The array of havoc any type of compromised gut function can wreak throughout the body is seemingly endless. It can be directly or indirectly linked to virtually any level of dysfunction elsewhere in the body. It is for this reason that at the core of the one body functional approach you’ll find an unavoidable emphasis on optimizing gut health.
Optimal function of the mass majority of all systems up and downstream is contingent upon the gut to provide a selective barrier from the outside world (if compromised we see increased levels of systemic inflammation and the propensity for an over-reactive immune system, increasing the probability of self attack aka auto immunity), proper nutrient absorption (who cares if you eat healthy if you don’t absorb the vitamins and minerals that you are commendably consuming the healthy food for to begin with), and provide a suitable environment (microbiome) for the critical “good” bacteria (think your probiotic) to flourish; just to name a few.
We find it quite often necessary to illustrate why healing and sealing and optimizing function of the digestive tract is so vital, and do so by conveying why dysfunction could be playing a or THE role in the patient’s current unwanted state of heath affairs. This post pertains to one example of those far reaching, seemingly unrelated, yet again, undeniable holistic connections. The theories are physiologically sound and the results witnessed have been nothing short of liberating and life changing.
As discussed, if that LPS (lipopolysaccharide; a gram negative bacteria) is allowed to leave the confines of the intestines due to a compromised gut wall or intestinal permeability, it can spark a dangerous hazardous reaction in the body. For simplicity (my wife suggested I not get too technical on the short talks), we noted that the LPS can penetrate the BBB (blood brain barrier) and cause inflammation in our brain and a disruption of behavior driving and mood altering chemicals called neurotransmitters (dopamine, serotonin, gaba, acetylcholine, etc.).
For all of you fellow thorough, slightly obsessive (perhaps my dopamine levels are off due to LPS escaping from my overly permeable gut 😱) geeks out there, the LPS actually cause a release of inflammatory mediators called cytokines. It is these cytokines that have the ability to cross the brain’s protective barrier and cause disruption. Reseal and rebuild the gut. Calm the inflammation. Provide necessary cerebral support and we have the recipe to start to provide relief of symptoms due to optimization of neurotransmitter balance.
As with most topics we discuss, there are indeed advanced diagnostic labs to test for intestinal permeability. Some actually measure LPS in the blood, which if you were listening, shouldn’t be there. As such this is a sign of intestinal permeability aka leaky gut. We test with many, and always if the proactive patient prefers to. However, based upon our inevitable exposure to toxins and subsequent damage to the gut and beyond; along with the absolute importance of optimal gut health as the foundation for all other function in the body, we personally will “heal and seal” at least twice a year. Always vital if an issue exists, but ideal to stay proactive and set the table for sustained enhancement of quantity and quality of life.