Recently, I was covering at our West Omaha clinic for one of our therapists, Paul, who just had a baby girl, Eden, who is their number two. Congratulations Paul and Jess!!!! Today we are going to talk about the key to a healthy gut.
First, I want to ask you a question before we get started…..
What is the greatest common factor of 56 and four 42?
Yeah, I had no idea either. That’s what my son, Garrett, asked me a few days ago. He started throwing out all kinds of math terms. Things like prime factorizations and he said he needed a list of factors.
I’m like, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, Whoa, hold on, hold on, buddy. I have not had to think about this for years. In fact, I didn’t even know how to figure it out and that’s what I told Garrett. “Okay, son, I know you need help with your math homework, but I don’t know how to do this.!”
He looks up at me and says…. “Well, that’s what YouTube is for dad.” Oh, okay.
YouTube to the Rescue!
After a 15-minute video on YouTube about prime factorization and greatest common factors, I thought I figured it out but he was still struggling with it. So, I sat down to help him and as we went through, I figured out I was wrong about figuring it out. I must not have been very clear because he just looked at me with this blank stare, got frustrated, and then said forget it; he could do it on own. I said, okay and then I watched as he struggled with a math problem. Any time I tried to step in and help direct him a little bit, he got more frustrated and irritated with me. This started to make me a little frustrated as well. Of course, with both of us frustrated, math problem got even harder.
You know how that goes, the harder you work on a problem you can’t figure out, the more frustrated you become. The more frustrated you are, the more irritated you become. You go round and round in this endless loop. You don’t know how to get out of it. It can almost get you to the point where you want to take computer and just chuck it out the window.
This is what was happening with Garrett and I. Eventually I realized we both needed to take a break before one of us exploded. We both stepped back and took a little break. I watched football while Garrett played on his PS4. After a while he came back saying, “I think I’m ready, dad,” and sat down to work on the problem. It was really funny because all of a sudden it was like, everything clicked for him and he was able to solve the problem. As I watched him, I started thinking…..When we are faced with a problem in life that is difficult and frustrating.
Why do we think the harder we work at it, the more likely we’re going to solve the problem? Or the more we push the better. Why do we do that? Why do we push harder and harder, only to end in anger and frustration? The problem still isn’t solved. But then…. As soon as we stop trying so hard, admit we need a little help, take a step back, relax, and all of the sudden it’s like the solution just appears. Have you ever had that happen to you?
Think about it!
We could save ourselves so much time and aggravation by relaxing and asking in the first place. When we can admit that we need help and stop trying to figure it out on our own, things have a way of working out. Just ask God to guide us….
And…. in case you were wondering….. The greatest common factor of 56 and 42 is 14.
Now that I have that figured out, let’s get down to it!
—- Remember the last time we talked?
We talked about how your gut can influence your mood and how you feel. This is why your gut is called the second brain. In your second brain, there are over 500 million neurons. Think about that! 500 million neurons, and over 95% of your body’s serotonin is found in your gut. Serotonin is that feel-good neurotransmitter; the part that’s released, serotonin and dopamine, just gives you those good feelings. Not only all of that, but your gut also houses 70% of the cells that make up your immune system. I bet you didn’t that. Think about it for a minute.
Go ahead. Think about it!
Your immune system, 70% of it is house in your gut!
With the worries about COVID, how important is that? Let’s do a quick overview of your immune system.
Your immune system is divided into two types of coordinated responses.
First One = Innate Immunity …… Second One =Adaptive Immunity…..
The Innate Immunity System is our first line of defense. It’s composed of the physical/chemical barriers, immune cells, blood proteins, and things that mediate inflammation. The cells of the innate immune system basically patrol our body looking for threats; Microbes, viruses, microbial proteins. They are on a seek and destroy mission; they destroy foreign, damaged, or infected cells. It’s our quick immune response.
The Adaptive Immune System is responsible for a little bit more of a complex immune response.
