January 27, 2021

Gastrointestinal dysfunction or in other words “is your gut working properly”?

IBS is not a disease, it’s a functional disorder of your gastrointestinal (GI) system.  It does however cause untold distress in the form of cramping, bloating, diarrhoea, constipation and gas so getting to the root cause of the dysfunction is the way we start to ease your symptoms.

An average person eats 25 tonnes of food in a lifetime Over a lifetime, the average person eats more than 25 tonnes of food.  This food contains nutrients that we need to survive but it also contains bacteria, viruses and toxins.

The mucus that lines your GI system is the barrier between the internal body and the external world Within the GI system there is a mucosal layer that lines the GI system, and which covers more than 320 square meters.  Its role is to provide a barrier between the internal body and the external world so that only health providing nutrients are let in and the bacteria, viruses and toxins are excreted without ever interacting with the host cells at all.

70% of your immune system is in your gut Within the mucosa of the small intestine there is an intricate immune system called the GALT (gut associated lymphoid tissue) which elicits first- and second-line immune defence responses – basically, 70% of your immune system is in your gut (think Covid-19....).

Your gut contains more neurotransmitters that your brain Your gut is also the only organ with its own nervous system (known as the second brain). Your small intestine has as many neurons as your spinal cord. Your gut nerve cells produce 95% of serotonin, and every class of neurotransmitter in your brain also resides in your gut. Your gut, in fact, contains more neurotransmitters than your brain….

Then there is the relationship between the GI tract and its colonic microflora, that’s a whole other blog!

“All disease begins in the gut” Hippocrates It’s not surprising therefore if any of these areas are not functioning properly, you start to get symptoms such as chronic diarrhoea, constipation, bloating, flatulence (sound familiar IBS sufferers?).  There are other symptoms and diseases such as allergies, arthritis, autoimmune diseases, acne, chronic fatigue, mood disorders and many more than can be attributed to dysfunction in your GI system.  So, how do we make your gut 'functional'? You come and see me and follow my ‘4 steps to IBS freedom system’ of course! 

Next blog, how does the GI system become dysfunctional….

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