We have this mucus lining in the gut, it’s thickness varies through the gut as the part where nutrients are absorbed it is not as thick and ‘protective’.
This lining is VITAL for the health of the gut, also for protection of the body. Some of our important microbes feed on this mucus lining. So much goes on in that gut of ours.
When this mucus lining starts to ‘fall apart’ not only does that mean some of the microbes do not get fed, if they do not get fed then other microbes start to go hungry as these ones rely on 'short chain fatty acids' from the mucin ‘chewing’ microbes. There is an amazing community down there.
But regular use of medications like aspirin and ibuprofen break down this mucus layer. Here is ONE of the reasons why…
Our immune cells in the mucus lining produce these fatty chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandin in this case is called arachidonic acid (some people see this one as bad, but it is not, it is all about balance) and this arachidonic acid is involved in healing when there is an injury and also stimulates flow blood to the area. ...how amazing is the gut?
Not only do we have the most amazing microbe community in our gut, we have the most amazing barrier protection, the most amazing structures to digest and absorb our tiny bits of digested food called villi, then it has this mucosal lining, to ensure that the gut does it's 'hard core' job of ensuring nothing that should not get through into the systemic body, does not. So what do we do? We take aspirin, we take ibuprofen....
Aspirin and ibuprofen are two drugs that BLOCK prostaglandin synthesis.
Do you see the pattern? These medications are not made for ongoing use, they are there for short term acute use. How many take aspirin daily, or are recommended to take it daily? How many take ibuprofen daily, for that headache, for that pain in the knee? Prescribed post heart attack? Prescribed for angina?
The gut IS the gateway to health. If we ‘hack away’ at the lining of the gut we mess with our sacred barrier and risk the development of metabolic diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and conditions such as arthritis, auto-immune conditions such a MS, brain inflammation such as dementia to name some.
I am not a ‘pharma hater’, just cautious of medications and their long term use.
If you are on medication, ask yourself why am I on this? What is it for? Are there alternatives? Are there side effects that you are not aware of?
If you are on medication, work with your doctor if you want to come off it, never come off medication without the advise of your primary heath care physician.