What do you know about your second brain? Never heard of it? Few people have. But so important is it to your health, ability to deal with stress, emotional balance, and spiritual life that you need to learn about it as quickly as possible.
Your digestive system is, in truth, a second brain. It boasts more nerve endings than the brain itself. Most people find this astounding. When we eat foods that antagonize these nerve endings, we experience all sorts of negative physical and emotional states that compromise our lives. If you have any tendency to gain weight, trouble in your second brain will cause you to do so, and make it very difficult for you to lose weight. Even more surprising, troubles with your second brain can produce extreme symptoms in adults and children, which range from disorientation and poor judgment to deep fatigue, depression, anxiety, slurred speech, and more.
Your intestine is porous by nature. A healthy digestive system relies on good-guy bacteria to plug any holes in the gut, neutralize toxins, and metabolize vitamins and nourishment from the food you eat. We’re completely dependent for our health and wellbeing upon a symbiotic relationship with these good bacteria whose job it is to plug any holes in the gut wall, through which proteins—such as gluten and casein—can to pass to enter the bloodstream and wreck havoc in body and mind. A truly healthy balance of good-guy vs. bad-guy bacteria in the gut creates a barrier against toxicity entering your blood. When we have enough good-guy bacteria, which is flora, this enables us to metabolize and break down our foods properly. When, however, we get an overgrowth of bad-guy, opportunistic flora such as Candida albicans, vast quantities of toxins make their way through a porous gut, creating allergies and other conditions such as inflammation on the skin and food cravings, and emotional issues, which are not in fact emotional at all but biochemical in origin. This is what happens when undigested particles penetrate a “leaky gut.”
How do we get bad-guy bacteria into our system? By eating grains, cereals, sugar, package, and convenience supermarket foods, and very often from taking antibiotics. Antibiotics are used far too often. They are supposed to clear out colonies of bad-guy microbes. But antibiotics also wipe out good-guy microbes. So that once a course of antibiotics is completed, it is very difficult to re-establish a healthy balance of flora in the body. By the way, babies get their first dose of good bacteria while passing through the birth canal. If a mother has a history of taking antibiotics and has an overgrowth of bad gut flora in her body, then the baby’s body becomes colonized with them as well.
Second brain issues were first identified way back in the 1920s by the famous allergist, Dr. Albert Rowe. Clinical ecologists will tell you quite clearly that second brain issues are the most common causes of chronic fatigue, weight gain, anxiety, allergies, and depression. It was Rowe himself who dubbed these conditions “allergic toxemia.” Later on, when he realized just how widespread negative food reactions had become (they are much worse today, with all the convenience foods, grains, cereals, and sugars we eat) he came to refer to all second brain disorders as “allergic tension-fatigue syndrome.”
Theron Randolph MD, another pioneer in the field of environmental medicine, charted a myriad of emotional and physical symptoms caused by eating foods with which the body can’t cope, including overgrowths of bad gut flora, which results in leaky gut syndrome. Randolph worked with over 20,000 patients in a career that spanned 60 years. He published almost 400 scientific articles on his discoveries.
Here are a few questions you can ask if you suspect you may be among the growing numbers of people unsuccessfully wrestling with the manifestations of second brain issues today:
- Are you chronically tired?
- Do you struggle with your weight and suffer from food cravings?
- Do you suffer from chronic anxiety or depression?
- Do you have allergies, asthma, or eczema?
- Do you have a child with autism?
Hippocrates (460-370 BC) believed that “All diseases begin in the gut.” In the last 10 or 15 years, Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride MD has made an in-depth study into the nutritional aspects of how the gut works, and how poor gut function seriously impacts not only physical health but also brain functions for all children with learning and behavioral difficulties as well as for adults. She has written a valuable book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome. It’s an in-depth examination of how to counter second brain problems through diet alone. The book is fascinating to read. It also includes a number of excellent recipes. I recommend it to anyone who is suffering from depression or other common second brain disorders as well as anyone who has children experiencing dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, dyspraxia, or autism.