Is Your Gut Making You Crazy?

Is your gut making you crazyDo you feel depressed? Moody? Have allergies, asthma, or ADHD? Or been diagnosed with a psychiatric disorder?

The origin of these issues could possibly stem from the health of your gut!

Your body is a complex organism. It performs millions of functions every day without needing your input  at all.

And, it is host to billions of invisible micro-organisms in such places as your digestive system, respiratory system, on your skin, and in your eyes.

Without these micro-creatures, your body wouldn’t function very well. Most of these bacteria do very good things in your body and support its overall health.

However, some of the bacteria can cause health problems if their populations  get out of control, or if there aren’t enough ‘good’ bacteria to overcome the ‘bad’.

Let’s look more closely at your digestive system.

A well-functioning digestive system, with healthy gut flora (an abundance of good bacteria), easily digests the nutritious food you eat and absorbs the available nutrients. The healthy gut flora also serve to keep your gut wall in good shape.

However, without healthy gut flora, the food you ingest is not properly broken down and causes inflammation in the cells of your gut lining.Is your gut making you crazy?

This inflammation contributes to permeability of the gut wall — tiny holes develop that allow non-nutrient particles such as toxins, partially digested food particles, and harmful proteins, to seep into your bloodstream.

Once these foreign particles enter the bloodstream, they can cause problems with the function of your brain and immune system.

Can you see how it’s possible what you’re experiencing in your body and mind could directly relate to the health of your gut and its flora?

In her book, Gut and Psychology Syndrome, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride states, “Gut flora’s influence on the immune system reaches far beyond the gut itself. The research shows that when the gut flora is damaged…the whole immune system in the body gets out of balance. This process makes the person immune-compromised.”

Beyond the various nutritional deficiencies which people with abnormal gut flora develop, as the body is exposed to immune-damaging toxic substances, she says the brain also becomes deficient, unbalanced and compromised.

While this scenario may sound somewhat bleak, there are steps you can take to turn this microscopic internal state around!

Is your gut making you crazy?

Help keep your gut flora safe!

Avoid painkillers, steroids, antibiotics (they kill bacteria…even the good bacteria!), contraceptive pills, and sleeping pills.

Contraceptive pills are particularly harmful, says Dr. Campbell-McBride, because they devastate a woman’s gut flora. By the time she does get pregnant, she’ll pass her abnormal gut flora on to her baby, predisposing the baby to asthma, allergies and in some cases learning disabilities.

Eliminate processed foods and sugary foods which feed the bad bacteria.

Alleviate stress, particularly prolonged physical or psychological stress.

Alcoholism, toxic substance exposure, extreme climates and physical exertion  have a significantly harmful effect on the good bacteria in the gut. Also, as we age our digestive processes naturally diminish and this is a consideration as well.

Repopulate your gut flora!

To repopulate your gut flora, supplement with a therapeutic strength probiotic.

A therapeutic level varies by individual, but one recommendation is between 15-20 billion CFU’s (the measurement of the bacteria) to as much as 50 billion or more, depending upon one’s health issues.

Also, add fermented foods to your diet.Is your gut making you crazy

Fermented, or cultured foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi and kefir contain naturally high levels of probiotics.

Another supplement that is important for digestive health is fermented cod liver oil (FCLO). FCLO contains essential Vitamin D as well as omega-3 fatty acids yet also contains a natural and easily digested form of Vitamin A.

Dr. Campbell-McBride describes digestive system problems and Vitamin A deficiency as having a ‘chicken and egg’ relationship. It’s not clear which comes first, but a symptom of gut disease is Vitamin A deficiency.

Given that Vitamin A affects nearly every aspect of health, and has been shown to be essential for immunity, inadequate Vitamin A can lead to an impaired immune system, decreased cell regeneration, poor brain development, as well as greater digestive impairment.

To get an adequate amount of Vitamin A, and keep your gut working well, use a high quality fermented cod liver oil such as Green Pasture’s Blue Ice FCLO.

Detoxify your body!

Your body is exposed to numerous toxins every day from a variety of sources.

Typical toxins you may inadvertently be exposing yourself to are: pesticides, antibiotics and steroids in non-organic meats, carcinogenic chemicals in personal care products, chemicals in cleaning supplies, paints, outgassing from furniture and carpets, flame retardants on clothing, heavy metals, and more!

Regularly eliminating the toxic build-up in your body can significantly improve your health and the health of your gut. Many well-known health programs utilize detoxification as a foundational step for healing.

One of the easiest ways to begin detoxifying your body is to drink homemade green juice.

Certain vegetables like beetroot and celery help clean the liver, and herbs such as parsley and cilantro help bind to heavy metals and remove them from the body. Search the internet’s plethora of green juice recipes and experiment to find your favorite one!

Another safe and healthy way to detoxify your body is to use an infrared sauna.Is your gut making you crazy

Sweating is the skin’s natural way to eliminate toxins.

When using an infrared sauna, your core body temperature increases, and toxins stored in your fat and organs are released and then expelled as you sweat. However, if you choose this route, start slowly as you can have an intensely unpleasant detoxification reaction if your toxic load is particularly high.

Of course, along with cellular detoxification, reduce your exposure to environmental toxins as much as possible.

And add some healthy houseplants in your home that will consume the toxic gases you don’t want to breath and replace them with vital oxygen!

To sum up, focus on the health of your gut if you want to have a healthier body.

Avoid substances that can damage your gut flora. Add food and supplements that promote growth of beneficial bacteria. And detoxify your body.

If you follow these steps, you’ll be well on your way to a healthier gut, and a healthier body and mind!

Much love,
Alicia

Resources:
Campbell-McBride, Natasha. Gut and Psychology Syndrome: Natural Treatment for Dyspraxia, Autism, A.D.D., Dyslexia, A.D.H.D., Depression and Schizophrenia. Cambridge: Medinform Publishing, 2004. Print
http://www.livestrong.com/article/240539-infrared-sauna-benefits-risks/
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/03/21/dr-clement-on-detoxification.aspx
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/686643

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