I think none of us had any idea all these years when we talked about a gut feeling, or an emotional experience making us “sick to my stomach”. Neurogastroenterology has proven to us that there is an eerie amount of truth to all of these expressions.
I look at our GI tract as the ultimate mirror of our lifestyle habits. What grows & festers in there – summing this up simply and briefly – can be the cause of many of our other medical woes – we just have no clue they are emanating from our GI system. Unfortunately there are many who like to think they can “beat the system” – because they don’t see immediate repercussions from their bad lifestyle choices.
There is another world going on in our digestive tract. Again, excuse my simplification, but its like a war of the good guys being attacked by the bad guys. We do much to arm the bad guys. Sugar, alcohol, fatty foods, medications (especially antibiotics), lack of exercise, lack of fiber, – we seem to always have the same naughty list – all help weaponize the bad guys. What we do NOT realize, is how that negative balance of power in our guts is affecting so many other aspects of our health.
Neurogastroenterology is all about our belly brain – that gut brain connection that so many, doctors included, have no clue that it exists. The magnitude & influence of neurological function that happens in the digestive system is overwhelming. The body has a magical sense to always want to heal itself. Unfortunately much of what we do in our every day life – including throwing medications into it wildly – really mess with the system.
Because of this nasty war causing dreadful imbalances in our gut – our food – even though we might be eating healthier foods – might not be absorbing the nutrients. A proper, healthful diet along with regular physical activity is our best way to keep our gut optimized. You ask why exercise? No – its not just me trying to find another excuse for you to exercise. Peristalsis – the contraction of our smooth muscles through the digestive tract to propel food at a healthy rate.
Researchers are discovering constantly more ways our “gut brain” – our enteric nervous system – is ruling so much of what is going on in our body. It is also now known that many medical symptoms that we have, where we can’t find the root of the problem – look into & respect the health of your digestive tract.
So just a few easy tips to look after your gut health:
- Exercise! keep it moving!
- Eat Probiotics – SUGAR FREE yogurt. Being the serious dog lover I am I call it a tummy rub from the inside.
- Eat fiber rich foods:
- Ditch the sugar & alcohol – favorite food of the bad guys
- Don’t be so quick to run for antibiotics. Really question if you need them.
- Please……chances are you don’t need those antacids!!! Really! That burning in your stomach might also be your really bad food choices, or it can also mean really high alkalinity!!!!!!! Your stomach acid is a precious resource. Especially as we age!
To learn more about the power of your enteric nervous system over your health, coming in March 2011 to Eat Exercise Live are two fantastic researchers to help you out. Dr. Carolyn Dean, Naturopathic & Medical doctor will be sharing with us simple, every day lifestyle habits to help win the war in out digestive tract. Dr. Michael Gershon – Neurogastroenerologist will be joining us to help unravel the mysteries of the enteric nervous system – and how unknown to many of us – it is affecting our health in very bizarre ways. You really will understand why I say our digestive system is the mirror of our lifestyle habits. Find new found respect for your guts!
May you get at least 60 minutes of exercise today!