I don’t like my belly. I haven’t liked it since it got so big. I particularly dislike that when I sit back in a chair, the only position for my hands is to clasp them across the great girth of my tummy, reminding me of just how big it is. I don’t like how it feels when I move, or how I can always see it when I look down, and have to bend further before I can glimpse the gorgeous red polish of my latest pedicure. So no, I don’t like my stomach that much. And as it turns out, my stomach doesn’t like me all that much, either.
Of all the myriad things I need to fix up before my body can start functioning normally again, my stomach – my gut – gets number one priority, as far as Dr J. is concerned. And there is a good reason for this. After the heart and brain, it’s possible – according to me, the complete amateur medico – that the stomach is the next most important organ in the human body. It affects pretty much everything, and without it, we couldn’t live at all.
My stomach, it must be said, is royally screwed up. The first – and currently biggest – problem is all about bugs.
In your gut, you have 2 main types of bacteria – good guys (Escherichia coli) and bad guys (Streptococcus lutetiensis). A normal, healthy gut will have about 70-90% of the good guys and less than 5% of the bad guys. In my gut, it’s the other way around. I have 98% bad guys and less than 3% good guys.
There are a number of consequences of this imbalance:
- My gut cannot metabolise food properly and only a fraction of the nutrients I consume ever make it beyond the wall of my stomach.
- As a result, my stomach struggles to produce sufficient tryptophan, which is subsequently turned into serotonin (a lack of which gives you depression, among other things)
- I end up with an insufficiency of CoQ10, an enzyme which you need to have energy and good concentration through the day
- I have very little of the B group vitamins in my system
- The bad bacteria produce a large quantity of toxins which, left unattended, cause “Leaky Gut“. This means that toxins have leached through my stomach wall and into my blood stream, forcing my liver and kidneys to work overtime to keep the effects manageable. This strain on them is dangerous to say the least, and having all those toxins floating around my body is highly damaging.