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Chronic Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s natural defense mechanism. It is your immune system’s response to cellular injury. When the body perceives a threat, inflammation prompts the white blood cells to produce antibodies and cytokines to fight the threat! Inflammation is necessary and even beneficial to the body if it is ACUTE….. But it can be harmful if the perceived threat isn’t resolved. Resulting in an ongoing CHRONIC inflammatory response.

Acute inflammation is your body’s natural defense against damaged cells, viruses and other harmful invaders. It starts quickly and helps the body heal itself.

Chronic inflammation is systemic, low-grade inflammation that lasts for months or years. It is the common cause of many health issues. In fact, chronic inflammation has been linked to almost every major health condition and disease.

Acute inflammation is a vital component of your immune system.  Symptoms include: 

Pain

Swelling

Redness 

Heat

Inflammation is your body’s essential survival response to illness or injury. It protects you against damaged cells, viruses and bacteria. Acute inflammation starts quickly, usually within minutes and generally resolves within a few days. Things that place an excessive stress load on the body leads to chronic systemic inflammation. This includes physical, emotional, and chemical stress. As a result inflammatory cells are produced throughout the body and overwhelm the immune system. As more and more white blood cells are recruited, the inflammatory response is increased…eventually cellular changes occur. Low-grade, chronic inflammation is systemic and can last for months or years.  EVENTUALLY the white blood cells will attack internal organs and other tissues. This will continue until the CAUSE of the inflammation is addressed. Signs of CHRONIC INFLAMMATION:

GENERALIZED BODY PAIN

CONSTANT FATIGUE OR INSOMNIA 

DEPRESSION/ ANXIETY/ MOOD DISORDERS 

GI ISSUES: CONSTIPATION, DIARRHEA, GERD

FREQUENT INFECTIONS 

JOINT PAIN

SKIN RASHES/ ACNE

BRAIN FOG

DRY EYES

HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES 

AND MANY, MANY, MANY MORE

YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT What we really SHOULD SAY IS We are the RESULT of what we eat! Majority of our illnesses and issues is NOT GENETIC! Let me repeat, it is NOT ALL GENETICS! We are the result of our diet, our coping mechanisms, our environment, and even our thoughts….. LEAKY GUT Some Signs and Symptoms of “Leaky Gut”:

Constipation, Gas, Bloating, Diarrhea 🤰🏻

Nutritional Deficiency 

Lowered Immune System🤒

Headaches, Brain 🧠 Fog, Memory Loss

Fatigue😴

Skin Rashes

Cravings For Sugar

Arthritis, Joint Pain 💪🏼🦵🏼

What is Leaky Gut? (AKA Intestinal Permeability) Intestinal permeability is a description of the material passing from inside the gastrointestinal tract through the cellular lining of the gut wall, into the rest of the body. The GI tract is similar to cheesecloth. It allows for the water and “nutrients” from our food to pass through its lining and into the body. However, If there are large holes in the cloth, more than the moisture gets through. Fragments of undigested food and bacteria “leak” from our gut and into our systems causing all kinds of illnesses and conditions. One of which is INFLAMMATION. The lining of your intestine is made of millions and millions of cells. These cells join together to create a tight barrier that acts like a security system and decides what gets absorbed into the bloodstream and what stays out. However, in an unhealthy gut, the lining can weaken, so “holes” develop in the barrier. The result is that toxins and bacteria can leak into the body. Triggering inflammation in the gut and throughout the body and cause a chain reaction of problems. The “Leakers” When the body encounters these undigested food particles, it mounts an attack, mistaking them for foreign pathogens. This causes inflammation and leads to food sensitivities and reduced nutrient absorption. People with leaky gut often experience digestive issues such as gas, bloating, indigestion, and constipation. Our diet contributes to inflammation through inflammatory ingredients and lack of antioxidants. As discussed, certain foods cause inflammation by triggering our immune system. In response our immune system reacts to these foods with an excessive production of inflammatory cytokines and reduced production of anti-inflammatory cytokines Cytokines are PROTEINS secreted by the immune system that act as chemical messengers. They direct the immune response by handling cell to cell communication. As well as stimulating the movement of cells towards the sites of infection, trauma, or inflammation.... The STANDARD AMERICAN DIET – “SAD” (Yes! It IS sad!)  Most people have a weaker barrier because they follow an unbalanced diet low in fiber and high in sugar and saturated fats. Age also plays a role because as you age, cells get damaged more easily and heal slowly, if at all, so the gut becomes more vulnerable. Pop, coffee, alcohol, medication (NSAIDS, Motrin, Steroids - to name a few) and stress all do their part to contribute to this condition as well.



THE GUT / BRAIN CONNECTION: Neurotransmitters Neurotransmitters are the brain chemicals that communicate information throughout your brain and body. They relay information between neuron to neuron. The brain needs Neurotransmitters to tell your heart to beat, lungs to breath, and stomach to digest. It also affects mood, sleep, concentration, ect. Bacteria in the gut produces neurotransmitters such as serotonin, dopamine and GABA, all of which play a key role in mood. So…..if you’re drinking coffee to “wake up,” you are potentially damaging your gut lining which in turn causes problems with the production of neurotransmitters leading to all kinds of mood issues. The gut, Its not just where Neurotransmitters are produced... The gut microbiome affects the body from birth and throughout life by controlling the digestion of food, immune system, central nervous system and other bodily processes. The “Microbiome”, as it is known, is made up of trillions of cells (weighs in total about 3-5 lbs) and consists of a thousand different species of bacteria. The  “Microbiome” is involved in regulating how people think and feel. The bacteria in the microbiome help digest our food, regulate our immune system, protect against other bacteria that cause disease, and produce vitamins including B vitamins and Vitamin K, which is needed for blood coagulation. Gut bacteria also produce hundreds of neurochemicals that the brain uses to regulate basic metabolic processes as well as mental processes such as learning, memory and mood.  For example, gut bacteria manufacturers about 95 percent of the body's supply of serotonin, which influences both mood and GI activity.

