Hippocrates said it first, around 2000 years ago: “All diseases begin in the gut.” Apart from those diseases that are genetic in origin, it’s still true. There is a lot of evidence that many chronic metabolic diseases do, in fact, begin in the gut. But few people (especially those who love to mindlessly and frequently indulge in rich food and drink) really want to hear about it because it just seems to be a killjoy of sorts. I mean, who wants to be told that they should be thinking about every bite they take?
I’ll admit it; talking about the gastrointestinal health isn’t exactly the most pleasant of topics. Gut bacteria, the digestive tract. endotoxins, and gut linings, where our immune system recognizes foreign molecules and mounts an attack against them, are just a few of the things I talk to you about when I sit across from you at my desk and analyze your gut health. Many of you recall how I constantly refer back to that circle I drew when analyzing your first blood test results and how the arrows always seem to point back to GI health.
Dr. Barry Sears was a pioneer in this research in 1995, referring to just about every morsel we place in our mouths as being as important as any medicine we ingest. He was among the first to talk about fish oil-laden omega-3 fatty acids, known to reduce inflammation in the body. In fact, Sears was among the first to discuss diet-induced chronic inflammatory responses (which can trigger insulin resistance) as well and drive type 2 diabetes. He also covered leptin resistance (which can cause obesity) and fatty liver disease, which has been strongly linked to many of the world’s most serious diseases. This is area of research is rapidly developing and our guess is that much will be revealed within the next decade or so regarding the importance of gut health.
In the course of my practice, I have had two patients come to me suffering from vitiligo, the disease Michael Jackson brought to the forefront after people remarked on how rapidly his skin color changed through the years. Vitiligo (vit-ih-LIE-go) is an unpredictable disease that causes the loss of skin color in blotches. It can affect the skin on any part of the body, including face, hair, the inside of the mouth and even the eyes. In both cases, I had these patients do food sensitivity tests, even though their former physicians told them there was little they could do about their conditions. Again in both cases, I was to find they actually had Hashimoto’s disease, a condition in which your immune system attacks your thyroid, a small gland at the base of your neck. Once we isolated and eliminated the food triggers that affected their body’s ability to fight this condition, these patients began to lose weight at a rapid rate and today are getting their conditions (and their health) under control.
What few people realize is that getting your health back in balance has a lot to do with your digestive tract, including brain and mental health as well. It takes planning and time, but it‘s entirely possible to restore the health of your GI tract and get a handle on your mood swings, memory fades, and more. As you heal your gut, you allow your body to build a stronger immune system and produce the right kind of bacteria that actually signals your brain that it’s okay to feel good again. Beneficial bacteria in your digestive system affects almost everything, from vitamin and mineral absorbency to hormone regulation to digestion to vitamin production to immune response, and even the ability to eliminate toxins.
To learn more about my approach to gut health, give us a call at 916.781.4300, or pick up some literature about it when you visit our offices. I think you’ll be glad you did.
So that I can cover health topics here that are near and dear to your heart, please contact me by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.