In our Monday lunch staff meetings I usually make my best attempts to be inspirational or motivational but when we return from a seminar I always bring some tidbits home and share them with our staff so they can learn as we do about various topics.  This past weekend we attended the Spring Conference of the Georgia Chiropractic Association in Savannah and were reminded of some valuable facts that were part of the subject matter in our Monday staff meeting this week.  We were talking at the conference with many other chiropractors from all over Georgia and vendors from around the country.  We all agree that the body heals much better and more quickly if the spine is adjusted and nerve interference is removed and maintained but there are some conditions that people do not heal from no matter how many times they get adjusted.  Other intervention is necessary and we heard from a former professor of ours about the role the digestive system plays in the body’s overall ability to heal.  I know this does not sound as much fun to learn about as perhaps the secret to enlightenment or the latest techniques to get the best beach body but the health of your digestive system is paramount.

People suffer from many obscure conditions that can be traced to the malfunction of the gastro-intestinal system, or the gut.  The GI system plays vital roles in the operation of our bodies.  It digests food, absorbs nutrients that are converted to energy, transports small particles which are attached to carrier proteins across the lining of the gut into the bloodstream, acts as a major player in the chemical detoxification of the body, and acts as a defender against various infections because it contains many antibodies and other disease-fighting chemicals.  As long as the gut is performing its duties properly our bodies hardly know it is there.  Sometimes, however, the intestinal lining becomes hyper- permeable and allows particles that do not belong there to cross into the bloodstream.  Large particles of bacteria, partially digested food and toxins leak into the body. 

This is a major cause of improper healing.  It also is responsible for many cases of fibromyalgia and food allergies.    The gut is what allows the body to absorb nutrients and convert food to fuel.  If these functions are not working well the entire body is unhealthy.  Sometimes doctors might diagnose irritable bowel syndrome if symptoms of excessive gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and indigestion are present.  While IBS might certainly be going on, the leaky gut problem is likely occurring as well.  When food particles leak from a hyper-permeable intestinal lining, the body assumes that these are foreign particles since they are not normally found in the bloodstream.  The body then develops antibodies that leak across the membranes and are similar to antigens on our own tissues.  The antibodies which are made to attack them actually begin to attack our own tissues and autoimmune disorders often develop.  Many diseases, according to Dr. Paul Goldberg, a leading authority on leaky gut and how to heal it, are direct descendants of leaky gut syndrome.  He traces rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, multiple sclerosis and other diseases to serious complications within the digestive system. 

Often overuse of different medications, especially antibiotics, can be attributed to an unhealthy gastrointestinal system.  Excessive antibiotic usage results in high presence of yeast in the body and yeast secretes a number of enzymes which ultimately break down proteins.  The intestinal membranes are partially proteins and these enzymes can actually break down the membranes and their linings.  This results in leaky gut syndrome and there we are again with all of the unhealthy particles being released into our bloodstreams. 

People are obsessed with their outward appearance and making sure the body appears to be healthy on the surface.  We should be granting equal time to assuring the health of our organs and tissues for longevity.  It is no secret that our food supply is mineral-depleted due to over-planting and over-processing of the end products.  If we are not supplementing our diets with vitamins and minerals that are readily absorbable into our systems, we are missing the proverbial boat.  If we are not supplying our digestive systems with proper support to add back healthy intestinal flora and plenty of the right kinds of fiber to assure adequate transit time of our food through our systems, we are costing ourselves the health we could ultimately have.  Ask your health professionals to provide you with information on the proper nutritional path for you to follow to internal as well as external physical health.  While tests for leaky gut are not often performed they are available.  Sometimes just by process of elimination and testing probiotic supplements you can find relatively simple solutions to some extremely complicated physical issues.  Don’t wait until your health fails before you look for solutions to protect it.  Treat your body well.