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The Environment in the Gut_Final

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>> Hi there, and welcome back. In this lecture, we'll be talking about what an ideal gut environment looks like and how you can help your clients achieve better gut health. Simply put, the environment in the gut has to have a certain balance in order for things to work well. Specifically, the stomach needs to be acidic with a low pH and the small intestine needs to be neutral to alkaline with a higher pH. Both need to have as few bacteria as possible and should only contain the types that are supposed to be there. Too little acid in the stomach can cause more than just digestive problems. Stomach acid acts as a shield that protects bacteria from entering the intestinal tract. It also helps break down protein. This helps prevent food allergies associated with incomplete digestion of protein. Stomach acid also plays an essential role in the absorption of minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and iron as well as vitamin B12. Low acid has been associated within an increase in osteoporosis, and it can also lead to poor absorption of vitamin D. So as you can see, low stomach acid can be very problematic for a client who's already nutrient deficient. There are four reasons why the stomach may not produce enough acid, medications, age, autoimmune conditions, and diet. Let's look at these a little more in detail. Acid-blocking medications are the most common cause of low stomach acid. Proton pump inhibitors such as Protonix and acid blockers such as Tagamet are designed to decrease stomach acid. Unfortunately, they have unwanted effects. We'll talk more about this soon. While your clients should never stop taking a medication without first discussing it with their physician, you can help them to address the actual cause of their symptoms and encourage them to discuss other options with their doctor. Another common cause is age. It's not uncommon for digestion to change with age and one cause of this is a decrease in stomach acid. But sometimes, the cells that produce acid in the stomach die off and aren't replaced. This is not considered a normal part of aging. When this happens, stomach acid typically takes the blame, but really, this is partially due to a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori that crashes the party and is present in the stomach where it shouldn't be. Each pylori is what causes ulcers and reflux, and it's more common with age and poor dietary habits. The third reason for low stomach acid is an autoimmune condition. There is an autoimmune condition called pernicious anemia that affects the cells in the stomach that produce acid. While it's seen more often in the elderly, they're not the only ones affected by it. It's also found in those with type 1 diabetes and autoimmune thyroid disease. This is part of the reason why many people with autoimmune thyroid disease have low vitamin B12 levels. Diet can contribute to low stomach acid as well. A diet low in minerals and vitamins such as the standard American diet contributes to low stomach acid. For example, thiamine which is a type of B vitamin is necessary to keep acid-producing cells alive and well. Zinc is also a big player in keeping stomach acid levels where they belong, helping the cells to produce the right amount and also helping to protect the lining of the stomach from damage. Unlike the stomach, the colon, aka the large intestine, needs to have a lot of bacteria. In fact, there are over 100 trillion bacteria, viruses, and yeast cells in your colon. That includes 500 to 1,000 different species. This is called the gut flora or the microbiome. These bacteria are acquired at birth through breastfeeding, the environment around us, and even from the nurses who took care of us if we were born in a hospital. A baby born via C-section colonizes her microbiome from the bacteria on her mother's skin which is very different to a baby born vaginally who will colonize her microbiome through the mother's birth canal. In fact, the composition of the microbes in the birth canal changes during the pregnancies so that during the birth the baby can pick up these bacteria. Babies born via C-section miss out on these microbes which might explain why they have a higher risk of diseases such as celiac, allergies, asthma, and type 1 diabetes. Ultimately, everybody has a slightly different population of microbes, and the population can change over time all by itself. There's no definition of a normal microbiome, only what's normal for the individual and their current circumstances. Bio-individuality applies to our guts too. So it's no wonder our diets require bio-individuality for optimal functioning. Now under normal circumstances, we tend to have a pretty good relationship with our gut flora. The bacteria get fed on a regular basis, and in turn, they do a lot of really important things for us, like making nutrients for the cells lining the gut, formulating vitamins, and processing trace elements, breaking down fiber, and other leftover food particles, and producing sulfur which is a strong anti inflammatory compound that your body needs. It's usually a pretty win-win situation which is desirable in an important relationship because, for your clients, this might be the most important relationship of their entire lives. So you'll want to help them balance their gut flora because when it gets off track, it affects the whole body. When the gut flora get out of balance, it's called dysbiosis, which translates to not living well together. There are six factors that can cause gut dysbiosis, stress, illness, aging, antibiotics and other medications, alcohol, and poor diet which includes sugar, processed foods, and any other foods a person doesn't tolerate well. Let's start with stress which affects the bacteria in your gut similarly to the way it affects your own body. The microbes in the GI tract are able to recognize and even react to stress hormones produced by the body. This can lead to shifts in bacterial population, making the body more susceptible to infection. This population shift also appears to make the body more vulnerable to leaky gut. The body interprets excessive exercise as stress. And this can cause changes in the population of the gut flora. Now we're talking about a lot of intense exercise for a really long duration, not hitting the gym extra hard every now and then. So when you run a marathon, for example, it shifts the blood supply from the gut to the extremities for a long period of time. And this can result in a breakdown of the stomach lining and a shift in the microbe population. Unfortunately, there's no proven way to counteract the stress caused by running marathons or other intense physical exercise over a long period of time. For most women who train and run marathons consistently tend to have a regular or absent periods. The only way to fully address this concern is by having your client reduce the intensity or duration of their training regimen. Next, many illnesses can change the population of the gut flora. Critical illness can really disrupt the gut flora. This can be from infection, trauma, or exacerbation of a chronic illness. During this kind of illness, the blood supply to the GI tract is often low. Also, in many cases of severe illness, the gut is not being used to feed the patient. And most of the nutrition is coming through the vein. They may also receive medications and