standard appetizer or dessert.
Not to pick on Prilosec, but since Larry gives’er the nod let’s hear some of those potential side effects that increase the longer you rely on them in order to enjoy that funnel cake with Mr. Cable Guy. Those listed as common include headache, diarrhea, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and flatulence. More serious possibilities include fun things like pancreatitis, hepatic (liver) impairment, gastritis, nephritis (kidneys), and blood disorders.
Most importantly you need to keep in mind that you’re inhibiting the function of the entire digestive process. While this may give you the short lived gratification of enjoying a taste, you are setting yourself up to be nutrient deficient and plagued by the laundry list of possible issues that can occur from that leaky, inflamed gut. So what can you do to break the cycle?
Well, first find a practitioner that is willing to go beyond the knee jerk reaction of prescribing something to decrease the stomach acid. (In many cases supplementing with HCl (hydrochloric acid) actually brings relief.)
You’ll want to undergo a thorough consultation, exam, and perhaps some blood work in order to discover whether the causative factor is something like your thyroid gland, adrenal glands, or based in the brain. You’ll have to be willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes, especially when it comes to diet in order to heal the gut and identify any possible food intolerances that may be causing constant internal stress and leading to esophageal sphincter dysfunction.
If you suffer from chronic heartburn or another condition that you’re tired of being on meds for;
If you’re tired of feeling like you’re running in circles;
If you’re interested in a natural and holistic approach described in the paragraph above;
if you believe the body is a complex matrix of interconnected systems and not isolated compartments;
if you are sick and tired of being sick and tired; then please give us a call (321) 848-0987. It would be our pleasure to collaborate with you in your journey towards optimal health.