Research shows that gut problems can trigger pain.
“How,” you ask. First of all, consider that your gut maintains a barrier between your digestive tract and the rest of your insides, allowing important nutrients to pass through while keeping everything else separate. The lining of your gut is a one-cell-thick barrier that is in charge of keeping out things like bacteria, large undigested food particulars and toxins. When healthy, these cells form tight junctions, but when they become inflamed they become porous. That’s when foreign particles pass through that shouldn’t normally. We call these things that slip through antigens. Our body’s natural response to antigens is an immune reaction.
Your body’s immune system responds with antibodies, which attack and destroy these antigens. When they bind together, an immune complex occurs. Chronic leaky gut causes an increase in these immune complexes, which then circulate around your body and deposit into various tissues and organs, skeletal muscles and joints, creating more inflammation. Unfortunately, leaky gut also contributes to autoimmune diseases.
Through research, we are beginning to understand more about the importance of the digestive tract, gut flora and its impact on our overall health.
“Allergies can develop when the body produces antibodies to the undigested proteins that are derived from previously harmless foods. These antibodies can get into any tissue and trigger an inflammatory reaction the next time that food is eaten, according to holistic health practitioner Dr. Zoltan Rona. “If this inflammation occurs in a joint then autoimmune arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) may be the result. If it occurs in the blood vessels then vasculitis (or inflammation of the blood vessels) is the resulting autoimmune problem. If the antibodies end up attacking the lining of the gut itself, the result may be colitis or Crohn’s disease. If it occurs in the lungs, asthma is triggered on a delayed basis every time the individual consumes the food that had triggered the productions of the antibodies in the first place.
I see this often in my practice: a patient doesn’t respond to care and complains of symptoms visit after visit. Inflammation caused by dietary habits and leaky gut causes a vicious cycle of pain in the body that is hard to pinpoint or correct without changes to the patient’s diet.
One way to help keep the digestive tract healthy and to aid in breaking the inflammation cycle is to make sure we aren’t eating inflammatory foods and helping to support the gut through certain supplements, drinking the proper amount of water and spinal adjustments.
• • •
Dr. Wayne M. Fichter Jr. is a chiropractor at Natural Spine Solutions. The business is located at 3913 Schreiber Way in Coeur d’Alene, 208-966-4425.