IS THE GUT VITAL FOR HEALTH?
Hippocrates is known to have said all disease begins in the gut. Yet for a long time, in the modern world and modern medical practice, the gut was thought to be just a place for digesting food that the body needs. It’s only recently that research has discovered that the digestive tract’s physiological function is much deeper. From those research findings we are all beginning to relearn what the ancients knew about the importance of the gut to health.
The digestive tract is home to trillions of microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, protozoa, archaea and eukaryotic parasites that form what is known as the microbiome. The microbes are the foundation of health and happiness since they
- Break down potentially toxic food.
- Synthesize vitamins K and some Bs.
- Stimulate the immune system.
- Release neurotransmitters that communicate to neurons of the nervous system.
It is suspected that the connection between gut health and mental health is stronger that we currently know because PTSD patients have been found to have lower levels of some types of gut bacteria. More research is required.
WHAT ARE THE DISEASES OF THE DIGESTIVE TRACT?
Did you ever hear that your health begins in the gut? That means if you have a digestive tract problem, you have a problem with your health. We do not mean the mild digestive problems such as stomach ache, constipation, diarrhea and heartburn. These are genuine and quite uncomfortable, yet they are simply a few of the many problems of the digestive system. There are much more serious diseases of the digestive tract and it has now been found that about 40% of the world population have at least one digestive tract problem. Here are some of them diseases.
1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome
This is a problem of the large intestines with symptoms such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating and cramps.
2. Crohn’s Disease
This is also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It is inflammation of the digestive tract with symptoms such as tenderness, abdominal pain, persistent vomiting, high fever and even abscesses.
This problem begins when hard stools strain the colon walls creating small hernias. This condition is called diverticulosis. If the diverticulosis persists and one of the hernias gets infected and inflamed you develop diverticulitis.
4. Leaky Gut Syndrome
This is when the intestinal lining gets damaged and leaky allowing bacteria, toxins and partially digested foods to enter the bloodstream. This causes swelling and other kinds of reactions similar to food allergies. Eventually leaky gut syndrome leads to IBS, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and many autoimmune diseases.
This is a condition in which inflammation and sores (that bleed and produce pus) form in the lining of the colon and the rectum. The most common symptoms are horrible abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.
Diseases of the digestive tract cause a lot of pain and affect the physical, emotional and mental health of the individual and may lead to social isolation. They can be life fatal too. They are some of the most serious health problems in the western world.
Current treatment for the more serious diseases involves surgery to remove damage parts of the intestines or to put a colostomy bag on the outside of the belly to receive poo. Then there are medications that mask the symptoms such as anti-acids, anti-inflammatories, anti-diarrheals, steroids, antibiotics, immune modifiers, and laxatives. Imagine taking having pain after a meal, then taking an anti-acid to reduce acidity when you actually need your stomach acids to digest your meal! This simply leads to poor digestion which then leads to other diseases.
The medications are expensive and have undesired side effects and may be too heavy for the liver and the kidneys to process. People are now looking to natural remedies such as CBD for solutions.
CBD RELIEVES DIGESTIVE HEALTH PROBLEMS
CBD helps the digestive tract health in many ways. The endocannabinoid system (ECS) extends throughout the body including the digestive tract. CBD works by supporting and balancing the ECS through its interaction with CB1, CB2 and other receptors within the gut. Once it enters the body and attaches itself to the cannabinoid receptors in the gut, it makes changes in the body and you find relief from many problems such as pain, spasms, inflammation and overactive autoimmune response.
1. Scientists have found that diseases such as IBS, celiac disease and colorectal cancer are linked to deficiencies in the ECS. They have called it clinical endocannabinoid deficiency syndrome (CEDS). They also found that CBD improves symptoms of CEDS and prevents the breakdown of the endocannabinoid system. This is one of the main mechanisms in which CBD works.
2. CBD stops nausea and vomiting for those with digestive tract problems as well as pregnant women and cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.
3. CBD is anti-inflammatory and it is useful for people with Crohn’s disease, IBS and IBD. It is being studied for such purposes and it is now known that it works by inhibiting endocannabinoid system breakdown and controlling the neuroimmune axis.
4. CBD heals leaky gut syndrome. The ECS interacts with the gut microbiota which affect leaky gut syndrome. Also, CBD reduces inflammation and that reduces the effect of leaky gut syndrome.
5. CBD relieves cramping through its analgesic and anti-inflammatory actions. It also relieves spasms in the gut.
6. Stress affects digestive health and CBD has been found to decrease anxiety and improve stress resilience. With less impact of stress, digestive health improves.
7. symptoms like diarrhea and constipation and problems like IBS and IBD may be partly caused by poor functioning of the nerves and muscles in the gut. CBD supports gut motility by creating better endocannabinoid tone and impacting the enteric nervous system. Animal studies found that CBD reduces chemical-induced hypermotility.