The link between what goes into your stomach and its effects on the brain’s ability to perform has always been one of great debate. I know first-hand how terrifying it is to try and understand every expert’s opinion; one day bananas can cause cancer, the next they are a superfood… confusing, right?! Truth be told I don’t think we know as much as we would like. I mean the term “leaky gut” once had a doctor laughing in my face, however today it is an actual medical condition!
My experiences with and of food, have identified relationships between the mind, the ability to perform daily tasks and overall health. Leaky gut is no joke guys and if left untreated can cause some major effects to your health, so be aware.
What is leaky gut?
The explanation you are likely to hear from the medical world is; “the condition of hyper permeable intestines”, translated in English, a sieve with big holes in it. The small intestine is where nutrients are absorbed and waste products are passed along. The intestinal lining becomes compromised from continuous stress, causing bigger holes to develop. This allows larger food particles to sneak into the bloodstream because the screening out process is weakened. Think of a damaged sieve that leaks chunks of food. Highly toxic and horrid foods that would usually be refused entry into the blood, roam freely around the body causing mayhem.
Why is this bad?
Our immune system’s first line of defence is our intestinal walls. The epithelial (outer layer of intestinal cells) is where nutrients are absorbed (via microvilli) into the bloodstream. Chyme (where food turns into liquid in the stomach) gets passed along through the intestine eventually foaming to be removed. With the closely formed cell junctions broken, undigested proteins and bacterial toxins escape into the body.
The brain realises that something isn’t right, it sends a message to the liver to release helpful materials to help cover the big holes in the intestine. The big guns (immune system) are itching for a piece of the action and are released to kick the shit out of toxic food molecules floating around in our blood. One problem, there are too many holes and too much food entering the blood stream. The liver is exhausted, the immune system fighting a losing battle, and the toxic foods gets absorbed into tissue causing inflammation.
Now, systemic inflammation (more stress) is created allowing a war to begin inside the body. Undigested food/toxic particles vs. the immune system. The body’s main focus is on winning the war at any cost, forgetting about the daily tasks that need doing in order to survive:
- Filtering blood
- Monitoring blood sugar levels
- Hormones being released and stimulated
- Fighting bacteria
- Releasing stress in the body
- Resting and recovering
With the bodies attention is firmly focused on war, the opportunistic bacteria for example:
- IBS = irritable bowel syndrome
- MS =
- Chronic Fatigue
- Ulcerative Colitis
Has the perfect moment to develop and grow without anyone watching, gaining strength and attacking and the already damaged body. The body is pretty desperate and releases antibodies, these soldiers are like the Avengers and destroy anything that is foreign to them. However, is this good for the body?! Stay tuned for part 2…