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The Environment in Your Gut

Woman making a green smoothie in a blender

What does your gut have in common with a rainforest? In a rainforest, a symbiotic ecosystem exists, with many different types of plants living together harmoniously. If the balance of this ecosystem is disrupted, it can cause the beneficial plants to die out, allowing the detrimental ones to take over and thrive. In your gut, there is microbiome made of tens of trillions of microorganisms, including about 1,000 different species of bacteria. Those bacteria have over three million genes. Can you imagine? That’s 150 times more genes than our own genes! Supporting and nurturing this microbiome allows good bacteria the thrive, which is important, because they have a major impact on our immune system.

How much of your immune system is in your gut?

Would you believe that the answer is 80 percent? That’s why there is such a connection between your gut health and immune system. When you eat a diet full of refined carbohydrates, sugar, and alcohol, take medications like antibiotics, acid blockers, birth control pills or steroids, you create a situation in which bad bacteria and yeast grow out of control, causing inflammation, and gut health suffers. Your immune system becomes suppressed, leading to new infections, requiring more antibiotics, and this cycle, known as dysbiosis, continues. Eventually, this leads to a leaky gut, in which food particles, infections, and toxins can get into your bloodstream, putting your immune system on high alert and leading to more inflammation. A dysfunctional intestinal microbiome, in fact, has been associated with autoimmune conditions like Grave’s disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, lupus, and psoriasis.

Maintaining a Healthy Gut

Once you understand the gut immune connection, you can begin to reverse the process. Because environmental factors like diet and lifestyle contribute to shaping the gut microbiome, and because the impact of problems with the gut are so far reaching, functional medicine provides an excellent opportunity to address dysbiosis and help protect against immune-related diseases. The functional medicine approach to a leaky gut is removing the bad bacteria and inflammatory foods, restoring those ingredients necessary for digestion, re-inoculating with good bacteria, and repairing the lining of the gut. Once you reach a point where you can maintain a homeostatic balance between microbial activity and immune response, your immune system will be able to function properly.

Finding the Right Functional Medicine Practitioner

At Advanced Functional Medicine, an integrated medical clinic, we exclusively practice functional medicine. A full functional medicine approach to healing uses a comprehensive diagnostic screening to get to the root of a patient’s issues. Our whole body approach to medicine utilizes all-natural, researched-based nutritional approaches to optimize the body’s natural healing abilities, rather than just using medication to treat symptoms. Each individual receives unique and customized care, formulated based on the latest scientific resource, and we have a 96 percent success rate in patient outcomes. As a medically driven, patient-focused health clinic, we support our patients’ individual health goals, providing natural relief for symptoms of chronic factors and expert guidance about the decisions affecting a patient’s long-term health. It is our goal to help reverse chronic disease without resorting to dangerous or unnecessary drugs or surgical interventions, promoting healing from the inside out, in its truest, healthiest form. To schedule an appointment or learn more about how we can help restore your health and strengthen your body’s unique physiological functions, call 858-500-5572 or contact us through our website.