The Brain Belly Connection Part 1

This connection is so strong it is similar to the stories that you hear about identical twins where if one is hurt the other also feels the pain. In treating both brain inflammation and leaky gut, each benefits the other. In this post let’s talk about this match-made-in-heaven and in the next post let’s talk about how to support both.

The Brain is a Delicate Flower

There is a reason that the brain and spinal cord of the central nervous system are surrounded by the protection of cerebral spinal fluid, encased in strong fibrous meninges and housed in a bony suitcase. The brain is fragile, vulnerable to stress and toxins, and needs a ton of energy and nutrients to function properly.

Watch That Noggin!

In my humble opinion (now don’t bring out the pitchforks for what I’m about to say…) American football is overrated. (Gasp! Clutches pearls) It is so prone to head injury it should be considered a contact sport…oh wait, it is! A dangerous one at that. It’s not that football is the only way to get a concussion but it makes a concussion quite likely. Oh yeah…boxing too! What you may not know is that when you have a severe hit to the head causing damage to the nerves of the brain, it triggers damage to the gut lining as well.

The Gut Sympathizes

After a head injury, the damage to the gut can be the immediate pulling apart of the cells that sit shoulder-to-shoulder to protect the body from invaders. This opening of the tight junctions in the intestinal lining is called intestinal permeability or leaky gut because anything from the intestines can leak into the bloodstream causing havoc on the body. This damage to the gut causes substances of inflammation called cytokines to flow all through the body, including through the ultra-protective blood-brain barrier, resulting in brain inflammation.

This ping pong effect of inflammation in the gut causing inflammation in the brain and inflammation in the brain causing inflammation in the gut can go on for a long time leading to a post-concussion syndrome in the brain and inflammatory conditions in the bowel.

Next up…how to decrease inflammation and heal both of these critical systems.

Ta Ta for now,

Dr. Stacey

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