Your Gut is the key to your Health

Your Gut is the key to your Health

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Behind the curtain, our gut is responsible for putting our body into working order.

As it breaks down the foods we eat, our gut absorbs nutrients that support our body’s functions — from energy production to hormone balance, skin health to mental health, and even toxin and waste elimination.

In fact, about 70 percent of the immune system is housed in the gut, so making sure our digestive system is in tip-top shape can be key to addressing many of our bodily woes. But how do we translate our gut feelings into health solutions?

Your gut may not be a literal voice, but it’s functions communicate in a form of code. From complete silence to hunger grumbles and bathroom habits, get insight into what’s going on inside.  

The incredible complexity of the gut and its importance to our overall health is a topic of increasing research in the medical community. Numerous studies in the past two decades have demonstrated links between gut health and the immune system, mood, mental health, autoimmune diseases, endocrine disorders, skin conditions, and cancer.

At one time, our digestive system was considered a relatively “simple” body system, comprised essentially of one long tube for our food to pass through, be absorbed, and then excreted.

The term “gut microbiome” refers specifically to the microorganisms living in your intestines. A person has about 300 to 500 different species of bacteria in their digestive tract. While some microorganisms are harmful to our health, many are incredibly beneficial and even necessary to a healthy body.

When we are talking about the gut, we are talking of the physical organs of the small and large intestine / colon and the trillions of bacteria (single celled organisms) that inhabit this part of you in the symphony of life.

Just a few facts about your gut:

  • For every human cell in your body, you have 100 times more bacteria with which we share DNA
  • There are more immune cells in your gut than in the rest of your body put together - your human gut comprises around 70% of your immune system
  • There are an equivalent amount of lymphatic cells in your gut as there are in your spleen
  • If you thought your skin was the largest organ of your body here is an update - for every square centimeter of skin you have 2 square meters of gut surface area - in total, enough to cover 2 tennis courts
  • All of the hormones produced throughout your endocrine system are also produced in the gut
    For example: thyroxine is produced by the thyroid but is also produced in the gut
  • There is a large collection of neurons similar to brain cells in your gut, referred to as the gut-brain
  • Several neurotransmitters, such as serotonin (vital for us to feel good) are produced in the gut. 80% of your serotonin is produced in your gut by your microbes
  • The brain does not regulate the gut, in fact, the opposite appears true. The gut can and does influence your brain via the vagus nerve. A healthy microbiome, therefore, conveys upon its host a healthy mindset, resilient immune system and a robustly healthy human host. This is an intelligent design and a wonderful arrangement.
  • Tragically, no other organ in your body is as assaulted by our modern lifestyles as the human gut - from overuse of antibiotics for every ailment, Wi-Fi saturation, processed foods, too much sugar, chlorinated and fluoridated water, all the artificial sweeteners are deadly to our life-supporting microbes, to mention just a few. You also have to include the antibiotics we get in our beef and chicken, because antibiotics indiscriminately wipe out both good and bad bacteria, upsetting our gut microbiome’s delicate balance. And here in South Africa (and in America) we have introduced glyphosate into our food chain with devastating effect on our health.
  • All the elements listed above affect the gut but it’s almost as if glyphosate was engineered specifically to attack the gut. The manufacturers of Roundup - containing glyphosate - stated that this does not harm human beings but this is not true and currently, there is a lawsuit tackling their false representation in this regard. Glyphosate attacks the shikimate pathway - the metabolic pathway - of our life-sustaining microbes, killing them. Have you ever wondered why so many allergies have appeared out of almost nowhere and previously rare inflammatory diseases have now become common? This can all be traced back to leaky gut, known in medical parlance as endotoxemia. In very simplistic terms, the integrity of the gut  - which is a single cell wall thick is maintained by proteins called tight junctions - and as a direct correlation to the devastation visited on the microbes - which regulate the integrity of these tight junctions - the human gut is leaking.

  • We are seeing the results of this across the full spectrum of our society - allergies, the once rare inflammatory diseases now rampant with mental disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and dementia affecting 1 in 10 older folk (and that number is increasing), systemic lupus, arterial sclerosis, asthma, arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis - everybody you know either has 1 of these or knows someone who suffers from 1! These can all be traced back to leaky gut. As the gut becomes porous, broken down pieces of bacteria called LPS - which, if the colon maintained its integrity would be excreted - now leak into the circulatory system and this wreaks havoc. First of all, the immune system goes into overdrive - it becomes inflamed, recognising the broken pieces of bacteria as actual bacteria, so it begins doing its job: it attacks what it perceives as a deadly invasion. What then starts out as low-grade inflammation throughout the body, if unchecked, leads to inflammatory diseases.

