Most people fail to connect the large intestine with a healthy immune system even though 60-70% of our immune system is located there—in the gut, as it were, in a vast network of lymph tissue referred to as GALT (gut associated lymphatic tissue).
Our large intestines are inhabited by trillions of bacteria often referred to as probiotics (pro=encouraging, biotic=life). These bacteria, consisting of acidophilus and bifidobacterium species primarily, are introduced to our system during the birth process and continue to play a vital role in our overall health throughout our lives. Without probiotics our immune system would be much weaker. We’d be vitally deficient in essential nutrients and vitamins and be extremely vulnerable to food-borne illnesses. (1)
Maintaining a Delicate Balance
Our large intestines must maintain the delicate balance between good and bad bacteria, a situation particularly exacerbated by infections where antibiotics are often used to restore health. Antibiotics greatly disturb the probiotic flora in the gut. Although these antibiotics are intended to kill only the bad bacteria, they also adversely affect the good ones. That’s why an experience of diarrhea and yeast infections often follows the taking of antibiotics. As good probiotic bacteria are killed off, bad (pathogenic) organisms like yeast begin to take hold in the system. Frequent or long-term antibiotic use can dramatically alter the gut flora and can be a significant contributing factor to other long-term health problems related to immune dysfunction and intestinal conditions. (2)
Other disruptive factors to this delicate balance in the gut include stress, poor diet, toxic chemicals and genetic issues. Consumption of fruit, fibers, vegetables, whole grains, spirulina and organic foods rich in protein like fish, chicken and organic free range eggs help cultivate an environment that’s friendly to the hosting and growth of probiotics in our large intestines. But even when we do eat right we don’t take the proper time to enjoy our meals and nourish our bodies, causing us to feel empty, hungry and less than satisfied. All too often our diets are unwittingly filled with hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, dyes, colorings and artificial flavors (MSG) and sweeteners. In terms of toxic chemicals, 20,000 new chemicals are being added to the polluted air we breathe each year. It only takes four minutes for these toxic chemicals to enter our entire systems, including dry cleaning chemicals, plastics, BPA, and herbicides used in lawn fertilization.
Stress, in particular, causes cortisol levels in our body to be elevated at the wrong times. Many of us are addicted to coffee to keep up with our fast-paced environments. This causes our adrenal glands to secrete more epinephrine and more cortisol, which produces bursts of energy in a false way—it revs us up to get more work done and accomplish things more quickly faster, but it also suppresses important neurotransmitters (like Gaba) that are used to calm and relax our bodies. Excessive consumption of coffee can be a strong contributing factor to anxiety, sleeplessness and attention-deficit issues as well.
Healing and Sealing the Gut
But we can repair the integrity of the intestinal lining/barrier and nourish the organs of digestion through the consumption of essential minerals and electrolytes; essential fatty acids, which promote the growth of probiotics; and the essential amino acids, which restores our body’s PH (acid-base) levels.
- Minerals: Magnesium, sodium, lithium, boron, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, chloride; sulfate, chromium, selenium
- Fatty acids: Omega 3 include EPA & DHA (from fish oils or algae), Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA): flax oil
- Omega 6: Hemp oil, CBD oil, sunflower; safflower, walnut, borage oil, GLA primrose oil, grapeseed oil, pumpkin seed
- Omega 9 FA: Olive oil, sesame; hazelnut, avocado, apricot oil—not essential fats
- Amino Acids: Alanine, arginine, cysteine, glycine, histidine; leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, proline, serine, threonine, tryptophan, tyrosine, valine
Next, we’ll need to tone and strengthen the organs used for digestion, including the stomach, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, small intestine, large intestine and drain the filters and organs of elimination, including the liver, kidneys, bowels, bladder, skin, lymph, blood and lungs.
I’ll walk you through this process and we’ll clean up the congestion and get things moving again. The body is a flow system from our mouths right through the process of elimination. If there’s a blockage in the flow system, everything below it suffers. Like a storm drain, the sticks and leaves must be removed in order for the water to flow.
We’ll also detoxify areas of toxic load in your body, which involves removing toxins locked within the cellular matrix. We’ll start by eliminating the causative factors, including metal, yeast/fungus, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, plastics, parasites and liver flukes, as well as chemical residue caused by cleaning products, and dry cleaning, and bacteria caused by viruses and flu vaccinations.
Typically, I also teach healthy maintenance and seek out ways to repair the areas caused by toxicity, pursuing deeper cellular repair through homeopathy, herbs, nutritional supplements, vitamins, and dietary changes.
Please contact me at DrSevenSky@optimum.net if you’re seeking the kind of health improvements I’ve referenced in this post.
- & 2., The Intestine/Immune Connection, Vitabase (2014) Accessed Oct. 28, 2014. http://www.vitabase.com/blog/allergy-immune/intestine-immune-connection.aspx