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What the Gut: Why it is crucially important that you give a *uck about your gut (especially if you have an autoimmune disease)

First off let me start this post with a short disclaimer. The information contained in this post is purely for informational purposes. I am in no way a health care professional and you should always consult your doctor before changing anything your regular routine. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. I am someone living with type 1 diabetes who is very interested in preventing the onset of OTHER autoimmune diseases.

Something I’ve noticed over the past couple of years is that many people who have one autoimmune disease, a lot of the time have another. I didn’t understand why or how so I went on a quest to find out.

 

The Problem

 

After doing research about the potential triggers for developing autoimmune diseases I found that in most cases, it leads back to your gut!  When I first came upon this information I was skeptical, but knowing that over 70% of the bodies entire immune system lives in the gut made me more open to the validity of these claims. The main problem that kept coming up was something called leaky gut syndrome.

 

Leaky gut syndrome is when the lining of your gut has deteriorated to the point where there are permeable holes.  This is a problem because it allows unwanted pathogens and toxins to enter your blood stream thus causing your own immune system to begin attacking these cells.  The way in which this eventually leads to an autoimmune disease is through the inability to fully digest certain foods. When someone with leaky gut syndrome eats something they’re intolerant to, the body can’t fully digest the food and the undigested structures leak through the gut and into the blood stream. This causes the immune system to attack these structures as foreign invaders (unrecognized molecules that could potentially cause harm that the body naturally attacks).  The biggest problem with this is that some of these fragmented structures can be almost identical to those of our own cells (***including the similarly composed structure(s) of certain dairy proteins and pancreatic beta cells***).  Our body gets confused and starts attacking our own cells as well as the ones coming through our leaky gut causing the eventual depletion of all our good cells.

 

 After learning about this my mind was BLOWN, why isn’t this common knowledge? I realize this research is all relatively new but it IS backed up by science. If every single person with an autoimmune disease also has leaky gut syndrome then obviously the chance of us developing more is much more likely we don’t take action to heal our leaky gut. The more our bodies are subjected to the foods we can’t tolerate the worse our overall health will get. Harmful foods = a recipe for disaster. 

 

Around the time a learned about this information, I had also started to really investigate my health on a deeper level and decided to get a food intolerance test. Turns out I’m in tolerant to a very long list of things which goes hand in hand with having leaky gut. So now I am dedicated to healing my gut and minimizing the chance of developing more autoimmune diseases. I am someone who fully believes in the power of prevention, if I can help my body thrive and avoid the onset of other autoimmune diseases then that’s what I will do.  Below is a list of the changes I’ve made in my life to help heal my gut.

 

How I’ve started healing my gut:

 

-Introduced probiotics to my life. Every morning I take a 15 billion CFU (good forming bacteria unit) capsule and with dinner I take 50 billion CFU capsule. ***

 

-Introduced prebiotic polysaccharides to my morning routine. Prebiotics are what the probiotics eat.

 

-Introduced meditation and reducing stress

 

-Removed all the foods I’m intolerant to from my diet***

 

-Introduced more fermented foods

 

-Stopped treating low blood sugars with candy or refined sugar (disrupts the gut)

 

-Introduced vitamin D supplement (helps repair gut lining)

 

-Adding more gut healing foods to my diet (healthy fats etc..)

 

-Eating more cooked vegetables and reducing raw vegetables and bigs salads.

 

***These two are most important

 

Conclusion

 

If you’re reading this and you have an autoimmune disease, I urge you to get a food intolerance test done and start your journey in healing your gut. I just want anyone who already has a disease not to have to suffer more then they already do. I only have type 1 diabetes and I know it could be so much worse, I am grateful for the health I have and can maintain, and for the knowledge I have learned recently in preventing more diseases.

 

Thanks so much for reading <3

 

Abby

 

 

 

 

 

Bibliography/references:

 

Mu, Qinghui, et al. “Leaky Gut As a Danger Signal for Autoimmune Diseases.” Frontiers in Immunology, Frontiers Media S.A., 2017, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5440529/.

 

Fasano, A. “Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases.” Clinical Reviews in Allergy & Immunology., U.S. National Library of Medicine, Feb. 2012,

 

Campbell, T. Colin. The China Study: the Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-Term Health. BenBella Books, Inc., 2016.

 

https://scdlifestyle.com/2015/08/leaky-gut-is-more-than-a-poop-issue/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515351/

 

https://www.holtorfmed.com/how-leaky-gut-can-lead-to-other-digestive-disorders/

 

https://www.jillcarnahan.com/2014/07/07/leaky-gut-syndrome-linked-many-autoimmune-diseases/

 

http://midlifewithoutcrisis.com/2011/10/why-do-so-many-people-have-an-autoimmune-disease-these-days/

 

https://www.theguthealthprotocol.com/wp/vitamin-d-and-the-guts-intestinal-mucosal-barrier/

 

 

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