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I have described the balance of the intestinal skin as in the story, “The Three Little Bears.” The skin or lining of the intestinal tract cannot be too dry, it cannot be too wet — it has to be just right.
If it is too dry as a result of excess stress, which is processed through the intestinal tract (1), the elimination will slow down and you may experience bouts of constipation. (2,3) If the stress is excessive over a longer period of time, the intestinal skin – which consists of mucus-making cells – can become irritated. This can result in the production of excess mucus which, in turn, disturbs the normal beneficial bacteria. This can alter the function of the intestinal skin blocking the absorption of water, disturbing the function of digestive enzymes and bile – all of which can produce bouts of diarrhea. (3)
When the bacteria of the large intestines are disturbed, this can cause the proliferation of harmful microbes that can secrete toxins into the intestinal tract, which can produce bouts of loose or dry stools. (3)
Either way, whether the stools are too loose or too dry, the health and function of the intestinal tract and its good bugs will be compromised. (3) Toxins can then default back into the portal circulation in route to the liver. Here, the liver can become congested and the bile flow compromised. Bile is actually one of the main drivers of healthy elimination. (4) If the bile becomes congested, a host of digestive imbalances can ensue: (4)
- Poor fat metabolism
- Poor toxin processing
- Altered gut and small intestine microbiology
- Imbalanced function of the ileocecal valve, where large intestine bacteria can infiltrate into the small intestine.
- Congestion of the pancreatic ducts and low digestive enzyme flow
- Insufficient buffering of stomach acid, which can reduce stomach acid production allowing undesirable bugs into the small intestines.
All of the above can contribute to a host of digestive concerns, including weight loss, weight gain, gas, bloating, abdominal discomfort, food intolerances, hypersensitivities, skin concerns, fatigue, brain fog and much more.
There are 3 basic strategies to support optimal elimination:
- Support healthy large intestine function.
- Re-populate with colonizing, large intestine-residing bacteria.
- Increase bile flow and decongest the liver.
To learn more about how to balance your digestion and elimination, please read the following articles:
>>> Read part 1 of this series on SIBO & Candida here: 2 Minute SIBO Therapy Rediscovered
>>> Read part 2 of this series on SIBO & Candida here: SIBO Starts In Your Stomach
>>> Read part 3 of this series on SIBO & Candida here: Starve Your SIBO & Candida