Gut Health and Immunity?

You may think of your GUT as where your food goes when you ingest it. And that’s it. But it is so much more than that. Your “GUT” or gastrointestinal tract, is comprised of your mouth, esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon and rectum.

Did you know that your GUT is your Second Brain? You might know your that the central nervous system (CNS) brain and spinal cord, is one part, and the counter part is the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which contains the parasympathetic, sympathetic and ENTERIC (gut) divisions and controls involuntary actions such as breathing, sleeping , healing, digesting, etc. What you may not realize is that your amazing digestive system houses 70-80% of your immune system, depending on where you look. It also uses the same neurotransmitters as the brain. For example, 95% of the serotonin (the “happiness chemical”) is made in your gut. If you have digestive problems, it makes sense that you may also have depression, irregular sleep, mood swings, anxiety, or lack of well-being.

Now, how is your immune system linked to your digestive system? Through GALT (gut-associated lymphoid tissue). The gut immune cells line the small intestine and large intestine and include the largest concentration of immune cells such as B and T lymphocytes and macrophages found in your body. This huge immune organ is dependent on a delicate balance of bacteria that colonizes the gut (called your microbiome). How can this be compromised? With antibiotic use, exposure to toxic chemicals, undigested proteins, stress, too little sleep, consumption of highly processed and high- sugar foods, alcohol, and pesticides.

The effects of compromised gut health are autoimmune disorders such as diabetes, rhumatoid arthritis, Hashimotos thyroiditis, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn and bloating, sugar cravings, skin conditions, allergies, sluggishness, insomia, and much more.

As you can see , your gut plays a major role, not only in gastrointestinal health, but in the health and well-being of the entire body. How can you support a healthy gut and therefore support your IMMUNE SYSTEM?

  • eat fresh, local and seasonal fruits and vegetables
  • eat healthy fats such as coconut oil, grass-fed butter and ghee, avocado, olives ( extra-virgin cold-pressed olive oil), wild caught seafood, pasture-raised eggs, properly prepared nuts and seeds (see for recipes)
  • manage your stress with relaxation techniques that work for you – meditation, yoga, walks, listening to whole tone music , etc)
  • go to sleep before 11:00 PM
  • eat slowly, and be conscientious about it (no standing or eating in the car)
  • avoid additives and chemicals in food (read labels – if you cannot understand them, don’t eat it)
  • drink lots of purified water (avoid endocrine dysrupting fluoride and chloride in tap water)
  • don’t drink more than 4 oz. of water with food as you will dilute your enzymes needed to break down your food
  • don’t mask symptoms with over the counter medications such as Zantac, Tums, etc.
  • avoid plastics such as water bottles and food storage containers
  • stop using artificial chemicals for cleaning , teflon pans and air fresheners
  • avoid stomach damaging products such as NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), aspirin and tylenol
  • Add Probiotics to your diet:
  • FIND WAYS TO BE HAPPY – smile, laugh, hug, go outside in nature, get a pet!

For more information , please contact our website at

BE WELL! Remember, it’s easier to STAY WELL than to GET WELL!

Dr. MaryAnn


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