This blog is about chronic inflammation which we are now finding can be improved by developing healthy gut flora. I write as a Type 2 Diabetic, but chronic inflammation is a factor in many chronic diseases. I have found that addressing gut health dramatically helps children who suffer allergies, eczema and asthma. For adults, it is a critical factor in obesity, heart disease, chronic fatigue, depression, fibromyalgia, lupus, arthritis, Celiac, Crohn's, IBS and many other disorders.
1. People with chronic disease (including T2s) generally have poor gut health. The mucosal lining of their small intestine is inflamed. 2. People with chronic disease (including obese people) have different gut flora than healthy people. The imbalance of the intestinal microbial community is clear and can be easily demonstrated. While we can see the differences in gut flora, our understanding of the hundreds of species and thousands of subspecies of the 10-100 trillion microbes in our gut is still very rudimentary at this point. My blog explores emerging understanding. 3. People with an inflamed lining of their small intestine have an impaired gut barrier and the inflammation spreads. We suffer chronic inflammation as measured by C-reactive protein and other markers of inflammation. 4. Chronic inflammation is associated with insulin resistance and obesity. Obesity is both a result of inflammation and insulin resistance and a cause of further inflammation and insulin resistance. Vicious cycle. 5. Incretins involved in insulin signaling are produced in the intestinal lining. In T2 diabetics, an inflamed gut leads to disturbed incretin signalling and a weak or nonexistent First Phase Insulin Response.
6. Other hormonal signaling is disturbed by chronic inflammation. Beside insulin resistance, inflammation will impair the response to leptin (the hunger hormone) and result in increased obesity.
7. Five measures are known to improve the composition of the gut flora and reduce inflammation: - (a) consuming more probiotic organisms. - (b) consuming more prebiotic soluble fiber that favors the growth of healthy bacteria. - (c) consuming more phytonutrients that discourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast. - (d) limiting the consumption of simple carbohydrates (especially fructose) which encourage the growth of unhealthy bacteria and yeast in the gut. - (e) improving the body's omega-3 to omega-6 ratio by eating healthy fats and oils. Rather than battling disease by killing and cutting, I am more interested in realizing health and wellness by achieving balance. I am pleased that many people are looking for gentler ways to achieve health through lifestyle changes and relying less on radical drugs and surgery.
I served as a US diplomat in Asia for 25 years, but now I am not diplomatic at all! Straight talk on health and wellness - a life-long interest which is now my career. This Oregon boy now lives in Shanghai where I have a health company. My writing is colored by my personal struggle to live a healthy life as a type 2 diabetic.
A Chinese friend told me that Western medicine attacks disease by cutting, killing or inhibiting it, but health is about balance. Join me in looking for healthy harmony in this topsy-turvy world.