Digestion & Nutrition – is there a link?
Everyone has heard the various bits of folk wisdom relating to diet & well-being –
“you are what you eat”
“its hard to have sweet thoughts with a sour stomach”
There is more than a little bit of truth in these statements!
The gastrointestinal tract plays a large role in health and wellness because it is one of the main areas that our body communicates so closely with the external environment. Some scientists even say that the digestive tract is actually outside of the body.
Substances don’t get “into” the body until they have crossed the intestinal lining or the various surfaces for absorption into the bloodstream. This absorptive surface is where the body differentiates between what it wants to keep, absorb and take into circulation and what must be kept out and excreted.
A large percentage of the immune cells of the body are located in the GI tract to insure this runs smoothly. In order to do this the body has developed a “second” brain or the enteric nervous system as it is called. This nervous system has more neurons than the spinal column – all of it devoted to delivering to your system everything it needs.
When this system is working properly the individual will have an abundance of energy and good health. When this goes off the rails it can cause widespread havoc throughout the entire system. The inability of the body to properly breakdown and handle gluten is a perfect example of this. Some researchers are saying that the body’s inability to handle this one protein can surface as one of a hundred different symptoms. It is comparable to a bicycle wheel where one spoke has been broken. When this happens the rest of the spokes need to pick up the load left behind by this. Before long the next spoke breaks and then the next – each time the remaining spokes need to bear more of the burden. Before long the wheel can no longer function as it was designed to function.
This is similar to the cascade that takes place when the brain is not in control of every cell and every process that is taking place in the GI tract. It can start with the brain not being in control of one process and before long this will burden the other systems of the body trying to regain control over this.
At the Neurolink Clinic when we look at a patients digestive issues, we’re trying to find out what the brain knows about what is happening in the digestive system and to get the brain to resume optimum control of this process. Often when a person has found his way to the Neurolink Clinic the effects of this sometimes long-standing issue can be apparent in the form of inflammation in the GI tract.
Aside from treatment at the Neurolink Clinic, nutrition and life-style changes should be incorporated into your daily regime during the course of treatment.
Instead of refraining from eating any known foods that cause digestive issues there are other steps that need to be taken to handle or support and/or re-establish a healthy balance of microflora. This can include use of a probiotic and prebiotics – or food that promotes the growth of healthy gut flora. Until the recent onslaught of television commercials few people were aware that they have approximately 4 pounds of bacteria in the gut. 85% of these bacteria are necessary and work together with your system to promote a healthy immune system. 15% are opportunistic and sometimes get the “upper hand” resulting in various problems such as bloating etc.
Nutrition can further help support the repair of the mucosal line of the GI tract.