Introduction: Gut Health = Your Health!

Introduction

Gut Health = Your Health!

 

In the first article, Introduction, Welcome, and Empowerment, you learned about the symptom triad of enteropathy:

  • Abdominal pain and/or discomfort
  • Gas (abdominal bloating, distention, flatulence, and gurgling or rumbling)
  • Bowel dysfunction (diarrhea, constipation, or both)

You likely realized you’re in the right place and why you’re going to want to visit myguthealthtoday.com regularly. Or perhaps you’re trying to help a loved one, friend, or co-worker with enteropathy.

Is Your Gut Happy and Healthy?

So, if you’re the one suffering, you answered “no” to this question.

Are You Happy and Healthy?

If you answered “no” to the first question, then it’s likely you’re going to answer “no” to this question, because you don’t feel good and suffer with other non-gut symptoms and diagnoses, such as:

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • “Brain fog”
  • Skin rashes
  • Headaches
  • Pelvic pain
  • Fibromyalgia

Enteropathy and Bodily Symptoms

Unlike Las Vegas, what happens in the gut doesn’t stay in the gut.

Most people with enteropathy suffer with other non-gut bodily symptoms. The underlying diagnoses and conditions associated with enteropathy can cause symptoms, malabsorption and nutrient deficiencies, chronic inflammation, autoimmunity, and allergy adversely affecting any part of the body, including the brain.

The next two figures provide you with an overview of what’s happening in your gut in both health and disease. The numbers on the graphics correlate with those in the explanatory keys that follow.

Figure 2.1 below represents good gut health, which translates into good overall health. The orange circle is your gut and here’s a reminder of what these important terms mean:

  • Microbiome – the microorganisms in a particular environment, including the body or a part of the body
  • Mycobiome – the fungal community in and on an organism

Figure 2.1 – Gut Health = Your Health

  1. When you’re healthy, your gut’s in a state of balance, represented by the even teeter-totter.
  2. You know how important your brain is.
  3. But did you know you have a second “little brain in your gut?” That “brain” lines the gastrointestinal tract?
  4. Your two brains are in constant two-way communication with one another. They both came from the same place when you were growing within your mother’s womb and function both independently and interdependently.
  5. At least three-quarters of your immune system is located in your gut, reciprocally communicating with the immune system throughout the entire body to protect and defend you.
  6. The gut is like your seventh sense, with a surface area larger than a football field. (Your others are smell, touch, taste, sight, hearing, and proprioception, which is the sense of position and movement). Your gut communicates with your other environmental interfaces with the world, including skin, mouth, sinuses, respiratory tract, vagina, and cervix.
  7. Drilling down to the trillions of cells in your gut and body, think of each as a tiny effective and healthy household, whose contributions to the community of your body are critically important. Like a household require food for the family, your cells require careful nourishment with glucose and fat.
    The health of your cellular mitochondria is particularly important because they produce and store energy.
  8. Normally, the gut doesn’t allow potentially bad substances, such as certain food components and bacteria to get through the lining, represented by the blue arrow remaining within the gut.
  9. The result is good health! 

Figure 2.2 shows the consequences of gut microbiome/mycobiome dysbiosis, which can adversely affect the health of the entire body.

Figure 2.2 – Unhappy Unhealthy Gut = Unhappy Unhealthy You

  1. Gut microbiome/mycobiome dysbiosis develops (black bugs), populating the gut in places where they shouldn’t be (such as colon bacteria getting into the small intestine), unfavorable ones overtaking beneficial ones (white), with loss of diversity and variety.
  2. The resulting dysbiosis is represented by the uneven teeter-totter and orange arrow intended to show replacement of the balanced gut.
  3. This dysbiosis imbalance results in enteropathy symptoms and one or more gut diagnoses and/or associated conditions.
  4. Both brains amplify pain and symptoms.
  5. The immune system is adversely affected.
  6. The gut barrier is breached, allowing potentially harmful substances into your body (represented by the orange arrow crossing the gut lining or barrier). This is “leaky gut.”
  7. Any organ system can be affected, including the brain, and central and autonomic nervous systems. So leaky gut and malabsorption with nutrient deficiencies cause or contribute to symptoms, organ malfunction and diseases, chronic inflammation, autoimmunity, and allergy.

In the next lesson, we’ll look at an overview and agenda of our journey together here over the next several months, always keeping in mind:

“All disease begins in the gut.”
— HIPPOCRATES

“The whole is more than the sum of its parts.”
— ARISTOTLE


William B. Salt II, M.D.
Integrative Gastroenterologist

This article was adapted from an e-learning program by William B. Salt II, M.D. For more information and a preview of the publication, please visit the website.

Understanding Enteropathy, Including IBS, SIBO, Gut Microbiome Dysbiosis, & Leaky Gut: An Integrative Gastroenterologist Guides You to Empowerment

The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments on these blogs are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of myguthealthtoday.com.

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