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3 Things To Know About Your GI Tract

The GI tract is vitally important to health at cellular level Your body is a complex machine in which all parts work together, and your GI Tract plays one of the most vital roles in your body’s functioning. It determines what nutrients are absorbed and what toxins, allergens and microbes are kept out. GI health means optimal digestion, absorption and assimilation of food. At GI North, we want your digestive system to work as it’s designed to. Here are some reasons why your gut is so special:

Your GI Tract Protects You

Your entire immune system, as well as your entire body, is protected from the toxic environment in your gut by a lining layer that is only one cell-thick. In fact, if you laid out this lining flat, it would span the area of a tennis court! Amazing, isn’t it? This microscopically thin layer protects the rest of your body from potentially harmful foreign bodies that enter through the digestive system. Damage to this layer can cause allergic reactions to foods you normally eat with no problems. Damage could cause digestion to suffer. You, in turn, get sick and your immune system begins working overtime which produces inflammation throughout your body.

Your GI Tract Is Home To An Army

Your gut contains 500 species and three pounds of bacteria that work together to form a delicate ecosystem in your gut. Your amazing digestive system is basically a chemical factory that helps digest food, regulate hormones, excrete toxins, and produce vitamins and other healing compounds that keep your gut and your body healthy. Your gut breaks down all the food you eat into its individual components, so it can get into your bloodstream and nourish your body and brain. In order for this system to work properly and for you to be healthy, this delicate system must be in balance. An imbalance could be an overabundance of the wrong bacteria, such as yeasts or even parasites. It could also mean the lack of enough good bacteria, like Lactobacillus or Bifidobacteria.

Your GI Tract is Your Second Brain

While your brain is the true epicenter of your nervous system, your gut’s nervous system comes in second to that. Did you know your gut actually contains more neurotransmitters than your brain? Your GI system has what’s called the “enteric nervous system,” which is a very sophisticated part of your biology that is wired to your brain in very complex ways. Messages constantly travel back and forth between your gut-brain and your head-brain and, when those messages are interfered with in any way, your health will suffer.

Your digestive system is a miraculous part of your body, and is vital to your overall health. Keeping it healthy and in balance is extremely important, and in our next blog, we’ll look at some signs that your gut may have an imbalance.

© 2013 GI North Gastroenterology Services. All rights reserved.

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