How much do you know about your second brain? Never heard of it? Most people haven’t. But so important is it to your health, ability to deal with stress, emotional balance and spiritual life, that it is essential you learn about it as quickly as possible.
PERILS OF THE GUT
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 physical and emotional states that compromise our lives. If you have any tendency to gain weight, disturbances in the second brain will cause you to do so, and make it very difficult for you to lose weight. Even more surprising—disturbances in the second brain can create extreme symptoms in both adults and children, from disorientation and poor judgement, to deep fatigue, depression, anxiety, slurred speech and more.
The intestine is porous by nature. A healthy digestive system depends on good-guy bacteria to plug any holes in the gut, neutralize toxins, and metabolize vitamins and nourishment from the food you eat. We are completely dependent upon a symbiotic relationship with these good bacteria to plug any holes in the gut wall, through which proteins—such as gluten and casein—are able to pass and enter the bloodstream. The proper balance of good-guy vs bad-guy bacteria in the gut creates a barrier against toxicity entering the blood to cause problems. When we have enough good-guy bacteria—flora—they enable us to metabolize and break down our food. When, however, we get an overgrowth of bad-guy, opportunistic flora, such as candida albicans, vast quantities of toxins get through the porous gut, creating allergies and other health conditions: inflammation on the skin, food cravings. emotional issues, which are not in fact emotional at all, but biochemical in origin and lots of other problems. What happens is that undigested particles penetrate a “leaky gut”, making the body react to these “foreign” materials—wreaking havoc on our lives.
How do we get bad-guy bacteria into our system? By eating lots of grains, cereals, sugar, and using unnecessary antibiotics. Antibiotics, which are far too often used, let the bad-guys establish colonies. Why? Because they also wipe out good-guys. When a course of antibiotics has finished, your body cannot re-establish balanced 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 an overgrowth of bad gut flora, then the baby’s body becomes colonized with them as well.
Second brain issues were first identified as far back as the 1920s by the famous allergist, Dr. Albert Rowe. Clinical ecologists know very well that second brain issues are the most common cause 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 (and they are much worse today, with all the convenience foods and grains, cereals and sugars we consume) he came to refer to 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, and overgrowths of bad gut flora, resulting in leaky gut syndrome. Randolph worked with over 20,000 patients in a career that spanned 60 years, and published almost 400 scientific articles on his discoveries.
Here are a few questions you can ask if you suspect you are among the many who are unsuccessfully wrestling with the manifestations of second brain issues:
- 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?
DIET HOLDS THE KEY
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 brain functions for all children with learning and behavioral difficulties, as well as for adults who are themselves experiencing second brain issues. She has written a book called Gut and Psychology Syndrome, which is an in-depth examination of how to counter second brain problems through diet alone. The book is very detailed and includes a number of recipes. I highly recommend it to anyone who suffers from depression or whose children experience dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, dyspraxia or autism.