antibiotics that disrupt the flora. It takes a long time for it to get back to its normal function afterwards. And without help, it may never go back to normal function. When doing a Health History with your clients, be sure to ask them if they've ever had any severe illnesses that resulted in a long stay in the hospital. When the body becomes infected with diarrhea causing bacteria, it disrupts the population of the gut microbes, killing off the so-called good bacteria and allowing the diarrhea causing bacteria to overgrow. The body is then susceptible to other illnesses. Human immunodeficiency virus, also known as HIV, is known to affect the gut flora, decreasing the beneficial bacteria and increasing the gas producing ones. The third factor that influences our gut bacteria is age. As we get older, our gut flora changes. Now while aging itself is typically made the culprit, it appears that it's probably not age itself so much as the snowball effect of medications, diet, and dentition changes that are at fault. In particular, medications can change how food tastes and what's appealing which can cause the elderly to alter their diets. So even in elderly clients, gut flora can be improved through changes to their diet and medications. Their physicians likely aren't taking into concern when writing prescriptions that their medicine might cause or worsen any gastrointestinal issues for their patients. Empowering your client with this information gives them the opportunity to enquire if their doctor can prescribe an alternative medication that might be less harmful to their gut. Antibiotics also have an effect on gut flora. It makes sense that antibiotics would impact the gut flora because they're very similar to the bacteria being treated by the antibiotic. Even one week of treatment can result in yeast overgrowth and expansion of less beneficial bacterial populations such as Clostridium difficile which can cause a deadly type of diarrhea when it gets out of control. Antibiotics negatively impact healthy bacterial populations which in turn allow antibiotic resistant populations of bacteria to overgrow. This leaves a continuous source for repeat infections with resistant bacteria. For instance, have you ever taken antibiotics for a urinary tract infection only to have it come back a few weeks later? This is the reason why that happens. And unfortunately, the effect can last up to two years after that antibiotics are stopped. It's important to remember that a course of antibiotics should always be fully completed. You may have clients who are on antibiotics for whatever reason, and they decide to stop taking the last few because they feel better. They may be thinking they're doing their bodies a favor by not taking any more gut disrupting antibiotics than they think they need, but this is a bad idea. When only part of a course is taken, this increases the resistance of bad bacteria, crowding out the good and leading to more infections which are progressively harder to treat. The old adage "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger" is true for bacteria. If you don't take enough days of antibiotics to completely kill the bad population, the remaining bacteria will grow up to be stronger and resistant to further treatment or invasion by the good bacteria. It isn't only us humans who consume antibiotics that affect out gut flora. Commercially raised chickens, cattle, and pigs are given an array of antibiotics which are brought into our bodies through the meat we consume. This is why it's so important to eat only pasture-raised meats and organic chicken which don't allow antibiotics. Other medications can impact the gut flora as well. Acid blocker medications like Tagamet, Zantac, and Pepcid are notorious for their effect on the gut flora. They appear to decrease the production of mucus which is necessary for maintaining the population of beneficial bacteria. People on long-term acid blocking treatment are more likely to have what's known as small intestine bacterial overgrowth or SIBO which is an abnormal overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestine. Another medication that impacts digestion is non steroidal anti-inflammatories or NSAIDs, like ibuprofen and aspirin. These can break down the thin lining of the GI tract, allowing toxins, large molecules, and food particles to exit the bowel and get into the bloodstream. This can cause an inflammatory response because these toxins in food particles are not meant to leave the GI tract. Next, we have alcohol which disrupts the intestinal environment and affects the gut flora. Most people know that long-term alcohol use can result in liver disease, but what does this actually mean? Liver disease is what happens when there's a breakdown in the intestinal wall which allows the gut bacteria to attack the liver. Alcohol impacts the gut microbiome because it encourages bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine. It also shifts the population of the colon from beneficial bacteria to those that produce toxins and damage the colon cells. Finally, as you're now aware, diet probably has the biggest effect on the microbiome. The gut flora has the ability to shift over time based on the diet being consumed by its hosts, that's you. This is mostly a very good thing allowing you to digest a variety of foods and extract the most nutrition from them. Vegetarians will have a somewhat different gut flora population than meat eaters favoring bacteria that break down carbohydrates rather than protein. The Western diet has been shown to have a negative effect on the microbiome. This diet is typically made up of low fiber, high sugar, high processed foods, inflammatory fats, and commercially grown meat. The good news is the body responds quickly to dietary changes, shifting the gut flora to more beneficial bacteria, and decreasing the inflammatory and toxic bacteria. This is a wonderful reminder that our bodies are always working hard for us. What this means for your clients is that a shift in their diet can result in very quick changes in the gut flora, and they'll likely start to feel better right away. This is really encouraging. The best way to do this is by decreasing sugar intake, increasing fiber, and improving the quality of meat and fat they consume. And that brings us to the end of this lecture on the gut environment. To recap, we talked about four conditions that affect stomach acid production, medications, age, autoimmune conditions, and diet. Next, we talked about the six major factors that impact the health of the gut microbiome. These are stress, illness, aging, antibiotics and certain medications, alcohol, and poor diet. A look at these factors is an important reminder that our clients have much more control over the outcome of their health than they might even realize. Simple changes can have a massive impact on their gut health which can affect their overall quality of life. Now think about these factors as they apply to your life. How might you be doing in terms of maintaining a healthy gut environment? What are you doing a good job of and what could benefit from some improvement? Head on over to the Facebook group now and join the conversation about gut health. Thanks so much for watching. Bye for now.

Video Details

Duration: 16 minutes and 5 seconds
Language: English
License: Dotsub - Standard License
Genre: None
Views: 5
Posted by: ninaz on Mar 31, 2018

The Environment in the Gut_Final

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