In this last part of the 6-part series of investigating underlying gut dysfunction, we are going to discuss the role of leaky gut and its impact on the liver and immune system. All the compounds that we ingest, breathe in, place on our skin, and produced as waste products by our body are designed to go through the liver. It is here that important filtering processes take place. Items that are extremely toxic are properly packaged and prepared for taking out of the body.
When this process is overwhelmed due to stress, toxins, and malnutrition you begin facing some very real health challenges. Your liver, in essence, is overworked and underpaid. You are placing more demand on your liver, yet you aren’t providing the liver with the key nutrients and building blocks it needs to do its job effectively. The toxic burden exceeds the elimination from the body.
When your digestive tract is leaky or disturbed, all the toxins and allergens that should be carefully removed from your body are allowed to tax the liver and the immune system. Your immune system becomes on red alert and has to eliminate anything that it deems a threat to you. This leads to chronic inflammation, more dysfunction, further stress on the liver and failure of the immune system. This is the perfect breeding ground for chronic illness, especially cancer, to take hold and fester under the surface.
I see many patients with significant hormone imbalances and I try to stress to them the fact that one of the biggest leaches on your hormones is a leaky gut and overtaxed liver. By taking care of your gut, reducing the load on the liver and balancing your immune system your hormones fall back into line. Too many are relying on bandaid fixes that are causing more imbalances and simply don’t work.
For example, the perimenopausal woman with hot flashes and vaginal dryness may feel better for a short time with progesterone cream, but the real problem is the excess xenoestrogens and estrogen toxicity that is being worsened with a leaky gut and sluggish (or missing) gallbladder.
Or consider the 20-something female with infertility, PCOS, acne and abnormal hair growth…the birth control pill will reduce symptoms for a very short time, but the key is to balance the gut, immune and liver function and deal with the poor blood sugar management that is leading towards insulin resistance.
We must not forget that everything is connected. You are ONE PERSON, not just a conglomeration of parts. Too often you are relegated to see the cardiologist, OB/GYN, rheumatologist, gastroenterologist and neurologist for all the things that could be dealt with by first healing the gut.
Your digestive system plays a tremendous role in your overall health. After treating thousands of patients with all sorts of health problems, I can tell you one thing without a doubt…
The healthiest people I see have the healthiest digestive systems.
The sickest people I see have the sickest guts.
You can take charge of your health. When you begin to investigate underlying gut dysfunction, in reality you are investigating how to improve your general health and wellness.
You may face some naysayers, you may face those that say it isn’t necessary. If you are tired of being sick then commit to working on your gut health and YOU see for YOURSELF the improvement that is possible when you make these changes!
In the upcoming posts I am going to share with you 6 steps to restoring gut health. This is a course of care that has been used for decades in the healing arts and has stood the test of time. This “6R” approach can have profound benefit for all aspects of your health.
Was this 6-part series helpful to you? Leave your comments below! Until next time…take care of your gut!