Do you take digestion for granted until it goes awry? The role our gut plays in health and disease has become increasingly evident as distinct relationships between our brain and our digestive system are becoming known.
Bacteria account for 90 percent of cells in our body; only 10 percent are human cells. Our digestive system contains over 100,000 nerve cells, more than the spinal cord. That is why this system is often called our second brain. Upon birth, microbe organisms begin populating our bodies to provide immunity and support. In fact, newborns lack healthy bacteria in their system to digest food.
Here are some other fascinating facts to chew on:
April is IBS Awareness Month. Originated in 1997 by the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders (IFFGD), this national health observance aims to raise awareness and treatment for irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The IFFGD says 10 to 15 percent of the general population is affected with ongoing cramps, bloating, diarrhea, or constipation. Two out of three sufferers are women. Another estimate suggests 74 percent of Americans live with gastrointestinal (GI) discomfort, mostly undiagnosed and rarely discussed with doctors.
Our digestive system consists of a group of organs that break down food into nourishment, supplies energy, and expels waste material. Bacteria that live in our gut are collectively referred to as microbiome. They serve to signal 100,000 nerve cells in the GI tract that fight disease, affect immunity response, control the appetite, and impact our emotional state.
Today, digestive disorders consume the population. Experts say it’s obvious the microbiome of our “second brain” is out of balance. The race is on to understand and crack the gut’s complex code to optimize health.
Why are digestive health issues on the rise?
Start to improve gut health:
The microbiome is complex and unique to each person. It’s crucial to our wellbeing. Like any garden, we want to nourish the soil (intestines) to grow healthy plants (bacteria) and minimize weeds (microbes).
Here’s to a healthy and renewed garden this spring!
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