Gut Health and Dysbiosis
Mucosal Barrier Damage
The information in the post is not medical advice, please consult a medical professional before using health supplements.
The mucosal barrier is the innermost layer of your digestive tract.
Mucosal barrier damage is common in many conditions like Crohn’s disease where inflammation damages all layers of the intestinal lining in a patch like formation. It is also found in ulcerative colitis where inflammation is on the innermost mucosal layer of the intestinal lining with more general inflammation throughout rather than “patches”.
When there is significant inflammation of the mucosal barrier an imbalance between the breakdown of the barrier and rebuilding of the mucosa occurs. When the breakdown rate exceeds the restoration rate, then you develop micro-erosions in that barrier and you can begin to develop intestinal permeability aka leaky gut.
Leaky Gut occurs when certain tiny particles that should never be able to enter your bloodstream start to make their way through due to dysfunction of the mucosal barrier in the gut.
The vast majority of your immune system is found inside the gut (sometimes called the microbiome).
A disruption of the mucosal barrier can result in acute inflammation and sometimes autoimmune reactions. A normal part of your immune response that serves to fight infections and diseases winds up over-performing, leading to chronic inflammation, which is at the root of most diseases.
Some of the underlying causes of leaky gut include:
Genetic predisposition — Certain people may be more predisposed to developing this condition because they are sensitive to environmental factors that “trigger” their bodies into initiating autoimmune responses.
Poor diet — Especially a diet that includes allergens and inflammatory foods, such as unsprouted grains, added sugar, GMOs, refined oils, synthetic food additives, conventional dairy products and alcohol.
Toxin overload — This includes “chronic stressors,” such as high drug and alcohol consumption. We come into contact with over 80,000 chemicals and toxins every single year, but the worst offenders for causing leaky gut include antibiotics, pesticides, tap water, aspirin and NSAIDs. I recommend buying a high-quality water filter to eliminate chlorine and fluoride and look to natural plant-based herbs to reduce inflammation in your body.
Bacterial imbalance — Also called dysbiosis, which means an imbalance between beneficial and harmful species of bacteria in your gut. A large body of evidence now shows that gut microbiota is important in supporting the epithelial barrier and preventing autoimmune reactions. At least 10 percent of all gene transcriptions found in intestinal epithelial cells that are related to immunity, cell proliferation and metabolism are regulated by gut microbiota.
A large proportion of man’s caloric intake is carbohydrate, starch and sucrose account for over three-quarters of the total consumed. Other than Diabetes, this increase in carbohydrate’s has contributed to several other types of sugar intolerances
Enzymatic breakdown of carbohydrates is a initial requirement that precedes digestion.
Polysaccharide intolerance may be because of amylase (a digestive enzyme) dysfunction caused by the absence of pancreatic amylases or malfunctioning of the absorptive process.
An intolerance to disaccharides (two sugars (saccharides) bound together), of which the best known is lactose intolerance, is caused by an impairment to the breakdown and absorption of certain sugars.
However, if there is a deficiency in the production of the enzymes, the disaccharides remain undigested and move into the large bowel intact where they are fermented by the resident microorganisms – resulting in the common symptoms of gas production causing abdominal bloating, pressure, pain, wind and diarrhoea.
Lactose is the sugar in milk. It occurs in the whey (liquid) part of milk. Foods made from milk will contain specific quantities of lactose, depending on the amount of whey in their composition, Hard cheeses are mainly casein; the whey (liquid) is removed in their manufacture. Most contain negligible amounts of lactose and are tolerated by most lactose-intolerant individuals. Soft cheeses contain a higher percentage of whey, and consequently, a higher level of lactose and may not be tolerated by the lactase deficient person
Lactase, the enzyme that breaks down lactose, splits the lactose into two monosaccharides or single sugars: glucose and galactose. Someone who produces very little lactase cannot break down large quantities of lactose. So the undigested lactose moves into the colon, where it provides an excellent base for microbial fermentation.
Lactose intolerance is quite different from milk allergy, in which a person’s immune system reacts to the protein in milk.
Table sugar (white sugar, demerara sugar, brown sugar, icing sugar, etc.) and syrups are examples of sucrose. Sucrose is usually derived from sugar beet or sugar cane but is also found in many fruits and some grains and vegetables. The enzyme that breaks down sucrose, sucrose alpha-glucosidase, or sucrase, splits sucrose into the two monosaccharides or single sugars: glucose and fructose.
These make their way through the gut wall into the blood stream. A deficiency of sucrase results in inadequate breakdown of sucrose, which moves into the large bowel and provides an excellent substrate for microbial fermentation, resulting in the symptoms described above.
Maltose is the disaccharide which results when the starches in grains and starchy vegetables are digested. The starch, which is composed of long chains of glucose molecules, is gradually split into smaller and smaller chains by amylase enzymes. Finally, the last two joined glucose molecules become maltose. The enzymes maltase and isomaltase then split maltose into individual glucose molecules, which are absorbed through the intestinal wall into circulation. If there is a deficiency in the enzymes that split these linkages, free glucose molecules will not be released and absorbed, and the remaining undigested starch or sugar will be pass into the large bowel where bacteria ferment it.
Symptoms of disaccharide intolerance
Diarrhoea, abdominal distention, pain, and flatulence (wind) are the usual symptoms of disaccharide intolerance.2 , These symptoms are the result of microbial fermentation and a change in osmotic pressure in the large bowel.
In most cases, a disaccharide intolerance is dose-related. Usually the intestinal cells are producing a limited amount of enzyme, so that small doses of disaccharides in foods can be processed. Problems occur when the amount of disaccharide in the food exceeds the capacity of the enzymes to digest it. The important thing is to determine a person’s capacity to handle the sugar. As long as the amount consumed remains within an individual’s limits, they should remain symptom free.
Digestive enzymes may be advised by your health provider, but it is clearly another reason why a diet lower in carbs is crucial to good Gastrointestinal health.
Bifidobacteria are a group of bacteria called probiotics that normally live in your intestines and stomach. They help your body perform essential functions such as digestion and staving off harmful bacteria. They can be found naturally occurring in yogurt and fermented products, or can be bought preferably as a multi-strain product from most health shops.
It is recommended that you consult your practitioner before concluding that you are suffering from Gut Dysbiosis to rule out any other differential diagnosis.
Testing for Gut Dysbiosis
Regenerus Labs offers the following test through your Functional Medicine practitioner:
Advanced Intestinal Barrier Assessment: Identifying Gut Destruction
There are several ‘markers’ that a Bioresonance practitioner may observe that could relate to the cause of Dysbiosis. These may likely be an imbalance of one or more pathogenic Bacteria, but also other markers may reveal how advanced, acute or chronic a condition may be:
Indican is an indole produced when bacteria in the intestine act on the amino acid, tryptophan. Most indoles are excreted in the faeces. The remainder is absorbed, metabolised by the liver, and excreted as indican in the urine.
Indican normally appears in urine only at low levels, since it’s not normally produced in the cells of your body. However, unfriendly intestinal microorganisms can manufacture them in relatively high quantities.
Indican is then absorbed into the blood from the intestines and eventually appears in the urine.
Microbial overgrowth can lead to a wide variety of symptoms due to reactions to the toxic products produced by bacteria, parasites, or fungi.
If your stomach acid is not adequate, if you fail to digest protein, or if your diet does not supply sufficient fibre, the resulting overgrowth of unfavourable bacteria can release toxic products, such as indican, that your body must remove.
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