Monday, 21 December 2015

Blog: Note on the under-rated organ

As the year is coming to an end, I’ve gathered together all the evidence that helped me in “curing IBS”. Last I wrote a blog in June, and I’ve mentioned microbiome, but after reading GUT the inside story of our body's most under-rated organ (2015) by Giulia Enders, I finally understand everything better and I want to share some knowledge with you. Since the gut looks A-Okay, I buried my head into food intolerances or food sensitivities, and realized I’m sensitive to wheat and corn (the two most commonly used and processed grains).

I recommend the book to everyone, not just those suffering from IBS or some other GI disease, it’s easy to follow and gives a lot of information on how our guts work.
First... squatty potty:
“The closure mechanism of our gut is not designed in such a way that it can open the hatch completely when we are seated. Squatting has been the natural pooing position for humans since time immemorial. The modern sitting toilet has existed only since indoor sanitation became common, in the late 18th century.”
You can get a squatty potty for your toilet, it really makes a difference.

Second... food sensitivities 

The wall of our gut can become temporarily more porous, allowing food remains to enter the tissue of the gut and the bloodstream (like a short time after a course of antibiotics, after a heavy bout of drinking (alcohol) or even as a result of stress. Once in bloodstream our immune system starts attacking those cells. When the body has return to a healthy equilibrium, even a sensitive gut can usually sort itself out.

“What plants want is to reproduce – plants respond by making their seeds poisonous. The more danger a plant senses the more poisonous it will make its seeds. Wheat is such a worrier because it has only a very short window of opportunity for its seeds to grow and carry on the family line. In insects, gluten has the effect of inhibiting an important digestive enzyme. 

In humans, gluten can pass into the cells of the gut in a partially undigested state. There it can slacken the connections between individual cells. This allows wheat proteins to enter areas they have no business being in. That, in turn, raises the alarm of our immune system. One person in a hundred has a genetic intolerance to gluten, but a considerably higher proportion, suffer from gluten sensitivity.”

Fructose malabsorption is also on the rise. Sugar substitute in found in most processed foods, so we ingest overall more fructose than in the past, so we can say we live in fruit over-abundance. Fructose intolerance can lead to depression (sugar binds protein tryptophan, when sugar doesn’t get absorbed, we lose tryptophan as well, which is important for production of serotonin).
Something we probably forgot:
“While our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate up to five hundred different local roots, herbs and other plants in a year, a typical modern diet includes seventeen different agricultural plant crops, at most. It is not surprising that our gut has a few problems with a dietary change of that scale.”

Thirdly... IBS

“Experiencing negative emotions can arise via the gut-brain axis – when the gut’s threshold is lowered, or the brain insists on having information it would not normally receive. Such a state of affairs may be caused by tiny but persistent (micro-) inflammations, bad gut flora, or undetected food intolerances. The altered circumstances that stress creates in the gut allow different bacteria to survive there than in periods of low stress. We could say that stress changes the weather in the gut.”

They have found that Lactobacillus reuteri is able to inhibit pain sensors in the gut, which IBS and IBD sufferers can benefit from.

“Of our entire microbiome – that is all the micro-organisms that team on the inside and outside of our bodies – 99% are found in the gut. Not because there are so few elsewhere, but because there are simply so inconceivably many in the gut. Our gut microbiome can weigh up to two kilos and contains about 100 trillion bacteria. The vast majority of our immune system (about 80%) is located in the gut.”

I’ve heard that in some countries take a different care of newborns born by a C-section, trying to colonize their guts, but that is a rare occasion, maybe in the future they will give them a chance to develop the right microbiome. 

“It is now generally accepted that the first populations to colonise our gut lay the main foundations for the future of our entire body. Studies have shown the importance of those first few weeks of postnatal bacteria-collecting for the development of the immune system. Just three weeks after birth, the metabolic products of our gut flora may predict our increased risks of allergies, asthma, or neurodermatitis in later life. Our skin flora are not as strictly controlled as those in the birth canal, and are much more exposed to the outside world. Whatever gathers on the skin could soon end up in baby’s belly. Children born by caesarean section take months or even longer to develop a normal population of gut bacteria.”
“Bacteria help to feed us, make some foods more digestible, and produce their own substances. Some scientists now support the theory, that our gut microbita can be considered an organ.”

