Gut pathogens play a huge role in disease, and it’s actually hard to overstate its significance. Hippocrates is famous for stating that all disease begins in the gut, and while he relied on intuition and observation, and not science, it turns out that these intuitions were for the most part correct.
Medical science, or what passes for it, isn’t really that concerned with causes of diseases, as it tends to focus well downstream. So if disease begins in the gut, and we can at least say that a great deal of disease seems to, and quite a bit has been shown to, then we sure need to be paying a lot more attention to this.
Although much more work needs to be done, we have looked into this quite a bit already and what we see is that pathogens do cause a great deal of turmoil in the body. It’s not the only health issue of course, the only influencer, but it is a big one and causes or worsens a great number of diseases and health conditions.
Lately we have focused quite a bit on intestinal bacteria, and it is true that dysbiosis, imbalances in the intestinal biome, does make a lot of people sick. This disorder causes far more than just intestinal issues, as the toxins released by the overgrowth of so called bad intestinal bacteria get into the bloodstream and can affect all body processes.
For instance, we know that LPS which is released by this bacteria is highly inflammatory, and inflammation contributes significantly to insulin resistance, and high levels of circulating LPS are strongly correlated with disorders of high blood sugar. It’s just not healthy to have a lot of inflammation if you are a diabetic of course, and this inflammation will cause the body to overcompensate with glucose regulation, releasing inappropriately high amounts into our blood.
So now we become focused on looking to compensate for that, by reducing the carb load for instance, or using medications that may lower blood sugar, we haven’t addressed the problem at all here, and when we don’t, it just gets worse and worse and our attempts to maintain control get more and more difficult.
An even bigger menace, and one that doesn’t get anywhere near enough attention, is systemic candida infection. Candida is a fungus that is most famous for producing vaginal infections in women, although that’s really the tip of the iceberg and this condition can effect and invade every part of the body, thus the term systemic candida infection.
While candida is normally confined to the gut, when allowed to overly proliferate, this fungus basically burrows into the intestinal walls and then enters the bloodstream, which takes it to all places in the body, where it sets up residence.
Like bacteria, the payload here is released toxins, and this can place a high burden upon the body and cause a multitude of conditions and symptoms. This part deserves an article of its own actually, the list is that long. Among them is inflammation that is so linked to diabetes.
The point of this article though is to look to get us focused on these pathogens, and in particular, to realize how big a role this stuff can play in diabetes and metabolic disease. It’s not even the pathogens that do most of the damage, it’s our own immune systems hunting and killing them that causes them to release toxins as they die that does us in the most.
Of course they must be killed off, but the problem is, we need to control the population in the first place, in other words, limit their birth rate so that their death rate doesn’t affect us so much.
There is a three step process here. If you have overgrowth, then obviously you aren’t doing enough killing, so accelerating this is the first step.
If someone has an overgrowth of bacteria, some may think, well let’s just give people antibiotics, but overuse of antibiotics is actually a major cause of both bacteria overgrowth and fungal overgrowth.
When antibiotics are used, this disrupts the natural balance of the gut, and we’re left worse off from this, from both bacterial resistance and rebound proliferation. In a nutshell, the bad guys get stronger and they take over more. We actually need all this bacteria and they all play a role, as does fungus, we just need things in balance and antibiotics upset this balance tremendously, and should only be used when truly necessary, when there are no good alternatives and one’s life is in jeopardy otherwise.
We admit that we overuse antibiotics, but guess what has happened, we still overuse them because MDs have been taught to do so and the commercial forces behind this are too strong to break. There are natural alternatives, oregano oil in particular, that work pretty well and should be used instead when possible. This is especially true when you’re trying to regain your health by looking to rebalance your intestinal biome, and antibiotics are the culprit here, not the solution.
There are a number of things that can be used for this killing process, natural substances that do not disrupt the body like antibiotics do. That needs to be the goal here, look to make us better, not worse.
The next step is to replace, which means repopulating the friendly bacteria that have been reduced. Probiotics and prebiotics are essential to regaining your health here. We’ve focused a lot more on this lately but we need to focus quite a bit more on this than we currently do.
The third step is maintenance, basically looking back to what got us in this sorry mess in the first place and looking to make positive changes. This may include looking at things like diet, but it especially means looking to preserve one’s intestinal health, looking to prevent overgrowth of both bacteria and fungus.
There are no quick fixes here by the way. It took us a long time to get this sick and we will not get well from this by just swallowing a few pills. This takes both a lot of time and effort. It may even take several years to get all the way back to good health.
It won’t ever happen by itself though. Like many things, this involves just putting one foot in front of the other and beginning the journey, and continuing on it toward the goal of better health.