I'd like for you to stop and think for a second. Have you ever considered that the insides of your intestines are actually on the outside of your body? We are actually one long tube from mouth to rectum and our intestines protect us from the outside world, just like our skin does. Go ahead, sit with that for a moment ;)
I find this notion absolutely fascinating because in Chinese medicine, the Lung (which is in charge of your immune system and relates to the skin) and Large Intestine are connected. Think of them like a married couple, they exchange ideas, support each other, etc. If one becomes unbalanced, the other can easily become unbalanced as well. In biomedicine, the skin and intestines serve a similar purpose in keeping the bad out and letting the good in and Chinese medicine matched them up!
So what does your intestinal health have to do with your immune system? As I mentioned above, your intestines are a barrier between you and the outside world. If the intestines are damaged or inflamed, they can let things in that should remain out. When these substances are allowed in, it's now your immune system's job to destroy them before they can cause a ruckus.
If your intestines are consistently allowing in these substances, your immune system gets stuck on high alert at your gut and can't be particularly effective elsewhere. This can be a difficult pace to keep and eventually your body gets tired - leading to a malfunctioning immune system. Here are some symptoms that can be related to poor intestinal health :
- Food Sensitivities
- Catching colds often
- Digestive issues like gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea
So what are some things you can do to improve your gut health to in turn improve your over all health?
- Take Colostrum - Colostrum is the amazing part of milk that gives babies their first real boost of immune system. It helps protect them until their own immune system becomes mature and can take over this important task. You can get it in pill form, so it's super convenient. What Colostrum does for an adult with a disfunctional immune system is it help to heal the intestines so they become a better barrier against the outside world.
- Drink water - Making sure you're getting enough water will help your body flush the biproducts of digestion and keep your intestines moving smoothly. If a bowel movement sits in your intestines too long, you'll have more time to absorb things that put your body on high alert.
- Eat fiber - related to drinking enough water is making sure you're getting enough fiber so that your bowel movments can move.
- Take a probiotic - Probiotics are the good bacteria that help us digest our foods properly. Your gut bacteria balance can be disturbed by any number of things including use of antibiotics, use of hormonal birth control medications and poor diet to name just a few.
Take the above steps to improve your intestinal health, and I'm positive you'll start noticing some improvements quickly!