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Part 3 : Your Gut Controls Your Brain

WHEN THE MICROBIOME MALFUNCTIONS

(A brief monograph by Edward A. Layne MD, SCM for My Preventive Health LLC)

www.MyPreventiveHealth.com

In this brief monograph, we will focus on the brain fog and memory disorders that are often associated with malfunction of the Microbiome, and on a condition that is commonly called “leaky gut syndrome”. I’ll briefly discuss how poor sleeping habits and chronic fatigue can worsen your leaky gut, and how you can cure leaky gut syndrome with manipulation of your diet. For simplicity, I will try to avoid the use of excessive medical terminology in discussing these problems.

In the following pages you will obtain information on:

  • Foods that you should eat to protect your gut
  • Food that you may want to avoid
  • Suggestions for breakfast
  • Suggestions for lunch
  • Suggestions for dinner
  • Suggestions for improving your sleep.

The best reference that I can suggest for this monograph is “The Longevity Paradox” by Stephen R. Gundry MD. This is the latest book in this series by Dr. Gundry, and is an excellent manuscript that reviews much of what I have been telling my patients for years. After a thorough analysis of the physiology of gut function, Dr. Gundry arrives at the same conclusion that I did:

“Doctors must now accept that much of the information that we learned about the gut in medical school was incorrect.”

Don’t get me wrong. Healthcare professionals have acquired a lot of useful medical information over the last five decades, including a detailed understanding of human DNA, how to control the spread of some harmful organisms, and how to use medical technology to get a closer look at in vivo (live) aspects of the human body. But Dr. Gundry is correct that, in general, we have not used this medical knowledge wisely. As a profession, we still spend most of our time treating disease [dys-ease], rather than preventing disease. Dr. Gundry is also correct when he points out that despite our newly acquired knowledge, in the last 2 decades the human lifespan has decreased for the first time in almost a century.

If you are one of the many patients who is worried that you may be starting to lose your memory or develop early Alzheimer’s disease, it is reassuring to read “the first 2 paragraphs from chapter 6 of Dr. Gundry’s latest book:

“As you get older things start to slip. You misplace your car keys, grasp for words, and forget the name of your longtime neighbor. Your brain feels foggy, and you are just not as sharp as you used to be. (Doctors call this ‘cognitive decline’). That’s just the way life goes, right?

Wrong. Though we think of these symptoms as a normal part of aging, nothing about them is normal. From these seemingly innocuous ‘senior moments’ to more serious neurological condition like Parkinson’s disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease, all ‘cognitive decline’ stems from the same cause: Neuro-inflammation. And where does (this) inflammation (of your nerves) start? In the gut.”

The good news is that most of this inflammation of your nervous system is correctable. In case you are still wondering, it has now been conclusively shown that the friendly bacteria that live in the normal gut (the Microbiome) control many of the actions of your brain. These friendly bacteria control the brain directly by sending signals to the brain via the vagus nerve, and indirectly via the multiple hormones that constantly send messages between the gut and the brain.

In a nutshell, the friendly bacteria in your gut (Microbiome) normally work in harmony to prevent ‘noxious substances’ that are constantly flowing through the gut from getting into your bloodstream. If your friendly gut bacteria can’t do their work, these ‘noxious substances’ can penetrate the gut lining and enter the bloodstream to cause inflammation in various parts of the body. Whenever there is a disturbance of the gut Microbiome [for example, by food poisoning, antibiotics and other medications, infection, stress, mold, etc.], a condition called ‘Leaky Gut Syndrome’ can develop. Unfriendly bacteria can multiply in the gut and worsen the situation. The chronic inflammation spreads to other parts of the body.

Chronic inflammation caused by Leaky Gut Syndrome is now thought to play a major role in many conditions, including:

  • Brain fog, memory loss
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Obesity
  • Arthritis of your joints
  • Accelerated aging, including thinning of the skin of your face and hands
  • Insomnia and disturbance of your sleep

Next Article: Part 4: How to Protect Your Gut