It develops when the innate immunity system is insufficient to manage a threat and is meditated by cells called lymphocytes.
I don’t want to bore you guys with a ton of cellular biology or a deep in-depth pathophysiology (the disordered physiological processes associated with disease/injury) lesson. But please stick with me on this for a little bit. I promise, it’ll be worth it and I’ll try not to bore you.
Basically, the adaptive immune system remembers past infections and vaccines so it can allow the immune system to respond quickly when we encounter something similar again.
How does this relate to your gut? That’s probably what you’re thinking, isn’t it? How does your gut influence this process?
The intestinal wall creates a barrier from our gut microbes. It’s not a solid wall. It’s permeable and still allows certain processes and types of microbes to pass through. A healthy intestinal barrier function allows certain gut derived molecules to get into the body while keeping others out.
For example: It passes your digested food through your system and extracting what it needs out of it. The rest is eliminated as waste. There is a lot of good stuff in your intestines, but there is a lot of bad stuff too.
In short summary….
It allows some microbes to pass into your blood while keeping others out. And some of these microbes, also known as metabolites, they pass through influence the immune cells in other organs of the body. This includes the brain. Through the metabolites, the gut microbiome is able to fine tune the innate immune responses throughout the body.
What happens if the gut isn’t healthy?
Well…. A healthy intestinal barrier keeps these harmful microbes away from our body… While selectively allowing the good stuff to pass into the blood to support our immune function and other organs of the body.
When there’s problems in the intestine it alters this permeability of the gut and this leads to what we call Leaky Gut Syndrome. Leaky gut happens when the intestinal wall is not healthy.
There are two things that happen.
Number One: These large molecules are now allowed to pass through these intact cell membranes due to changes in the way that things are transported. MEANING… It affects the transportation of materials.
Number Two: The loosening of these tight junctions between the cells of the intestine.
These junctions are kind of like my fingers. In a healthy wall, they are really solid against each other, but when it’s not healthy, there’s these gaps.
Gut for Thought:
Think of the Great Wall of China. It was built by the Chinese to keep invaders from coming in. What would have happened if the great wall of China had gaps through it??? It wouldn’t have worked! That’s what’s happening in your intestine.
The intestinal barrier becomes permeable to things we don’t want to get in. Then! This compromises the ability to block the access of these undesirable microbes and microbial products into our body.
Chronic inflammatory reactions and altered immune responses that ultimately undermine our body’s processes. These foreign substances leak through the gut and get into your body. Now your immune system can’t operate normally.. And worse yet! It sets off this widespread inflammatory reaction by our immune system, because that’s what sounds the alarm in the body. You get all of these foreign bodies entering into the blood that shouldn’t be in there, different toxins and poisons, just all different kinds of things. Your body tries to attack it, but it just sets off this hyperactive immune response. Then, your immune system drops and you end up with chronic inflammation in the body. That leads to a whole other set of issues.
Take-Home…. This is what I want you to have.
The health of your gut will affect how your body can fight off infections. Most importantly, what you eat, the micronutrients, and the type of probiotics all affect the health of your gut. Your gut is way more than just the digestion issues.
Next time, I will talk about how the health of your gut and leaky gut contribute to pain, irritation, inflammation, and the healing of physical tissue in your body. Basically… We’re going to talk about how it affects the way you heal from the injuries.
To cap it off, we’ve talked about how it affects your mood and immune system.
I will talk about how it affects your injuries à Speaking of injuries, if you’re having any trouble getting your body right from back pain, headaches, or shoulder problems and need help we have a breakthrough exam for only $49. You can set up a session by going to the web webpage HERE.
Just put in some information and you can get your session all taken care of.
I would love to leave you with this amazing quote from the late great Charles Spurgeon.
“Hope itself is like a star not to be seen in the sunshine of prosperity and only to be discovered in the night of adversity.”
Until next time. Power Your Life and keep moving forward.