Hey everyone, Welcome back and thank you for the support. Before we get started, please remember here at humble soul we are not trained, physicians. I am a certified herbalist trying to save the world. If you have any concerns, please contact your doctor. To jump right in, The immune system keeps a record of every microbe it has ever defeated, in types of white blood cells (B- and T-lymphocytes) known as memory cells. This means it can recognize and destroy the microbe quickly if it enters the body again before it can multiply and make you feel sick. And what a lot of people don’t know is that a considerable proportion of your immune system is actually in your GI tract.
The food we eat feeds our fat cells and determines what kind of inner garden we are growing in our guts. Your gut wall houses 70 percent of the cells that make up your immune system. You might not attribute digestive problems with allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases (irritable bowel syndrome, acne, chronic fatigue), mood disorders, autism, dementia, and cancer. Gut problems cause many diseases, seemingly unrelated. If you want to fix your health, start with your gut. Gut health affects your entire body. Bacteria teaches our immune system on how to behave. The immune cells need to be educated further to learn how to protect the body from harm when the maternal antibodies are gone. This education is essential for our future health. From birth, your body is working to keep you safe! But you have to watch what you put in there. The essential task of the immune system is to maintain a balance between reaction and tolerance. It is crucial that this tolerance, called oral tolerance, is established. And a diverse gut flora found in early life with many types of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms, is crucial for this. It teaches the cells of the immune system that not everything is terrible.
Please let your kids play and be kids but watch what they eat and get back to home-cooked meals and, of course, learning about your body. Now we will dig a little deeper into the depth of gut bacteria. From the axes to your gut all over your body neurons, hormones, and of course, your immune system signals are always going back and forth. The gut-brain axis is the most studied and digs deep into patients suffering from inflammatory diseases and depression. The gut can alter the brain chemistry via neuronal pathways and through messengers of the immune system, called cytokines. Stress is a good example: stress changes the gut microbiota, and the signals running to the brain may impact how we behave. For instance, early life stress alters the gut microbiota of monkeys, and rat pups, which are stressed by separating them from their mothers prematurely. Their gut microbiota is disturbed as a result, and they have increased levels of stress hormone and a different immune response. The gut-liver axis is studied widely in liver research since 70% of the liver’s blood flow is directly flowing from the gut. The gut-lung axis is of interest in respiratory disease research, where gut microbiota influences asthma, COPD, pneumonia, and even the development of cancer.
Now are here a few tales signs to check if you have an unhealthy gut! The first tell sign, which is #1, is an upset stomach from gas to constant bloating, diarrhea, and heartburn. A balanced gut will have less difficulty processing food and eliminating waste. The next is a high sugar-diet. High amounts of refined sugars, particularly high-fructose corn syrup, have been linked to increased inflammation. Inflammation can be the precursor to several diseases and even cancers. Skin conditions like eczema may be related to a damaged gut. Swelling in the abdomen caused by a poor diet or food allergies may cause increased “leaking” of individual proteins out into the body, which can, in turn, irritate the skin and cause conditions such as eczema. Food intolerances are the result of difficulty digesting certain foods (this is different than a food allergy, which is caused by an immune system reaction to certain foods). It’s thought that the poor quality of bacteria may cause food intolerances in the gut. This can lead to difficulty digesting the trigger foods and unpleasant symptoms such as bloating, gas, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and nausea. There is some evidence that food allergies may also be related to gut health.
And you are probably like well, what do I do now? Don’t worry; we got you covered. It may be hard, but you must lower your stress levels. Below I will add some good guided meditation and some nighttime remedies that’ll help you transition at night. Diffusing, yoga, and taking walks are other simple ways to relax your mind. Remember that you are in control. Next is to get enough sleep, which is tieing into lower your lowering your stress levels. Turn off the tv, get off of twitter, and rest. Moving along, eat slower. Take time to chew your food and aid your stomach with digestion.
Taking a prebiotic or probiotic supplement is a great way to improve your gut health. Some diets to switch to is an Alkaline diet, which we have have a 4 part series about if you would like more information. Even a diet high in fiber has been shown to contribute tremendously to healthy gut microbiome. Foods to eat are high fiber foods—bananas, oats, berries, and asparagus. Garlic and onion that may have some anti-cancer and immune system-enhancing properties based on various studies. Some herbs that will help your gut ginger reduce nausea and soothe the stomach snd help ease motion sickness. Turmeric contains curcumin, a substance with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that have powerful healing potential. My personal favorite Cinnamon which has a warm and spicy sweetness bite to it. It also helps ease upset stomachs and nausea. Basil is up next, which reduces gas and stomach cramping. One of the oldest herbs known to humankind comes from the same plant family as some other popular herbs such as mint, oregano, and rosemary. Bay leaves from the plant Laurus nobilis, commonly found in parts of Asia and America, are said to have substantial effects on the gastrointestinal system, helping to decrease the toxicity of our bodies and even soothing irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Dried bay leaves are a popular spice used in pickling and marinating, flavor stews, stuffings, and fish. Peppermint is refreshing as well as antispasmodic, cooling, and anti-microbial. It’s useful in coughs and colds, supports liver function, and helps stop itching when used topically.