Do you struggle with inflammation? Did you know that allergies and autoimmune diseases are caused by inflammation and may begin in the gut?
As it happens, it is estimated that 50 million adults are currently diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. The growing occurrence of those conditions indicates that immune systems are not as healthy as they once had been.
The bacteria present in the gut are essential to our health because nearly 70% of the immune system is located in your gut. In fact, there are about 2,000 different strains of bacteria that live inside or on us and bacterial cells are thought to outnumber human cells.
Although gut health can cause both autoimmune diseases and allergies, each causes a different type of reaction.
Your immune system mistakenly attacks your body and healthy tissue. It can cause a variety of symptoms including pain, nausea, aching, fatigue, disrupted musculoskeletal health, and more. Each disease has specific symptoms.
Examples of autoimmune disease
- Celiac disease
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Type 1 diabetes and many more
The body is hypersensitive toward a substance that is typically considered harmless to most people. There are various types of allergies such as toward food, dust, pets, insects, or even plants. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can be mild including skin rashes, headache, sinus pressure, gastrointestinal distress, and, severe, such as anaphylaxis. Specifically, food allergies are on the rise.
The top eight food allergens are:
- Tree nuts
Allergies and autoimmune diseases may appear differently, but they are basically an inappropriate reaction from the immune system and cause inflammation.
Why are “good” bacteria present in the gut important to our health?
- Help with breaking food down
- Metabolizing drugs
- Helping the immune system mature
- Regulating the immune system over time
But not all bacteria in the gut are beneficial – overpopulation of undesirable “bad” strains of bacteria can take a major toll on our immunity causing dysbiosis that can over time lead to a “leaky gut”. This means the sturdiness of the intestinal lining has become compromised and can no longer function efficiently as a barrier. This may cause the immune system to continuously be on high alert and lead to inflammation.
The main contributors of “bad” bacteria in the gut:
- Processed foods
- Lectins found in plants
- Environmental toxins
- Person’s lifestyle (stress)
- Alcohol consumption
- Antibiotic use
- Pain medications
According to leading functional medicine doctors, the remedy for leaky gut is to:
- Remove inflammatory foods – lectin-free diet is a good start
- Consider supplements like L-glutamine, aloe, DGL licorice, oregano oil, slippery elm
- Add good quality probiotics to help populate the gut with good bacteria
- Add prebiotics to feed the good bacteria
Long-term health starts with improving gut health. Remember, frequent gastrointestinal discomfort or reactions are a way your body is trying to send you a message. Healing won’t happen overnight and it’s helpful to have a good support system. I can guide you on the gut healing journey if you work with me.
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Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27541692