Back in ancient Greece, Hippocrates said ‘All disease begins in the gut’. And he wasn’t wrong!
Our gut hosts the biggest concentration of our immune system and more bacterial cells than there are cells in the body! It is a hub of hormonal and neurotransmitter communication and the first point of contact of our interior world to the exterior. Everything which enters our mouth, is processed and dealt with by our gut first. When we take into consideration everything we’re exposed to in our culture and modern life, there is a huge amount of toxins which the body needs to deal with.
Everything from alcohol, pesticides, gmo foods, processed foods containing all manner of preservatives, colorants and flavourings, and even the water we drink, contains a vast number of substances which can damage both the epithelial and mucosal lining of the gut as well as the gut micro biome. Intestinal permeability (leaky gut) is a result of exposure to irritants and allergens – everything from foods, drugs, pathogens, leading to incomplete digestion, improper bacterial balance and damaged intestinal cells. When our gut becomes overburdened by this toxic load we can begin seeing a manifestation of a huge myriad of seemingly unrelated symptoms.
Lets also not forget that stress produces a chain reaction of chemicals which are released into our blood stream and this can also cause toxicity in our body, an internal toxicity which can also have a negative impact on the gut. As an example of this, people who are very stressed often present with symptoms of IBS, as the vagus nerve connecting the gut and the brain is over stimulated.
We can begin by being aware and conscious of what we are consuming on a daily basis. Eating organically to minimise exposure to pesticides in our food, increasing our fibre intake helps remove toxins from the colon among other health benefits, drinking filtered water and avoiding processed foods is a great start. We can also begin to listen to our bodies and the signals they are sending us, noticing if any specific allergenic foods and irritants are causing reactions.
We can then include a number of nutrients such as glutamine, turmeric and stewed apples to soothe the intestinal lining and include fermented foods and probiotics to rebuild our gut colony.
Introducing a mindfulness practice into our lives is also extremely important for our gut health and overall systemic health. This can be a meditation practice, exposure to nature, breathing exercises and gentle movement through yoga or swimming. These techniques can lower and mediate the stress response, allowing the gut to undertake the necessary maintenance and repairs it needs, as the body always strives to heal itself and come back into balance.
We are happy to offer Biomed subscribers 40% off our 28 Day Mind & Body Reset program starting on the 3rd June, as well as 20% off our Retreats (only 2 places left on the June retreat!).
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