While it may be difficult to see the connection, many chronic diseases and common complaints originate from the gut and problems with digestion. A well-balanced and nutrient-dense diet does not guarantee that nutrients are properly absorbed. Proper digestion and gastrointestinal function is also critical to detoxification from microbes, undigested food particles, and other harmful substances and in preventing infections and other health problems.
Increasing amounts of research is available that shows the connection between our gastrointestinal system and other body systems, most specifically the neurologic system (the gut is often called the "second brain") and immune system.
*This article from Harvard Health discusses the gut-brain connection.
*This article from John's Hopkins Medical discusses the connection between your gut and your immune system.
An overgrowth of yeast (candida) produces toxic substances that can actually pass through the blood-brain barrier and alters neurologic function. This may be felt as "brain fog" or even behavior issues and difficulty with learning. Excessive "bad" bacteria in your gut can produce substances that interfere with neurotransmitter function and cause symptoms like fatigue.
The bacteria in your gut have also been linked with metabolism, growth and development, the aging process, and other disease processes. More than 90% of the serotonin in your body is found in your gut (serotonin is your "feel good" neurotransmitter) and a link between gut bacteria and depression has been established.
While many of these diseases and conditions may be more complicated to treat than simply restoring the balance of bacteria in your gut, addressing the diverse microbiome in your gut is a critical step and a excellent place to start. Many patients report drastic improvement in symptoms once their gut has been rebalanced. These symptoms include:
- Stomach pains
- Joint pain
At Alaska Functional Medicine Clinic we want to help you heal from the inside out. Starting with your gut, we can often alleviate many uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms as well as other symptoms that may seem unrelated.