Besides COFFEE what else affects my GI Tract?

Gluten

Dairy

Nightshades/ Lectins

Alcohol

Sugar**

Infection 

Injury

Exposure to Irritants

Stress

GLUTEN? Gluten is a protein in grains, especially wheat, that is responsible for the elastic texture in dough. It is the GLUE that holds the food together.  And where can I find this nasty critter?                     In anything containing WHEAT, BARLEY, RYE. However, gluten is added to many things without our knowledge. Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity

Bloating

Diarrhea / Constipation

Abdominal Pain / Tenderness 

Headaches

Skin Problems / Rashes

Depression / Anxiety

Brain Fog / Memory Problems

Gluten intolerance can cause so much damage to your small intestine that the organ stops producing lactase, the enzyme that helps with milk digestion. (You could temporarily lose other enzymes, too, like the one that helps your body process sugar.)😱 People with celiac disease have an immune reaction that is triggered by eating gluten. They develop inflammation and damage in their intestinal tracts and other parts of the body when they eat foods containing gluten. The effects of gluten in the body can last from 2-3 days up to 3 MONTHS! Symptoms begin to improve following two weeks on a gluten free diet and may disappear in about three months.  However, it takes about six months for the villi to return to normal levels and restore the small intestine to full health. Some things that contain hidden gluten:

Chicken Broth                                 Salad Dressings

Veggie Burgers                               Soy sauce

Seasonings and spices                  Rice

Condiments                                    Artificial coffee creamer

Beer                                                 Bouillon cubes

Candy                                             Certain cheeses

Chewing gum                                 Shampoo/Conditioner

Soaps                                               Lotions

Hairspray                                         Supplements/Medications

Dairy Dairy sensitivity or intolerance can stem from intestinal inflammation causing a lack of an enzyme called Lactase. Lactase is required to process the sugar in milk called lactose. Dairy products are high in saturated fats, which can increase inflammation. Omega 6 fatty acids (when consumed in excess) have been linked to high levels of systemic inflammation. Most dairy animals are fed diets of grain and corn which are high in Omega 6.

  • 75% of people are reactive to dairy and are UNAWARE!

  • Dairy can aggravate bowel issues

  • Thicken and increases mucus secretions

  • Contributes to intestinal permeability 

  • Contributes to CHRONIC inflammation

Symptoms of Dairy Reactivity:

Bloating

Pain or cramps in the lower belly

Gurgling or rumbling sound in the lower belly

Gas

Loose stools or diarrhea 

Throwing up


Stress Prolonged stress leads to high levels of cortisol. (The body’s stress hormone) Inflammation becomes a response to stress. Like stress, inflammation is beneficial, although when stress becomes chronic, it can lead to constant tissue breakdown and impairment of the immune system. Over time, inflammation can damage joints and bones. Inflammation is partly caused by cytokines (chemicals that are released by stress and affect other cells) So if you're stressed you'll release more of these chemicals, increasing the amount of inflammation in your body. Psychological stress (anxiety, depression, worry, racing thoughts, etc) can activate the inflammatory response.

The inflammation caused by chronic emotional and mental stress also affects the digestive system. 

Stress activates the “fight or flight” response in the central nervous system which can slow down or even stop the digestive process as the body diverts its energy to face the perceived threat. 

For this reason chronic stress has been linked to numerous digestive disorders.

Foods that cause inflammation include:

Sugar

Refined carbohydrates (white flour, white rice, white potatoes)

Gluten

Conventionally-raised meat 

Dairy

Processed meats

Trans fats (partially hydrogenated oils)

Mono-sodium Glutamate (MSG) 

Vegetable and seed oils (such as canola, corn, sunflower, peanut, grapeseed, and safflower 

Artificial Sweeteners


What can I do to heal my gut?

Increase your fiber intake with fresh fruits and vegetables 

Increase your healthy fats

Organic, grass fed meat

Avoid process foods (typically come in a box or bag and contain preservatives)

Avoid refined carbohydrates (dough, pasta, white rice, breads, cereals, white breads)

Limit or avoid dairy 

Stop NSAIDS (Motrin, Aleve, Aspirin)

Work on managing stress

Limit alcohol consumption 

Work to improve sleep

To ReCap:

When the gut is “leaky” and we eat foods that we are “reactive” to. (gluten, dairy, sugar) Or that cause intestinal distress. We are increasing the likelihood that bacteria and toxins will enter the bloodstream. 

This entry can cause widespread inflammation and trigger a reaction from the immune system. Causing chronic organ, joint pain, or bowel disease.

The best way to protect yourself from leaky gut is to invest more in your overall digestive health. This means being more attentive about following a gut-healthy diet.

 A healthy exercise program also can strengthen your digestive system. Studies suggest that taking a 15-to 20-minute walk after a meal can aid in digestion. 

Your gastrointestinal system is complex, but caring for it doesn’t have to be. </