GI Health

Gastrointestinal Tract (GI) components contain more cells than the rest of the body combined. It houses 50-70 % of the immune system and immunoglobulin producing cells. It is the first line of defense to exposure to dietary and infectious molecules. Has metabolic activity greater than the liver and is the organ of the body that produces a majority of neurotransmitters. It is important to focus on gut health because some of the most effective clinical outcomes across all disease spectrums can result from the normalization of the gut function.

Some of the most common gut imbalances include:

  • Increased intestinal permeability- Leaky Gut.
  • Issues with digestion and absorption such as acid reflux, low stomach acid, pancreatic and bile inefficiencies.
  • Alterations of gut microbiota and dysbiosis.
  • Immune modulation and inflammation.
  • Enteric nervous system correlations through control of motility, blood flow, uptake of nutrients, secretion, immunological and inflammatory processes in the gut.

Proper function of the gut environment can be altered by many factors:

  • Nutritional insufficiencies, poor dietary choices, Food allergies/sensitivities/ intolerances.
  • Medications (NSAID`s, antibiotics, antacids, cytotoxic agents).
  • Infections agents such as viruses, bacteria, protozoa.
  • Psychological/emotional stress.
  • Diminished stomach acid secretion, pancreatic enzyme or bile secretion.

As a consequence of GUT de-regulation there can be a breach of the lining of the gut, localized immunological responses, systemic and local inflammation, stress on detoxification pathways, all eventually leading to some form of systemic illness.
The significance of the integrity of healthy gut lining is crucial in overall health because increased intestinal permeability is one of the most common and major contributors in the pathogenesis of several chronic illnesses and disorders. What we eat influences whether we continuously attack our gut integrity, as well as the population and metabolic activity of our microflora.

In the journal of the Advances in Integrative Medicine, Volume 6, Issue 1, a systematic literature search and review of 48 articles conducted up until July 2018 in MEDLINE, PubMed, EMBASE and AMED looked at correlations between intestinal permeability (IP) and common diseases frequently found within clinical practice. Strong associations were found with autoimmune diseases (25-87.5%); Liver conditions with a prevalence of 65 %; Diabetes 30-65%; IBS 35.6%. They recommended for IP to considered as a factor in the pathophysiology in patients presenting with autoimmune diseases, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, liver cirrhosis, PCOS, IBS, DM, autism, food allergies and hypersensitivities. (1)

Project of Health`s GI Health program by using food and lifestyle as medicine addresses GI issues associated with bloating, indigestion, maldigestion and malabsorption, frequent use of antibiotics, long term use of PPI`s, acid reflux- GERD, Candida overgrowth and dysbiosis, increased intestinal permeability, gluten intolerance and food sensitivities. Together we will explore the root cause to your GI imbalance and use a multitude of strategies to modulate your gut microbiome. Since there is literary no better substitute for improving GUT health than lifestyle, I will utilize this therapeutic modality. As a functional dietitian by using food as medicine, I will explore the specific foods that might cause sensitivity and intolerance; Look into a possibility to replace inadequate or lacking factors needed for proper GI function and transit; Reintroduce desirable GI microflora to obtain more desirable balance to the intestinal environment and provide nutritional support to promote healing and regeneration of the GI lining.

I am a firm believer that our health starts and ends in the gut. In honor of my scope of practice, now I offer referral testing option via Physican Authorization through Rupa Labs.

Reference:

1. Bradley Leech, Janet Schloss, Amie Steel. Association between increased intestinal permeability and disease: A
systematic review,Advances in Integrative Medicine,Volume 6, Issue 1,2019,Pages 23-34,ISSN
2212-9588. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221295881730160X)

Biljana Sofronijoska Rece

Weight Loss Centers, Nutritionists, Dietitians

RDN Registered Dietitian Nutritionist in Las Vegas
The Institute for Functional Medicine. Certified Practitioner.

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