Why All the Fuss About a Healthy Gut?


By Nancy Smorch

The gut and digestive system seems to be the hot topic lately (at least in my world).  This is a good thing, because in the past it was rare for an individual or a health care practitioner to make the connection between poor gut health and illness, or another health challenge.

And (although it is still rare for a majority of the population to grasp this connection) thankfully, more and more people are understanding why it is so important to make sure your gut is healthy.

I’m not going to get into everything about the gut here (that would just take way too long), but let me get the conversation started with you by mentioning a fascinating fact:

Did you know that the intestinal lining is only one cell layer thick?  One cell layer thick!!  Do you realize how thin and delicate that makes the intestinal wall?  Do you also realize how large the intestinal wall would be if it were spread out on a flat surface?  It would take up the area of a tennis court!

Did you also know that a huge part of your immune system is in your gut as well?

Think about this:  your entire internal system is relying on the proper flow of nutrients from your gut to your internal systems, and on the ability of the gut wall to keep out toxins.  You want to make sure that your gut wall is healthy, because the toxins and waste that we excrete are normally excreted for a good reason - they aren’t needed by the body and/or they are toxic to the body.

If your intestinal wall becomes inflamed, or gaps develop between the cells in the wall, you’re going to have issues.

So, what happens when this wall becomes damaged?  Among other things, you can become allergic to foods that you would normally be able to digest and assimilate, and your immune system will become overactive.  Inflammation will occur, not only in the intestinal walls, but all over your body.

Did you also know that many are now referring to the gut as the second brain?  The gut contains more neurotransmitters than your brain and, amazingly, communicates important regulating information to your actual brain.

So how does the intestinal wall become damaged?

I’ll get more into that in a later post.  But, for now, think about all of the toxins in the poor-quality food we are eating, the overuse of antibiotics in humans and animals and how that is destroying the balance of the gut bacterial flora, the use of other medications and their possible effects, stress, and environmental toxins.

It really shouldn’t be this difficult to have and maintain a healthy intestinal lining, but, even though humanity has made huge progress in many areas, this is one area that is experiencing a major regression.  I know I mention it often, but I want to bring this issue to the forefront of your awareness - because without a healthy gut, you won’t be able to experience the energy, focus, health and vitality you need to do the things you want to do in life.

Chew on that for a bit, and we’ll chat more about this later.