Why is Gut Health so Important?

I have something wrong with my inner tube.

The inner tube of life that is the digestive system. A gut dysbiosis, leaky gut, autoimmune and the added paperwork of a cheeky parasite which I've gone on to name Pete the parasite. (I figured as he's been sticking around for some time, the least I could do is give him a name).

My first protocol diet and medication cycle failed and I'm now onto my second whilst waiting for a date for blasto infusion. Right now, Pete the para and his pesky mates are lying on lilos and drinking pina coladas, whilst singing 'what else have you got for me?'

They have to go.

The familiar words of 'medication protocol' ring in my head every moment. Every time the protocol fails it means more meds, more time, energy and more money. I'm not sharing this with you to invoke sympathy but merely to highlight the reality of the situation. Often on social media, it can be all too easy to sugarcoat what is actually going on day to day in our lives and for us to not succumb to the pressure of being an all singing, all dancing, ever positive character of life. Even though we know for the most part, those glossy images tell but a fraction of the story, it can be incredibly hard to dissociate ourselves with that fact and even harder to not feel that you're not good enough / thin enough / pretty enough.  

This is why I choose to post the less than perfect images, the iPhone shots where your dinner looks less than chef quality, the pictures with wrinkles and dodgy hair because whilst I love an arty filter as much as everyone else and posting lovely curated images, I also believe it is also important for us to remember that real life still goes on behind the shutter. Often that real life is bleak, ugly and down right less than sexy. So there you have it, my non sexy medication with an arty filter to make it feel a little less beige!

Why is a healthy gut so important?

Did you know that there are more than 200 over the counter remedies for digestive disorders, many of which can actually create additional digestive problems? Or that visits for intestinal disorders are among the most common to primary care physicians? I can't tell you the amount of GPs or specialists I've seen, telling me that it's all in my head and here 'have some anti-depressants'  handing them out as if they were sweeties. No my friend, the only thing in my head when you offer me a snap shot solution to a larger problem is the thought of just how absurd it is that you cannot acknowledge bacterias, yeasts and parasitic fungus in the body as a major cause of inflammation, damage and disease in the body.

Having a healthy gut means more than just being inconvenienced by a little bloating or heartburn. It is central to your entire health. It is connected to everything that happens in your body. Somedays, it's the difference between being able to get out of bed or not.

Why is having a healthy gut so damn important? Well, there are five hundred species and three pounds of bacteria in your gut which essentially make your gut a HUGE chemical factory or powerhouse that helps you digest your food, produces vitamins, helps regulate hormones, excrete toxins and produce healing compounds that keep your gut healthy. So no biggie then?

Your entire immune system is protected from the toxic environment in your the gut by a one cell thick layer (just one cell) and if that gets damaged it creates an overactive immune system, producing inflammation throughout the body. This is what we know to be leaky gut.

And then we all know that quote about our guts being our second brains, right?  In fact, your gut nervous system actually contains more neurotransmitters than your brain. If those messages between brain to gut or gut to brain get messed up or altered in anyway then you're pretty much at central station waiting for them to announce your train platform, they might put a few different gates up but ultimately your train is cancelled and you're never leaving that terminal. It's seriously going to affect your health.

Then, of course, your gut has to get rid of all the toxins produced as a byproduct of your metabolism that your liver dumps in, and if things get backed up, the chances of you becoming toxic are extremely high.

Not only that, but whilst all this is going on quietly in the background, your gut then has to try and breakdown all the things you shove down your gullet. From refined sugars, processed fructose to the genetically engineered foods and pesticides. Your poor gut is literally screaming, 'what the hell is all this crap? Don't make me try and break this down!'

All this work just to keep you healthy. It's no wonder our guts are having enough and letting chaps like Pete the parasite wade on in and set up camp.

If you're keen to find out more on how to heal your gut or maintain gut health, I'll be posting how my progress goes over the coming weeks and months.

Pete the parasite, your eviction notice has been served.

Francesca Elizabeth xo