Gut Health and fixing your leaky gut is a key component to address when it comes to multiple sclerosis (MS) and any autoimmune disease. Fortunately there is a lot that you can do to keep it healthy.
“All Disease begins in the Gut” – Hippocrates
In this video presentation on Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Leaky Gut, Palmer Kippola discusses gut health, our microbiome, and leaky gut.
Gut Health MS and Our Microbiome
Gut Health is one of the central factors to health and disease, especially autoimmune diseases such as MS.
“All disease begins in the gut” Hippocrates, father of modern medicine
Important Facts About Your Gut
Your “gut” includes the small and large intestines. It is like a 25 feet long tube that spread out is 3000 square feet. There are 100 trillion microbes in your gut, 10x’s the number of cells we have in our body. Microbiomes help fight pathogens and keeps our immune system in balance. Most of our immune system resides in our gut. In fact, about 75% of your immune system is in the lining of your gut. This linen, only one cell thick, is the interface between the inside world and the outside world. So maintaining the integrity of your gut helps you maintain the integrity of your immune system. As MS is an autoimmune condition, to help our immune system we need to focus on the health of the gut.
Apart from its support of the immune system, the microbiome digests dietary fiber. If we don’t get enough fiber, the microbes will start eating the linen of our gut. That is how important adequate fiber intake is! Our ancestors ate many many times more fiber than we do with our modern diets. They did not have autoimmune conditions. Thus returning to some of their food choices and way of eating would benefit our gut. If our microbiome is not balanced, our gut is imbalanced.
Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Leaky Gut
In 2011, Alessio Fasano, a researcher at Harvard University discovered the third factor in the onset and progression of autoimmune disease. Up to 10% of the cause of autoimmune disorders can be considered genetics. The second factor is environmental (food, infection, hormone imbalance, toxins, and stress). Alessio introduced the third factor – leaky gut.
The scientific name for leaky gut is hyper intestinal permeability. Any number of things can cause the linen of our gut to become inflamed and then leaky. Heavy loads of inflammation will not allow us to take in the nutrients we need and that leads to an imbalanced microbiome. Gluten, for example, causes some degree of leaky gut. A person that is healthy and not susceptible to autoimmune disorder might not have any trouble with this. Someone with MS or other autoimmune disorders must avoid anything that can cause leaky gut.
Anything that causes linen tear or leaky gut will trigger the immune system to attack anything that seems similar to the culprit of the leak thus aggravating, even more, the linen as well as anything in the body that mimics molecularly that culprit. Myeline sheaths of our nervous system can look suspiciously like gluten.
Restore the Gut and Reverse MS
Thus, according to Alessio Fasano, the way to halt or reverse MS and other autoimmune disorders is to find and remove your environmental triggers and heal your gut. The implications are well worth making the effort to discover them!
What Harms Your Gut and How to Heal?
The road to health is paved with good intestines.” Sherry Rogers, M.D.
Gluten might not be what effects is harming your gut the most. You must dig deep and find out what is harming our gut. Here is a shortlist of the many ways we harm our gut. All of these, by themselves, can cause leaky gut, including stress. Be mindful of what you put into your body and mind.
Even if we have decades or a lifetime living this way, we can still flip it around and heal our gut. First, you must take out what harms your gut. Then, and only then, begin to add what helps your gut heal.
Paleo template diet seems to have the most research and acceptance in the Functional Medicine community (doing what our ancestors did) but there is no one-size-fits-all.
Creating Health Series
This video is part of our Creating Health Series. In our series, we hope to cover all aspects that could have influenced the initiation as well as exacerbations and progression of your MS so that you can take back control of your health by addressing the physical and environmental as well as the psychological and social factors. This video presentation was part of an episode on the effects of the gut on MS. To learn about how our emotions affect our gut by watching “Minding Your Gut”.
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This series is being recorded at the National MS Society Self-Help MS Group in Santa Cruz, CA. The National MS Society respects the rights of people with MS to obtain any and all information they want related to MS, including information on wellness, medical treatments or complementary therapies, and products or services. The information presented at these meetings does not necessarily reflect the views or official position of the Society, nor carry the endorsement or support of the NMSS.