An inflamed gut predisposes you to a variety of chronic diseases, ranging from IBD and colon cancer to autism and Alzheimer's disease. Stopping intestinal inflammation is essential for both prevention and treatment of chronic diseases.
Inflammation is a multifactorial biological and immune response to different injuries. Inflammation is initiated by various stimuli, such as pathogens, chemical irritants, nutritional imbalance, and various cell damage. Inflammation is required in the body's healing process.
But, chronic intestinal inflammation can cause serious and irreversible complications. Different chronic inflammatory diseases include liver, colitis, gastrointestinal, and neurodegenerative.
Also, various microbes (eg, Helicobacter, Campylobacter, Clostridium, and Mycobacterium), parasites (eg, Protozoa, helminths, and flatworms), and viruses (HPV, norovirus, and hepatitis B and C) are associated with inflammatory responses Chronicles.
Additionally, nutritional imbalance and specific nutrients can influence the immune response, modulate infections, and inflammatory responses.
12 diseases caused by a chronically inflamed intestine
There is a strong link between inflammation, infectious agents, and nutritional status. Millions of people suffer from chronic inflammatory diseases, and the incidence has increased significantly in recent years.
Intestinal inflammation can be one of the roots of seasonal allergies. An imbalance between beneficial and harmful gut microbes increases the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines in the gut.
These cytokines stimulate the activity of mast cells, basophils, and eosinophils, which induce allergic inflammation.
The intestinal inflammation associated with dysbiosis is related to atopic dermatitis and food allergies. A healthy gut, on the other hand, inhibits allergic sensitization through the release of anti-inflammatory SCFA and immune balance regulatory T cells.
2. Autoimmune diseases
An inflamed intestine is a precedent factor in the development of autoimmune diseases. People with type 1 diabetes have higher levels of LPS (Lipopolysaccharide) compared to people without diabetes.
Zonulin, a protein released in the gut when the gut barrier is compromised, is higher in people with autoimmune diseases compared to those who are healthy, underscoring the role of leaky gut in autoimmune diseases.
Inflammatory changes in the oral and intestinal microbiota, including excessive growth of the cariogenic bacterium Porphyromonas gingivalis and a decrease in commensal bacteria, are associated with the progression of arthritis.
Dysbiosis and leaky gut induce the systemic inflammatory response, triggering the release of cytokines that cause musculoskeletal degeneration.
In contrast, commensal anti-inflammatory bacteria and SCFAs have been found to relieve arthritis and protect against bone loss.
4. Cardiovascular disease
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death worldwide, and medication and surgery are the mainstays of its conventional medical treatment. However, growing evidence of the link between the gut and heart health suggests that gut-targeted treatments may be the future of CVD treatment.
Multiple inflammatory processes within the intestine impact the course of CVD. Dysbiosis contributes to CVD through the release of LPS and peptidoglycan (PG), inflammatory components of the cell wall of Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria that promote atherosclerotic plaque formation and hypertension.
Dysbiosis also affects the metabolism of bile acids, affecting the excretion of lipids in the blood such as cholesterol and triglycerides.
5. Gastrointestinal disorders
IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease)
Intestinal inflammation is a key feature of IBD, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. A number of damaging gut changes, including dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability, can contribute to the progression of IBD.
IBS (Irritated Bowel Syndrome)
Until recently, the role of intestinal inflammation in IBS was not very clear. However, research has since shed light on the role of mast cells, immune cells that release irritating compounds like histamine, and persistent low-grade inflammation in the pathogenesis of IBS.
In people with diarrhea-predominant IBS or mixed IBS, autoimmunity may also play a role in intestinal inflammation. In these forms of IBS, a previous episode of food poisoning can lead to the production of autoantibodies that damage the gastrointestinal tract.
Colorectal cancer is the fourth most common cancer in the United States in both men and women, and the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Research suggests that pre-existing gastrointestinal inflammation precedes the development of colorectal cancer.
Several inflammatory triggers for colorectal cancer have been identified, including intestinal pathogens, low levels of butyrate-producing bacteria, and the refined and processed standard western diet.
Diverticulitis, an irritation of the lining of the intestines, is triggered by an inflamed intestine. It is characterized by dysbiosis in the colon and elevated fecal calprotectin, a protein released by white blood cells when there is active inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
6. Depression and anxiety
Research indicates that activation of the immune system plays a central role in the development of depression and anxiety. The human gut is home to about 80 percent of the immune system, so it is not surprising that an inflamed gut significantly affects mental health.
The gut-brain axis, a bidirectional signaling network between the gut's enteric nervous system and the central nervous system, mediates the relationship between intestinal inflammation and mental health.
Inflammatory stimuli in the gut send signals along this axis to the brain, inducing neuroinflammation and altering the production of neurotransmitters. The consequence of these biochemical changes is an alteration of brain activity, including depression and anxiety.
