Serious conditions you didn’t know come from an unhealthy gut
Science is just starting to learn about the microbiome, but with the little we already know, we can tell it is one of the most fascinating systems in our bodies.
This intelligent bacterial ecosystem that lives in our gut contains more neurons than our spinal network and it is responsible for more than just food processing and elimination of waste. It holds tight to our emotions and connects to the brain in ways we can’t yet imagine!
It may also the cause of some of the most complex diseases known to man, and the ones listed below only scratch the surface.
The walls of the long tube of our gut are lined with a complex neuronal network that is responsible for releasing about 30 neurotransmitters. Also known as the enteric nervous system, its main role is to cover the complex process of digestion and expelling waste, but recently scientists discovered there may be more to it.
Because the brain is directly connected with the gut through the gut-brain axis, whatever happens in the first will have an effect on the later. Recent studies showed that mental problems such as depression, anxiety, and even PTSD may be the symptoms of a microbiome imbalance.
The enteric nervous system influences our emotions and is strongly connected to them. So, the next time you feel butterflies in your stomach or you get that gut feeling, listen to it.
Type II Diabetes
Until recent, medicine linked Type II diabetes to a poor diet and obesity, but the microbiome also has a powerful word to say. An imbalance in the gut bacteria may be the one to start type II diabetes as studies done on mice showed that the microbiome of diabetic individuals can make healthy ones sick as well.
The research is still in its early stages so we can’t still tell for sure that this is the underlying cause. However, we know for sure that the microflora in your digestive tract is more complex than scientists first imagined, and it has a life-changing effect on your entire body.
For now, scientists still don’t know what the main cause of Parkinson’s is, but it is a disease that scares millions of people.
According torecent developments in research, it seems that the bacterial flora in the gut has a powerful effect on our motor skills. According to a study done at Caltech, changes in the gut bacteria not only may have a contribution to the decline of one’s motor skills, it may actually be the very cause!
Scientists reached this conclusion based on the fact that about 75% of Parkinson’s patients start with constipation and other GI-related problems. These signs show up long before the degradation of the motor skills and specialists use probiotics to treat or alleviate the problem.
For now we only have a possible connection between the microbiome and a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, but the research is still on-going. According to studies already performed, if the bacterial flora in the gut suffers an imbalance, it will stimulate the production of an organic compound known as TMAO.
This compound was already linked to various cardiovascular problems such as strokes or heart attacks.
Autoimmune conditions present themselves as an imbalance of the immune system, because the body will start attacking healthy tissues by producing antibodies for a disease that isn’t there. This leads to the deterioration of the tissue and even its destruction.
It seems that we are now living in an era where autoimmune conditions are quite common (there are about 100 autoimmune conditions officially registered), but the research is stagnant when it comes to finding the cause.
Still, considering the fact that 80% of our immune cells reside in the gut, it is only logical to make the connection with an unhealthy microbiome. It’s also proven that patients with leaky gut syndrome or a damaged bacterial flora register higher risks of developing an autoimmune condition.
New research continues to find connections between the gut and diseases we couldn’t understand, and most of the modern illnesses prove to have a start in the bacterial flora. This is why it’s best to ask a specialist to take a look at your garden down there, to make sure everything is in order.
Also, a healthy diet, exercise, and probiotics should be a part of your routine. It’s also important to avoid taking antibiotics without medical supervision, keep away from sugary foods and drinks and avoid drinking tap water because, in most cases, it contains chlorine, which is harmful to the bacterial flora.
At the end of the day, you are responsible for most of the changes happening in your own body, so do treat it like a temple, not a trash bin!