Many people may wonder why we have to pay so much attention to the GI and immune systems. It is actually impossible to be healthy unless these systems are in good working order. The GI and immune systems are intimately related to each other.
Up to 70% of the immune system actually resides in the intestinal tract!
A strong immune system is necessary to fight off invading organisms that are opportunistic – waiting for any opening or weakness in the system to strike. There are many types of organisms that can invade our bodies. The four main types are:
- Bacteria – including Lyme
- Parasites – worms, amoebae, protozoans, etc.
Many people have all four! It is impossible to feel well and have a normal energy level when your immune system is fighting these chronic battles. These infections cause chronic inflammation in the body, which is a known risk factor for many diseases, including autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, among others.
Even cancer has been called a “failure of the immune system” since our body is producing errant cancer cells every day, but our immune system is catching and killing those cells before they can do real damage. A strong immune system is incredibly important for a long and healthy life.
The GI tract is also essential for a healthy life. It is responsible for a lot of detoxification, and the good bacteria that reside there make products that actually feed our colon cells, and even make important vitamins for us! The GI tract also has to digest and absorb our food, of course. If digestion is not optimal, then inevitable nutritional deficiencies will ensue, leading to chronic illness.
A large percentage of people have frequent GI complaints, such as cramping, bloating, acid reflux, or irritable bowel symptoms, which greatly interfere with quality of life. Many times these problems can be improved or even cured with proper testing and treatment with natural means, such as a diet free of foods that the patient may be allergic or intolerant to, and natural supplements such as digestive enzymes and probiotics. Only by doing the proper tests can a customized treatment plan be determined.