So many patients come to see me with ‘gut symptoms’ – bloating, pain, nausea, diarrhea, constipation, you name it.
By the time they see me, they would have seen many other doctors including gastroenterologists (specialists in gut diseases), and maybe have had gastroscopies and colonoscopies…but nowhere nearer to solving their symptoms…as you got it, ‘all the tests are normal’
So, I’m going to talk about a topic that may sound complex but is incredibly important: food sensitivities and their link to systemic inflammation. We’ll break it down into simple terms so that we can understand how it affects our health.
The Gut and Immune System: Our Protectors
Let’s start with the basics. Picture your gut as a protective barrier, responsible for keeping things in your stomach and intestines where they belong. Now, imagine your immune system as your body’s defense team, always on the lookout for any trouble.
The Normal Setup
In a healthy body, everything runs smoothly. Your gut has special “sensors” that act a bit like vigilant guards. They make sure that the food you eat gets properly digested and is safe for your body. Think of these sensors as watchful protectors.
When Things Go Wrong
Here’s where the trouble can begin. If your gut develops tiny “holes” or weak spots, it’s like the guards taking an unscheduled break. This allows undigested food particles to sneak through, and your immune system notices.
To combat these intruders, your immune system forms something called an “immune complex.” This complex acts as an alarm, signaling that something isn’t right. However, it also stirs up inflammation, which is your body’s way of responding to a problem.
But sometimes, things can get a bit mixed up. Your immune system might start targeting your own body, mistaking it for an intruder. This is when health issues start to surface.
Escalating the Problem
From here, the situation can escalate. Your gut allows more and more undigested substances to leak into your body, overwhelming your liver, which acts as a filter. Your liver is like a cleaning crew, and when there’s too much to handle, problems can arise.
Over time, these harmful substances can escape the liver and spread throughout your body. This sets off a chain reaction, increasing inflammation. This added inflammation makes your adrenal glands, responsible for managing stress and inflammation, work harder and can lead to exhaustion.
Seeking Solutions with Functional Medicine
At this point, it’s clear that something needs to be done. This is where Functional Medicine comes in. It’s like having specialized doctors who search for the root causes of the problem and work to address them.
In a nutshell, this process shows how your body responds to food sensitivities and how they can lead to inflammation and other health issues. Understanding this can help us make better choices for our health and well-being.
We hope this simplified explanation sheds light on a complex topic and encourages you to take proactive steps to protect your health. Stay informed, stay healthy, and always seek professional advice when needed. Your well-being is worth it! 💪🌿