POSSIBLY THE MOST HOPEFUL, SOMEWHAT SURPRISING HEALTH NEWS EVER…
And so, here we are living in the current age with millions of pages of research and opinions and theories on the subject of interest to everyone of the 6 plus billion folks currently sharing the planet — the subject of wellness. In the U.S., we are all aware of the daily news bulletins sending fresh reminders of just how sick we all must be. As this page is written, the top two google health stories from the FDA reported: the number of people “needing”a statin drug just doubled because of new indicators for heart disease, 1 in 10 children in our country are now diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. WHAT? Apparently, the FDA thinks that the young and the old need more meds to assist our ever ailing situations.
Shouldn’t we all be getting healthier in light of all our knowledge about the body? Why are we all getting new diagnoses? Why are our bodies not carrying us into our 9th and 10th decades with smiles on our faces? We could all go on and on here, but we would bore each other with what we already know about our current state of affairs and what the expected solutions are. Another prescription to add to the other ones. Perhaps this approach needs to be challenged. Perhaps, we could challenge ourselves to look deeply into our bodies and see just how we work as a unified living machine. Each part dependent upon the proper functioning of the others. Holistic health because “the leg bone’s connected to the hip bone and the hip bone’s connected to the…” How do we see things any differently though? Well… here’s your invitation to rethink W E L L N E S S!
Here’s where we get to just plunge right in to the understanding that should quake our bones! This is where we just take a deep breath and whisper another prayer of deepest gratitude for the beauty of this little truth. Applause is sent around the world to some phenomenal researchers and health practitioners who have devoted their lives to divulging these profound facts.
Two such folks need mentioning: Dr. Weston Price was a brilliant researcher/dentist who discovered a wealth of nutritional knowledge by observing the healthful practices of disease-free cultures around the world. One can learn volumes from his research! And then there is also the practicing neurologist and nutritionist, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride. Her work is stunning; her personal story is powerful. She has surveyed the body to discover the root cause of auto-immunity and mental health! She has provided a masterful contribution to the understanding of the body through her life work.
These two doctors have made significant contributions to wellness; many others join the long list! Remarkable teachers line the hallways of knowledge… each forerunner sharing enthusiastically with the next generation.
And so, without further a due, grab a cup of tea and ponder this wonderment… this miracle of life that you contain but perhaps never knew…
You are made up of about 10 trillion cells, give or take a couple. BUT, you are host for 100 trillion microbes! BIZARRE — I mean BBBIIIZZZAAARRRRREEE! Who knew? Herein lies the great truth necessary for you to be your healthful, best self. Consider the following quote from aforementioned Dr. Campbell-McBride. She states in her book, GAPS Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which every human should read by the way, “A well-functioning gut with healthy gut flora holds the roots of our health. And, just as a tree with sick roots is not going to thrive, the rest of the body cannot thrive without a well-functioning digestive system.”
WE NEED HEALTHY GUTS, HEALTHY DIGESTIVE TRACTS! We can’t be well if our gut isn’t! Every nutrient that your body needs in order to keep you upright and smiling must come through the gut! (Ok, vitamin D might be a good exception because of our body’s ability to synthesize vitamin D on our skin from sun exposure. Good point, but otherwise, we know nutrition comes through the gut.) There is a great purpose in those extra 100 trillion microbes you are hosting – we’re talking bacteria, viruses, protozoa, yeasts, etc – it is really like Who-ville! It is quite literally like the village on the speck in the great classic film, “Horton Hears a Who!”
These gut microbes do the work of digesting and preparing the very nutrients we need for absorption into our system. Our nutrition is absorbed through the intestinal walls by our own root system called villi and microvilli — tiny little straws, if you will, which pull nutrition from the gut into the body after the microbes have broken down vitamins and micro-nutrients for our systems to utilize. Amazing.
Problems develop when gut microbes get out of optimal balance. (And by the way, we will henceforth refer to gut microbes as “gut flora” because it sounds more like flowers– so much more appealing. and I keep looking for a better word for “gut” than “gut” but so far… zippo. Anyway. As was being said before I interrupted myself…) Bacteria, for example, can be beneficial varieties or they can be harmful sorts. Unfortunately, the many desirable quick foods we ingest daily are heavy in sugar and bad carbohydrates. Guess which microbes enjoy these ingredients? Sorry to say, it is the harmful bacteria. The good bacteria should be greatest in number and should keep the bad guys under control. For so many of us, that is not the case. We are missing out on vital nutrition because our good gut flora (ahh. there it is. almost like daisies…) has been damaged and has become overgrown by bullies, if you will.
We can’t point the finger only at the poor food choices either. Antibiotics are gut-flora assassins! Quite literally. In order to conquer the bad guy, we send in troops to open fire on the whole village. The village must be re-populated to have hopes of a well-nourished body! Remember, health originates in the gut! Here is a decent place to mention also the concern for so much chlorine and toxic flouride in our public water systems.
Now, here is some of my own reasoning. See what you think. Everyone with an aquarium knows that as you set up or clean your tank, you have to let the water sit out 24 hours before submerging your fish for swimming bliss. Otherwise, the fish surely die because of the chemicals which obviously threaten life on some microscopic level. And, truth be told, this is why the chemicals are necessary in the first place… cleaning up the water supply for public consumption. However, we need to acknowledge the concern. If the fish, which you can see, can’t thrive in our tap water, we have to be a bit concerned about the little guys down below. If we are always destroying this powerful community even with our usual tap water, at what point will our health begin to suffer? Just a thought. We are rethinking, right?