Inflammatory signaling of the gut-brain axis is triggered by gut dysbiosis and gut barrier dysfunction, which are common in people with depression and anxiety.
People with depression and anxiety also show a reduction in their ability to counteract intestinal inflammation due to decreased intestinal levels of anti-inflammatory SCFA.
7. Neurodegenerative disease
The gut-brain axis also plays a fundamental role in neurodegenerative diseases. An inflamed intestine is recognized as a "silent promoter" of Parkinson's disease, and inflammation precedes the onset of symptoms by up to two decades.
An inflammatory response derived from the gut has also been found to precipitate the deposition of beta-amyloid plaques, which contribute to neuronal degeneration and cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease.
8. Neurodevelopmental disorders
Neurodevelopmental disorders are occurring more and more around the world. The prevalence of autism has risen to one in 59 children, 11 percent of children and adolescents have been diagnosed with attention deficit / hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder.
Pediatric Acute Onset Neuropsychiatric Syndrome (PANS) and Pediatric Autoimmune Neuropsychiatric Disorders Associated with Streptococcal Infections (PANDAS) are emergent neurodevelopmental disorders characterized by sudden onset of tics and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Research indicates that dysbiosis and intestinal inflammation are contributing factors in each of these disorders. Children with ADHD show a decrease in the alpha diversity of the gut microbiota, which is a measure of the number of bacterial species in the gut; having greater diversity is generally associated with better overall health.
Children on the autism spectrum and those with PANS / PANDAS also demonstrate dysbiosis. These inflammatory changes alter the crosstalk between the gut and the brain, ultimately inducing neurobehavioral deficits.
There is much evidence that an inflamed gut promotes osteoporosis by disrupting the balance between bone building and resorption cells, leading to a net loss of bone mass.
Intestinal inflammation also decreases the absorption of nutrients critical for bone development, such as vitamin D, calcium, and magnesium.
10. Skin conditions
Like the gut-brain axis, the gut-skin axis is a network of signaling molecules that connects the gut and your bacteria to the skin. Inflammatory changes in the gut, including dysbiosis and increased intestinal permeability, are linked to a spectrum of skin conditions including acne, psoriasis, rosacea, and eczema.
11. Metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes and obesity
Metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes (T2D), obesity, and intestinal inflammation form a vicious cycle: dysregulation of blood sugar and excess body fat promote intestinal inflammation, while intestinal inflammation worsens metabolic dysfunction.
Intestinal dysbiosis and circulating LPS induce insulin and leptin resistance, key features of metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
Acellular carbohydrates and exposure to obesogenic environmental toxins, including BPA and phthalates, alter the gut microbiota. These microbial changes incite an inflamed gut and influence the development of metabolic dysfunction.
12. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, an accumulation of excess fat in the liver in people who consume little or no alcohol, is closely related to metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and obesity.
A compromised gut microbiota appears to drive inflammation in this disease, while gut-targeted treatments, such as probiotics, alleviate inflammation and liver dysfunction.
How to correct intestinal inflammation
It is almost impossible to find a health disorder in which intestinal inflammation does not play a role. Diet and lifestyle strategies that soothe an inflamed gut and restore intestinal health should be an essential part of any protocol designed to prevent or reverse chronic disease.
Eat a nutrient-dense, unprocessed diet
A nutrient-rich diet without processed foods provides the substrates (i.e., fermentable fibers, polyphenols, and other nutrients) that gut bacteria need to thrive, creating an anti-inflammatory gut ecosystem.
Focusing particularly on prebiotic foods can increase your levels of SCFA-producing anti-inflammatory bacteria. Avoid acellular carbohydrates, including refined flour-based products and industrial seed oils.
For people with severe intestinal inflammation, such as IBD, an autoimmune protocol diet can offer significant relief.
Chronic stress can really ruin your gut health, so managing your stress is crucial to reducing gut inflammation. Meditation regulates the response to stress, helping to maintain a healthy function of the intestinal barrier and to keep inflammation in balance.
A consistent exercise routine and healthy sleep habits are also crucial to managing stress and supporting gut health.
Be a Conscious Consumer of Pharmaceutical Medicines
To limit intestinal inflammation, be cautious about using antibiotics and non-antibiotic medications. While our understanding of the effects of non-antibiotic drugs on gut health is still in its infancy, the information available is troubling.
In contrast, the evidence for the harmful effects of antibiotics in the gut is very strong.
Limit your exposure to toxins
Environmental toxins are everywhere, but there are some simple steps you can take to reduce your exposure to them and protect yourself against intestinal inflammation:
· Avoid receipts when shopping to limit your exposure to BPA.
· Use stainless steel or glass water bottles and food storage containers instead of plastic ones.
· Filter your drinking and bath water with a high-quality water filter.
· Use organic and natural products for consumption and personal care.
· Don't use pesticides on your patio or inside your home.
Following these simple steps will reduce your cumulative exposure to environmental toxins, removing a major obstacle to your long-term gut health and improving the well-being of your entire body.
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