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Reduce Gut Inflammation With Nutrition For a Healthy Core (Part 1)

A healthy core has a lot to do with digestive health as muscles cannot be healthy if there is inflammation within the digestive tract or around organs. There is a neurological reflex called the viscerosomatic reflex that occurs between the organs (viscera) and muscles (somatic) above the area. When there is inflammation in and around the organs, the muscles tighten in response to protect the area while other muscles become inhibited and stop functioning. In the lumbopelvic region, the pelvic floor and other muscles including the psoas, piriformis and parspinals muscles increase in tension while other muscles including the transverse abdominus, gluteus maximus and quads shut down and go on strike. This results in further compensations, disrupting elimination and contributing to muscle pain and dysfunction. As a pelvic floor physical therapist, I encourage healthy eating and recommend addressing inflammation at its source, the gut, for the best outcome.

There are multiple systems within the body now known to be governed by one system, the immune system. The immune system is responsible for protecting our body from invaders and gets dialed up or down as a result of inflammation. For example, inflammation in the digestive tract creates mucus from the mouth to the anus that can cause inflammatory bowel disease, acid reflux, ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome, to name a few. Inflammation in the cardiovascular system can lead to heart disease, stroke, high blood pressure, etc. Inflammation in the endocrine system can lead to thyroid dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, diabetes, etc. Inflammation in the neuromuscular system can lead to muscle inflammation in the form of myofascial trigger points, defined as hyperirritable, involuntary muscle spasms that can radiate pain to a remote location, held in spasm further by the nervous system. It is a vicious cycle and tough to break, unless inflammation is addressed.

I have come to recognize the effect gut inflammation has on myofascial trigger points throughout the entire body. I have suffered with chronic pain and digestive issues since childhood. I was also diagnosed with two separate auto-immune diseases in my 20s and 30s. One was linked to recurring miscarriages and infertility (phospholipid syndrome) and the other a skin disorder (PLEVA). I discovered the connection between the two with the common denominator linked to food when I removed dairy products from my diet when my first-born infant was diagnosed with acid reflux and projectile vomiting. Since I was breastfeeding, the pediatric allergist recommended that I eliminate the largest allergen to his system, milk proteins (casein and whey). My gut felt better for the first time in my life, I had mental clarity and lost weight at a rapid pace, which was good since I was struggling to lose the extra weight I gained in this high-risk pregnancy. Once he outgrew the allergy, I went back to some of my old ways, with the exception of drinking milk. A few years later, I developed a skin rash resulting in the dermatologist prescribing 2 grams of antibiotics daily for a month (imagine what that would have done for my leaky gut). I n