Nowhere in medical school was I taught about bacterial health in the gut. Yes, I was taught about severe gut issues such as C. difficile, which can cause life-threatening diarrhea. But I was not taught the importance of maintaining healthy gut bacteria.
In fact, I don’t recall any mention of it at all.
But I can assure you that ensuring optimal gut bacteria is one of the most important things I do for my patients.
The gut encompasses the largest portion of the body’s immune system. If that system is not working correctly, it’s impossible to feel well.
Indeed, the gut is frequently referred to as the “second brain” because it is the site of the enteric nervous system.
Just like the central nervous system (including the brain), the enteric nervous system sends and receives nerve impulses and responds to emotions. The same hormones and neurotransmitters that drive brain function also are essential for optimal gut function.
The gut and the central nervous system also communicate with one another. This means that problems in the gastrointestinal system can cause issues in the brain, and problems in the brain will be reflected in the intestines.
Posts by David Brownstein, M.D.
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