Let’s continue with the understanding of overgrown bullish microbes which begin to dominate the activity in the gut. We will experience sugar cravings to perpetuate the food supply for the demanding “bad” microbes. It is interesting to note the very gross point that these undesirable microbes not only over-power the good guys, but they literally expel toxins (think poop) into our system. We struggle to remove this mess from our digestive tract. When enough processed foods, white sugars, plastics, genetically-modified organisms, etc. have been consumed, then the digestive tract begins to struggle to maintain its integrity at the wall of the gut. A miserable result of a compromised digestive tract is the undeniable presence of microscopic “leaks” into the blood supply. Tiny openings in the intestinal lining lead to a condition referred to as “Leaky Gut.” Quite literally the junctures between gut- wall cells becomes flimsy!
So, what we have here is a set-up for misery as the immune system powers up to eliminate the new “toxins” that seep into the blood stream through the flimsy intestinal walls. Toxins from microbial waste and large molecules of undigested food begin circulating where they never belonged. The digestive system failed to hold its contents, so the immune system has to involve itself in removing these dangerous substances from the body.
Here is the beginning of every auto-immune disease according to Dr. Campbell-McBride! The toxins being released into the body should be eliminated through the typical exit pathway. However, the toxins “leak” into the body through the compromised gut walls and eagerly attach themselves to the collagen-rich locations of the body. The battle rages at this point as the body masterfully attacks the invaders in order to remove them.
We have names for these reactions , these attacks performed by our immune systems on our own cells… arthritis, colitis, psoriasis, asthma, eczema, thyroiditis, and the list goes on and on. This brilliant attempt of the body to eliminate threats must be praised. Instead, however, we rush to the doctor at this point to hear the diagnosis of some frightful auto-immune diagnosis. The immune system appears to be “confused.” We are told that this situation is chronic and the scripts are passed around. Years have passed with no clear explanation of this “over-reaction” of the brilliant immune system. We simply have not understood! But keep tracking with these details… this is what we are made of… we need to understand what is happening! Keep the goal in mind… rethinking wellness so we can move into an action plan to re-turn our wellness!
And, to make matters more disheartening, we are experiencing more cases of auto-immune diseases than ever in recorded history!
A simple understanding of the dwindling strength of the guest microbes offers the explanation for the generational increase in auto-immune conditions. With every newborn child, the actual process of delivery brings a perfectly “clean” digestive tract of the infant through the mother’s birth canal. Here the baby receives the first “innoculation” of wonderful microbes that enter through the mouth and move into the digestive tract to settle and colonize. The village begins. Breast feeding assists the colonization of these excellent microbes — laying the foundation for a strong gut, a strong immune system, a healthy body. The concern with each new generation born is that mothers have fewer strains and quantities of these microbes and are not passing on this great gift as in previous generations. Each generation of mothers now routinely takes antibiotics throughout their childhoods and early adult years so that at the time of giving birth, the mother’s gut is quite compromised. The generations become less healthy. (And herein lies the greater concern for children who are not nursed and who are born Cesarean!)
But… TAKE HEART! Savor another thought-provoking quote from Dr. Campbell-McBride:
“I don’t believe that there is any situation or any person on this planet who cannot be helped, whose life cannot be made better. And many of these situations can be cured. If your doctor doesn’t know something, it doesn’t mean that the knowledge doesn’t exist elsewhere. Nobody is beyond hope. Nobody.”
But there is even more beauty in the blessed digestive tract. Consider the relationship between the digestive tract and the immune system, the master protectors of your vitality. The immune system is actually derived from the workings in the gut!
85% of the immune system’s forces originate in your gut!
Then there are the mental situations… anxiety, depression, ADD, ADHD, etc.
Did you know that upwards of 90% of your neurotransmitters for brain optimization are synthesized no where else, but the GUT!
Literally, the research and understanding is astounding. If we care appropriately for our gut and its flora, then our chances for auto-immune confusion and for heart disease and for hormone confusion should all be greatly minimized! When nutrients are being assimilated and the immune system purrs along, then the body can be healthy! When neurotransmitters are popping harmoniously, the mind can be at peace – even happy! This research has reinforced the deep truth that too many of us live underneath a burden of “frail-ness” instead of “wellness” — all of which emanates from the health of our digestive tract!
This knowledge of the brilliant inner-workings of the digestive tract and all of the gut flora we are hosting should lead us to the next crucial question. So, how do we restore balance? In theory, if gut balance is restored, then will systemic health follow? And overwhelmingly, the practitioners focused on this understanding are saying, YES! The body will move into a state of wellness as the gut is healed, sealed, and replenished. The earlier we begin a new approach, the better our outcomes! But as already mentioned, every one will reap rewards in their state of wellness as the gut gets the much needed attention.
Does this explanation give us all a heaping helping of hope? Absolutely! Does this fuel our efforts to head in a new direction, making different choices for our lives? Why would we not be motivated to try something new? Why would we shrink back into our familiar aches and pains and diseases (mentally and physically) and ignore the opportunity for wellness? Some do make such a choice. Baffling.
YOU do have a choice to make… there are some remarkable suggestions to guide you, encourage you, coach you! What holds you back? It seems as though there is really nothing to lose except a very heavy burden of misery!