Our “Gut” is pretty complicated, but these are the areas we know to be significant. They have villi or “fingers” on our intestinal cells. These allow a large surface area for food and nutrient absorption. There are “tight Junctions” connecting the intestinal cells. When these are broken, bacteria, undigested foods, yeast, allergens, and polyliposaccharides cross through the one cell layer and into a blood stream. We also have quite a community called the microbiome in our gut . . . the totality of microorganisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, fungi. There are trillions of these organisms, and over 1000 species and they are extremely important to our health.
Gut health can refer to the health of any or all of the above components.
1) Overuse of antibiotics. In a study done, 44% of the time when patients went to their primary care physician for a virus, they walked out with a prescription for antibiotics, which are not only useless against a virus, but damaging to our gut health and sets us up for antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria.
2) One round of antibiotics can reduce the intestinal “villi” by half.
3) Inflammation (from our diet, stress, alcohol, infection).
4) Bacteria – Antibiotics destroy bacteria, but can set us up for an imbalance in our gut microbiome. Medications such as proton-pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prilosec) suppress stomach acid which kills off many bacteria and parasites, as well as suppressing digestion.
5) High fat diet. Obesity is associated with increased intestinal permeability.
6) Medications such as Benicar (blood Pressure), auto-immune medications such as CellCept, SIBO (small intestine bacterial overgrowth), H. Pylori.
The fix . . . first we must REMOVE the factors above . . . to the best of our abilities.
Then, many phytonutrients (supplements or plants) have been found to have positive effects on REPAIRING the tight junctions of the intestines.
Avoid usage of pharmaceuticals except where all other options have been exhausted.
REPLACE nutrients that have been missing (or that couldn’t be absorbed) and also REPLACE enzymes that the body may not be able to produce such as Betaine HCL to prompt stomach acids, enzymes such as protease, lipase, etc.
Lastly we RE-INOCULATE with good bacteria. This is where you add in a probiotic and a prebiotic, which feeds the good bacteria.
Shop here for Gut Repair supplements, or schedule a free consult.
J Immunol Res. 2018; 2018: 2645465.
Published online 2018 Dec 16. Tight Junction in the Intestinal Epithelium: Its Association with Diseases and Regulation by Phytochemicals Bonggi Lee, # 1 Kyoung Mi Moon, # 2 and Choon Young Kim 3
Do you have questions about starting your path back to health? Our patient coordinator is standing by, happy to answer any questions you have to determine if our approach is right for you.
The Gut Doc is located in Kirkwood, Missouri, and serves clients throughout the St. Louis Area and surrounding areas, including St. Louis City and County, St. Charles County, Jefferson County, Franklin County, Illinois counties of Madison, St. Clair and Monroe.