Understanding The Gut

It is no secret that the gut has a significant impact on the rest of the body systems. The gut is responsible for more underlying conditions than originally thought and researchers are continuously linking it to more health conditions. Health conditions that have been proven to be linked to gut dysfunction are eczema, leaky gut, brain fog, headaches, inflammation, swelling, and many more. 

How The Gut Is Linked 

The human gut is flooded with pathogens and bacteria. Bacteria that infest the gastrointestinal tract is combined of both good and bad. The digestive tract associated with microbes is known as the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome has an essential role in disease and overall health. There are over 1000 microbial species living within the gut. 

The growth and evolvement of the human microbiome begin at birth. An infant does not have many pathogens however, at birth they are quickly colonized. As infants pass through the mother’s birth canal, they are exposed to the mother’s microbiome. This process heavily influences the child’s intestinal flora. Infants who were born via cesarean section showed a reduced number of microbial by the age of just 1 month. 

The human microbiome contains genes that are linked to metabolic processes. The bacteria in the human gut produce essential nutrients such as vitamins and hold a high responsibility to synthesize amino acids.  The gut contains tight junctions in which can become irritated if the bacteria is off balance or food is not being digested properly. When food becomes an irritant, it causes the body inflammation and it all begins by nutrients leaking out of the gut, back into the bloodstream. 

Inflammatory Pathways Affected By Gut Health 

The intestinal epithelium layer is the main component separating the immune system and the external environment. Cells alert threats from pathogens by signaling the immune system through receptors that are associated with specific bacteria in the gut. These responses lead to the release of peptides, cytokines, and white blood cells. These responses can even trigger cell death. 

The gut-brain axis is communication that relies on neural, hormonal, and immunological signaling. This communication is directly related and stress has been shown to influence the integrity of the gut and its production, ultimately leading to changes in metabolism. 

IBS is abdominal pain or discomfort associated with inflammation and changes in gut habits. Those who have higher bad bacteria levels in their gut suffer from more inflammation and side effects associated with IBS. 

Inflammatory pathways can disrupt many body functions. Some have been linked to metabolic diseases such as type 2 diabetes. Although type 2 diabetes is a complex disorder influenced by genetic and environmental factors, it may also involve the composition of the intestinal microbiota.

Ways To Help Your Gut 

There are many ways to improve gut health and reduce inflammation. I highly recommended having lab testing done to test your microbiota and see what strain strength and type of probiotics will better help even out your bacteria. Aside from that, eating fermented foods and avoiding inflammatory triggers will reduce inflammation as well. Another test I recommended is a food sensitivity test. This test will show what foods you are having reactions to and the severity of the damage caused each time you ingest them.  

 

The gut is one of the most overlooked but highly common causes of inflammation and health conditions. It is important to take into consideration an individual’s diet and the environment when creating a treatment protocol. I use high-end lab diagnostics on top of the nutritional information given to me by the patient to obtain a deeper understanding of what is causing gut inflammation and the specific strains of bacteria that are overgrown or depleted. -Dr. Alexander Jimenez

 

*The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic, musculoskeletal, and nervous health issues or functional medicine articles, topics, and discussions. We use functional health protocols to treat injuries or disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Our office has made a reasonable attempt to provide supportive citations and has identified the relevant research study or studies supporting our posts. We also make copies of supporting research studies available to the board and or the public upon request. To further discuss the subject matter above, please feel free to ask Dr. Alex Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900.  

 

References: 

Bull, M. J., & Plummer, N. T. (2014). Part 1: The Human Gut Microbiome in Health and Disease. Integrative medicine (Encinitas, Calif.), 13(6), 17–22.

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