Diet, the Gut, the Brain – and Dementia

Published by the Tustin Chronic Condition Center

There is a distinct link between our digestive system and our brain function, and if people continue to ignore the problem, it can lead to neurological degeneration—in common terms: dementia.

How exactly does that work? How can what you eat affect your brain? We’ve illustrated it here in a flow chart, but let’s give you a more effective mental image of how this process works.

When a person has any kind of food sensitivity or infection, it creates inflammation in the gut. Infections can stem from bacterium, parasites, mold, yeast or other sources.

Gut inflammation creates what are called cytokines, or TH17. We like to call these the “Bad Guys”, because they cause the gut lining to become permeable, which results in a intestinal barrier dysfunction, more commonly called leaky gut syndrome.

Once the gut lining becomes leaky, the body becomes more predisposed to food sensitivities and infections, which starts the cycle all over again. As this happens, those Bad Guys get into the bloodstream through the leaky gut and start traveling through the circulatory system.

We all have a blood brain barrier that protects our brain from receiving large protein molecules from passing through, things like alcohol, medications and certain hormones.

But since these Bad Guys aren’t supposed to be in the blood, they insinuate themselves through the blood brain barrier, and set off another chain of events.

These Bad Guys, or cytokines, activate the brain’s immune cells called microglials. Think of these microglials as a tightly wound, hyperactive dog like a Chihuahua. This Chihuahua happens to have a bazooka tied to his back, and every time he barks, that bazooka goes off. That bazooka is destroying healthy neurons, and there are ten Chihuahuas for every healthy neuron.

So the process works like this: your food sensitivity or infection inflames your gut, creating the Bad Guys who eventually cause leaky gut syndrome after constant stimulation of the food sensitivity causes a vicious cycle. Once they’ve done that, they’ve created their escape route, which takes the Bad Guys right up to the brain. They sneak past the blood brain barrier, and set the Chihuahuas off barking, each of whom release ten bazookas at a single, healthy brain immune cell. The next time you irritate that food sensitivity or infection, the whole process starts over again, killing more healthy brain cells.

Now, who doesn’t want to stop a Chihuahua barking, literally or figuratively? In this case, we really want to muzzle these Chihuahas, as these imaginary little dogs are literally destroying your brain. Early signs of this process happening are brain fog, loss of mental clarity and short-term memory loss. And these memory problems will only get worse unless we stop the problem in the gut.

The way that we at the Tustin Chronic Condition Center attack this problem is to start with the gut; we look at the gut to determine whether or not the patient has any gut issues. We then proceed to deal with the blood sugar dysregulation issues, which must be addressed because blood sugar issues also affect the gut, which in turn affects the brain.

Are you ready to make the changes necessary to stop your body from destroying itself and start the process of improving your health? Then please contact Dr. Corey King at the Tustin Chronic Condition Center by calling (714) 731-7680 or using our online form.

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