Ever heard of water kefir?
I’ve happily been making it for few months now, and it seems to help, it also tastes good. It has lots of good bacteria and certain type of yeast is supposed to help with IBS. Either way, it’s a good idea, to give the gut microbiom a fighting chance ;) Click here for a study on food sensitivities and gut flora.

Hope this information will help! :)

PS: and it doesn't hurt to meditate ;) 

PPS: and I've found an interesting documentary on the subject :) LINK

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Poem: Human maps

feeling of comfort flows over
as I hug my legs, and pulling
 the weary knees closer to the heart,
like a foetus, comfortly floating and not
demanding anything, funny how we litter
our minds with things, how we surround our skins,
pushing us further away from nature,
how we expose our bare skin, but hide
our hearts, as if it takes a miracle
to find love, gently the curls tickle
the skin, playfully reminding the magic
the body can sense, so many skins we shed
in process of developing the current
personality, yet it's hard to put a finger on
what stayed the same, strange to imagine,
it only took two cells to start building a body,
what do you call a mistake?
our skins, a perfect map
and we love the person
who lovingly discovers
all the bruises, valleys and gaps
and still sees the perfection
of the being within

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Poem: Every leaf is a thought

every leaf is a thought that falls
from the mouth, touching the ground
some yellow, some red with fire
they either mark the new path
or soil the old one; they can carry
different weight, although logically
they are all the same, made of letters
and words; yet some fall heavy on the heart
and can weight a person down,
some touch the heart gently
and they lift up the spirit, as if
they attached a balloon on it
it takes the same amount of time
and energy, but the intention
has different arrows and aims;
fear is a powerful tool,
it spreads like wild fire,
burning bridges; through the smoke
we stay blind to the truth,
as the war over power rages on
and you will never know
the amount of hearts in need of mending
and what will it take to fix it all

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Story: Haunting hotel

As we were checking in at the hotel, the manager, an older man, told us not to worry if we hear or see something unusual. In a hushed voice he said: »Sometimes a ghost may appear and play with the objects in the room«. He handed us a few drugs to take, so we could enjoy the vacation nonetheless. Gossip was that his wife died a violent death and now her spirit haunts the place. He doesn't do anything about it, because he loves her. In the hotel library there was a blind woman, and I swear I could see death behind those eyes. They said she could release old demons that follow a person. When we slept I heard some mumbling and moving around the room. I opened my eyes and I saw three figures standing beside my bed, one right in front, other two on my right side. Two had heads of a wolf, one a head of a raven. I laid paralyzed in my bed, unable to move an inch, not even to let out a scream. I forced my mind to fall back asleep. After that night all I saw was dark as if the sun never rose again. At the lake we saw three motorists driving in circles, one fell into the lake, but the bike drove on, as if a ghost took it. The two remaining took the event as something normal, it happened, let’s move on. Determent to find a solution, to set the spirit of manager’s wife free, and let it rest in peace, we dug through the local legends. One neighbour recalled an old saying, that only a rare stone from a Slovenian cave would set the spirit free. We just had to find out.


 Based on my nightmare and sleep paralysis I had.

Poem: Dreamers

photo: Daniel Murtagh

under the light of the universe
a rainbow extends between the rose
I carry in my arms and the rest
of my wishes in the wishing well
deep in my dreams I am alone
being swept under the golden
and yellow leaves through the mists
of what hides behind the next step
you find me gazing at the moon
and I wonder why it's so simple
to fall into you - the touch of your fingers
runs through the depths of my skin
setting fire to all the things I thought
I knew to be true
shadows disappear
as we collide
into each others' eyes
time has a way of bringing
our dreams down
and in this world rich
are the dreamers
and I hope ours'
get to shine
Written for the Mag #291