So to fully understand how chronic stress impacts our bodies we have to look at the gastrointestinal tract (Gut). Great work is coming out of UCC here in Ireland on this subject (if you wish to explore more pick up The Psychobiotic Revolution), and the news is awash with info on probiotics and fermented foods. We aren't too new on this subject.....3,000 years ago Hippocrates wrote 'health begins in the gut', he was onto something
When we talk about the gut now we talk about the microbiome, which is in essence its own mini eco system with a collection of micro organisms, and this is not only a place for digesting food and absorbing nutrients...so much more happens here.
Most importantly a staggering 80% of our immune system is located in the gut...this is so important to think about. When you have a tummy upset, when your not feeling well, when your anxious, on-off constipation, the list goes on...you must look to your gut. 💚Your gut has over 100 trillion bacteria which are vital to maintaining a healthy body..they are like the soldiers defending bad bacteria that make your body ill.
A second huge function of the gut is the production of neurotransmitters...the gut produces as many as the brain does...this fact I think is very underrated when it comes to Stress & Anxiety. The feel good hormone, Serotonin, which FM suffers will be well familiar with, is also produced in the gut with a production of 80-95% !
Finally in understanding the Gut, you need to understand permeability...you will have heard of this many times, gastrointestinal permeability, gut permeability etc. Without going into too much detail what separates everything in the gut from going into our bloodstream is one cell...this one cell lining needs to be very strong to block the bad bacteria from entering the bloodstream while at the same time being able to let nutrients pass into the blood - that's one big job 😊
When this lining breaks down its called gut permeability and can wreck havoc on our bodies.
This leads us onto Symptoms - Day 4 tomorrow
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