Healthy Gut + Healthy Immune System= Happy You
Updated: Apr 1, 2020
It’s 2020 and the gut is the Big Man on Campus these days. Why? People are still getting sick.
There is more targeted information on how our bodies work than ever. You have the internet to gain access to this information and how to use it. Life is moving fast. Technology is mind-blowing.
Totally Immune is about using the latest insights about what works to stay healthy.
Our focus is to prevent disease while you can without drugs (or as a complimentary booster to drugs). You get sick when your immune system fails. Pretty simple, yet the immune system is a complex system among the many systems that is YOU.
Your body and brain work together similarly to an orchestra. Each instrument has its role in making music sound good. When one instrument is out of tune it can be masked by the other instruments, but you will notice the out of tune-ness. And depending on the instrument it may be obvious.
When your gut is out of tune, it’s obvious. It is VERY important to have functional gut health. About 80% of your immune system lives in your gastrointestinal tract.
Hippocrates said, “All disease begins in the gut.”
A healthy gut biome keeps your immune system functioning optimally.
What is in the gut microbiome?
Gut microbiome (Flora) is made up of billions of bacteria and other microorganisms that co-exist with other human cells in the lower intestine
Gut microbiota helps with digestion, metabolism, immune function and brain health
Our gut microbiome begins to develop in very early life and is influenced by our genetics, delivery method, age, stress, illness, environment, medication use, and diet
Everyone’s gut is different, and it’s important that the bacteria can function at its best, rather than having specific types and numbers of bacteria
The ‘balance’ of our gut can be disrupted by several factors, and this can promote inflammation – a potent risk factor for physical and mental disorders.
There are several things that we can do to help our gut flora become or remain healthy and balanced.
Medicine has come a long way since Ayurveda and Hippocrates. We live longer and recover faster. What hasn’t changed is the importance of a healthy gut.
Gut bacteria maintains a balanced immune system. The responsibility of the immune system is to maintain a balance between reaction and tolerance. It is essential that this tolerance, called oral tolerance, is established.
A diverse gut flora of bacteria, fungi, and other microorganisms needs to be established early in life in order to teach your cells the ability to know the difference between a foreign substance and your own bodies tissues. This important process determines how and what your immune system responds to, and the success of this critical process is determined, in part, by the health of your gut.
The gut can alter the brain chemistry via neuronal pathways and through messengers of the immune system, called cytokines – and these messengers depend on the state of the gut flora.
Stress is a good example of changes in the gut microbiota, and the signals running to the brain may impact how we behave. For instance, early life stress changes 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.
6 Symptoms Of An Unhealthy Gut:
Upset stomach. Do you often have bloating, gas, heartburn, constipation or diarrhea? These symptoms can be a sign of an unhealthy got.
High sugar cravings. Eating a diet high in processed food and sugar compromises good gut bacteria and creates an imbalance. This imbalance leads to increased cravings. Sugar also creates inflammation.
Weight gain or loss. Unintentional fluctuations in weight can also be a sign of an unhealthy gut. An unbalanced gut flora can create an environment that makes if difficult for your body to absorb nutrition. Lack of nutrition can cause over-eating. Sometime bacterial growth can cause weight loss.
Sleep issues. Can’t sleep? Can’t wake up? Fatigue and insomnia can be related to poor gut health. Serotonin, a mood and sleep hormone is produced in the gut.
Skin irritation. Eczema is a skin condition related to the gut. Inflammation in the gut can cause leakage of proteins that irritate the skin.
Autoimmune diseases. Recent studies are finding a link between autoimmune disorders and the gut. Autoimmune diseases happen when the body’s cells attack themselves. Poor gut health leads to systemic inflammation and in some cases the body will attack itself
6 Things You Can Do To Improve Your Gut Health-
We all know the usual antidotes to physical and mental challenges, Stress Management, Nutrition & Sleep. And of course, they are included on this list. Many of life’s troubles can by improved with the Big 3.
Stress Management: Stress is literally a killer. From poor gut health, inflammation, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, depression, anxiety and more, I would venture to say it is THE most important focus on optimal health. Find your best stress release. There will be more info on how to master your stress at Totally Immune.
Sleep: Similar to stress, adequate sleep is VERY important. Stress leads to poor sleep and vise versa. Find your rhythm of when and how long to sleep to give your body recovery time and your brain to consolidate through dreams.
Nutrition: You are what you eat. Let food be thy medicine. Your health begins with the food you eat. As a mother, I gave my children the best food I could. I made sure it was balanced, varied and natural. Shouldn’t I treat myself the same way? Am I eating to live and thrive or living to eat and indulge? Pleasure and food should go together, so finding healthy foods that you like and indulging with treats occasionally is optimal.
Stop or reduce the things that cause an unhealthy gut flora. See the symptoms of an unhealthy gut and make a plan to remove or reduce the culprits. For example: I am overeating sugar. Instead of saying I am cutting out ALL sugar now.
Far reaching goals like that are a recipe for failure. (more info on how to WIN with habits can be found in my book: Me, Only Better. How To Create One Habit That Will Change Your Life. Instead make a winning plan to slowly reduce sugar or substitute processed sugar for fruit. Knowing that you can have your favorite treat later, will keep your brain from going into stress mode.
5. Take a probiotic. There are foods that help create good gut flora. For example: sauerkraut, pickles, kimchee, yogurt, kombucha, and tempeh. There are supplements available as well. Consult a doctor to discuss your best method of improving gut flora.
6. Practice Totally Immune: Using the steps of Totally Immune will reduce your stress and put you into a Vagus/Calm state. Which takes us full circle to tip number one: Reduce Stress.
Summary & Takeaways:
Gut flora aids in digestion, metabolism, immune function and brain health.
80% of our immune system is in our gut flora.
Unhealthy gut flora can lead to many serious health issues resulting from inflammation in the gut microbiome.
Gut health can be improved with lifestyle changes.
To help support the growth of healthy microbes in your gut, eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fermented foods.