The War Within
We are beginning to get to the bottom of things.
Specifically, our own bottoms. We live in a society where gastrointestinal illness and disease is soaring to new limits. From ulcers, to Irritable Bowel Syndrome, to Indigestion and Gas our joy of life and vitality have gone down the toilet.
But all is not lost. Your beautiful brilliant body has some simple solutions that may turn this around.
If we could take a microscopic look inside your large intestine would find a teeny war with gigantic consequence. Your body has its own little army fighting valiantly for your well-being. An army of bacteria.
Truly, they are a force to be reckoned with. Just the word can send shudders up your spine. Small, but able in the past to bring a population to its knees, how often we live in fear of the dreaded “bacteria”. We scrub, disinfect and sanitize. But to no avail, we are simply outnumbered. The human body is made up of an estimated 100 trillion bacterial cells fromat least 500 species, not including viruses and fungi. The bacteria in your gutt out number all the rest of the cells in your body, 10 to one, or about 3 pounds worth.
There are more bacteria in your body than people on this planet.
However, not all gutt bacteria are created equal. There is a “good” bacteria naturally occurring in the large intestine. These have been called “friendly flora”, or probiotic. “Pro” meaning “for”; “bio” meaning “life”. And pro-life they are! These little fellas contribute greatly to the proper digestion of your meal. They make B vitamins, lactic acid, and Vitamin K, which aids in blood clotting. They make chemicals, which are healing to the large intestine. After they die the bulk up much of the stool, (almost one third) making elimination easier. This gutt floa also has incredible power over your body’s natural defense system against invaders.
The friendly flora wage war against any bad bacteria, pathogens or outside offenders wanting to take over the intestine.
Expects suggest that we should have a balance of about 85 percent good to 15 percent harmful organisms in the intestinal tract. But today most have the opposite ratio. This is where the problem begins creating a chronically unhealthy condition. The bad bacteria colonize, fight for guttspace and oust the good bacteria for a dictatorship, polluting and poisoning the GI tract directly, and the rest of the body indirectly.
Our western lifestyle has led to the shrinking number of naturally occurring friendly bacteria. Antibiotics, (“anti” meaning against), have killed both good and bad bacteria in our body. Estrogen type pharmaceuticals such as birth control pills, chlorinated water, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil, Motrin, Midol, all kill off good bacteria. Lifestyles high in meat and fat, alcohol, caffeine, stress, radiation and chemotherapy also destroy healthy bacteria colonies.
Getting to the bottom of this intestinal warfare isn’t just identifying a problem but finding a solution. What can we do to arm ourselves, aid our freedom fighters, the good bacteria, and undermine the bad-guys? We continue to look at the war within and find some simple solutions that make sense next time we walk the Natural Path.