          Gut Flora: How It Affects Your Health and How to Treat It Right
  • In the old days - before we became so paranoid about cleanliness, before we thought that all germs were all bad (when, in fact, the vast majority of germs are beneficial) - we would still unknowingly ingest the spores of many beneficial bacteria in our food, fruit and vegetables - even bits of dirt and germ rich soil played a vital part. In their spore form, as nature designed it, these germs were able to easily survive the harsh gastric passage to arrive and germinate in your gut. In fact, our relationship with some of these spore-producing bacteria spans back to time immemorial - they are what is known as gut commensurate, meaning they belong in your gut as their primary habitat. When we find beneficial spore-producing bacteria in soil, the soil is just a vector that the bacteria are using to move from one host to another - in harmony with the governing intelligence of nature. Yet because of modern farming methods and, in particular, the overuse of glyphosate - which is now in our food chain and in our water system - this has produced a toxic environment and we have to find a supplementary source to counter this overwhelming attack on our human gut. Our health and wellbeing depend on it.

  • Snacking, Wine, Sugar, Antibiotics, GMO, Alcohol, Overweight, Sweetner, stress and Frequent eating is not good for you Gut-  Use the correct way to lose weight - don't spent you money on all these weight loss programs. 

Why is gut health important?

A healthy gut means you have a good balance of bacteria, or microbes, in your gastrointestinal tract. These microbes help the body:

  • Obtain energy from the food you eat

  • Get rid of toxins

  • Fight harmful viruses and bacteria

  • Produce the mood-boosting brain chemical serotonin

Signs of poor gut health

When your body doesn’t have enough good bacteria, bad bacteria can thrive. The following can be signs of a gut bacteria imbalance: 

  • Autoimmune problems, such as thyroid issues, rheumatoid arthritis and type 1 diabetes

  • Digestive issues, such as irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn or bloating

  • Sleep issues

  • Skin rashes and allergies

  • Sugar cravings

  • Unexplained fatigue or sluggishness

  • Unexplained mood disorders, such as depression or anxiety

  • Unexplained weight gain or weight loss

“When I hear people mention these symptoms, I’ll ask about their diet and the quality of the foods they are eating,” says Dr. Atoyebi. “If there is no other medical cause, their symptoms could be related to an unhealthy gut.”

Can poor gut health affect your mood?

Your mood and sense of well-being can be strongly affected by your gut health.

“It has been amazing to see the correlations between gut health and depression, anxiety, and fatigue,” she says. “When patients complain of chronic fatigue or depression, I’ll investigate and often find they are eating a lot of processed foods. Food affects how you feel, which manifests in your mood. While mood disorders are not solely regulated by gut health, it is definitely a factor.”

How to improve your gut health

To improve your gut health:

  • Avoid taking unnecessary antibiotics. Antibiotics can reduce both good and bad bacteria in the body.

  • Consume natural sources of probiotics. Plain yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, kombucha and kimchi all contain helpful bacteria from the fermentation process.

  • Cut back on processed foods. “If your great-grandparents wouldn’t recognize a food, reconsider eating it,” says Dr. Atoyebi. “Don’t fall for gimmicks that claim processed foods have added vitamins or minerals. Instead, go back to eating what we’ve been eating for thousands of years – vegetables and fruits.”

  • Eat prebiotics. Many high-fiber vegetables, fruits and whole grains are prebiotics, which serve as “food” for good bacteria in the body. Unprocessed foods like apples, asparagus, bananas, corn, garlic, flaxseeds, leeks, onions, oats, lentils and walnuts can improve gut health.

  • Stay hydrated. “I recommend drinking plenty of water,” she says. “I discourage patients from consuming vitamin supplement drinks. If you want to add flavor to your water, add some fresh fruit.”

  • Shop the perimeter of the grocery store. The perimeter is where you can find fresh and frozen produce, lean proteins, whole grains, and low-fat dairy.

  • Stop using all kinds of quick fixes.

For the past 15 years Quanlim Life are specialists on Gut and health making use of the best health care products on the market- but we always follow a holistic approach towards our clients. 

Stop experimenting with you health by listing to all the so called health specialist who will tell you what you want to know. Google and u tube is not your answer. You are unique and you need to be treated unique. 

We will never treat you or sell you any  health products unless we know what your real problem is. 

Johann Pretorius - Founder and owner of Quanlim Life and Professional Health Care Specialist Pretoria South Africa

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