The gut is 15 -20 feet long and has been called the second brain because of it similiarity to the brain. The gut houses 95 % of the serotonin in our bodies, this chemical is also found in our brains. Additionally the gut houses over 100 million nerve cells. The gut is a hollow tube that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus. It is lined with cells that have tight junctions that open and close to allow food particles to reach the blood stream. The lining acts as a selective barrier to allow the right form and type of particles to enter. If toxins or foods damage these tight junctions then you have a “leaky gut” which allows food proteins, parasites, and harmful bacterial to enter into your blood stream that should not be there. Once in the blood stream the immune system reacts to attack these particles since it is not recognizing them as safe. With continued exposure to these substances you can increase your risk of developing autoimmune diseases. This is where the immune system gets confused and starts attacking itself such your joints, your thyroid etc.
Some things that can damage the gut lining and lead to leaky gut include gluten, ibuprofen and also antibiotics if used too frequently. Additionally chronic stress, infections, alcohol and overgrowth of bad bacteria can also be triggers.
With better education on nutrition of what to eat and what to avoid you can protect this very important organ. Doing so will although you to live a healthier and more comfortable life.
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