Did someone at Stanford U. see “The Road to Perfect Health” PBS special? Now THIS is exciting! http://on.wsj.com/x0n5Yk
I know that way too often the articles that stimulate my comments border on the absurd – in my mind anyhow. FINALLY, in the WSJ (thank you Shirly S. Wang, author) – “A Gut Check for Many Ailments”.
Back in the late 90s, Dr. Michael Gershon (considered the ‘father of neurogastroenterology’) wrote about “The Second Brain”, where he credits two British scientists, Bayliss and Starling, with identifying the “law of the intestine” – peristalsis. This is a muscular movement which happens without direction from the brain. So the word about the important independence of the gut has been out, even if not well appreciated in modern times!
“The gut is important in medical research, not just for problems pertaining to the digestive system, but also problems pertaining to the rest of the body.” says Pankaj J. Pasricha, chief of the division of gastroenterology and hepatology at Stanford University School of Medicine. So encouraging to think a well-known training center for future physicians is expanding their awareness! How many more of you, in a few short years, will be able to finally find a doctor who doesn’t shake his/her head at your symptoms, or inform you it’s just “all in your head”!?
Dr. Gershon, a professor at Columbia University, was quoted to say “The brain is a CEO that doesn’t like to micromanage”. He would undoubtedly enjoy my reference to probiotics as your own body’s “GPS” – Gut Protection System”. Friends, we all know, don’t we, that the balance of bacteria in your gut determines the health of your your digestive system, and, in turn, the health of your entire body!
I’m so happy that Dr. Gershon recognizes that 95% of the serotonin in the body is made in the gut! Besides increasing peaceful and tranquil feelings, it was reported that serotonin is necessary for repair of cells in the liver and lungs, and plays a role in normal heart development and bone-mass accumulation. Definitely important functions beyond elimination, I would say.
How great it was to read that perhaps one day, Parkinson’s disease may be diagnosed and tracked through a routine colonoscopy, rather than an invasive brain biopsy! Apparently gut neurons may mirror the damage experienced by brain neurons, according to Pascal Derkinderen, a professor of neurology at Inserm, Frances national institute of health.
Sometimes, through the years of sharing my understanding of the gut – as a colonhydrotherapist, as a nutritionist/herbologist, as an author in book after book, and more recently on PBS through all the specials, I still feel as though I’m holding up a little candle in the dark. As I hear your stories of suffering, sometimes for months and years with gut issues, and your deep frustration when you can’t find a knowledgeable, compassionate doctor, my heart breaks…. And we move forward, changing diets together, cleansing, supporting, sharing — and we wait.
Today, after reading this WSJ article, I feel a surge of hope and joy! Working together, you and I, we are educating with love and expanding an awareness of true health that will serve and heal for generations to come.