With more and more evidence showing the importance gut health is in harboring optimal health, it is apparent why its so important to be aware of one’s own gut. Disease usually takes time to mount its destruction on its host, and we are finding out more it can be stemming from poor gut function. Malabsorption, metal toxicity, pathogenic overgrowth; these all contribute to the ever growing reasons why autoimmune conditions are rising more and more these days.
Testing quality has increased greatly. Even over the last decade there have been major strides in this field. Now we are able to quantify so much data, there is often too much that we can sift through. We are still trying to figure out what it all means. The interactions on a microscopic level are giving us more questions than answers, but with each passing month, we are gaining more insight on the critters that call our body home.
One question still lies, and it is most likely the key in figuring out the causes of most disease: what is going on in the small intestines?
Small intestines is where we absorb most of our foods. It is the connector from the stomach to the colon, and there isn’t anything “small” about it. If you were to pull out your entrails (not suggesting) you will find that the small intestines stretches nearly 25’. The surface area of the SI is almost as a large as a football field!
The little fingers of the small intestines, or microvilli, stretch out and want to grab the food passing by. There, microbes help break down the food a bit more, making it even more available for us to digest and process all the nutrients it provides. Moving to different portions of the small intestines, you will find different “junctions” that serve their own purpose. For more details, check out this awesome break down of how works.
Disease begins when this process becomes interrupted, or broken. We see the symptoms months to years after the actual screws became loose. Usually, we just happen to pass them off as just a fact of getting older. Aches, pains, allergies, poor sleep, fatigue and the list can go on. But those aren’t enough to convince a conventional doctor you’re sick. Unfortunately, it isn’t until the symptoms are unavoidable and test results are off the charts, doctors and patients alike finally start paying attention.
This can all be prevented if there was a better way to get eyes into the small intestines. The future of medicine and treatment lies in that black box. Being able to tell which microbes are hanging around the microvilla, or if there is damage to the microvilla, would be a keystone achievement in the health industry. Lack luster tests give us a foggy image of who might be living in the small intestines. Urine testing, stool sampling, breath tests all have their pros and cons. It is the best that we have right now, and you can only work with what you have.
Luckily, with the ever increasing progress of engineering better technology to scan the functions of the human body, we might not be too far off. Look at what uBiome and American Gut have done on a retail level! They got people interested in wanting to see what is living in and on their bodies! This proactive approach will inspire those to continue this pursuit in creating testing methods to better diagnose health conditions.
Its sad to say, but most guts are broken. By the time we hit 25 in America, there has been kegs of alcohol consumed, a fair share of antibiotics, and enough wheat and corn to be considered as shareholder’s of General Mills.
Without proper, detailed testing, the broken gut will never been healed. Time to stop the madness and develop the eyes needed to prevent these debilitating diseases to consume our precious health. Life is short, and the last thing we need is to have the time on this Earth compromised by something preventable. Proper testing and a proactive approach in our health can help make our health as prosperous and long lasting as possible.