A healthy gut is essential to proper digestion, absorption of nutrients and to protect from invading microbes. However gut flora health expands further than the digestive system. Research is trying to unravel the intricacies involved in the ‘gut–brain–immune’ axis, a term that refers to the communication between the gut, brain and our immune systems.
Gut – Brain
The gut and brain talk to each other through the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and research has determined that through this connection, gut flora has the ability to influence cognitive functions, motivation and behaviour, with imbalances in neurotransmitters implicated in many behavioural issues. Digestive dysfunction and nutrient malabsorption play an important role in these imbalances.
Gut – Immune
Around 80% of the body’s immune system resides in the gastrointestinal tract, acting as a defence against possible allergenic substances from the outside environment every day.
While not all allergy disorders are the sole cause of gut dysfunction, they do upset the ‘gut– brain–immune’ axis balance. Digestive health begins from within the womb, and has the potential to affect health and behaviour throughout life, ranging from learning difficulties such as ADHD and Autistic Spectrum Disorders to poor immune health and skin conditions. Toxins in our environment, food and products that we use, including household and personal all contribute to a toxic load within our systems.  This puts extra strain on our systems and organs in order to eliminate these substances.
A healthy gut and optimal digestive function are at the core of naturopathic practices. Using healing supplements and herbs, as well as good nutrition, this can be achieved and balance restored to the ‘gut-brain-immune’ axis.
Baby massageSandra has a special interest in children and persons with an imbalanced gut-brain-immune axis, such as those with social and learning difficulties and has seen some great results and relief in treating this axis. For more information about how Sandra practices or to make an appointment please click here.