I like to think the readers of this blog are very savvy. You read, you research, and you make informed decisions when it comes to your healthcare avenues.
Because you fall into that category, than you have probably heard and researched many conditions that can relate to problems in ‘the gut.’ Your digestive tract has huge implications into virtually every chronic illness, not just the ones that seem digestive related.
What’s funny is that I often get challenged that there’s no way the gut can have impact on behavior and that changing diet won’t affect ADHD, Autism, and other behavioral conditions. To those people, I simply reply, ‘let’s go have a few beers and talk about it.’ Most of the time I get blank stares.
For the ones that do get it, it’s like a light bulb just went on. They put 2 and 2 together that if we drink alcohol, we have the potential to act stupid. BINGO! But you know this. You’ve done your research. The gut affects behavior, no big whoop.
With lots of sources pointing back to poor gut health, it’s rare to find any that say why? There are just remedies and protocols to help you fix secondary and tertiary problem. When you understand the why, the how, what, where, and when fall into place easier and you address more than just the gut. You address you, not just a symptom.
You were born with a leaky gut.
In the world of gut health, everyone is quick to jump on your leaky gut as a cause of you illness, ailment, or dysfunction. The reality is that if you didn’t have a leaky gut, you probably wouldn’t have made it alive past 6 months. A leaky gut as an adult is an effect, not a direct cause.
We are born with a very weak and immature immune system. We genetically require a leaky gut to allow for mom’s antibodies to pass through our gut and into our blood stream. Your leaky gut saved your life as an infant.
[bctt tweet=”Your leaky gut saved your life as an infant.”]
Calling leaky gut a bad thing is like calling high blood pressure and an elevated heart rate bad. It all has to do with context. Symptoms are neither good nor bad. Your symptoms are not a moral or ethical dilemma. Your symptoms happen for a reason. That reason is the context of your life.
If an angry grizzly bear happens onto your relaxing hike, you better be thankful that you can elevate your blood pressure and heart rate instantaneously. If you can’t do this, you’re bear meat. What other context is causing your nervous system to shift into protection mode? The more you shift into protection mode, the more it becomes your default pattern of life engagement.
Context is your health history and will have major bearing all the way back to when you were in utero. Life began with a leaky gut that saved your life. How and why did a leaky gut start destroying your health? Hypertension and inflammation started as life saving mechanisms in your body. How and why did they become life threatening?
Context is king. Your symptoms are an organization and coordination of your context.
You were born organized and coordinated.
If you haven’t guessed it yet, I’m going to tie in the nervous system. Your nervous system is the master organizer and coordinator of your life. It’s going to organize and coordinate life into either a protection context (bear attack) or into a growth context (sleeping baby).
Digestion and the gut are an expression of growth mode. What does a baby do? Eat and eat multiple times per day. They are born into growth mode. If they deviate from growth mode, they interrupt the development of their brain and cognition.
Why do babies need a leaky gut? A baby needs an anti-inflammatory environment. In order to build immunity, you have to create an inflammatory reaction. Inflammation will destroy brain development. Look at all the behavioral diagnoses for kids. They start in the gut and produce inflammation in the head.
Look at how many times a toddler falls when learning to walk. If you fell tens to hundreds of times per day, you would be bruised, swollen, and in constant pain. From pregnancy through about 2 years old, the child will maintain an anti-inflammatory physiology as much as possible to preserve the brain development.
If that baby has to shift away from growth and into protection, then that leaky gut doesn’t mature. The gut remains leaky, it doesn’t seal nor heal up.
Why would you be leaky?
Most of the time, it’s not a new problem. It’s a continuation of your postpartum, intelligent leaky gut that was never given adequate time and measures to heal and seal like designed. In other words, the parasympathetic side of your nervous system wasn’t given a chance to express efficiently.
Looking at kids, there a host of possibilities that will shift the nervous system into protection mode, away from growth; birth trauma (c-section, forceps, vacuum, etc) introducing solids too early (usually those that are grain and dairy based), vaccine adjuvants (pro-inflammatory chemicals), antibiotics (killing off any beneficial flora to produce a healthy gut), steroids (firing adrenals), Tylenol (wrecks the liver and kidneys), Aspirin (wrecks the stomach), chemicals, sugar, milk, grains, deficiencies, and parental schedules. I think I had a good chunk of these growing up.
Most of you did too. That’s ‘normal’ child healthcare. This is why people think our parenting choices are a little weird when it comes to creating healthy kids. You know what scares the pants off someone that is weird like me? Being normal. Normal is sick.
I was the normal kid with chronic ear infections, strep throat, bronchitis, and eczema. I think a saving grace was that they finally realized I was allergic to Penicillin and stop adding that insult to injury. Through college I wasn’t a partier but I spent a lot of my time in chemistry labs playing around with some harsh chemicals. I thought I ate healthy, making sure I had whole wheat bread opposed to white bread. Supplements weren’t on my radar. Internal pressure was high to perform. I would pop ibuprofen like candy at the hint of any ache or pain.
Though I was athletic and in shape, I was ignoring all sorts of warning signs from my nervous system. It wasn’t until I started getting adjusted regularly in chiropractic college that I noticed my skin wasn’t flaring up, I wasn’t getting congested, and I could handle pressure better. I started adding essential fats and probiotics to my diet. I stopped being reliant on pain meds. I started avoiding breads and pastas. For the past 14 years, I have been on a personal healthy journey just like those of you under my care or that read my blog.
I haven’t achieved health and stopped. I still work hard at it daily. It’s not perfect but it does get easier to maintain.
I’ve had more years of toxicity and deficiency in my life than years of purity and sufficiency. Healing the gut isn’t an event, it’s a journey and process. That journey is multi-faceted but I think the one component that so many ignore, don’t know about, or think doesn’t matter is assessing the nervous system. You can have the right supplements, eat the perfect diet, be as unscheduled as my dog in a sun spot, but if your nervous system isn’t primed correctly, your process to heal the gut may take longer than you anticipate.
If you’re in the Colorado Springs area, we can help. Feel free to book a 15 minute phone call with me to answer your questions. If you’re elsewhere, drop me a line in the comments and I will help you find someone that eats, drinks, and breaths a balanced nervous system close to your area.