Bitesize 3: WHAT HAPPENS WHEN PATHOGENS CROSS THE GUT LINING
In Bitesize 1 and 2 we asked the question about a permeable or leaky gut.
We have mentioned on a few occasions that we all suffer from a leaky gut from time to time, but having a healthy microbiome is essential in the repair of the gut lining. In turn, having the correct diet and prebiotic intake is equally important to keep this little kingdom of the microbiome happy and healthy.
But what happens when pathogens cross the gut lining and enter the blood stream.
Both chronic and low grade inflammation (LGI) plays a central role in some of the most challenging diseases and mental conditions of our time, including rheumatoid arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, eczema, depression and even Alzheimer’s. Lifestyle choices, diet, and even family history play a role in the diseases and conditions brought about by chronic inflammation.
Lets refer to the image again from the previous blog.
Imagine your body as a tube, with internal and external environments.
Your whole GI tract from the mouth the the anus is external to your body. Add to this the lungs, the urinary system back to the kidneys, the vagina, uterus etc. We think of them as internal, but in fact they are external to the body and subject to pathogenic attack from the environment around us.
From a fetus, our microbiome is inherited from our mother through the placenta and also during the birthing process and governs the strength of our immunity as we enter the world. Unfortunately many babies are already born with leaky guts and the convenience and low grade, high carbohydrate foods we feed our children all lead to a permeable gut lining. The amount of fibre in our diets is on the decrease. The exponential increase in child obesity, type 2 diabetes, asthma, food intolerances are all symptoms of what we eat.
Through a leaky gut, pathogens will secrete endotoxins that travel freely to create inflammation almost anywhere. When they reach the brain they can also become blockers for the production of dopamine and serotonin. Both these neurotransmitters and hormones play a role in many important body functions, including movement, memory and pleasurable reward and motivation. The feel good hormones.
Depleted dopamine and serotonin are triggers for depression and anxiety and the necessary need for society to move to more prescription drugs.
We must understand and treat the cause.
Face it.... 'big food' wants us to keep eating processed foods full of additives and 'big drug' wants us to get ill, but not die.
Recent studies have linked recreational drugs in society to the need to suppress depression and anxiety; all linked to a leaky gut caused by bad diet.
In Bite Size 4, we will discuss cortisol. The need for our 'fight and flight' steroid hormone, but what happens when the cortisol cycle keeps going round and round.