What’s The Gut Got to Do With It?


As previously mentioned in Dowsing the Brain With Sleep, inflammations are the body’s attempt to defend itself against infection, toxins, and foreign molecules.  But the problem arises when inflammation is chronic or ongoing.  Then it attacks cells and tissues of your own body and that includes the brain.  Sixty per cent of the immune system lies in the digestive tract and when this system is off balance, the immune system is triggered and widespread inflammation if the result.  As no man is an island unto himself, no body organ functions totally on its own.


Every part of a person’s body and cell communicates with other parts of the body and every other cell.   As Dr. Mark Hyman says, “Good communication is good health.  There is a lot of talk going on between your brain, immune system, gut and hormones”


The gut is often considered to be the second brain as it has its own nervous system and neurotransmitters similar to the brain.  It oversees how food triggers a series of events through the body and the brain.  When the either the immune or nervous system overreact to food substances that are normally okay, problems occur.


Three basic reactions to food can affect the brain. Abnormal reactions can cause inflammation, which inflames the brain. Small partially digested food proteins from things such as gluten and casein can disturb normal neurotransmitter function in the brain and lastly, they can increase glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter) that can cause a chain reactions leading to ultimately killing brain cells.


Compare the intricacies of the brain to a dance.  When the coordination and synchronization is lost, the dance falters. When communication fails and synchronization of transmitters is altered, we see altered behavior, mood and memory or in other words, brain fog, trouble focusing feeling sad or angry after eating. While sensitivities vary with each individual the following are common:  gluten, dairy, corn, eggs, soy, nuts, nightshades, citrus and yeast. You may have to eliminate all of these foods for a couple of weeks and then reintroduce them one by one to see what affects you negatively.  Reaction time can take 24 to 48 hours, so it is important to introduce one thing at a time.


“Treat the body, Heal the Brain” Dr. Mark Hyman


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